News

Mark Zuckerberg, John Doerr, Joel Klein, Sal Khan, Kaya Henderson, Reed Hastings to headline NewSchools-Aspen Institute Summit 2011

Silicon Valley event to highlight innovation in education for low-income children

Contact: Joe Ventura, (415) 615-6862/ jventura@newschools.org

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, April 28, 2011—NewSchools Venture Fund and the Aspen Institute today announced that innovation leaders Mark Zuckerberg, John Doerr, Joel Klein, Sal Khan, Kaya Henderson and Reed Hastings will headline the NewSchools-Aspen Institute Summit 2011. The invitation-only event takes place on May 18 at the Hyatt SFO in Burlingame, California.

The Summit is the leading national event on innovation and entrepreneurship that improves public education for low-income children. NewSchools Venture Fund has presented the Summit since 1999, and this year for the first time is working in partnership with the Aspen Institute to create the most ambitious Summit yet. The day will feature with more than 60 speakers and 650 attendees.

Registration is already at capacity, but a limited number of press credentials are available by contacting Joe Ventura, (415) 615-6862/ jventura@newschools.org. Please send requests by May 11.

Plenary sessions will include:

  • A conversation between Joel Klein and Sal Khan. Klein, the former Chancellor of Schools in New York City, recently joined News Corporation to lead education innovation there. Sal Khan is the hedge fund analyst-turned video impresario behind nonprofit Khan Academy, which has received enormous attention for its virally popular free instructional videos.
  • A lunchtime conversation between John Doerr and Mark Zuckerberg. Doerr is the venture capitalist at Kleiner, Perkins Caufield and Byers who has backed companies such as Google, Amazon and Sun Microsystems, and is a cofounder of NewSchools. Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, established an innovative partnership last year with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Newark Mayor Cory Booker to transform the schools in Newark, pledging $100 million to improve education.
  • Closing remarks from Kaya Henderson, the Chancellor of DC Public Schools, and Reed Hastings, founder and CEO of Netflix.

These sessions will be part of a day filled with presentations, interactive discussions and workshops that revolve around the power of innovation and entrepreneurship to improve education for low-income students. Full agenda information is available here. The event is built around the work of education innovators and entrepreneurs including many in the NewSchools portfolio, such as Aspire Public Schools, Teach For America, KIPP, The New Teacher Project, and many others.

“Innovative thinking is vital to improving education, especially where it’s most broken,” said NewSchools CEO Ted Mitchell. “The Summit is a day-long proof that people understand the importance of innovation in a way they didn’t a decade ago. I couldn’t be more excited about this day.”

The Summit is made possible by generous support from corporate and philanthropic sponsors, including presenting sponsor Target, the Doris & Donald Fisher Fund, and the Walton Family Foundation.

“In order for our country to remain globally competitive, it is critical that we invest in education and for Target that means investing in helping our children read proficiently by the end of third grade, a key milestone on the path to graduation,” said Laysha Ward, President, Community Relations and Target Foundation. “Target is deeply committed to doing our part to address the education crisis in America and we are on track to reach a total of $1 billion in giving to education by the end of 2015. Sponsoring a program that honors education innovation and collaboration is a natural extension of Target’s commitment.”

Aspen Institute President Walter Isaacson spoke with enthusiasm about the Summit and the new partnership with NewSchools.

“We are very excited about this new partnership to drive urgency for education reform and a broader mobilization of the leading innovators who have the potential to transform our underperforming education system,” said Isaacson. “Our 2011 Summit will build on the great work of both organizations in leading this critical national conversation.”

About NewSchools Venture Fund

NewSchools Venture Fund (www.newschools.org) is a national nonprofit venture philanthropy firm that aims to transform public education for underserved children by supporting education entrepreneurs who create nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Its investments are designed to make a significant systemic impact in some of the nation’s most challenged urban communities, including New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C., New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Oakland, California. The NewSchools portfolio includes some of the most innovative and high-impact organizations working to improve education for low income children today.

About the Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute (www.aspeninstitute.org) mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has an international network of partners.

About the Target Corporation

Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) serves guests at 1,755 stores in 49 states nationwide and at Target.com. In addition, the company operates a credit card segment that offers branded proprietary credit card products. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its income through community grants and programs; today, that giving equals more than $3 million a week. For more information about Target’s commitment to corporate responsibility, visit Target.com/hereforgood.

About the Doris & Donald Fisher Foundation

The Doris & Donald Fisher Fund seeks to ignite the transformation of American public education by investing in entrepreneurs and organizations whose ideas, programs and policies raise student achievement, foster choice and competition, or otherwise challenge the educational status quo. The Fisher Fund aims to increase student achievement and attainment among low-income children, increase quality publicly-funded school options for low-income families, and to create examples of and conditions for the broader transformation of the K-12 public education system. Over the next decade, the Fisher Fund hopes to make meaningful contributions to the closing of the achievement gap at home and improving our international competitiveness abroad.

About the Walton Family Foundation

The Walton Family Foundation’s (www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org) education reform work is driven by the core belief that when families are empowered by having access to quality choices in education, they will help lead the bold transformation of our national K-12 system of publicly-funded education. The Foundation supports efforts that expand choice and equal opportunity—particularly in low-income neighborhoods—regardless of the type of program: traditional public, private or public charter. The Foundation’s urgency is motivated by the reality that the economic well-being of our country in a global economy depends on all of our children having access to a high-quality, publicly-funded education.