Speakers

Jeanne Allen

Founder & CEO of CER, EdMaven

Jeanne Allen is the Founder and CEO of the Center for Education Reform (CER), the nation’s premiere leader in advancing innovation and opportunity in education. A pioneer of America’s Education Reform Movement, Allen founded CER in 1993 and authored the path-breaking School Reform Handbook; How to Improve Your Schools (1995).

Adriano Allora

co-founder, CFO+CTO @ Maieutical Labs

Adriano describes himself as “a linguist who is managing a company by chance. I like sci-fi novels and movies, comics, boardgames. I'm married with three kids.” In 2011 he co-founded Maieutical Labs, an innovative start-up focused on the development of B2B and B2C products in the Ed-Tech area. Their intent is to develop digital solutions dedicated to the educational path that involves students and teachers, evolving the paradigm on which education in Italy is focused until digital becomes a valid and more effective alternative to traditional media.

Amanda Antico

CEO EvolvED Global and CSO, Aspireability; and Minerva Education, Managing Director, Corporate

Amanda Antico is a social entrepreneur and consultant with vast experience as an educational and organizational development strategist. Amanda is also a veteran of marketing and business development. Her 25­‐year career is devoted to creating and sustaining entrepreneurial and innovative communities. Amanda began her career as a Director at AAHE, expanding the TLT Roundtable program to 700 universities around the country. After earning a doctorate in social impact Amanda has taken a consistent, theory-meets-practice, evidence-based approach to innovative impact. She has founded, cofounded, and led multiple social-impact organizations, including two public benefit corporations (PBCs). She has a deep, abiding confidence in the ability of economic enterprise to drive societal change, and has helped dozens of companies pursue their goals with discipline and purpose.

In 2015, Amanda founded EvolvED Global: a competency based education company that connects and educates impact investors, academic talent, practitioners, and experienced mentors to substantially increase the success rate of social enterprises. In her role at EvolvED Consulting, which is the consulting side of EvolvED, she leads a team of social engineers who serve as the market catalyst to connect the doers, educators and policy makers from both the for-profit and nonprofit community with one another.

Scott Barron

Founder and Chief Reinvention Officer, School Growth LLC

Scott's personal mission is to give hope through personal and corporate reinvention. After leading an educational technology company for over a decade, he earned an M.Ed in Education Administration from Johns Hopkins University, and spent 14 years as the head of three independent schools. Having worked with thousands of schools around the world over the last decade, Scott created the School Growth Design Framework and a methodology for strategic planning that is data-driven and tailored to the context of each school. Scott has spoken at conferences around the world and often facilitates leadership retreats for a wide range of schools, associations, churches, non-profits, and businesses. He is the author of: The Yabwi Tree; The Laws of the Grapevine; The Consultative Business Officer; and The 12 Disciplines of Effective School Leadership. The 12 Disciplines of Effective School Leadership.

Tammy Barron

President, School Growth LLC

Tammy has a multifaceted background that reflects her broad range of expertise. Following her studies in chemical engineering and journalism, she completed an interdisciplinary degree program and began her career in education. She has a distinct passion for learning, teaching, and improving. After serving as a teacher at multiple levels for ten years, Tammy took on the challenge of building the brand and enrollment for a large private school. She developed the processes for growth, built a high performing team, coordinated marketing plans, refined the brand, and achieved the multimillion dollar revenue goals every year. Operational excellence and data intelligence are the two primary contributions Tammy makes to the School Growth team. She is uniquely talented at defining and executing optimal workflows, anticipating the needs of clients, giving direction and feedback, and extracting key decision points from the databases that we are constantly building and curating.

Dre Bennin

Managing Partner New U Venture Partners

Dre joins NUVP as its managing partner from Strada Education Network, where he served as the Managing Director of Corporate Development, working as investment lead on several direct minority investments and fund investments. He previously served as Senior Operations Director for the Office of the Governor of Indiana, Eric Holcomb, where he helped oversee the creation of the state’s $250 million venture capital, private equity, and private credit investment vehicle.

Scott Bess

Head of School for Purdue Polytechnic High School

Scott Bess is Head of School for Purdue Polytechnic High School. Prior to coming to Purdue, Scott was President of Goodwill Education Initiatives, a subsidiary of Goodwill Industries of Central and Southern Indiana. While at GEI, Scott led the development of the Excel Center, a high school designed for adults who had previously dropped out of high school. Under Scott’s leadership, GEI grew from a single, small high school to a network of schools serving over 5,000 students across Indiana and the United States. Before assuming this role in 2004, he was chief information officer for Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana and served in similar technology roles in the private sector. Scott began his career as a teacher and coach in the Beech Grove school system. He also served four terms as a member of the Danville Community Schools board. Scott received a bachelor’s degree in math education from Purdue and a master’s degree in teaching from Marian University, where he was a part of the Turnaround School Leadership program. Scott is a graduate of the Pahara-Aspen fellowship program.

