ITHAKA: Next Wave 2019

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The Roosevelt Hotel

45 East 45th Street

New York, NY 10017

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At Next Wave 2019, we look beyond the academy at the big trends in technology and society that will reshape research and learning. We explore topics ranging from AI and data, to politics, and pluralism. How will controversial developments in these areas alter student and researcher experiences? How can the higher education and academic research communities adopt new technologies and practices, while creating positive, ethical outcomes that advance societal interests? What can we learn from those working at the cutting edge today?


Our facilitator and guide for Next Wave 2019 is Bryan Alexander, senior scholar at Georgetown University and well-known host of Future Trends Forum.

9 - 10:00 Registration and Coffee

10 - 10:15 Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Kevin Guthrie, President, ITHAKA
  • Bryan Alexander, Higher Education Futurist

10:15 - 11:15 Pluralism and Learning

  • Moderator: Catharine Bond Hill, Ithaka S+R Managing Director
  • Anthony Kronman, Professor, Yale Law School; author of The Assault on American Excellence
  • Michael Reed, Senior Vice President, Inclusion and Diversity, Bowdoin College

Pluralism is at the core of American democracy and education. It is through a diversity of ideas, perspectives, and methodologies that we advance as a society. How can we champion pluralism amidst political and social challenges on campuses? What behaviors should we model? What are the impacts of different approaches on learning, research, and our collective well-being?

11:15 - 11:45 Coffee Break

11:45 - 12:30 Leading Change

  • Moderator: Kevin Guthrie
  • Xiao-Li Meng, Professor of Statistics, Harvard University

Each year ITHAKA President, Kevin Guthrie, interviews a leader who is at the leading edge, working to change organizations, systems or practices. This year, Kevin talks with Xiao-Li Meng about the increasingly central role data is playing in research and teaching, the changes he sees on the horizon and is helping to foster, and the impetus behind the recently launched Harvard Data Science Review where he is Editor-in-Chief.

12:30 - 1:30 Lunch

1:30 - 2:30 Truth, Lies, and Digital Fluency

  • Bryan Alexander
  • Doug Belshaw, Founder and Consultant, We are Open Co-op

The internet and social media apps are integral to society, research, and learning today, but increasingly we are questioning the trustworthiness of digital information. How bad is it today, and how much worse can it get? What can and should educators, researchers, information professionals and the companies whose sites enable information sharing do?

2:30 - 3:00 Coffee Break

3:00– 3:45 Big Data and Research

  • Chaya Nayak, Head of Election Research Commission & Data Sharing Efforts, Facebook

There are mounting reasons for large companies, including social networks, to share their massive stores of data with researchers, from addressing challenges like election manipulation, to improving how we deliver medical care, to balancing the technical brain drain from universities to private enterprise. We’ll learn about the latest work underway at Facebook to share data for scholarly research along with the challenges associated with doing so. We will engage the audience in a conversation about ways to help make these kinds of collaborations successful for all.

3:45- 4:45 Policy and Higher Ed

  • Moderator: Erica Green, Correspondent, The New York Times
  • Brian Rosenberg, President, Macalester College
  • Deborah Santiago, CEO and Founder, Excelencia in Education

With the 2020 election on the horizon and public concern about many aspects of higher education, what are the key issues to watch? How can we separate rhetoric from reality? What few developments would have positive outcomes for students and researchers?

4:45 - 5:00 Wrap-Up

  • Bryan Alexander

5:00 - 7:00 Reception

Registration and Hotel Information

Invited guests are asked to register for the event.

We have secured a special room rate at the Roosevelt Hotel at $329.00 per night plus taxes and fees. You may make your reservation at the hotel online using this reservation link, or by calling (888) 833-3969 and referencing ITHAKA. Please reserve your room as soon as possible, but no later than November 15.


Please reach out to Heidi McGregor, VP, Communications at ITHAKA.

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The Roosevelt Hotel

45 East 45th Street

New York, NY 10017

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