This schedule will be updated and is subject to change. All times Pacific.

2023 General Sessions

Jason Patera

Jason Patera

Wednesday, February 22, 4:15-5:15 PM PT
Head of school and fierce advocate for arts education will be talking to us about the power of community.
Jason Patera is the head of school at Chicago Academy for the Arts, an independent high school for passionate, elite-level filmmakers, musicians, actors, dancers, writers, animators, and visual artists. Patera has been a part of the Academy community for more than 25 years, serving as an intern, faculty member, chair of the music department, assistant head of school/principal, and since June 2016, head of school.

In 2001, Patera co-founded Caltera School, an award-winning community music school based on the Caltera Method, an innovative approach to teaching and learning music.

A fierce advocate for the arts and arts education, Patera has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for excellence in teaching and was named a 2018 Golden Apple Leader of Distinction. His 2018 TED Talk, Life at the Intersection of Excellence, Purpose, and Passion, has inspired educators and ambitious dreamers around the world.

A jazz pianist and drummer, Patera is a summa cum laude graduate of Berklee College of Music, where he studied arranging and contemporary writing and founded the college’s newspaper The Groove, in publication since 1997. He also holds a master’s degree in educational leadership. He is also the author of I Can Do Hard Things, or: How Much it Hurt to Run 100.6 Miles.

Patera serves on the boards of Arts Schools Network, the Lake Michigan Association of Independent Schools, and Live Grit Soars.
Van Jones (Opening General Session)

Van Jones (Opening General Session)

Thursday, February 23, 9:15-10:45 AM PT
Political commentator and CNN host joins us to examine our polarized world.
Van Jones is a CNN host, political commentator, Emmy Award-winning producer, and author of three New York Times best-selling books: The Green Collar Economy (2008), Rebuild the Dream (2012) and Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together (2017).
He is also a successful social entrepreneur, having founded and led many thriving enterprises including the REFORM Alliance, Color of Change, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and the Dream Corps, which works to close prison doors and open doors of opportunity in the green and tech economies.
In 2009, as the Green Jobs Advisor to the Obama White House, Jones oversaw an $80 billion dollar investment in clean energy jobs. Jones was the main advocate for the Green Jobs Act. Signed into law by George W. Bush in 2007, the Green Jobs Act was the first piece of federal legislation to codify the term "green jobs." During the Obama administration, the legislation has resulted in $500 million in national funding for green jobs training.
Jones has stewarded several bipartisan legislative and advocacy efforts, racking up wins under the last four U.S. presidents. Jones’ most recent victory was advocating successfully for the passage of the FIRST STEP Act, which The New York Times calls the most substantial breakthrough in criminal justice in a generation.
A Yale-educated attorney, Jones has won numerous awards, including the World Economic Forum’s “Young Global Leader” designation, TIME’s 2009 “100 Most Influential People in The World”, the 2010 NAACP Image Award, and a 2020 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Interactive Program.

Sponsored by Minerva Project
Minerva Project
Susan  Fonseca Lanham

Susan Fonseca Lanham

Thursday, February 23, 3:30-4:30 PM PT
Revolutionary thinker and education innovator will help us imagine what the future of school and work will look like.
As a visionary, education catalyst, and global connector, Susan Fonseca Lanham has launched the following organizations: Founding Member of Singularity University, [email protected], and SheWorks!

She is also the global impact advisor and director of communications at Rocky Hill Country Day School (RI), building next-generation learning experiences, innovative programs, and the first statewide student-led Hackathon for Global Good.

For her work at Singularity University, Fonseca Lanham was described by Peter Diamandis and Ray Kurzweil as "the heart" of the organization. She led the initial buildout to execute the founding structure, source $1.5 million in seed capital, and negotiate a five-year Space Act agreement with NASA. Under her leadership, SingularityU launched its flagship Global Impact Studies and Executive Programs. Fonseca Lanham also drove strategic partnerships with Google, Autodesk, and TED and reached 70+ nations around the world. For her role and impact, she is referred to as "Singularity University Founding Architect."

Her focus is to leverage education-innovation-entrepreneurship to establish the next learning frontier, and align resources, partnerships, and real-life experiences to understand and meet an accelerated and adaptable future world of work.