Alberto Bonisoli

President of Formez PA, and Senior Advisor of Galileo Global Education Italia and Cintana

From 2018 to 2019 Ministry of Culture.

Previously Rector at NABA art and design academy, Dean at Domus Academy, senior expert for internationalization at the Ministry of Education, Vice Director for international partnerships at SDA Bocconi Business School, management training coordinator at European Training Foundation.

He has also been President of CIANS - association of private art and design Higher Education institutions - and President of Piattaforma Sistema Formativo Moda – association of Italian fashion schools.

patrick brothers

Co-CEO and Co-Founder of HolonIQ

Patrick Brothers is Co-CEO and Co-Founder of HolonIQ, the global market intelligence platform. Patrick is a longstanding member of the B20 and World Economic Forum Education and Employment Task Force and is passionate about transforming the way the world learns.

Prior to HolonIQ, Patrick held a variety of senior appointments in mission focused public-private roles including Education, Infrastructure and Defense across Asia, Europe and North America.

Patrick holds an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management, a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of New South Wales and is a graduate of the Royal Military College Duntroon.

Janine Walker Caffrey

CEO of Lexplore, Inc.

Janine Walker Caffrey is the CEO of Lexplore, Inc. which provides a reading assessment tool that uses eye-tracking technology and AI. She has been a teacher, national non-profit leader, principal, school founder, and school superintendent. Although her roots are in traditional education, she has always been a reformer with a personal mission of improving education for all students. For the past six years, Janine has been creating and improving technology tools for education. Her work has taken her to most of the United States, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe, and Africa. She has an MBA from Kenan-Flagler Business School and an EdD from Nova Southeastern University. Janine holds teaching certifications in special education, school leadership, and physics. She is the author of two parenting books and is currently working on a YA fantasy novel for students with lower reading abilities.

Marco Cappellini

CEO & co-founder of Centrica

Marco Cappellini, born in Florence (ITALY), is an electronic engineer with more than 20 years experience in culture&technology, from EU Projects with Uffizi Gallery, to technical manager of HYPERMUSEUM Project for Civita Consortium in Rome. In 1999 has co-founded Centrica (www.centrica.it) where he covers the role of CEO. Under his direction the company has developed Internet image server XLimage®, DAM/ DRM platform XLphoto® (IST Prize Winner 2006), and Uffizi Touch®, evolved in last months in ArtCentrica EdTech solution. In 2010 he has co-founded ViDiTrust, devoted to anticounterfeiting&security, where he covers President position. In 2015 has cofounded VirtuItaly, a startup spinoff of Centrica, focused in the production of immersive&interactive digital exhibitions, like Renaissance Experience, where he covers CEO position.

Sam Caucci

Founder & CEO at 1Huddle

Sam Caucci has managed and coached sales and leadership teams for publicly held, private sector and franchised companies across the globe. Sam founded 1Huddle a workforce training platform using game technology to help organizations better prepare their people for work. With clients across the globe, 1Huddle has impacted people across organizations in a wide array of sectors, with clients including Loews Hotels, ESPN, Audible (an Amazon Company), Madison Square Garden and FASTSIGNS. Sam is proud to have been a part of the sales and service training of thousands of workers. He is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller, Not Our Job: How College has Destroyed a Generation of Workers and How to Fix it, and has been featured on Fox News, Fox Business, CNN, CNBC, The Huffington Post, ESPN, Yahoo Finance, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Bloomberg.

Lorenzo Cesaretti

co-founder and CTO at TALENT srl

Lorenzo Cesaretti is co-founder and CTO at TALENT srl, an Italian innovative start-up working in the field of educational technologies. He has expertise in Robotics, Educational Robotics, Educational Technology and Educational Data Mining. He has been involved in hundreds of projects and trainings mainly regarding Educational Robotics, Coding and creative use of technology in education. He is the project manager of the web-platform for teachers Weturtle.org. Lorenzo is also a Ph.D. candidate in Information Engineering at the Università Politecnica delle Marche (“Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Informazione”, DII). In his PhD dissertation he deeply analysed students’ problem-solving process (using A.I. and machine learning techniques), involving more than 450 students and collecting data during Educational Robotics activities with Lego Mindstorms EV3 kit. He obtained the first place in the Italian national ranking (about Educational Robotics experts) compiled by INDIRE (National Institute for Documentation Innovation and Educational Research) in 2018.

Ulrik J. Christensen

Chief Executive Officer, Area9 Lyceum

Dr. Christensen is recognized worldwide as an expert in learning technology. He has pioneered adaptive learning, data-driven content development, simulation and debriefing technologies. He is responsible for the strategy of Area9 Group’s businesses, that span from purpose-built platforms for optimization of business processes for large corporations over digital product design to corporate training based on intelligent, adaptive learning.

