In the wake of the pandemic and the rise in automation, students are anxious about their future. A 2023 Junior Achievement Survey found 66 percent of teens are anxious about finding a job in the future due to artificial intelligence. A 2023 Future of Jobs Report by the World Economic Forum found that companies expect that 42% of their business tasks will be automated and expect to eliminate 83 million positions due to automation by 2027. The Jobs Report also found that analytical and creative thinking will be the most important skills needed by workers in 2023, along with resilience, flexibility and agility, curiosity, and lifelong learning. Psychological and brain sciences research has found that these skills can be taught and that being resilient is important for both creativity and curiosity. Cognitive scientist Scott Barry Kaufman has discovered that adversity and trauma can lead to creative growth and that persistence and curiosity can predict creative achievement.

This interdisciplinary conference will bring neuroscientists, psychologists, researchers, and educators together to explore the science of our unique brains; what makes us different from machines; and how to develop our human skills, creativity, talents, and potential to compete in an automation age. Discover ways to promote different kinds of thinking and smarts; creativity and innovation; curiosity; resilience; agility and adaptability; and life-long learning. Discover ways to create a more human-focused education; appreciate the strengths of the gifted, less advantaged, and neurodiverse; and develop the skills and potential in all students for school, life, and future job success.

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This conference will be presented as a hybrid conference. You can either attend in person or participate virtually. Click here for more details.


Educators, Parents
Curriculum, Staff Developers
Speech-Language Pathologists
PreK-12 Teachers, Administrators
Learning Specialists, Special Educators
Psychologists, School Psychologists, Counselors
Early Childhood Educators, Professionals
Superintendents, Principals, School Heads
Reading, STEM, Technology Teachers
Social Workers, School Counselors
Gifted and Talented, LD Teachers
College, University Professors

Featured Speakers

The Science of Human Potential in an Age of Adversity: Connecting Creativity, Curiosity, and Resilience for Student Success

Scott Barry Kaufman, PhD

Cognitive and Humanistic Psychologist; Founder and Director, Center for Human Potential; Former Adjunct Associate Professor, Barnard College, Columbia University; Honorary Principal Fellow, Center for Wellbeing Science, University of MelbourneFormer Scientific Director, The Imagination Institute, University of Pennsylvania; Host of the #1 Psychology Podcast, The Psychology Podcast, with over 30 million downloads; Columnist, “Beautiful Minds,” Scientific American; Author, Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization (2020), Twice Exceptional (2018), and Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined (2015); Co-Author, Learned Helplessness (2020), Choose Growth: A Workbook for Transcending Trauma, Fear, and Self-Doubt (2022), Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind (2016), and “Imagination Is the Seed of Creativity” (2018, The Cambridge Handbook of Creativity)

Education for Innovation in an Automated, AI Era

Tony Wagner, EdD

Senior Research Fellow, Learning Policy Institute, Stanford University; Former Expert in Residence at the Harvard Innovation Lab, Harvard University; Former Co-Director, Change Leadership Group, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Board Member, Mastery Transcript Consortium and Better World Ed; Education Advisor to the documentary, Most Likely to Succeed; Author, Mastery: The Future of Learning in Schools and the Workplace (Upcoming 2024), Learning by Heart: An Unconventional Education (2020); Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World (2012), and The Global Achievement Gap (2014); Co-Author, Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era (2015)

The Pattern Seekers: How Autism Drives Human Invention

Simon Baron-Cohen, PhD

Professor, Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of Cambridge; Fellow, Trinity College; Director, Autism Research Centre; Fellow, British Psychological Society, the British Academy, the Academy of Medical Sciences; and the American Psychological Association; Vice President, National Autistic Society; Author, The Pattern Seekers: How Autism Drives Human Invention (2020), Zero Degrees of Empathy (2012), and Autism and Asperger Syndrome: The Facts (2008); Co-Author, "Socioeconomic Status, Mental Health, and Cognitive Outcomes in Autism" (2023, INSAR) and Understanding Other Minds (2013)

Insights Into a Bright Mind: Nurturing Neurodiverse Brains With Creativity and Mindfulness in an Uncertain, AI Age