Sponsored by Educator’s Ally

Educator's Ally
Tracy A.  Dennis-Tiwary

Tracy A. Dennis-Tiwary

Friday, February 24, 9:15-10:45 AM PT
Psychologist and author will help us reframe anxiety for our students—and ourselves.
Tracy A. Dennis-Tiwary, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology and neuroscience, director of the Emotion Regulation Lab, and co-executive director of the Center for Health Technology at Hunter College. As founder and CSO of Wise Therapeutics, she translates neuroscience and cognitive therapy techniques into gamified, clinically validated digital therapeutics for mental health. 

In her book Future Tense: Why Anxiety is Good For You (Even Though it Feels Bad), Dennis-Tiwary makes the case for anxiety: why we need this difficult emotion, how our current view of it is unhelpful, and how we can shift our perspective on anxiety so that we can better use it as the advantage it evolved to be. She draws on real-world stories as well as cutting-edge research to help us adopt a new mindset about anxiety. Future Tense is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to manage anxiety in the workplace, in school, or in the context of digital technology. Angela Duckworth, New York Times bestselling author of Grit, says, “If you’re feeling more anxious than usual and, on top of that, feeling anxious about feeling anxious, then this book is for you. Clear, practical, and incredibly readable!”

Dennis-Tiwary has published more than 100 scientific articles and delivered more than 400 presentations at academic conferences and for corporate clients. She has been featured throughout the media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, ABC, CBS, CNN, NPR, the Today show, and Bloomberg Television.
Jamil  Zaki (Closing General Session)

Jamil Zaki (Closing General Session)

Friday, February 24, 2:30-3:45 PM PT
Professor and empathy researcher will tell us how to escaping the cynicism trap and find hope in difficult times.
Jamil Zaki is a professor of psychology at Stanford University, the director of the Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab, and the author of The War for Kindness and Leading with Empathy in Turbulent Times. As a leading empathy researcher, his work and talks explore how empathy works, why it matters, why it’s on the decline in society, and what we can do to increase it through deliberate practice. 

This talk will diagnose the plague of modern cynicism and offer some treatments that can help ourselves and our communities.  
Cynicism—the belief that people are selfish and conniving—has been rising for decades and is an early frontrunner for mood of the 2020s. But when people lose faith in each other, we risk missing out on the things that matter: our health, relationships, and even democracy. Thankfully, as both individuals and leaders, we have the ability to be "anti-cynical," pushing back against negative biases and regaining trust, connection, and hope.

2023 Featured Speaker Session

Peter T. Coleman

Peter T. Coleman

Thursday, February 23, 1:30-2:30 PM PT
Professor of psychology and education will offer research-based insights on polarization and navigating conflict constructively.
Peter T. Coleman, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology and education at Columbia University and a renowned expert on constructive conflict resolution, addressing intractable conflict, and sustaining peace. He directs the Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (MD-ICCCR), is founding director of the Institute for Psychological Science and Practice (IPSP), and is executive director of Columbia University’s Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity (AC4).
His current research focuses on conflict intelligence and systemic wisdom as meta-competencies for navigating conflict constructively across all levels (from families to companies to communities to nations), and includes projects on adaptive negotiation and mediation dynamics, cross-cultural adaptivity, optimality dynamics in conflict, justice and polarization, multicultural conflict, intractable conflict, and sustainable peace.
 Coleman has authored more than 100 scientific articles and chapters, and his work has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times, The Guardian, Nature, Scientific American, PBS Newshour, and Harvard Business Review. His most recent book, The Way Out: How to Overcome Toxic Polarization, (Columbia University Press, 2021), addresses breaking through the intractable polarization plaguing the U.S. and other societies across the globe. His previous book, Making Conflict Work: Navigating Disagreement Up and Down Your Organization (2014), won the 2016 Outstanding Book Award from The International Association of Conflict Management.
He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Peace Award from Meaningful World in 2018, in celebration of their 30th anniversary and the UN’s International Day of Peace. Today, Coleman serves as a scientific advisor to dozens of nonprofit peacebuilding groups.

Sponsored by Resource Group 175
RG 175