He founded his first company, Sophus Medical, in 1997 while still in medical school. Sophus Medical was acquired by Laerdal Medical in 2002. Dr. Christensen was responsible for Laerdal’s global learning technologies initiatives from 2002–2006. Dr. Christensen co-founded Area9 Group in 2006, which has been at the forefront of adaptive and personalized learning with more than 1500 adaptive learning products based on the Area9 technologies and millions of students using the systems every semester. Area9 Education was sold to McGraw-Hill Education in 2014 and Area9 Learning was established to focus on adaptive learning in corporate and organizational environments.

Richard Collins

Director of Programma Doppio Diploma Itala-USA

Richard holds a Bachelors degree from the University of Utah, a Masters of Arts and Literature from New York University and then completed his graduate studies at UCLA. He currently teaches at the Centro Linguistico di Ateneo at the University of Verona and he is the Director of the Inlingua Institute of Languages and Translation Center in Verona. Additionally, he is the Director of World Tours Studio which hosts study abroad programs in Italy for various American universities. He has published three poetry books and regularly holds conferences. Richard cooperates with various government entities on varying projects dedicated to the internationalization of education. Partnering with Academica International Studies, he first opened the Programma Doppio Diploma in 2014 for Italy and he has been directing it since.

MARCO CLARK

Founder & CEO of Richard Wright Public Charter School

Well respected author, public national speaker, and veteran in the world of urban education. Current Founder and CEO of the Richard Wright Public Charter School in Washington, DC. Regular White House guest and media attendee by Michelle Obama's Film & Career organization and President Obama for school's substantial academic growth. Jet Magazine featured speaker and columnist for educational attributes.

Lucilla Crosta

Edulai, co-founder and CEO, Online Doctoral Lecture

Lucilla Crosta currently works inside the Online Professional Doctorate of Education run in partnership between, University of Liverpool and Laureate Online Education. Lucilla does research in Online Learning Community, Higher Education and Online Doctoral Supervision. Her most recent publication is 'From an Online Cohort Towards a Community of Inquiry: International Students’ Interaction Patterns in an Online Doctorate Program'.

Carol D'Amico

executive vice president, National Engagement and Philanthropy, of Strada Education Network

Carol D’Amico is Executive Vice President of National Engagement and Philanthropy for Strada Education NetworkSM. She served in the U.S. Department of Education as assistant secretary for adult and vocational education from 2001-2003 and is a nationally recognized expert in designing and leading strategies related to higher education, workforce development, and business-led involvement in education reform. At Strada Education, D’Amico plays a key role in developing national and state-based philanthropic initiatives involving the higher education, business and workforce development sectors. Strada Education’s philanthropic and investment activities advance its guiding principle of Completion With a Purpose®, enhancing student success in college — or other postsecondary programs — and connecting graduates to rewarding careers and fulfilling lives. She joined Strada Education, then known as USA Funds®, in 2013.

Nathaniel A. Davis

Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors

Nate Davis, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors at K12 Inc., is a seasoned corporate transformational leader across industries with a record of improving operations, launching innovative new products and building beneficial relationships with legislative and regulatory authorities.

With a personal passion for serving children and helping them achieve higher levels of success, Mr. Davis founded the JANDT Foundation to aid minority children in attending private and parochial schools in the Washington, DC area.

Mr. Davis received an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, an MS in Engineering Computer Science at the Moore School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a BS in Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.

Lisa Dawley

Executive Director, The Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education, University of San Diego

With over 25 years of experience in educational technology and innovation, Dr. Lisa Dawley provides leadership in the award-winning research, design and entrepreneurship of innovative learning technologies and organizations. Dr. Dawley is Executive Director of the Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education at the University of San Diego and co-inventor of Pactful, an app to support social good innovation with teens. Dr. Dawley created the Rezzly quest-based learning platform, Teen GameLab, and EDTECH Island, an immersive simulation supporting international teacher education. Dr. Dawley was co-author of the Going Virtual! research series studying professional development for K-12 online teachers. She received a Top 20 Bestselling Books Award for her text, The Tools for Successful Online Teaching, and she was an invited research fellow at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.

Mark DeFusco

Chief Executive Officer/President of Bay State College

Mark DeFusco, Ph.D., has been the Chief Executive Officer/President of Bay State College since August 2018. With a career spanning over thirty years in higher education management, Dr. DeFusco most recently served as Senior Research Associate at the University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education's Pullias Center ("USC") for Higher Education. Prior to his appointment at USC, from 2005 to 2010, he was Managing Director at Berkery Noyes, a Wall Street investment bank specializing in education transactions. From 2001 to 2005, he served as Chief Executive Officer/President at Vatterott Education Holdings, a private college with 20 campuses in nine Midwestern states. In 2005, he also served as Assistant to the President at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, Ohio. From 1994 to 2001, Dr. DeFusco has served in senior management capacities with the University of Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Villanova University, a M.S. and Ph.D. from USC, and currently serves on the boards of several education companies and nonprofit organizations.

