Think Tanks

Batting Cleanup? A Think Tank on Corporate Learning @ Eisner & Lubin, Rosenthal, Grand Hall | 1:30PM – 3:15PM

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Only a third of jobs in America require a college degree.  Entry level jobs have shifted from manufacturing to service.  And millennials are switching jobs eight times in their careers.

Companies spend $1.5 Trillion to train, retrain and develop employees — educating more people than any other part of the education ecosystem.

Meanwhile, most college students are also now working adults, and indeed most faculty are adjunct professors serving concurrently as trainers in a corporate role.

Yet there is almost no research done on efficacy of corporate learning and very little edtech innovation in what ought to be a “hot” market for innovation given its size and relatively lack of barriers to entry. Why?

  • Mike Prokopeak*, Vice President/Editor in Chief, Human Capital Media Group
  • Mordy Golding, LinkedIn
  • Nick Howe, CLO, Area 9
  • Mary McNevin, CLO, Signature Healthcare
  • Bridget O’Connor, Professor, NYU
  • Rahul Varma, Chief Talent & Learning Officer, Accenture


This Is Not Child’s Play! – A Think Tank On Early Learning @ Eisner & Lubin, Rosenthal, Grand Hall | 1:30PM – 3:15PM

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We all know the research – nothing is more compelling to invest in than early childhood; the returns are significant, yet to date there has not emerged a viable market for early childhood services.  Low income children arrive at kindergarten with a “30 million word gap” compared to their middle class peers.  Only 35% of American children read at grade level by third grade.  And most never catch up. Why? What are the barriers to fixing this problem and growing the market? What are the needs?  Can edtech offer solutions? Is this an open market or a quagmire?

  • Romy Drucker*, CEO, The 74
  • Kai-lee Berke, CEO, Teaching Strategies
  • David Lowenstein, Sr. Director, Ready to Learn PBS Kids
  • Amelia Franck Meyer, CEO, Alia
  • Katharine Stevens, AEI Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
  • Elanna Yalow, Chief Academic Officer, KinderCare


How Broken Is College? – A Think Tank on Higher Education @ Eisner & Lubin, Rosenthal, Grand Hall | 1:30PM – 3:15PM

By | Day 1 | 1:30 PM – 3:15 PM, Think Tanks | No Comments

Only 40% of Americans attain a postsecondary degree. States have slashed their funding, while federal student aid and research grants have failed to keep pace with demand. Meanwhile, operating expenses have mounted as universities try to keep up with the demands of millennials.

As a consequence, tuitions have increased at astronomical rates, making college less affordable for many students and families and sending debt levels ever higher. Many graduates now face underemployment and often can’t repay their loans. As unemployment drops, so have college enrollment rates.

Meanwhile, career program opportunities, mostly supplied by for-profit schools, have dwindled under the Obama administration’s Gainful Employment policies, but may see some “relief” under a Trump presidency.

But with the business models for many institutions broken and growing public calls for accountability, higher education is clearly an industry under serious strain. How much will solutions come from within  or from alternatives to it?

  • Doug Lederman*, Founder & Editor, Inside Higher Ed
  • Wally Boston, CEO,  American Public Education Inc.
  • Bridget Burns, Exec. Director, UIA
  • Stella Flores, Professor, NYU
  • John Katzman, CEO, Noodle
  • Peter Smith, Professor UMUC


What’s App-ening to Our Schools? – A Think Tank on K12 Education @ Eisner & Lubin, Rosenthal, Grand Hall | 1:30PM – 3:15PM

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82% of our children now graduate from high school, but only 35% are adequately prepared college or a career.  Subsequently, only a third of our country attains postsecondary degrees.

The cycle of debated policies continues from No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, Common Core, ESSA.  But are there any results to show for the money and energy put to work in k12 education?  Do we need to revisit the purpose of schooling? Are we meeting the needs of the next generation? What are the biggest issues confronting schools? Parents? Teachers? Kids?  Has technology helped?  Where are the opportunities?

  • Josh Starr*, CEO, PDK International
  • Derrell Bradford, Executive Director, NYCAN
  • Chris Cerf, Superintendent, Newark Public Schools
  • Sherwin Collette, CITO, Montgomery Schools
  • Karen Gallagher, Education Dean, USC
  • Denise Gallucci, CEO, GEMS America
  • Jeffrey Henig, Professor, Political Science and Education at Columbia


Big Data, Efficacy & Accountability: A Think Tank on Who Measures Up @ Eisner & Lubin, Rosenthal, Grand Hall | 3:30PM – 5:15PM

By | Day 1 | 3:30 PM – 5:15 PM, Think Tanks, Tuesday | No Comments

What’s more important — Equity? Access? Or Excellence? What are we getting and how do we know what works? What do we want from our schools? What do they want from their industry partners?  How should we determine, measure and report outcomes and how do we hold parties accountable?  How can data drive better decisions or tailored instruction? What does it mean for edtech entrepreneurs?

  • Betsy Corcoran*, CEO & Co-founder, EdSurge
  • Bart Epstein, CEO, Jefferson Education Accelerator
  • Susan Fuhrman, President, Columbia Teachers College
  • Chip Paucek, CEO, 2U
  • Gerard Robinson, AEI Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
  • Jake Schwartz, Co-founder & CEO, General Assembly
  • Steve Smith, President, Hobsons


Degrees, Badges, & Other ‘Signals’ – A Think Tank on Credentials & Promises @ Eisner & Lubin, Rosenthal, Grand Hall | 3:30PM – 5:15PM

By | Day 1 | 3:30 PM – 5:15 PM, Think Tanks, Tuesday | No Comments

Will the degree disappear?  And since the majority of jobs do not require postsecondary degrees, is there another way to acquire and prove qualifications? Will incubators replace universities?  Over $100 Billion of equity value has been created through incubators and bootcamps over the last few years –  while billions more have traded hands in systems to record skills.  Can we capture information learned outside of traditional school and evaluate it? Can suppliers to the job market deliver on their promises?

Everyone loves the idea of a Rosetta Stone that follows the learner across her life and translates her learning into whatever context was necessary — but we seem to be a long way off. Why? The technology is there? Will this work?  If so,who will own it? Employers, Higher Ed? Government?

  • Goldie Blumenstyk*, Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Monica Herk, VP, Conference Board
  • Fiona Hollands, Researcher, Columbia Teachers College
  • Beth Doyle, VP Learning Counts, CAEL
  • Regis Chasse, Learning & Talent Executive, Capgemini
  • Rebekah Rombom, VP of Career Services and Business Development, Flatiron School


Disruption – A Think Tank on the True Status of EdTech Innovation @ Eisner & Lubin, Rosenthal, Grand Hall | 3:30PM – 5:15PM

By | Day 1 | 3:30 PM – 5:15 PM, Think Tanks | No Comments

The limits of technology seem to have no end. And not that long ago, almost all education was offered through schools, universities, or corporations — delivered by teachers standing in front of a room with a chalkboard.  What is the state of the art of learning technology? Because even though we all love the new bright shiny object — of the $6 trillion spent today on learning, most of it still resembles such a model.  How many of these innovations have practical applications for learners?  What business models will succeed?

  • Andy Rotherham*, Managing Partner, Bellwether, and Contributing Editor, US News & World Report
  • Seth Andrew, Fmr. Sr. Technology Advisor, The White House
  • Lindsey Burke, Policy Fellow, The Heritage Fellow
  • Carly Cooper, Global Head of Experience Design, Infosys
  • David Levin, CEO, McGraw-Hill
  • Nicole Neal, CEO, Noodle Markets
  • Ron Packard, CEO, Pansophic Learning