Unconventional Innovation Summit aims to reinvent the stagnant conference

By Meris Stansbury
April 14th, 2016


Unique mix of attendees, interactive and open format of interviews at Summit model the innovation oft-discussed in education, but rarely implemented for educators.

“This is not an infomercial,” is perhaps the best way to describe the reinvented interview lineup part of ASU GSV 2016’s upcoming Innovation Summit in San Diego April 18-20, said Casey Green, host of the interactive interviews and founding director of Campus Computing—the largest continuing study of eLearning and information technology in American higher education.

In what could be considered a remodel of the education conference to reflect the disruptive change occurring throughout K-12 and higher education, ASU GSV’s Innovation Summit—now in its seventh year—will host a diverse mix of educators, corporate executives, public officials, education entrepreneurs, and foundation officials.

“Most ed-tech conferences typically have lots of one or two groups, but not the rich mix across all groups that will attend this Summit,” explained Green. “For example, fully a fifth (18 percent) of the Summit attendees are either K-12 leaders and superintendents (9 percent) or college and university leaders (also 9 percent). So the people, conversations, and presentations at the ASU GSV Summit cross the typical ‘user-provider’ boundaries usually experienced by attendees at other kinds of ed-tech events.”

To take advantage of the array of education experience woven together by the diverse attendee list, eSchool Media and Campus Computing will host more than 25 live, interactive interviews with education thought leaders throughout the 3-day event—a lineup that in itself hopes to reinvent the ‘sage on the stage’ format of today’s somewhat antiquated conference keynotes.

“Our goal with these live, interactive interviews is to accelerate the discussion and the dissemination of educational innovation beyond the 3,500 Summit participants who will gather in San Diego,” said Wendy La Duke, the Group Publisher of eSchool Media.  “We recognize that there is a large audience of educators who would like to know more about the critical conversations at the Summit. Our interviews from the Summit will serve an audience of educational professionals in schools and on college campuses—a mix not often seen together, but is critical for better alignment of today’s education goals across all levels.”

A Brilliant Mind Lineup on a Unique Platform

Hosted on Shindig, a turnkey solution for video conferencing, chat, and events that allows for two-way interaction between presenters and participants, Green and Duke believe the platform will enable online participants to discuss, network, and socialize privately with one another as if they were attendees at the ASU GSV Summit.

“It’s a great platform for fostering audience engagement, which is one of our key goals for the online, interactive interviews,” emphasized Green.

The list of confirmed interview participants continues to grow and currently includes:

  • Michael Crow, president, Arizona State University: Under the leadership of President Crow, Arizona State University has grown enrollments, increased research funding, and improved student retention and graduation rates, all while also experiencing reduced funding from the State of Arizona. The conversation with President Crow will explore what’s happened at ASU under his leadership, and if the innovations and gains at ASU during his tenure are scalable and transportable to other public institutions.
  • Ted Mitchell, Under Secretary of Education, U.S. Dept. of Education: A former ed school dean, college president, and CEO of the New School Venture Fund, the interview with Dr. Mitchell will focus on the challenge of innovation in higher education: how can higher ed do better, across all levels, and what are the catalysts and levers for change and innovation?

(Next page: More dynamic interviewees; how to participate with them)

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