SALLYANN DELLA CASA

CEO OF GLEAC, FOUNDER OF GROWING LEADERS FOUNDATION

Sallyann is one of the 4% of women globally who has patent pending method and algorithm, for measuring soft skills, as a sole inventor. Gleac, her technology company maps and measures your soft skills gaps for any job (current and future) and helps you develop them in 10 minutes a day. It is based on the fundamental principle that Learning requires Practice in job roles and industry specific scenarios. Sallyann is also the Founder of the Growing Leaders Foundation.

Thousands of at-risk youths and adults annually benefit from her Foundation’s work delivering soft skills in the Caribbean Latin America and Mena region. Sally’s holds degrees and certifications in Law, Organizational Behavior and Urban Planning. She speaks five language and is a published author. Her education spans the globe from Harvard University, Franklin College, University of Toronto etc. This version of her life and work is her best one yet…with each day forcing her to step out in absolute fear and courage.

daniele denti

founder and CEO Ingenium

Daniele is Founder and CEO of Ingenium Education Group. Before that, he co-founded the leading player of international schools in Rome backed by Providence Equity Partners. Previously, Acquisition & Portfolio Manager of distressed securities within Elliott-backed investment firm; Senior Investment Manager at CIR Group, where he worked on several transactions, including Swiss Education Group, Southlands School, LLIS School and KOS; Manager in charge of Corporate Development at the leading media group GEDI. He started his career in the Investment Banking Division of Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs in London.

Rita Ferrandino

Founding Partner, Arc Capital Development | Instructor, University of Pennsylvania-Graduate School of Education, Education Entrepreneurship Program

Rita Ferrandino has built an international reputation as one of the most effective strategist and coalition-builders in the education entrepreneurship community. She is a recognized STEM education expert and authority on education policy and politics. Rita is the founding partner at Arc Capital Development, a global private investment and advisory firm. Arc invests in, operates and advises companies in the K-20 education and corporate training markets and has served over 125 clients in the US, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Ireland, Turkey, Israel & India. Arc clients and portfolio companies provide products generating over a billion dollars a year to schools worldwide (www.arccd.com).Rita currently serves as an Instructor at the University of Pennsylvania in Entrepreneurship and has an appointment at the Catalyst@PennGSE Innovation Center. For three years, she was President of the Education Design Studio Inc Incubator funded in collaboration with the Milken Foundation & University of Pennsylvania.

Colonel Alessio Grasso

Director of the Territorial Technical Office of Naples

Colonel Alessio Grasso is an Italian Air Force Technical Officer in force at the National Armaments Directorate - Air Armaments and Airworthiness Directorate in Rome where he is the Director of the Territorial Technical Office of Naples. He also recently left the concurrent position as the Director of the Territorial Technical Office of Milan. From 2013 to 2016, he served at the Embassy of Italy in Washington as Assistant Defense and Defense Cooperation Attaché with the task to manage all the Italian Defense Procurement related activities through the FMS (Foreign Military Sale) or DCS (Direct Commercial Sale) process.

Isabelle Hau

Partner at Imaginable Futures

Imaginable Futures, a venture of The Omidyar Group, is a new global philanthropic investment firm focused on the future of learning. Isabelle is a partner at Imaginable Futures and leads the US education initiative, focused on a two-generation approach. Prior to joining Omidyar Network in 2012 and founding Imaginable Futures in 2020, Isabelle served in the non-profit sector at ImpactAssets, to align capital with meaning and increase capital flows in impact investing. Isabelle was previously an executive director at Morgan Stanley, investing in growth capital at Morgan Stanley Venture Partners and supporting organizations through capital raising and strategic acquisitions in corporate finance. Isabelle has held numerous board and governance roles in education. She earned an MBA from Harvard Business School, graduated from ESSEC and Sciences Po Paris, and was honored as 100 Harvard Business School Women in the Bay Area.

Jamey Heit

Co-founder + CEO of ecree

Dr. Jamey Heit is a lifelong learner and lover of technology. He believes technology plays an essential role in solving big problems and insists that it is part of a broader solution, rather than a quick fix to a temporary challenge. He holds a Ph.D. in Literature, Theology and the Arts from Glasgow University and has taught in a variety of Higher Education disciplines. During his time in the classroom, Dr. Heit saw limits in his ability to help students consistently improve their writing. So, in 2014 he left full-time teaching and founded Ecree, a technology company that specializes in a proprietary, interactive writing tool for students and teachers. Recognizing the importance of staying connected to the classroom, he teaches part-time online at Walden University to maintain his connection to the classroom. Dr. Heit is on a mission to nurture a generation of better writers and thinkers with widespread access to easy and adaptive writing software. With the Ecree technology, he’s found a way to provide consistent, timely, and quality feedback to students to ensure they develop lifelong skills for success.

