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Keynote Speakers

David Houle

David Houle is a futurist, thinker and speaker. Houle spent more than 20 years in media and entertainment. He has worked at NBC, CBS, and was part of the senior executive team that created and launched MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1 and CNN Headline News. Houle has won a number of awards including two Emmys, the prestigious George Foster Peabody award, and the Heartland award for “Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream”. He was nominated for an Academy Award as well.

Houle is consistently ranked as one of the top futurists and futurist keynote speakers on the major search engines and in the world today. In the last five years he has delivered keynotes on six continents and twelve countries. He is often called “the CEOs’ Futurist” having spoken to or advised 2,500+ CEOs and business owners in the past seven years. He writes the highly regarded futurist blog with the tag line “A Future Look At Today.” For those of you on Twitter his user name is evolutionshift, which is also the name of his YouTube channel. He publishes the free Shift Age Newsletter, available at During 2010 Houle was a featured contributor on, and his much acclaimed site which is his curated visual look into the future launched in 2013.

David has been speaking about the future for 8 years and his influential first book The Shift Age was published in 2007. His second book, Shift Ed: A Call to Action for Transforming K-12 Education, written with Jeff Cobb was published in March 2011. The New Health Age: the Future of Health Care in America, co-authored with Jonathan Fleece, was published by Sourcebooks in January 2012, and became a #1 best seller on Amazon in the categories of Medicine and Future of Health Care. Entering the Shift Age was published by Sourcebooks in January of 2013. It is also a #1 Amazon best seller in the category of Business Planning and Forecasting. Houle published the eBook Is Privacy Dead: The Future of Privacy in the Digital Age in November 2013. His latest book Brand Shift: The Future of Brands and Marketing with co-author Owen Shapiro was published in August 2014.

Houle is currently Futurist in Residence and Guest Lecturer at the Ringling College of Art + Design.

1 LU

Shift Ed: A Call to Action for Transforming K-12 Education
This presentation is based upon Houle’s acclaimed book of the same name. As a futurist involved in education, Houle calls for nothing less than the transformation of K-12 education for the twenty-first century. He frames this transformation in both the history of education and the future of this new century and the Shift Age. In the three years it has been delivered, this presentation has been widely praised by educators as a needed vision of the future of education.

Kyle Schwartz

Kyle Schwartz is a third grade teacher at Doull Elementary in Denver, Colorado. Doull Elementary has a strong community and the school faces challenges. At Doull, about 90% of students live below or very near to the poverty line and about half are learning English at school.

Ensuring that all children receive a quality education has been the driving force in Kyle Schwartz's career. She has worked with education focused organizations such as City Year, the Denver Teacher Residency, America Achieves, and TeachStrong.

Due to the high academic growth and the strong instructional practice observed in her classroom, Kyle Schwartz is designated as a “Distinguished Teacher” by Denver Public Schools. She has lead professional development at national and local conferences and has spoken to organizations across the country on many issues including building strong classroom communities.

Recently, a simple yet powerful lesson created in Kyle's classroom received international attention. She asked her students to finish the sentence “I wish my teacher knew _.” Her students' candid responses inspired the #IWishMyTeacherKnew movement and were covered by every major media outlet. This sparked a conversation about the realities American students face and how schools can support all students. To continue this dialogue, Kyle has written a book entitled “I Wish My Teacher Knew: How One Question Can Change Everything for our Kids” published by DaCapo Press in 2016.

Above all else, Kyle dedicates herself to ensuring that every child receives the excellent education they deserve.

Speech Topics

Topics Kyle Schwartz is passionate about:

  • increasing student voice in our school communities 
  • increasing equity in education 
  • building strong classroom communities 
  • increasing rigor in the classroom through differentiated instruction 
  • supporting English language learners 
  • meeting diverse student needs in classrooms.

1.25 LU

What Students Wish We Knew

For years I have been asking the same beautifully simple question of her students: What do you wish your teacher knew? When I finally shared this community building activity through her new Twitter account, the response astounded her. In this session Kyle will share a detailed teacher’s guide to the #IWishMyTeacherKnew lesson as well explore issues that may arise through students’ responses. Participants will explore multiple issues that affect students and come away with “Teacher Tools,” actionable steps they can take to address students needs and build relationships that lead to learning.

Building Community in the Classroom
The beginning of every school year, teachers are faced with a monumental task - to turn a list of names on a class roster into a community of learners. In this talk, we look at how educators can show our students to become active and generous members of their communities, both inside and outside their classroom. We discuss strategies teachers and use teach students the value of community, we show them how to live and grow among, others, how to be kind and compassionate, how to be a good friend, how to help others feel appreciated, and how to contribute to our global community.

Responsive Teaching that Meets Students’ Needs
I provide a look at issues like students, such as poverty and student mobility that affect millions of students nationwide, alongside problems that affect individual children and families, such as coping with trauma and grief. In addition to statistics and research, I provide real stories from students, teachers, and family members that shed light on how we can all help students tackle these challenges and grow as individuals.