Predictions, A Pandemic, & Our First Virtual Global Summit

  • COVID has exacerbated challenges in the U.S. around childcare. Today, on average U.S. families spend about 10% of their income on childcare and in many states, families pay more for child care than for mortgages and higher education. In the wake of school closures and increased financial instability resulting from the COVID crisis, parents are desperate for a solution. Julia Stigltiz, Sara Mauskopf, Natalie Renew, Chelsea Sprayregen, Elizabeth Harz Panelist, and Brian Tobalwe dove further into this crisis and what can be done now to mitigate it.
  • Research has shown a 13% return for every dollar spent on early childhood development for at-risk students. Early childhood programs have lifelong positive impacts, from school readiness to high school graduation to workforce and civic participation and even health outcomes. Noble Prize winner Jim Heckman discussed the state of innovation in early childhood with Diana Rauner.
  • Pamela Cantor, M.D. offered an optimistic story about learning and thriving straight out of the science of learning and development. She described the specific conditions that can reveal what each and every child is capable of, no matter their starting point in life.
  • AI is transforming everything, especially how we learn. As we move forward in this new age, big questions remain as to how exactly AI will impact learning — will it make it better, faster, cheaper, or lazier? Will we as humans become better learners with more personalized learning? Gordon Jones, Shravan Goli, Burr Settles, Nuno Frenandes, Matthew Rascoff and Stephanie Butler explored the promise and potential downfalls of AI in higher learning.
  • Education became entertaining, as Hollywood Met Harvard following the Masterclass model of creating high quality content at a low price through scale. Millions of people come to YouTube every day to learn, and with the global shift to remote learning, even more students, teachers, and parents are turning to YouTube as a supplemental classroom resource. Leading educational creators and university educators shared how they are meeting learners where they are, with everything from inspiration to instruction, and making an impact at scale.
  • The impact of AR/VR applications in K-12 is endless, from enabling a more diverse curriculum catered to non-traditional learners with different needs to supporting autistic students in real-time via meaningful simulations. Entrepreneurs assessed the market demand for AR/VR technology in K-12. They also focused on the key obstacles presenting challenges to adoption within this nascent market, to see if AR/VR can live up to its hype.
  • Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera, spoke about how to solve the global skills crisis. His talk highlighted the urgent need to build a coalition of governments, industries, and universities around the world to equip the global workforce with the necessary skills to advance careers, boost employability, and stimulate inclusive economic growth.
  • With COVID-19, distributed teams have already begun to transform the workforce and the workplace. Panelists shared how to get ahead with a remote first company including what makes remote-first companies successful, tools that drive the distributed workforce, and more about this revolution taking over the global workplace today.
  • There’s a supply-demand imbalance of workers for jobs and working adults without a traditional four-year degree. The summit explored how to identify great talent in unexpected places. Social and commercial entrepreneurs described how we can identify and train talent in underserved communities to fill the millions of open jobs around the nation. Accelerated career preparation programs will be essential to including underrepresented talent in the modern workforce.



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