Future of Education with Dean Erika James

Date and Time
Thursday, November 4, 2021
7:00pm— 8:15pm
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George Gvishiani
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The Wharton Club of Southern California invites you to join a panel discussion led by very distinguished professionals in the field of education discussing
"The Future of Education". 

Erika James, Dean of The Wharton School, will introduce the event.  

Serguei Netessine, Wharton Professor and Senior Vice Dean for Innovation and Global Initiatives, will serve as moderator.

Panelists: Ashley Bittner of Firework Ventures, Kim Kolt of For Good Ventures, Sergio Abramovich of Ingenious Schools, and Neel Broker of Inspara Ventures. 

Discussion Topics Include: Exciting new trends that are happening in K-12, Post Secondary Education, Workforce Development, investing in education, the impact of EdTech, using education to solve pressing challenges such as climate change, and much more!

Event Timeline: 15 minutes of Introductions & Keynote Dean James, ~40 minutes of Panel Discussion, and 20 minutes of Breakout Rooms led by distinguished panelists.

Pricing: € 8 for non-members and free for members.

Erika James, Dean, The Wharton School

Erika H. James became the dean of the Wharton School on July 1, 2020. Trained as an organizational psychologist, Dean James is a leading expert on crisis leadership, workplace diversity and management strategy.  Prior to her appointment at Wharton, Dean James was the John H. Harland Dean at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School from 2014 to 2020. An award-winning educator, accomplished consultant and researcher, she is the first woman and first person of color to be appointed dean in Wharton’s 139-year history. As such she has paved the way for women in leadership both in education and corporate America. Dean James has been instrumental in developing groundbreaking executive education programs, including the Women’s Leadership program at the University of Virginia’s Darden School.

 Serguei Netessine, Wharton Professor and Senior Vice Dean for Innovation and Global Initiatives

Serguei Netessine is Senior Vice Dean for Innovation and Global Initiatives and Dhirubhai Ambani Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.  He lived, taught, and worked with companies in the USA, Russia, France and Singapore.  His current research focuses on business model innovation and operational excellence, and he worked on these topics with numerous organizations around the world.  He is an active angel-investor in technology startups, and he serves on advisory boards of multiple ventures around the world. He recently served on The Future of the Economy Committee of Singapore government, is a Founding Member of Responsible Research in Business & Management Network (http://rrbm.network), advisor to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation of Digital Education Technologies, and a Scholar at Amazon.

Ashley Bittner

Ashley Bittner is a Founding Partner of Firework Ventures, an early-stage venture fund investing in the future of work. Ashley invests in companies that create opportunity and mobility. Ashley brings both private and public sector experience to early-stage companies. 

Kim Kolt

Kim Kolt is the Founder & President of For Good Ventures, a family office investment firm that invests in technologies solving critical problems for humanity and the environment.  She is fundamentally passionate about technologies that contribute to saving lives and reversing climate change.

Sergio Abramovich

Sergio Abramovich is a leader in international higher education and K-12 operations, Board member and investor in Latin American and the US. He is currently the CEO of Ingenious Schools, a management platform for K-12 schools in the Americas. Previously, Sergio was the SVP of Operations and Strategy for GEMS Americas, leading the expansion in the region. Before that, he was the VP of International Business Development and Operations at Adtalem, leading the investment of more than $400M in acquisitions globally. Sergio had vast experience with online operations working at the consulting arm of UOC, and FUNIBER, a Spanish OPM. Sergio holds an MBA degree from the Wharton School of Business, and a Bachelor in Economics from the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Argentina.

Neel Broker, WG02

Neel Broker is the Founder of Inspara Partners - an EdTech and Workforce focused investment and advisory platform. He is also President - AsiaPac of Cintana Education, a global university services platform setup in partnership with Arizona State University. He previously served as CEO of Laureate Education's Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific business. This operation grew to become the world’s largest private higher education operation outside the Americas. Over 12 years at Laureate Education, Neel served as Global Head of Strategy and M&A, CEO for India, and SVP of Asia Business Development. He represented Laureate on the board of Coursera as an observer, and on the boards of numerous higher education organizations.  Earlier in his career, he was a Private Equity investor in Hong Kong and New York at Merrill Lynch, Sterling Partners, and ICV Capital Partners. He started his career as an Investment Banker with Deutsche Bank in New York and London, and then was a strategy consultant with McKinsey in South-East Asia and New York. Neel has a Masters degree from BITS Pilani in India and an MBA from Wharton. Neel is based in the Washington DC area.


Michael Tedori, C'08 WG15

Michael Tedori has over 15 years of principal investing & business development experience at venture backed start-ups and private equity companies.  He currently leads the strategy & business development efforts at Enterplast, Inc., a specialty rubber & plastics firm, located in Houston, Texas.  Michael graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences with a concentration in East Asian Studies and earned an MBA from The Wharton School.



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