Educational Transformation Consultant; Author
Grant Lichtman is a nationally recognized thought leader in the drive to transform K-12 education. He speaks, writes, and works with fellow educators to build capacity and comfort with innovation in response to a rapidly changing world. He works with school and community teams in both public and private schools, helping them to develop their imagination of schools of the future, and their places in that future. He is the author of two books, #EdJourney: A Roadmap to the Future of Education, and The Falconer: What We Wish We Had Learned in School. His upcoming book, Moving the Rock, explores the future of K-12 education in the next two decades and how we can dramatically transform education for all students despite the forces of inertia that have trapped schools in the past.
For fifteen years Grant was a senior administrator at one of the largest and oldest K-12 independent schools in California. Before working in education, he directed business ventures in the oil and gas industry in the former Soviet Union, South America, and the U.S. Gulf Coast. He worked close to center stage in the economic and political transformation of the USSR, the end of the Cold War, and the historic opening of that communist-dominated economy to the outside world.
Grant graduated from Stanford University with a BS and MS in geology in 1980 and studied the deep ocean basins of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the Bering Sea.
Vice President of Education Technology and Learning Services, NAIS
Kawai Lai is the Vice President of Education Technology and Learning Services at the National Association of Independent Schools, a non-profit serving over 1,800 schools and 730K students across the country and abroad. In her role as a key member of the innovation team, she leads ed tech initiatives and is responsible for the full cycle of innovation at NAIS – from ideation to execution. Kawai owns new initiatives with unknown outcomes that help independent schools thrive and create exceptional learning experiences.
Prior to a career in education, Kawai spent over a decade in consulting and technology, implementing large scale technology systems with Deloitte, working in different industries including healthcare, biotech, retail, non-profit, aerospace, and telecommunications. Her passion for education combined with her entrepreneurial spirit led her to a Silicon Valley start-up, Education Elements, where she was a founding team member and grew the company from 5 to 75 people. Through her work at the education technology start up, she had the opportunity to work with over 100 of the most forward thinking district and charter schools across the country.
Kawai has an MBA from Haas, UC Berkeley and a BS in mechanical engineering from Southern Methodist University. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband, who is the Director of Admissions at Woodside Priory School, along with their son and labradoodle.
Executive Director of the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning; Author
Glenn Whitman is the co-author of the recently released book, Neuroteach: Brain Science and the Future of Education and directs the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning at St. Andrew's Episcopal School. In 2016, the CTTL’s global contribution in the field of educational neuroscience was recognized by the International Mind, Brain, and Education Society’s “Mission Award”. Glenn is a former Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence Fellow and author of Dialogue with the Past: Engaging Students and Meeting Standards through Oral History as well as co-editor of Think Differently and Deeply, the national publication of the CTTL. Glenn is also a blogger for Edutopia. Glenn earned his M.A.L.S. from Dartmouth College and a BA from Dickinson College and is a leader in translating research in how the brain learns to enhance teacher quality and student achievement.
CEO of Unboundary and TEDxAtlanta Organizer
Tod Martin leads Unboundary, an Atlanta-based transformational design firm. Unboundary focuses on helping organizations recognize, pursue and become what’s possible.
The boutique-scale firm is known for having helped some of the best known organizations — such as IBM, The Coca-Cola Company, FedEx and Northwestern Mutual — succeed at significant evolution. Unboundary publishes Radar: The Journal of Adaptive Leadership in order to elevate dialogue around how change is changing, and how this reshapes leadership. The firm also designs and facilitates New Normal Leadership development programs, helping leadership teams accelerate their own evolution.
Tod serves on Board of Governors of We Are Family Foundation, started by legendary singer, songwriter and producer Nile Rodgers. He is also the organizer of TEDxAtlanta.
Director of the Engineering for Social Innovation Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology
Dr. Joy Harris is the Director of the Engineering for Social Innovation Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology (GA Tech) in Atlanta, GA. She is also an academic faculty member in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at GA Tech. In addition to teaching electrical engineering courses, she provides opportunities for engineering students in any discipline to use their technical skillsets for positive social impact.
She continually seeks to add value to her community by working as a servant leader. In that vein, Dr. Harris is a member of the board of directors for the Frazer Center, which is an organization that serves children and adults with disabilities throughout the Atlanta metropolitan community. Within the GA Tech faculty community, she serves as a Leadership Fellow for the office of Leadership Education and Development and as a Faculty Fellow for the Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain. She was also selected as a 2015 – 2016 Teaching Fellow. Dr. Harris serves the GA Tech student community as a member of the Board of Advisers for Enterprise 2 Empower, which is an organization that cultivates and provides resources for social enterprises. Dr. Harris is also the faculty advisor for the GA Tech chapter of Engineers without Borders. Joy provides grants, stipends, and technical expertise to help these students use engineering to change the world.
Dr. Harris is also a scholar. She has published several peer-reviewed research papers; she served as chief editor of the book, Cardiac Defibrillation – Prediction, Prevention and Management of Cardiovascular Arrhythmic Events; she was an editor and contributor of an industry trade magazine; and she published an electronics industry market research report. At present, Dr. Harris conducts research in engineering education and has recent publications in IEEE Frontiers in Education and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Express.
Prior to joining GA Tech, Dr. Harris worked as a Senior Packaging Engineering at Intel in Phoenix, AZ. At Intel, she helped design and manufacture Intel processors for smart phones and tablets. She also managed million dollar corporate social responsibility projects. Before Intel, Dr. Harris was a consultant for Exponent Engineering and Scientific Consulting group in Phoenix, AZ and for American Competitiveness Institute in Philadelphia, PA.
Dr. Harris received a Bachelors in mathematics from Spelman College and a Bachelors in electrical engineering from GA Tech. She earned her Masters and Ph.D. in electrical engineering at Princeton University, and she is currently working towards an MBA at GA Tech. She has a wonderful husband of 15 years and two amazing children, ages 8 and 4.
Director of the Gary & Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High School
- Buck Institute for Education (BIE): High Quality PBL Steering Committee, Present
- Deeper Learning Leadership Forum (Hewlett Foundation & National Equity Project, 2015-2017
- NeverSummer's edOS: A New Operating System for Education, Denver, CO: "Bringing PBL to School/Integrating Design Thinking" June 2016
- SxSwEdu, Austin, TX: "Creating a Culture of Innovation" 2016
- FutureNOW Conference, San Diego, CA: “PBL 102: Teaching Innovation via PBL" 2016
- DesignForward San Diego Presenter: "Scaling Design Thinking in Schools" 2016
- #DesignCamp Co-Creator (with Dr. Chagala!!), San Diego, CA 2016 & 2017
- High Tech High Graduate School of Education Instructor