Thursday, July 13, 2023 - 09:07 am

Gov. Doug Burgum today announced two keynote speakers for the seventh annual Governor’s Summit on Innovative Education on Aug. 15 at Cheney Middle School in West Fargo.

The free summit inspires educators to reimagine what could be, celebrates innovation that benefits the learner, networks stakeholder groups across North Dakota and transforms education to equip every student to be prepared for an ever-changing world.

The theme of this year’s summit is “Building Blocks for Success.” Keynotes, panels and breakout sessions will address the five key strategic themes identified by the North Dakota PK-12 Education Steering Committee: 1) quality early childhood experiences; 2) support for safe and healthy behaviors; 3) career awareness, exploration and development; 4) quality education personnel; and 5) quality student-centered instruction in driving positive outcomes for students, educators, communities and the state.

Keynote speakers will include Matt Kirchner (pronounced “Kirk-ner”), an international speaker, author, business leader and podcast host on topics of interest to educators, public policy makers and employers. Kirchner hosts the weekly TechEd Podcast featuring leaders in industry and education and serves as president of ATS/LAB Midwest, a leading distributor of world-class curriculum, eLearning and training equipment. Kirchner also writes monthly leadership columns appearing in Products Finishing and Production Machining magazines and is the author of “Teaching the Industrial Internet of Things: Preparing Students and Learners for Industry 4.0.” He is a certified public accountant and has served in executive roles for multiple companies, including as CEO of American Finishing Resources from 2008 to 2015.

Another keynote speaker will be Nicholas Carlisle, CEO of Power of Zero, a global initiative to address cyberbullying. In the 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey of North Dakota youth, over 29% of middle school students and nearly 14% of high school students reported being electronically bullied. Carlisle speaks to the global forces driving cyberbullying on social media and in online gaming platforms and delivers a message of hope for solutions. He graduated from Oxford University, served on the board of Amnesty International and qualified as a human rights lawyer in the United Kingdom and a child psychotherapist in the United States. He is the creator of the award-winning No Bully program for schools.

The #InnovativeND Awards also will be presented during the summit in the following categories:

  • Frontline Innovation – recognizes innovative approaches in the classroom.
  • Collaborative Culture – recognizes efforts that reach across subjects and classrooms.
  • System Transformation – recognizes innovations in the educational system that will have a fundamental impact on how students learn.
  • Student Leadership – recognizes students who are advancing innovative education through leadership inside and outside the classroom.
  • Pathways Innovation – recognizes efforts to provide learners with new and exciting opportunities to explore career paths.

To register for the 2023 Governor’s Summit on Innovative Education, visit the registration page here.