Donald Hense

Chairman & Founder, Friendship Public Charter School

Mr. Hense served as Executive Director of the Friendship House for several years. The Friendship House is a 100 year-old social service agency that helps children, families and older adults. During his tenure, he redesigned, revitalized and created committees and an education task force to research and evaluate the issues affecting youth. Out of the education task force came the recommendation that Friendship House become a charter school. In 1998, Hense founded Friendship Public Charter Schools with the assistance of Chris Whittle, founder of the Edison School. The schools serve more than 3,900 students on four campuses from kindergarten through twelfth grade. 96% of the graduates have gone on to attend college. Hense serves as the chairman of the Center for Youth and Family Investment, an organization which provides extended learning programs to more than 2,000 children daily. Hense is also the co-founder of the Bridges to Friendship Initiative, which provided the impetus for revitalization of the Navy Yard and was recognized by Vice President Al Gore as a model community initiative.

Joel Hellermark

CEO at Sana Labs | AI for Learning

Joel is the Founder and CEO Sana Labs, a leading AI company focused on learning. An enterprising child, Joel taught himself to code in C at age 13 and founded his first company, a video recommendation technology, at 16. Joel is an appointed AI-specialist by the Swedish government and was named Sweden's 'top talent' 2018 by Veckans Affärer, one of the country’s largest business magazines. In 2019, The Guardian named Joel one of ten people under 35 changing the world for the better. Joel's work on the Sana technology has been featured in leading forums including NAACL, SXSW, Fast Company, TED, BBC, Forbes, Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, Cheddar, Slush, Cognition X, Financial Times, The Guardian, and Wired.

Matt Johnson

Edtech Attorney and Advisor at Cooley LLP

Matt Johnson is an attorney in Cooley's Education, Education Technology, and Privacy & Data Security practice groups and resident in the Washington, DC office. His practice primarily focuses on assisting companies (from prefunding stage to IPO) and investors focused on the future of learning and future of work regarding the wide variety of legal, strategic and market issues in the global education market. Matt helps clients from around the world get funded and grow successful businesses in the preK-12, postsecondary, and lifelong learning sectors. Matt's practice focuses on the U.S., Chinese, and European markets.

Ash Kaluarachchi

Cofounder & Managing Director at StartEd

Ash Kaluarachchi advises and makes connections for organizations solving problems in education and workforce. He has advised, launched and operated multiple edtech accelerators, including for Techstars. To date, these accelerators have enabled more than 1000+ companies in partnership with organizations such as Kaplan, Intel, NYU and the University of Pennsylvania. He continues to provide support for founders solving problems for educators, administrators and learners in Pre-K, K-12, HigherEd, Future of Work and Adult Learning as Cofounder at StartEd and Producer of EDTECH WEEK.

justin kulla

Partner, Impact Investing & ESG, TZP Group LLC

Justin Kulla joined TZP Group as a Partner of Impact Investing and ESG in May 2020. Mr. Kulla began his career at Credit Suisse where he was an engineer working in New York, London and Zurich, and at Google where he worked in business development. Following business school, Justin joined the Hearst Corporation's venture capital group focused on early stage internet and media investments. In 2010, Justin was a founding member of Weld North, an education technology private equity firm backed by KKR. During his tenure at Weld North, Justin invested in Edgenuity, Imagine Learning, The Learning House and Performance Matters and held senior operating roles including as Chief Technology Officer at Edgenuity. In 2015, Justin founded and served as CEO of BusinessBlocks, an education technology company for working adults and small businesses. BusinessBlocks was acquired in 2017 by AmTrust Financial Services, a Fortune 500 insurance company and following the acquisition Justin served as SVP of M&A and Investments. Justin currently serves on the board of Errigal, Inc.

Senator Mary Landrieu

Former United States Senator from Louisiana and Senior Policy Advisor for Van Ness Feldman LLP

Senator Mary Landrieu served in the United States Senate for three terms, first elected in 1996.  She also served on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Appropriations Committee, and chaired the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. In her role as Chair of the Small Business Committee, she was the lead sponsor of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, which helped to create and retain over 650,000 American jobs. Prior to serving in the U.S. Senate, she served in the Louisiana State Legislature from 1979 – 1987.  Senator Landrieu serves on the Board of Directors of CenturyLink, the second largest US communications provider to global enterprise customers.  In the non-profit space, she serves on the boards of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools; Resources for the Future; and chairs the Board of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Leonardo Lecce

President & CEO NOVOTECH - AEROSPACE ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY SRL

Lecce is the President and CEO of NOVOTECH – Aerospace Advanced Technology Srl (www.novotech.it), that he founded in 1992. Presently, he is coordinator of 6 Research Projects (founded by EU and national programs) focused on new technology for manufacturing composite structures. He is a member of the UE Expert Commission for the Evaluation of the research proposal, CIRA Scientific Committee, Council of ACARE-Italy from 2001 to 2017, and Executive Committee of the European Association of Structural Health Monitoring from 2006 to 2016. Lecce is the Founder and President of the Alumni Association of the Aerospace Eng. at the University of Naples and President for many years of the Naples branch of the AIDAA (Italian Association of Aeronautic and Astronautic) and from 2013 to 2017 served as National President of AIDAA. He has been responsible for several national and EU funded research contracts and European Scientific Coordinator of MADAVIC in 5th FP and MESEMA in the 6th FP. Within the 7th FP (2007-2013) Lecce was coordinator of the Airgreen Consortium (9 different partners), Associate Member of Alenia managed JTI Clean Sky-ITD Green Regional Aircraft (GRA).

