Sir Ken Robinson – March 16
An internationally recognized authority in creativity and innovation in education and business, Sir Ken Robinson is also one of the world’s leading speakers. Videos of his famous talks to the prestigious TED Conference are the most viewed in the history of the organization and have been seen by an estimated 300 million people in over 150 countries.
Sir Ken works with governments in Europe, Asia and the US, international agencies, Fortune 500 companies and leading cultural organizations. He led a national commission on creativity, education and the economy for the UK Government, was the central figure in developing a strategy for creative and economic development as part of the Peace Process in Northern Ireland, and was one of four international advisors to the Singapore Government for a strategy to become the creative hub of SE Asia.
Called “one of the world’s elite thinkers on creativity and innovation” by Fast Company magazine, Sir Ken has received numerous awards and recognitions for his groundbreaking contributions. He was included in Thinkers50 list of the world’s leading business thinkers and has been named one of TIME/Fortune/CNN’s Principal Voices. In 2003, he received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for services to the arts. His 2009 book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, is a New York Times best seller and has been translated into 21 languages. A 10th anniversary edition of his classic work on creativity and innovation, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative, was published in 2011. Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life, was published by Viking in May 2013 and is also a New York Times best seller. His latest book, Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education (Viking, 2015), written with Robinson’s trademark wit and engaging style, includes groundbreaking research and tackles the critical issue of how to transform the nation’s troubled educational system.
Jane McGonigal – March 17
Jane McGonigal is today’s leading speaker on the engagement economy and the application of game-design to the real world. Referencing lessons learned through her work creating games for organizations such as the World Bank, the Olympic Games, the American Heart Association, the New York Public Library, and many more.
Jane is notable for bringing gaming to the health-care space. Her best-known project is SuperBetter, a mobile app and web-based game that helps individuals challenge personal health challenges (depression, anxiety, chronic pain, stress reduction), and get support from their “allies” — real-life friends and family. With more than 400,000 players, it is currently under study at OSU Medical Center and the University of Pennsylvania. Jane’s other healthcare games include collaborations with the American Heart Association and the Myelin Repair Foundation.
Her new book, SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient (debuted at #7 on the New York Times Advice bestsellers list), reveals a decade’s worth of scientific research into the ways all games change how we respond to stress, challenge, and pain. She shares stories and data from players who have followed the SuperBetter rules to get stronger, happier, and braver in the face of depression, anxiety, illness, and injury.
Her previous book, Reality Is Broken: How Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change The World, is a New York Times bestseller. In this engaging, forward-thinking book, Jane makes the case that the gamer spirit — an attitude of fun, dedicated, collective problem-solving — is our greatest asset as we face the social, economic, and Jane herself is a specialist in this field, a designer of alternate reality games, where a real-life activity is re-framed as a game. Players of Jane’s games face challenges as serious as surviving peak oil or establishing local sustainable businesses. And they face them with courage and creativity, inspired by their gameful state of mind. Persistence, energy, collaborative creativity, a sense of purpose in hard work — games unlock all of these powerful attitudes. And, most importantly of all, it restores to contemporary life the kind of heroism and communal striving that most of us struggle so hard to find.
She is currently an advisor and affiliate researcher with the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, California, where she served for four years as the Director of Game Research and Development. Her recent projects include a Games for Healthcare initiative with IFTF and the White House as well as Paths Out Of Poverty, a crowdsourcing game by IFTF for the Rockefeller Foundation.
Jennie Magiera – March 17
Jennie Magiera is the Chief Technology Officer for Des Plaines School District 62, previously the Digital Learning Coordinator for the Academy for Urban School Leadership and a Chicago Public Schools math teacher. A White House Champion for Change, Apple Distinguished Educator, Google for Education Certified Innovator and TEDx Speaker, Jennie has been working to redefine teaching and learning through innovative new practices. Jennie is also passionate about transforming professional learning, having served on the Technical Working Group for the US Department of Education’s National Educational Technology Plan and co-founding PLAYDATE and other new conference concepts. She is also the author of the upcoming book, Courageous Edventures. Aside from her students, Jennie’s great loves in life are sci-fi, mashed potatoes, Tabasco sauce, her dog and her husband.
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