Agenda for ThinkBig 2018

What will advancement look like in 2025 and how will you lead, innovate, design, and execute a path to getting there?  To begin, you can’t plan for change if you, first, don’t consider changing how you plan.

This is the backdrop — as we talk about leadership, staffing, cultural change and diversity, design builds for strategic planning, execution, and more!

Sunday, September 16th

4:00 PM Conference Begins

    • We’ll shuttle for mingling, networking, socializing, and dinner at the T-Lazy 7 Ranch — gateway to the world-famous Maroon Bells and a short ten-minute trip from the hotel.
    • After dinner, we’ll kick things off with observations, critiques, and suggestions for what the world of higher education advancement needs to be doing to change and be ready for 2025.
    • Our keynote is Jeff Selingo is a New York Times bestselling author and named one of LinkedIn’s “must-know influencers” of 2016.  He a regular contributor to the Washington Post and a special advisor at Arizona State University, where he is the founding director of the Academy for Innovative Higher Education Leadership in partnership with Georgetown University.

Monday, September 17th

8:00 – 8:45 AM Breakfast

  • Morning on Leadership.  

  • We’ll hear separately from Adam Bryant and Elise Foster, two noted thought-leaders, who have studied leadership in action outside of academia and bring insightful and refreshing perspective.  They’ll cover transformative leadership, core qualities that set high-performers apart, skills that build and foster a culture of innovation and high-impact outcomes and more.
    • Adam Bryant conducts interviews with CEOs for Corner Office, a twice-weekly New York Times feature column about leadership and management (and title for his first bestselling book).
    • Elise Foster is co-author of “The Multiplier Effect: Tapping the Genius Inside Our Schools”.  Elise began her career as an engineer, managing high-profile global projects.  Soon she took an interest in how organizations work and ways to optimize the full capability of every employee and now a leadership coach who enables education and business executives to unlock their personal potential and to use their intelligence to make everyone around them smarter, more capable, and more successful. She is well-versed in the field of leadership and collective intelligence.
    • After their presentations, Adam and Elise will team up to engage with participants in a moderated, interactive audience feedback session, where we’ll discuss and distill actionable tactics participants can use upon returning to campus.
  • Lunch on Human Capital

  • Twenty years ago, talent management was a pat on the back; today, entire staff positions are devoted to it.
    •  Cara Stein, is Senior Vice President, Chief Talent Officer for NBCUniversal, where she has been a trailblazer in how the company retains and hires talent, has developed a series of Leadership Development Programs from the ground up, and is currently re-imagining the early career development programs — including the notable NBC Page Program.  She is a 25-year veteran of William Morris Endeavor, Stein last oversaw operations and human resources for the WME New York office.
  • Afternoon on Diversity and the Workforce: its Complicated Context

    • Deborah Bial, president and founder of The Posse Foundation and a MacArthur Fellow, will lead a workshop that will examine the country’s changing demographics and how these are represented in U.S. institutions of higher education and the workforce.  Participants will engage in a dynamic, interactive workshop that will provoke discussion about how diversity – in our current social climate –  plays out in the workforce.  The session will include discussion about our responsibility as leaders.  How does diversity influence the work we do and the decisions we make?
    • A key element to the afternoon session will include participant discussion and feedback to identify and distill actionable tactics participants can use upon returning to campus.
  • 4:00 – 6:00 PM is unscheduled

  • 6:00 PM Social and Dinner at the world-famous Caribou Club

Tuesday, September 18th

8:00-8:45 AM – Breakfast

  • Morning on Strategic Thinking:  Creativity, Disruption, and Execution

    • These terms frequent board retreats, donor visits, and campaign planning, but what do they really mean and how can you harness them for daily inclusion and impact in your office?  What is a “design-sprint” and what are its advantages for better planning and strategy?
      • Natalie Nixon, a design strategist and a hybrid thinker, with a diverse background in service design, anthropology, and fashion.  Natalie is a Fellow at the Paris d.School and the Founding Director of the Strategic Design MBA program at Philadelphia University.  She is the editor of Strategic Design Thinking: Innovation in Products, Services, Experiences and Beyond and a regular contributor to Online Magazine on creativity and design thinking.  We are in negotiation with other speakers who are noted for their expertise around disruption, the “new-social” world, big-data, and more.
    • Nike hit the nail on the head with it’s now ubiquitous, “Just Do It!”  The ThinkBig Conference has been full of ideas, innovations, disruptive thinking, and…how does that translate to reality?  What is practical for bringing lofty, creative ideas from the theoretical and into the executable inside your program.
      • Jason Shen, was captain of the NCAA Champion Stanford Gymnastics team in 2009, is Fast Company, NYTimes, and Atlantic contributor; TED Resident; expert on competitive advantage.  Jason co-founded of Headlight, a performance hiring platform that helps find, screen, and recruit talent, and serves on the board of directors for the Presidential Innovation Fellowship Foundation (PIFF).  Since 2010, The Art of Ass-Kicking has served as his personal blog where Jason breaks down how people and organizations gain the competitive advantage.  Jason has written for Fast Company and Quartz, been quoted in The New York Times and The Atlantic, and spoken at Google, Pinterest, and the prestigious TED Residency.
    • After their presentations, Nicole and Jason will team up to engage with participants in a moderated, interactive audience feedback session, where we’ll discuss and distill actionable tactics participants can use upon returning to campus.
  • Lunch – Trends for Profit

  • Facebook and LinkedIn have become defacto directories; virtual co-exists with real, donor-advised funds the new tax code, and crowdfunding are changing the giving process and experience.
    • We will have one or two high-level executives from companies operating in the higher-ed advancement space, who will discuss the business side of why they see a profit-future in the higher education sector; what are the opportunities they see for their business; what do they tell their own investors and boards; what is the pitch they made to secure venture capital funding?

Conference Ends (but for those staying over, we’ll coordinate an evening get-together if you wish).