Andrea Leone-Pizzighella

Director and Instructor of the TESOL Essentials Series at PennGSE

Online courses can get a bad rap, but innovative online course design at the University of Pennsylvania is out to change that. Andrea Leone-Pizzighella, Ph.D., is part of a team of educational linguists who are aiming to make access to professional education more accessible and less disruptive to the everyday lives of motivated students. Now in its second pilot, PennGSE's TESOL Certificate program uses a combination of synchronous lessons and asynchronous coursework to guarantee the same rigor and collaborativity found in traditional face-to-face courses at Penn, but with the added bonus of students joining in from around the world. Dr. Leone-Pizzighella draws on her experiences teaching and researching in the United States and in Italy to share lessons learned about online programming in the Ivy League, teaching linguistically diverse students, and to suggest implications for educational programming in the bel paese. Ultimately, she and her team argue that a combination of simple tools and high-quality pedagogy can revolutionize the world of continuing education in Italy and beyond.

Michael McDonald

Founder of the Gold Lotus Project

After a combined 20 years of studying and teaching foreign languages, Michael set up the Gold Lotus consultancy to support students accelerate their language-learning potential and cultural awareness by using virtual reality. Michael is working on a number of projects relating to English-language learning in VR, and collaborates with universities across Europe to research how immersive tasks can support the language learner or teacher. Spring 2020 also sees the start of two publicly-funded projects in Italian-schools which will offer a program to students and teachers to build their English skills in VR and connect them, in real-time collaborative environments, to other schools globally in a virtual cultural exchange program.

Ean Mikale, J.D.

Chief A.I. Architect, Infinite 8 Institute

Ean Mikale, J.D., is an author, Chief A.I. Architect, and Founder of Infinite 8 A.I., a Subsidiary of Infinite 8 Institute, L3C. Mr. Mikale is a graduate of Accelerate with Google, IBM's Global Entrepreneur Program for Cloud-based Startup's, where he became the first to teach IBM's Watson Supercomputer to recognize human emotions. Mr. Mikale is currently a participant of Nvidia's Inception Program for A.I. Startups. He is also the creator of Providence, a human A.I. assistant endowed with one of the most advanced emotion recognition systems in the world. Mr. Mikale possesses credentials in Software Development, White Hat Penetration Testing, with deep expertise in Accelerated Computing and Embedded Systems. Mr. Mikale sits on the IEEE Working Group for Autonomous Vehicles, is a National Advisory Board Member for Social Impact 360, and a member of the Board of Directors for the National Small Business Association. He is also the creator of the first Apprenticeships in the United States for Commercial Drone Pilots and Commercial Drone Software Developers. He has been featured on Forbes Radio and in the Global Banking and Finance Review Magazine. He is the author of two books and has an undergraduate degree from Howard University with a Juris Doctorate from Nebraska College of Law.

Lyman Missimer

Global Director of Business Development, Newsela

Lyman currently leads Global Business Development and Strategy at Newsela, a US-based instructional content platform used by 90% of US districts. Lyman's team incubates efforts within Newsela to scale revenue and he also leads their international expansion. Before Newsela, Lyman spent 6 years at Google for Education, where he led their business development and partnerships for go-to-market, Google Classroom, GSuite for Education, Chromebooks for Education, and Google Expeditions. Lyman currently resides in London.

TEMP

Michael Moe

Founder of GSV

Michael Moe is the founder and CEO of GSV a growth-focused investment platform based in Silicon Valley. GSV has privately invested in game-changing companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, Snap, Lyft, and Spotify through both its funds and SPV's. GSV has several private funds focused on the emerging education technology sector and has been an investor in Coursera, Chegg, Pluralsight, 2U and CourseHero. GSV stands for "Global Silicon Valley" which reflects the mega-trend of the mindset of innovation and entrepreneurship which has made Silicon Valley so unique is spreading throughout the World. Before GSV, Mr. Moe was the founder and CEO of ThinkEquity. Prior to that, Mr. Moe was a research analyst at Merrill Lynch where he was Head of Global Growth Research and before that, a Senior Managing Director at Montgomery Securities where he was Head of Growth Research and Strategy. Mr. Moe has been voted on the Institutional All American Research Team and Best on the Street" by the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Moe is currently on the Boards of CourseHero, Sharespost, Whittle Schools, OzyMedia and is a Board Observer at Coursera. Mr. Moe is the author of two books, "Finding the Next Starbucks" and "The Global Silicon Valley Handbook” and in addition, is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