Nicole A. Tetreault, PhD

Neuroscientist; Founder, Awesome Neuroscience; Professor, Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education; Founder, Beyond the Cell; Expert on neurodiversity, intelligence, creativity, and mental health; Author, Insights into a Bright Mind: A Neuroscientist's Personal Stories of Unique Thinking (2021); Co-Author, "High Intelligence: A Risk Factor for Psychological and Physiological Overexcitabilities" (2018, Intelligence)

Your Brain on Tech: Code as the Literacy of the Future

Chantel S. Prat, PhD

Cognitive Neuroscientist; Professor, Departments of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Linguistics, University of Washington; Researcher, Cognitive and Cortical Dynamics Laboratory; Investigator, Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging; Author, The Neuroscience of You: How Every Brain Is Different and How to Understand Yours (2022)

The Creative Classroom

R. Keith Sawyer, PhD

Morgan Distinguished Professor of Educational Innovations, University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill; One of the world’s leading scientific experts on creativity who studies jazz ensembles, improvisational theater groups, children at play, and more effective learning environments; Author, Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences (2022, 3rd Edition), The Creative Classroom: Innovative Teaching for 21st-Century Learners (2019), "Fostering Creative Performance in Art and Design Education via Self-Regulated Learning" (2019, Instructional Science), Group Genius (2017), Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity (2013), and Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation (2012); Editor, Structure and Improvisation in Creative Teaching (2011)

The Neuroscience of Creative Imagination: Implications for the AI Age

Anna G. Abraham, PhD

Neuroscientist; E. Paul Torrance Professor, Department of Educational Psychology; Director, Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development; Director, Creativity and Imagination Lab; Faculty, Institute for Artificial Intelligence; University of Georgia; Neuroscience Faculty Member, Integrated Life Science Program; Affiliate, Owens Institute for Behavioral Research; Editor, Cambridge Elements in Creativity and Imagination; Author, The Creative Brain: Myths and Truths (forthcoming), "The Ingredients of the Creative Mind" (2021, American Journal of Psychology); The Neuroscience of Creativity (2018); Co-Author, "Evaluating the Effects of Episodic and Semantic Memory Induction Procedures on Divergent Thinking in Younger and Older Adults" (2023, PLoS ONE)

Unique: The New Science of Human Individuality in an Automated World

David J. Linden, PhD

Neurobiologist; Professor, Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science; Chief Editor, Journal of Neurophysiology; Author, Unique: The New Science of Human Individuality (2020), Think Tank: Forty Neuroscientists Explore the Biological Roots of Human Experience (2018), Touch: The Science of the Hand, Heart, and Mind (2015), and The Accidental Mind (2009)

Tomorrow's Glasses: Preparing Students for the Future

Matt Miller, MEd

Teacher, North Central Parke Schools; Blogger, Ditch That Textbook; Author, AI for Educators: Learning Strategies, Teacher Efficiencies, and a Vision for an Artificial Intelligence Future (2023), Do More with Google Classroom: Teach Better. Save Time. Make a Difference (2020), Tech Like a PIRATE: Using Classroom Technology to Create an Experience and Make Learning Memorable (2020), Ditch That Textbook: Free Your Teaching and Revolutionize Your Classroom (2015); Co-Author, DON'T Ditch That Tech: Differentiated Instruction in a Digital World (2019) and Ditch That Homework: Practical Strategies to Help Make Homework Obsolete (2017)

How to Teach Thinking Skills for an AI Age

Daniel T. Willingham, PhD

Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia; Member, National Board for Education Sciences; Writer, “Ask the Cognitive Scientist” Column, American Educator; Author, Outsmart Your Brain: Why Learning is Hard and How You Can Make It Easy (2023), Why Don’t Students Like School? (2021, 2nd Edition), “A Mental Model of the Learner: Teaching the Basic Science of Educational Psychology to Future Teachers” (2017, Mind, Brain, & Education), The Reading Mind: A Cognitive Approach to Understanding How the Mind Reads (2017), and Raising Kids Who Read: What Parents and Teachers Can Do (2015)

