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Alex Soojung-Kim Pang is a leading figure in the fight to make digital technology less overwhelming and less distracting for the average user. He calls his approach "contemplative computing." That sounds like an oxymoron, but it's profoundly simple: It's about using technologies—including social media—to become more mindful, focused, and creative at work and in life. Pang studies people and technology and the worlds they make. His work explores how our interactions with computers change the way we think about ourselves and how we value (or devalue) human memory and cognition. Pang is a senior consultant at Strategic Business Insights, a Menlo Park, CA, consulting and research firm. He also has two academic appointments: He is a visitor at the Peace Innovation Lab at Stanford University, and an associate fellow at Oxford University's Saïd Business School. His book The Distraction Addiction explains how users can redesign their relationships with technologies to help them be calmer and sharper.
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Rahaf Harfoush is a digital innovation and foresight strategist who has a deep passion for exploring how technology is affecting the way we communicate, work, and play. She connects business leaders to the latest global trends and offers a unique approach to digital strategy, ideation, and innovation. She is a co-founder of Red Thread Inc., a consulting agency that provides clients with out-of-the-box thinking to tackle strategic challenges. Rahaf is also the cofounder of Emerging Women, a nonprofit that curates events worldwide to strengthen local and global support systems for women entrepreneurs in emerging economies. She currently serves as a global ambassador for the Sandbox Network, a community of exceptional entrepreneurs under the age of 30. She is on the board of directors of TakingITGlobal, a nonprofit that enables the world's largest community of youth to create positive changes in their cities, and is also on the advisory board of OneLeap, a site that helps connect young people to business leaders. She is working on a forthcoming book, Decoded, which investigates the intersection between data and culture in terms of how we do business.
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Milton Chen has been a leading figure in educational media for more than 20 years. He joined the George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF) as executive director in 1998, bringing new leadership to its mission of gathering and disseminating the most innovative models of K-12 learning in the Digital Age. Prior to joining GLEF, Chen was the founding director of the KQED Center for Education & Lifelong Learning (PBS), managing its web content and the delivery of educational services. He has been a director of research at the Children’s Television Workshop in New York and served as an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Chen’s interests span everything from project-based learning and social/emotional learning to global learning, technology, and research on educational innovation. He has authored more than 30 books, chapters, and articles on educational media. Chen currently serves as chair for the new Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media, and is a trustee of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. He has been honored by the Congressional Black Caucus, PBS, Sesame Workshop, Parents’ Choice, and the Fred Rogers Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
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This annual honor goes to Johnnie Foreman, director of community and diversity at the Gilman School. He was chosen as an outstanding leader who has devoted extraordinary work to advance diversity and inclusivity on a national and/or international scale. He is a current chair of the Association of Maryland & DC Independent Schools, former local Student Diversity Leadership Conference chair, Past co-chair of the Baltimore POCC, an NAIS Call to Action committee member, NAIS Diversity Leadership Institute facilitator, and was awarded the “Rays of Hope” honor from the Black Professional Men Organization. His involvement with NAIS has been the springboard for initiatives that have changed the way we look at independent education.
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Catherine Steiner-Adair is an internationally recognized clinical psychologist, school consultant, and author. In her book, The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age, Steiner-Adair examines ways in which technology and media are putting our children at risk at every stage of development. The internet and social media have erased boundaries that protect children from the unsavory aspects of adult life and Steiner-Adair helps us understand the psychological risks to children. She proves that children need parents and educators to provide what technology cannot: close, meaningful interactions with the adults in their lives. Over the past 30 years, Steiner-Adair has worked in more than 350 independent schools throughout the United States and abroad, leading workshops for administrators, teachers, and parents. Her long-standing interest began in her early years as a doctoral student at Harvard, and while she served as a school psychologist at Phillips Academy (MA).Steiner-Adair has a private practice in Chestnut Hill, MA, and she is a clinical instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and an associate psychologist at McLean Hospital. She lives outside of Boston with her husband, Fred, and enjoys family life in the Digital Age with a son and a daughter.