Stephanie Nellons-Paige

Managing Director of Diversity and Economic Inclusion for Texas Central Railway

Stephanie Nellons-Paige is a recognized business leader with more than 30 years of professional and advisory experience in the private and public sectors. Currently, she serves as Managing Director of Diversity and Economic Inclusion for Texas Central Railway. There, she is charged with the implementation of a plan to ensure economic opportunity for Texas-based businesses and the execution of a strategy to prepare a workforce of 10,000 to build and operate the high-speed rail system. A recognized leader in the transportation industry, Nellons-Paige is adept at working with multiple and diverse constituencies and known to provide exemplary and transformative leadership that moves the pendulum toward success on complex international projects. She strongly believes that transportation spurs the economic vitality of cities and works to ensure that the industry has a positive impact on communities by creating highly-skilled jobs and business opportunities through her professional, civic and philanthropic engagement.

BEn NElson

Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Minerva

Ben Nelson is Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Minerva, and a visionary with a passion to reinvent higher education. Nelson started Minerva in 2011 with the goal of nurturing critical wisdom for the sake of the world through a systematic and evidence-based approach to learning. Over the past 8 years, Nelson has built Minerva Schools at Keck Graduate Institute into the most selective and effective university in the United States, and has developed a business to share Minerva's unique approach with other like-minded institutions, corporations and governments. Prior to Minerva, Nelson spent more than 10 years at Snapfish, where he helped build the company from startup to the world’s largest personal publishing service. With over 42 million transactions across 22 countries, nearly five times greater than its closest competitor, Snapfish is among the top e-commerce services in the world. Serving as CEO from 2005 through 2010, Nelson began his tenure at Snapfish by leading the company’s sale to Hewlett Packard for $300 million.

marc oswald

co-founder and CEO,Open Assessment Technologies

Marc Oswald, co-founder and CEO,Open Assessment Technologies is the visionary leader of Open Assessment Technologies, which he launched in 2013 in partnership with the Luxembourg Institute of Science & Technology (LIST). Under Marc’s direction, Open Assessment Technologies has quickly established itself as a trailblazer in shaping the global Education Technology market. It has become an industry example for its ability to successfully offer elegant digital solutions to complex assessment problems worldwide. Open Assessment Technologies pairs its creative open-source technology with complete adherence to open standards in its TAO assessment platform, redefining digital assessment and opening up possibilities for the creation and implementation of Next Generation Digital Learning Environments (NGDLE).

nick paradiso

VP of Government Relations & Partner Services, National Heritage Academies

Nick Paradiso serves as the vice president of government relations and partner services for National Heritage Academies (NHA). In this role, Nick works with the partner services and government relations teams to lead and execute the company’s business development strategy. He also manages partner charter school board relations, the charter renewal process, and external affairs. Nick has been with NHA since November 2000, and he has previously served in roles of regional director of business development, director of partner services, and senior director of government relations. Prior to joining NHA, Nick helped create the New York Charter School Resource Center, where he also served as vice president. In this role, he worked with community leaders and organizations to develop successful charter school applications. Nick has the privilege of serving as president of the Forest Hills Northern High School Athletic Booster Club. He is also chairman of the Kristen Paradiso-Ricci Scholarship Fund.

Enrico Poli

director of Zanichelli Venture

As the director of Zanichelli Venture, Enrico is looking for nascent companies who are tilling daring ideas about education and technology and searching for pre-seed or seed funding to grow these ideas into products empowering anyone – from children and parents to adult, professional lifelong learners and their mentors and coaches – to learn and teach better. Previously, along with a most awesome team of three, he sustained senior management at Zanichelli Editore in working out digital strategy and led the creation of a modern software house in the middle of 150 years old textbook publishing business, as a sort of in-house startup."I care about how people teach and learn, how they tackle complex or difficult information, how they get to solve problems together. I study the ways new technologies can help and not hinder them. Education offers a critical testing ground."

Roberto Ricci

National Institute of Educational Measurement (INVALSI) Rome – Italy

Roberto Ricci is the director of research at INVALSI (National Institute for School Evaluation in Italy). After a PhD in statistical methodology for measurement in education and psychometrics, he has been involved in educational measurement for over 25 years. He is a member of the board of several national education journals and acts as a trainer for teachers and stakeholders both at national and international level. He is author of more than 50 scientific articles and often writes in informative press on the issues of evaluation and equity in education.

