The first NewSchools Summit took place in Silicon Valley in October 1999. That gathering brought together 200 education entrepreneurs to learn from each other and discuss ways to build ventures that would provide excellent educational opportunities for all children. Eleven years later, talk of education innovation is everywhere – from network television to blogosphere debates to the State of the Union address. A new generation of entrepreneurs is seeking disruptive ways to reach students, train teachers, and reimagine schools. This year, the Summit is returning to Silicon Valley, site of all the early NewSchools gatherings, to ask what lessons entrepreneurs have learned and what (and who) is next for education innovation. How do we make innovation an everyday habit in education? How do we learn from success and failure in order to transform systems and ideas? How do we innovate to serve the most underserved?
In the spirit of innovation, we are excited to bring a whole new look and feel to the structure of the NewSchools Summit. This year, there will be more choices – and fewer traditional-style panels – than ever before. Instead, participants can expect opportunities to create collaboratively with other attendees, “office hours” to connect 1:1 with various thought leaders, workshops with leading design firms, and a showcase of aspiring entrepreneurs. And for those who love the format of old, don’t worry. There will still be plenary sessions (and maybe a panel or two) to bookend the day.
For a glimpse into the self-consciously quirky planning process for Summit 2011, check out this IDEO-inspired video, which kicked off our team’s planning in December. Session development is now in full swing. Check back here for updates as May 18 approaches.
We hope Summit 2011 allows you to make important connections and provides space for you to actively engage, debate, and discuss the most urgent and pressing challenges in education reform today.
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/17570641 w=400&h=225]