Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

2024 Plenary Speakers

Main content start

Morning Keynote Address (9–10 a.m.)

How To Talk Pancakes: Recipes for Radical Collaboration

How to Talk Pancakes is an interactive talk about helping people understand how the Stanford d.school uses the power of words (and pancakes) to cultivate connection and foster radical collaboration between the 1000s of faculty, staff, and students that find themselves teaching and learning there every academic year.

About Seamus Harte

Seamus Harte

Seamus Yu Harte is the Head of Learning Experience Design for the Electives Program at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (aka the d.school) and the founder of Only People, a learning experience design studio inspired by the art and activism of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Before Stanford d.school and Only People, Seamus was the senior producer for The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, learning experience designer at Digital Media Academy, and creative director and director of radical experiments at Nearpod. Project-based learning and radical collaboration have been at the core of Seamus’ career.

His work at the Stanford d.school includes overseeing the design, development, and delivery of over 30 elective courses at the Stanford d.school every academic year—all project-based, team-taught, radical collaborations that amount to over 1,000 Stanford students and nearly 150 Faculty & Lectures in the d.school teaching community.

He currently co-teaches a course titled How to Shoot for the Moon, a radical collaboration at the Stanford d.school, described as a “kaleidoscope of curriculum inspired by the science and art of space exploration to help students discover who they are, why they’re here, where they want to go and how to experiment towards getting there.”

From Yoko Ono to David Kelley, Seamus has had the opportunity to teach and learn with world-class creatives. He holds a BS in Sound Design from SAE and a MFA in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University. He also received fellowships from the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts (SiCA) and the San Francisco Foundation.

Afternoon Plenary Panel (2:15–3:15 p.m.)

Enhancing Connection Beyond Traditional Classrooms

Hear from Stanford’s thought leaders as they discuss the impact of dynamic spaces that go beyond traditional educational environments, cultivating deeper connections and interactive experiences for students and educators alike. This session will explore the ways innovative learning spaces enhance collaboration and community within academic settings.

Moderator

Isabelle Hau

Executive Director, Stanford Accelerator for Learning

Isabelle Hau

Isabelle Hau is the executive director of the Stanford Accelerator for Learning, a Stanford-wide initiative bridging research, practice, and policy to create scalable, equitable learning experiences for all learners throughout their lifespans. Previously, she was a founding partner at Imaginable Futures, part of the Omidyar Group, led by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife, Pam Omidyar. She managed the U.S. education initiative, overseeing a portfolio that impacted millions of learners and families. Isabelle contributes to Forbes and EdSurge, writes the weekly newsletter Small Talks, and serves on the board of EDC and Sonen. She has received numerous accolades, including the 2024 ASU-GSV Women in AI, the 2021 Global MindED Inclusive Leader Award in Early Childhood Education, and recognition as one of Harvard Business School’s 100 Inspiring Women. Isabelle earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and graduated from ESSEC and Sciences Po Paris.

Panelists

Sheri D. Sheppard

Richard W. Weiland Professor in the School of Engineering, Emeritus

Sheri D. Sheppard

Sheri D. Sheppard teaches undergraduate and graduate design-related classes, researches fracture mechanics and finite element analysis, and how people become engineers. From 1999 to 2008, she was a Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, leading its engineering study. Sheppard has contributed to significant educational projects, including the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education and the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter). Her industry experience spans Detroit’s Big Three: Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler. At Stanford, she has served as faculty senate chair, associate vice provost for graduate education, founder of and adviser to MEwomen, and leader of the Designing Education Lab (DEL), which aims to revolutionize engineering education. Her achievements have earned her numerous honors, such as Stanford’s Walter J. Gores Award and the American Society for Engineering Education’s Chester F. Carlson and Ralph Coats Roe Awards. She earned her PhD from the University of Michigan.

Matthew Rascoff

Vice Provost of Digital Education

Matthew Rascoff

Matthew Rascoff joined Stanford in April 2021 as the founder of the Digital Education team. From 2017 to 2021, he served as associate vice provost for digital education and innovation at Duke University, leading the Duke Learning Innovation team. Before Duke, he was vice president and founder of the Office of Learning Technology & Innovation at the University of North Carolina system. He has international experience, having launched JSTOR’s first office in Berlin and serving as a fellow of the Bertelsmann Foundation. His earlier roles include leading product management at Wireless Generation, an education technology firm, and helping launch the strategy group at ITHAKA, an incubator of higher education technology ventures (now Ithaka S+R). Matthew has also worked with Google's Book Search operations team. In 2013, he was a German Marshall Memorial Fellow representing North Carolina. His academic credentials include graduate work at Bogazici University on a Fulbright Scholarship. He earned his MBA from Harvard Business School.

Sean Kennedy

Director, Audio Visual Design and Engineering, Learning Technologies and Spaces

Sean Kennedy

As the director, Audio Visual Design and Engineering for Learning Technologies and Spaces (VPSA), Sean Kennedy oversees the support, design, and implementation of classroom technology at Stanford University. Sean has been at Stanford and in this role since July 2021 following 6 years at Santa Clara University. Before working in education, Sean managed AV for a casino and was a freelance recording engineer for classical ensembles nationwide. During his time at Stanford, Sean has worked to foster relationships across the university including partnerships with the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Stanford Center for Professional Development, initiating an AV Roundtable to bring AV managers and directors across the university together, as well as hosting monthly lunch & learns for the entire Stanford AV community.

Karin Forssell

Director, Learning Design and Technology master’s program; Director, GSE Makery, Graduate School of Education; Director, AI Thinkery, Stanford Accelerator for Learning

Karin Forssell

Karin Forssell’s work is about designing effective learning experiences by leveraging the learning sciences together with powerful tools. She does this in several different ways. She is the director of the Learning Design and Technology (LDT) master's program and a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education; she also directs the GSE Makery, a Stanford maker space where students and faculty learn to make and make to learn; and she is now working on launching the brand-new AI Thinkery, a sandbox where educators can explore generative AI. Her interests include maker space education, teacher technology adoption, and parenting in a digital world.