Noble Impact Educators Summit: Why Arkansas, Why Now?

Noble Impact Educators Summit: Why Arkansas, Why Now?

Noble Impact Educators Summit: Why Arkansas, Why Now?

This year, Noble Impact is launching its inaugural professional development conference, the Noble Impact Educators Summit, taking place this summer (July 27-29). It’s been three years in the making, and for each of us at Noble, it’s been a personal journey, one that I hope many educators and innovators will join this summer.

Register for the Noble Impact Educators Summit at nobleimpact.org/summit.
I moved to Little Rock in July of 2008 to attend the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. It was the best educational decision I’ve ever made.

Old Arkansas License Place
Arkansas, formerly known as the “Land of Opportunity”

Since that move, I’ve come to realize how special Little Rock is and what opportunities the state of Arkansas has to offer. Before being called “The Natural State”, Arkansas was called “The Land of Opportunity,” and I identify with the latter.

Over the past 15 years in and out of the education and entrepreneurship sectors, I’ve had the opportunity to attend many different conferences. These experiences run the gamut… from Fast Company in San Francisco to Gardner-Carney Leadership Institute in Colorado Springs to SXSWedu in Austin and even the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City. All these conferences were awesome in their own right.

When we decided to create our own “conference,” we reflected as a team on our different experiences at past events… what we liked, what we didn’t like, what inspired us, what bored us. After much deliberation and planning, we have come up with what I believe is an offering for Arkansas teachers that will prove to be a transformational experience. In the same way design and development agency Few has coined its annual Made by Few conference experience as “Not your traditional tech conference,” #NobleSummit will not be your traditional education conference!

Little Rock: The New Center of Education Innovation

TIME Magazine Arkansas WInthrop RockefellerLittle Rock has been in the news lately, and it hasn’t been positive in regards to public education. However, I think we have a unique opportunity staring us in the face. Social change is at the core of Little Rock, deeply rooted through the lens of the “Little Rock Nine” and onto the grounds of the Clinton Presidential Center. Our entrepreneurship culture is growing, innovation is happening, and we have an opportunity to continue this movement for teachers, through our Summit.

Our inaugural Noble Impact Educators Summit is focused on solving problems and emphatically not just complaining about them. The Summit will engage teachers, community leaders, and students in what former Arkansas Governor Winthrop Rockefeller called every citizen to do: “…Participate in the search for solutions.”

We will do this through our Civic Innovation Challenge format, in which we present teachers and community leaders with an opportunity to tackle pressing issues in the Arkansas education landscape.

2016 National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes
2016 National Teacher of the Year
Jahana Hayes receives honor from
President Barack Obama

We are committed to providing Arkansas teachers a voice in this search, and we will begin that commitment on Wednesday night, July 27th with our #NobleTalks opening event.

Launching at the Clinton School, we will hear from powerful student and teacher voices, including high school senior, Rainbow Chen, who is a voting member on the Vermont Board of Education. We will also hear from the 2016 National Teacher of The Year Jahana Hayes and EduColor founder José Vilson, and YouTube math tutor Patrick Jones. This will begin a three-day experience that will inspire, motivate, and charge teachers to impact Arkansas education with their own stories and solutions.

This is our state, and yes, it is naturally beautiful. But I came here for opportunity, and it presented itself through a great public service education. Now, it’s time for us, at Noble Impact, to create the best opportunity for teachers to express their thoughts, harness their insight, and act on what could make an impact in the great state of Arkansas. It is time for us, too, to open up access to opportunity for the students we serve.

There is no “Why not?” in this equation… there is only here and now. It’s time. See you in July.

Register for the Noble Impact Educators Summit at nobleimpact.org/summit.

Noble Impact Educators Summit is a three-day professional development event for educators and school administrators to reimagine what education could be. The summit will take place in Little Rock, Arkansas on July 27-29, 2016. See you there!

Header image courtesy of Sandra Owens

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