ISKME Hosts Big Ideas Fest for Education Innovation

Contact: 
Julie Atkins julie@iskme.org
Sylvia Paull whoisylvia@aol.com

Big Ideas Fest – an annual global convening of innovators in education hosted by ISKME, a nonprofit institute dedicated to education innovation across K-12 and higher education and a pioneer in knowledge sharing and open education – takes place December 7 through 10 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Half Moon Bay, CA. Kicking off this year’s focus on “Education Innovation for a Small Planet” is a keynote by Jill Hagenkord, chief medical officer for 23andMe, discussing “A Decade of Direct Access Genetics: What Have We Learned?”

During the three days, more than 180 participants will work in small teams and engage in Action Collabs, hands-on workshops in which they use design thinking to create solutions to real-life education challenges they face at home. Punctuating the workshops are rapid fire speakers who, like Ming Horn, 17-year-old founder of KhodeUp, a nonprofit that trains students in developing countries to code, describe their innovations in learning with a passion that often inspires others to follow their lead.

Continuing its global reach, Big Ideas Fest hosts speakers like Paul Kruchoski, deputy director of the Collaboratory, U.S. Dept. of State, addressing the design of better U.S. educational collaboration around the world; Angela Jackson, founder and executive director of the Global Language Project, describing ways to leverage global education to tackle poverty; and Ashanti Branch, founder of Ever Forward Club, presenting a rapid fire talk on “Helping Young Men of Color Add Tools to Their Emotional Toolbox.”

Capping off the three-day Fest, which includes the gamut of innovative teaching tools -- from hula hoop lessons to GoPro videocam training and demonstrations by last year’s GoPro Challenge winners -- the program on December 10 includes a presentation by Roadtrip Nation high school students from South San Francisco, a video showcase of Action Collab solutions to education challenges, announcement of a BIFLocal campaign to scale innovations in education, and a preview of the Global Learning XPRIZE.

A highlight of the Big Ideas Fest is the Big Ideas Fest Innovation in Action Award, which will be given to an individual or organization whose project best embodies the ability to transform education through inspired and innovative action. Criteria for this award weigh the potential global impact of the program as well as its accessibility to underserved populations. Last year’s cash award went to Shiza Shahid, cofounder and CEO of The Malala Fund, whose mission is to create a world in which no child is denied an education.

For more information and to register for the event, go to www.bigideasfest.org.