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ASU+GSV Summit will address access to the future for all learners

Annual convening of education and business thought leaders will be both in person and accessible virtually

ASU GSV summit
August 02, 2021

The ASU+GSV Summit — an annual convening of leading minds focused on transforming society and business through learning and work — will offer innovation and insight to both virtual and in-person audiences Aug. 9–11.

The summit, taking place at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, began in 2010 with a collaboration between Arizona State University and Global Silicon Valley with the guiding principle that all people have equal access to the future. In the years since, the summit has tackled topics such as K–12, higher ed, workforce, emerging technology, and equity, access and justice.

Organizers expect close to 3,000 in-person and 15,000 virtual leaders across the global education and workforce innovation sector to be in attendance. Virtual registration is free and can be submitted at

“Technology and innovation have unbelievable potential to radically evolve access to education and learning,” said ASU President Michael Crow, who will be delivering a keynote presentation. “This summit is a chance for creative minds — across education, the workplace, our communities — to share ways they’ve found to empower learners. Educational equity has the power to shape our world so much for the better, and it’s crucial that we find new and better ways to achieve it.”

This year’s speakers include Emmy-nominated writer, producer and actor Mindy Kaling; Academy Award-, Emmy- and Grammy-winning artist and activist Common; Emmy- and Grammy-winning actress and comedian Tiffany Haddish; NFL Hall of Famer and philanthropist Ronnie Lott; NBA champion Jeremy Lin; investigative reporter and documentarian Ronan Farrow; Dreamscape Immersive Chairman and co-founder Walter Parkes; and Cintana founder Doug Becker, among others. 

At the Tuesday evening reception, LEAP Innovations CEO Phyllis Lockett will speak with Alena Analeigh, a 12-year-old, first-year ASU student majoring in mechanical engineering and founder of the Brown STEM Girl Foundation. Alena’s organization supports and empowers girls of color around the world in their pursuits of interest in science, technology, engineering and math.

The summit will include the GSV Cup pitch competition for pre-seed and seed-stage education technology startups for $1 million in prizes. More than 700 startups have been judged by over 150 venture capitalists across the globe. The top 10 will compete at the summit, and the audience will vote for the winners. 

Members of the ASU community are involved in some of the hundreds of sessions on offer at the summit. Here's a sampling:

  • ASU scientist Ariel Anbar will be part of the “Democratization of Higher Ed Content Creation: ASU and CMU” panel Monday afternoon. Anbar — a President's Professor in ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration and School of Molecular Sciences — directs ASU’s Center for Education Through Exploration, which is reinventing digital learning around curiosity, exploration and discovery. 
  • Julie Young, vice president of educational outreach and student services at ASU and managing director of ASU Prep Academy and ASU Prep Digital, will be part of a group Monday afternoon speaking on “Mash Up: Bringing College to High School.” Young will share ASU Prep Digital’s efforts to bring college prep to students on a global scale. 
  • Lev Gonick, chief information officer at ASU, will speak during the “Accelerating the Digital Transformation of Learning Through 5G” session Tuesday morning, along with representatives of T-Mobile, AT&T and Qualcomm Technologies. This panel will look at how EdTech startups and K–20 institutions can catalyze the deployment of 5G wireless across the U.S. and establish new market opportunities.
  • Paul Carrese, founding director of ASU’s School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, will speak during the Tuesday afternoon “Can Civics Save America?” session. With students’ understanding of U.S. government at an all-time low, educators and experts face a challenging task. This panel will discuss the state of civics education. 

Crow will be part of several sessions:

  • “Coffee With Crow” on Monday morning, a conversation with Parkes, discussing the progress of the Dreamscape Learn partnership between ASU and Dreamscape Immersive to transform the education experience through virtual reality exploration.
  • “International Education in Action,” also Monday morning, with Tes Global Chairman Jo Johnson and Cintana’s Becker. This conversation, moderated by Julia Rosen, managing director of global academic partnerships at ASU, will look at how universities and higher education entrepreneurs are rethinking the interface between education and employment, and grappling with how to educate students to be both lifelong learners and equip them with skills that lead to near-term economic opportunities. 
  • “Doing the Work: How Collaboration Among America’s Biggest Colleges is Helping More Students Complete Their Degree” on Monday afternoon with Bridget Burns, founding executive director of the University Innovation Alliance, and Kim Wilcox, chancellor of the University of California, Riverside. This candid conversation will explore the successes, lessons and challenges they’ve encountered with the University Innovation Alliance, launched seven years ago with 11 of the nation’s largest research universities to tackle one of higher education’s most pressing challenges: degree completion, particularly among students of color and those from low-income backgrounds.
  • Keynote at the Stage X Tuesday breakfast, on the radical democratization of higher education through technology.

The 2020 summit, which was held virtually for the first time, welcomed over 15,000 attendees from more than 135 countries, including leading educators, innovators, investors, strategists, media and policy makers across the "Pre-K to Gray" global education and skills sectors. 

Past keynote speakers include U.S. President George W. Bush; former British Prime Minister Tony Blair; Priscilla Chan, co-founder of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative; Kevin Johnson, president and CEO of Starbucks; Malcolm Gladwell, author and staff writer for The New Yorker; Cindy McCain, chairman of the board of the McCain Institute for International Leadership at ASU; Reed Hastings, co-founder of Netflix; and Gloria Steinem, writer, lecturer, political activist and feminist organizer. 

For more information, visit Free registration is available at

Top photo: President Michael Crow (right) leads a discussion with McGraw Prize winners (from left) Arthur Graesser Timothy Renick and Reshma Saujani, at the breakfast keynotes at the ASU+GSV Summit 2018 in San Diego on April 18, 2018. The session included talks with former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Crow and a panel discussion on China's educational roles. The ASU+GSV Summit attracts more than 4,000 leaders from the enterprise, investment, higher education and pre-K–12 communities. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

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