Dr. Brett Jacobsen
Head of School of Mount Vernon Presbyterian School
Founder of Mount Vernon Institute of Innovation

Educational entrepreneur. Moonshot thinker. 21st century designer. Dr. Brett Jacobsen has emerged as an innovative leader in K-12 education.

Redefining school, Brett advocates for a new kind of framework for this generation of students. A 21st century framework for redesigning student success and demonstrating student mastery requires all learning communities to develop a relevant and innovative learning and assessment map for each student; recognizes the critical process of employing a variety of approaches and methodologies in order to engage and motivate students of this generation; and prioritizes the training and development of teachers in a fast paced digitally-based global marketplace.

Leading Mount Vernon through a transformational period, Brett launched the Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation (MVIFI) comprised of The Center for Design Thinking, The Center for Global Competitiveness, and The Center for Citizen Leadership. Focused on addressing local and global challenges, MVIFI cultivates public-private partnerships to foster creative collaboration at the intersections of the marketplace, education sector, nonprofit and civic communities. A national leader in Design Thinking, Brett and his MVIFI team lead //fuse – an annual summit sharing Mount Vernon’s process in Design Thinking as a way to increase the critical mass of public and private schools immersed in human-centered problem solving.

Brett shares and expands his influence through his blogging, tweeting, and presenting at regional and national conferences. He also hosts a podcast – Design Movement, a 21st century learning and leadership conversation with business leaders, educational innovators, and nonprofit trailblazers. In addition, Brett serves as a board member of LEAD (Leadership Education and Development), an organization focused on education access and excellence for students from diverse backgrounds. He is a proud member of the Leadership Atlanta class of 2013.
Don Buckley

Don Buckley has transformed learning spaces so they work for teachers and students and not just architects, he has transformed textbooks so that they work for students and teachers and not just publishers, and transformed new media resources so that they work for students and teachers and not just programmers. He has advanced degrees from leading European universities, is a former industrial chemist, published photographer, and consultant to MOMA's Education Department, and many Independent Schools on Design Thinking, STEM, STEAM and more.

Don is a co-founder of Tools at Schools, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to bring Design Thinking to School's by partnering them with companies to solve real world problems. As well as teaching a graduate course at Columbia Teacher's College in Educational Technology, he is an author for Pearson's Interactive Science Program (a K-8 Science series for 21st century schools). Don is passionate about Travel, Architecture, Design, Change,The Future and Innovation.

He is a scientist, technologist, educator, author, traveler, innovator and dual citizen of Ireland and the United States.

Saba Ghole

Chief Creative Officer, NuVu Studio
SMArchS, Urban Design, MIT

Saba Ghole is an architectural-urban designer turned education-technology entrepreneur. As the Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of NuVu Studio, Saba leads the innovation school for middle and high school students. NuVu’s focus on creativity and experimentation sets the stage for students to collaborate with experts on projects ranging from new medical devices to interactive games to brainwave-generated music and art.

Prior to starting NuVu, Saba worked on the planning and design of innovative educational projects including the Central Los Angeles High School #9 (a school of visual and performing arts in downtown Los Angeles) while at Coop Himmelb(l)au, as well as the National Research Foundation’s CREATE project (a Campus for Research Excellence And Technological Enterprise in Singapore) and the Princess Nora Bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh (the world’s largest center of higher learning for women) while at leading architecture firm Perkins+Will. Saba is passionate about creating interactive art, and through Hamsa Collective, her art collective that formed in 2014, designed and built Pulse and Bloom - one of the largest biofeedback installations of its kind. Saba is also an INK Fellow and TEDxSanJoseCA speaker.
Suzie Boss

Suzie Boss is a writer and educational consultant who focuses on the power of teaching and learning to improve lives and transform communities. She is the author of several books for educators, including Bringing Innovation to School: Empowering Students to Thrive in a Changing World and Reinventing Project-Based Learning: Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age (co-author). She is a regular contributor to Edutopia and the Stanford Social Innovation Review, and a member of the Buck Institute for Education National Faculty. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including Education Week, Educational Leadership, and The New York Times.

Inspired by educators who push the boundaries of the traditional classroom, she consults with teachers who are ready to shift their practice to project-based learning (PBL). A frequent conference presenter, she has provided professional development for schools in a wide range of settings, including India, Brazil, Europe, and across the United States.

Beyond the traditional school day, she has developed programs for nonprofit organizations that teach youth and adults how to improve their communities with innovative, sustainable solutions. A recent focus has been introducing project-based learning strategies in after-school settings.

Her wide-ranging interests in education and social innovation were shaped by several years as a writer, editor, and field researcher for the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (now known as Education Northwest). Working at the lab, which focuses on applied research in a multi-state region, offered a useful complement to her previous experience as a journalism instructor at the community college level.