Join us for this provocative series of five mini-keynotes from thought leaders beyond the world of ed tech. From inventors to researchers to social entrepreneurs, this session will inspire and intrigue. The session begins with a student performance by Remix Interactive, a large scale multimedia event presented by a consortium of Philadelphia schools.
Monday, June 29 2:30-4:15 p.m.
Add to My Favorites
Best-selling author, founder of Pencils of Promise
Adam Braun is a New York Times best-selling author and the founder of Pencils of Promise, an award-winning organization that has broken ground on more than 300 schools and delivered over 25 million education hours to children in poverty around the world.
Braun began working summers at hedge funds at 16 and started his college career as a Division I basketball player. He was sprinting toward a successful Wall Street career when one day, while traveling abroad, he met a young boy begging on the streets of India. When Braun asked him what he wanted most in the world, he answered, “A pencil.”
This small request became the inspiration for Pencils of Promise. Using his unique “for-purpose” approach, Braun meshed his for-profit business acumen with nonprofit idealism. His organization was awarded “2013 Education Organization of the Year” at the United Nations, and his 2014 book, The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change, debuted at No. 2 on the New York Times best-seller list and went on to become a No. 1 national best-seller.
Photographer for National Geographic, women’s rights activist, writer and artist
As a contributing photographer to National Geographic and one of the magazine’s first female photographers, Annie Griffiths has captured images in nearly 150 countries. She has worked on dozens of magazine and book projects, including stories about Lawrence of Arabia, Baja California, Galilee, Petra, Sydney, New Zealand and Jerusalem. Her award-winning photos have also appeared in LIFE, Smithsonian, Fortune, Stern and many other publications.
In addition to her magazine work, Griffiths is a social activist who photographs for aid organizations around the world. She is the executive director of Ripple Effect Images, a collective of photographers who document programs that are empowering women and girls in the developing world, especially as they deal with the devastating effects of climate change.
Aerial robotics researcher, inventor
When Sergei Lupashin saw how an aerial photograph of massive protests around the 2011 Russian federal elections inspired media coverage, he was struck by the power of an image to change the world’s perception of situations and events. However, he quickly discovered that aerial photographs — even those taken by unmanned aerial vehicles — are tricky to produce, since it’s difficult to pilot unmanned aerial vehicles safely, and government regulations restrict their use.
Lupashin got around both obstacles with his invention, the Fotokite — a lightweight, camera-equipped quadricopter controlled with a tether. The Fotokite will have a huge impact on journalism, and it will also put the power of unmanned aerial vehicles in the hands of architects, wildlife biologists, emergency responders and more.
Entrepreneur, investor, co-founder of Code.org
Hadi Partovi co-founded Code.org, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools while increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. As an entrepreneur, he was on the founding teams of Tellme and iLike, and as an angel investor and startup advisor, he has built a portfolio that includes Facebook, Dropbox, Airbnb, Zappos, Opower, Indiegogo, BlueKai and many others.
A graduate of Harvard University, Partovi began his career during the browser wars of the 1990s, when he was Microsoft’s group program manager for Internet Explorer. After the release of Internet Explorer 5.0, he co-founded Tellme Networks, which Microsoft later acquired. After returning to Microsoft, he ran the MSN portal for its only year of profit, delivering 30 percent annual growth and incubating Start.com.
After leaving Microsoft a second time, Partovi co-founded iLike with his twin brother Ali Partovi, and together they built the leading music application on the Facebook platform, which in 2009 was acquired by Myspace.