Teaching Students to Be Critical Thinkers

Colin Seale, JD

Educator; Attorney; Founder, CEO, ThinkLaw, multi-award-winning organization to help educators leverage inquiry-based instructional strategies to close the critical thinking gap and ensure they teach and reach all students; a fervent critical thinking advocate; Contributor, Forbes, The 74, Edutopia, and Education Post; Author, Tangible Equity: A Guide for Leveraging Student Identity, Culture, and Power to Unlock Excellence In and Beyond the Classroom (2022) and Thinking Like a Lawyer: A Framework for Teaching Critical Thinking to All Students (2020)

Learning for Uncertainty

Yong Zhao, PhD

Foundation Distinguished Professor, School of Education, University of Kansas; Professorial Fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy, Victoria University; Professor in Educational Leadership, Melbourne Graduate School of Education; Author, Learners Without Borders: New Learning Pathways for All Students (Forthcoming 2021), “COVID-19 as Catalyst for Educational Change” (2020, Prospects), and What Works May Hurt – Side Effects in Education (2018); Co-Author, Teaching Students to Become Self-Determined Learners (2020) and An Education Crisis Is a Terrible Thing to Waste: How Radical Changes Can Spark Student Excitement and Success (2019)

Other Speakers

What Will It Take to Create the Education We Need for a Future We Can't Predict?

Thomas C. Hatch, PhD

Professor of Education, Columbia University; Director, National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching (NCREST); Blog Founder,; Former Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; Author, The Education We Need for a Future We Can’t Predict (2021), Managing to Change: How Schools can Survive (and Sometimes Thrive) in Turbulent Times (2009), and Into the Classroom: Developing the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (2005)

How Artificial Intelligence Become Evolutionary Intelligence

W. Russell Neuman, PhD

Professor, Media Technology, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University; Human Development and Professor, Communication Studies, University of Michigan; Author, Evolutionary Intelligence: How Technology Will Make Us Smarter (2023) and The Digital Difference: Media Technology and the Theory of Communication Effects (2016)

Preparing Children for Success in School and in Life

Marcia L. Tate, EdD

Chief Executive Officer, Developing Minds, Inc.; Former Executive Director of Professional Development, DeKalb County School System; Author, 100 Brain-Friendly Lessons for Unforgettable Teaching and Learning (2019), Formative Assessment in a Brain-Compatible Classroom: How Do We Really Know They’re Learning? (2016), Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites: 20 Instructional Strategies That Engage the Brain (2015), and Preparing Children for Success in School and Life: 20 Ways to Increase Your Child’s Brain Power (2011)

The AI Age: Benefits and Perils in Education and Society

Jay J. Van Bavel, PhD

Director, Social Identity and Morality Lab; Associate Professor of Psychology and Neural Science, Department of Psychology, New York University; Co-Author, “Out-Group Animosity Drives Engagement on Social Media” (2022, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), The Power of Us: Harnessing Our Shared Identities to Improve Performance, Increase Cooperation, and Promote Social Harmony (2021), and “The Social Neuroscience of Cooperation” (2020, The Cognitive Neurosciences)

Uncertainty in the Brain: The Power of Curiosity and Exploration in Learning

Jacqueline P. Gottlieb, PhD

Professor, Department of Neuroscience, The Kavli Institute for Brain Science, Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, Columbia University; Co-Author, “Humans Monitor Learning Progress in Curiosity-Driven Exploration” (2021, Nature Communications Biology), “Curiosity, Information Demand, and Attentional Priority” (2020, Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences), and “Motivated Cognition: Neural and Computational Mechanisms of Curiosity, Attention, and Intrinsic Motivation” (2016, Recent Developments in Neuroscience Research on Human Motivation)

AI in Education: Minimizing the Damage and Maximizing the Benefits

Dylan A. R. Wiliam, PhD

Professor Emeritus of Educational Assessment, Institute of Education, University of London; Former Dean and Head of the School of Education, King’s College London; One of the World’s Leading Authorities on Formative Assessments; Author, Creating the Schools Our Children Need (2018), Embedded Formative Assessment: Strategies for Classroom Assessment That Drives Student Engagement and Learning (2017, 2nd Edition), Leadership to Teacher Learning (2016), and “The Secret of Effective Feedback” (2016, Educational Leadership)