Kathryn Procope

head of school at the Howard University Middle School

Mrs. Kathryn Procope is currently the head of school at the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science where she guides students in the 6th through 8th grades to academic excellence in STEM. Mrs. Procope earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, a masters’ degree in middle grade mathematics from George Washington University and an executive master’s degree in educational leadership from the Georgetown McDonough School of Business. Having spent over 30 years in information technology where she managed systems development for one of the Big 5 consulting firms, Mrs. Procope began her career in education as a middle school mathematics teacher at a charter school in Washington DC. As the Head of School at the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science, Mrs. Procope has worked to develop and partnerships with the schools on the Howard University campus, providing her students with opportunities to expand their learning in college classrooms. Mrs. Procope is very supportive of her staff because she believes that they are on the front line of education and she truly believes we are all responsible for the success of the children in our community.

Antonio Roca

Managing Director at Academica Virtual Education

Antonio Roca is the Managing Director at Academica Virtual Education. Academica is the largest charter school support organization in the United States. It serves over 200 public charter schools and 125,000 students in over eleven states. Building on the popularity of its International Studies Charter School in Miami which allows U.S. students to obtain a European high school diploma contemporaneously with an American high school diploma, Academica International Studies (AIS) launched its Dual Diploma program 8 years ago in Spain. Mr. Roca obtained his Bachelors of Science in International Business and Economics and graduated with his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from St. Thomas University. Before joining Academica, Mr. Roca led one of the largest and most successful charter school organizations in the United States, Mater Academy, for 15 years. Mr. Roca is fluent in four languages, English, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese and now overseas Academica’s domestic and international virtual programs.

KAY SCETTRO

Chief Academic Counselor at Programma Doppio Diploma Italia-USA

After completing a Bachelors degree in Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Verona, Kay was awarded a scholarship to attend a six-month study abroad experience at the University of Arizona where she developed a strong interest for all programs and opportunities promoting international education. Upon returning to Italy, she completed her Masters in Modern and Comparative Languages and Literatures and shortly after, she began working for Inlingua School of Languages in Verona, both as an English instructor and as a Study Abroad Coordinator. She currently co-directs the Programma Doppio Diploma in Italy, which allows Italian high school students to obtain a US High School Diploma by completing their courses online with Academica International Studies.

Matt Sigelman

Chief Executive Officer burning glass technologies

For more than a decade, Matt Sigelman has led Burning Glass in harnessing the power of data and artificial intelligence technologies that have cracked the genetic code of the job market. Powered by the world’s largest and most sophisticated database of jobs and talent, Burning Glass delivers real-time data and breakthrough planning tools that inform careers, define academic programs, and shape workforces. Burning Glass has helped to fill millions of jobs and its data drive initiatives for more than a dozen state and national governments. Matt is consulted frequently by national media, by researchers, and industry leaders. He served previously with McKinsey & Company and Capital One. He holds an A.B. from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from Harvard.

GEORGE STRASCHNOV

Managing Director, Bisk Ventures

George is the Managing Director of Bisk Ventures. He serves as an active advisor to the Firm’s portfolio in matters related to strategy, development, product and sales. He serves on advisory boards at education technology accelerators including Village Capital, Michelson Runway and USC Rossier EdVentures, and is a regular speaker and startup judge at industry events including ASU+GSV and Learn Launch. Prior to Bisk, he founded several early Internet startups, practiced as a commercial litigator and served as an assistant county attorney.

George earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in literature from Colgate and Georgetown Universities, respectively, and a JD from Valparaiso University School of Law. He’s currently a Venturer in Residence at the Viterbi Center for Engineering in Education at USC.

Paolo Tealdi

Computer Science Engineer, Independent Consultant, High School teacher, CTU at Court of Cuneo, Co-Founder of MariaTv.it

Experienced Engineer with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. Strong engineering professional skilled in System & Persons Integrations, Requirements Analysis, Engineering, IoT, MIT App Inventor, streaming services, TVs, Health platforms, special events organization/consultant. Co-founder of MariaTv.it and High School teacher.

NIELS VILDBRAD

CEO area9 Lyceum

Mr. Vildbrad has several years of strategic business management experience incl. substantial M&A experience from healthcare-IT and educational industries. He has led cross-border teams from acquisitions through the integration phase, with focus on growth and streamlining of operations. Prior to joining Area9, Mr. Vildbrad ran a US-division for a large listed German healthcare-IT company, where he completed a successful turnaround, re-establishing a sales organization and reduced customer churn.

He is responsible for all business development and partnerships for the Area9 Group and works closely with the executive chairman in the management of the group. Mr. Vildbrad holds an M.Sc. in Economics & Management from Aarhus University of Denmark, and is based in Boston, MA.

Chris Whittle

chairman and CEO of Whittle School & Studios

Chris is an entrepreneur with four decades of leadership experience in the fields of education and media. He conceived of and founded Edison Schools (now EdisonLearning) in 1992 with Benno Schmidt. Edison has been instrumental in establishing the charter-school movement and has served 450,000 students on three continents.