Join us for a provocative series of five mini-keynotes from thought leaders beyond the world of ed tech. From inventors to futurists to innovative nonprofit founders, this session is sure to inspire and intrigue. Now in its third year, EdTekTalks earns rave reviews from attendees who delight in hearing from these out-of-the-box thinkers.
Monday, June 27
Ayah Bdeir is the founder and CEO of littleBits, an open-source library of modular electronics that snap together with magnets. Bdeir was born in Lebanon, currently lives in New York City, and earned her master's degree in science from the MIT Media Lab. As an esteemed engineer and interactive artist, Bdeir is one of the leaders of the maker movement. Her career is focused on advancing open-source hardware to make education and innovation more accessible to the entire population.
Amelia Rose Earhart
Amelia Rose Earhart is the first woman to fly around the world in a single-engine aircraft. She is a passionate aviatrix and president of the Fly with Amelia foundation, which grants flight-training scholarships to young women ages 16 to 18. In 2012, she completed her instrument training hours by flying from Oakland, California, to Miami, Florida, tracing the final trans-continental flight of her namesake, Amelia Mary Earhart, in a Cirrus SR-20.
Marley Dias and Dr. Janice Johnson Dias
Marley Dias is an 11-year-old from West Orange, New Jersey, who grew tired of reading books in her middle school classes about “white boys and their dogs” so she created a plan, with the help of her mother and founder of GrassROOTS Community Foundation, Janice Johnson Dias, to do something about it. They gathered 1,000 books with relatable female characters, particularly strong, black girls. The movement is incredibly successful, with the trending hashtag #1000BlackGirlBooks, and the collected books have made their way to schools in need around the country.
Caleb Harper is the principal investigator and director of the Open Agriculture Initiative (OpenAG) at the MIT Media Lab. Harper leads a group of engineers, architects, urban planners, economists and plant scientists to discover and advocate for the future of food systems. His team brings to light important environmental questions and promotes a more transparent and collaborative food system. Harper and his colleagues are working on developing an open-source agricultural hardware, software and data common that will ultimately lead to a more sustainable planet.
Alex Thornton and Lindsay Shaw Thornton
Alex Thornton, Ph.D., and Lindsay Shaw Thornton, Ed.D., are part of RTSG Neuroscience, a consulting business that works to create scale interventions that use exercise to benefit groups of people. These health programs range from traditional interventions like using exercise to improve long-term health outcomes, and various other programs tailored toward improving happiness, mental health outcomes, academic performance and behavior.