Creating the Future of Education Today: How National Fdns Are Driving Innovation

Wednesday, September 23, 2020 -
3:30pm to 5:00pm
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 1212
Additional information: 

A reception from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm will follow the event.

This event is open to: 

Grantmaker Members.

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This is a complimentary event.
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This panel was scheduled to accommodate the schedule of the national Breakthrough Schools regional convening. We apologize for its coinciding with Yom Kippur. Anyone who cannot attend is welcome to contact Kelly Christopher at for meeting materials or follow up.

Many American classrooms look the same as they did a century ago. But we can’t address today’s urgent educational issues with the same tools and techniques of 100 years ago. Join grantmaker colleagues to hear from leading national funders about how districts, nonprofits, and tech companies across the country are breaking down barriers to reinvent education.

Leaders from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Next Generation Learning Challenges will discuss:

  • What is technology’s role in transforming education? And why is now the time for its success?
  • What does education look like a decade from now? What is the role of the teacher? Of technology? Of students?
  • What ed innovation(s) have the most potential to really reinvent learning?
  • What barriers in policy and the larger ecosystem need to be addressed?
  • How can funders make the most impact with their investments?


Panelists will include Sara Allan, Deputy Director of the College Ready Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Andrew Calkins, Deputy Director, Next Generation Learning Challenges; and Tom Stritikus, Deputy Director of the College Ready Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Immediately following the panel, please plan to stay for a reception from 5:00-7:00pm at LEAP Innovations (in the same location as the event; rsvp appreciated, see below) to welcome Breakthrough Schools leaders from across the country to Chicago. The Breakthrough Schools regions, including Chicago; Washington D.C.; New Orleans; New England; Oakland, Calif.; and Colorado; are helping school leaders to re-think whole-school design through competency-based progression, technology, and out-of-school opportunities to build innovative, sustainable, and personalized learning models that can serve as national examples.

If you plan to stay for the reception, please inform Kelly by email: