Join 2,000 participants as we hear from two inspirational, thought-provoking leaders in the education community.
Thursday, November 29
MasterMind: Passionately Successful: Making the Most of Ambition and Happiness
Cutting-edge science now shows that when we pursue our passions in the correct way, we can realize the highest levels of personal and professional success. In this talk, Daniel Lerner defines two types of passion: harmonious, and obsessive. When you’re harmoniously passionate, you not only love what you do, but you are more focused, energetic, and productive, and live a far more fulfilling life. Conversely, obsessive passions are marked by a compulsive, dogged pursuit of achievement, leading to guilt, shame, pessimism, unhappiness, and, far too often, early burnout. How often do we see this in our gifted students striving to excel? How often do we feel this in ourselves?
Drawing on a diverse cast of iconic cultural figures—from Richard Branson to Ellen DeGeneres, Nelson Mandela to Kanye West—Lerner illuminates the difference between healthy and dangerous passions, how and why to ignite, explore, and stoke your healthy ones, and even how to find passion in work that you may have given up as passionless long ago. And if you or your students have fallen into patterns of blind obsession, Lerner helps you find the way out. Ultimately, this keynote is a fiery, fun, and practical primer on how to live a successfully passionate (and passionately successful!) life.
Instructor of The Science of Happiness, the largest and most popular course at New York University, and author of U Thrive: How to Succeed in College (and Life), Daniel Lerner integrates the fields of positive and performance psychology to determine how people can both accomplish and live well. Following a decade at International Creative Management (where he specialized in the representation and development of young performers) and at 21C Media Group, Lerner studied closely with renowned sports psychologist Dr. Nathaniel Zinsser—a Director of The Center for Enhanced Performance at the United States Military Academy at West Point—focusing on coaching and performance enhancement techniques employed by professional and Olympic athletes. He holds a master’s degree from and is on the teaching staff for the graduate program in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Friday, November 30
Student choice is about more than just a menu option. It’s about student ownership. This includes ownership of the processes, the assessment, the strategies, and the metacognition. But how do we make this happen? How do we fit this into our standards and our curriculum map? Passionate about seeing kids embrace creativity through design thinking, John Spencer shares the strategies he’s learned from being a middle school teacher and parent to help students embrace their voice and help teachers foster creative thinking in every content area.
A former middle school teacher and current college professor on a quest to transform schools into bastions of creativity and wonder. He wants to see teachers unleash the creative potential in all of their students so that kids can be makers, designers, artists, and engineers. He explores research, interviews educators, deconstructs systems, and studies real-world examples of design thinking in action. Then, he shares what he’s learning in books, blog posts, journal articles, free resources, animated videos, and podcasts. After using design thinking for a student-centered documentary project and experiencing the lessons that failure and innovative thinking taught him and his students, John helped develop the student-friendly Launch Cycle, a design thinking framework for K-12 students. You can learn more about John from his active YouTube channel, The Creative Classroom.