Keynote Presenter: Dr. John Spencer
Dr. John Spencer is a former middle school teacher and current college professor who is passionate about seeing kids reach their creative potential. John is on a mission to see teachers unleash the creative potential in all of their students so that kids can be makers, designers, artists, and engineers. He regularly explores research, interviews educators, deconstructs systems, and studies real-world examples of design thinking in action. He shares these insights in books, blog posts, journal articles, free resources, animated videos, and podcasts.
In Spencer’s second year of teaching, he used design thinking for a student-centered documentary project. Everything changed. He spent the next decade on a journey to empower students to become creative thinkers and problem-solvers. This meant mural projects, service learning projects, designing STEM camps, and creating coding projects. He also helped design his school district’s STEM courses and digital journalism course.
Along the way, he helped develop the student-friendly LAUNCH Cycle, a design thinking framework for K-12 students. He is the co-author of the bestselling books Launch and Empower. In 2013, he spoke at the White House, sharing a vision for how to empower students to be future-ready through creativity and design thinking. John Spencer has led workshops and delivered keynotes around the world.