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Updates from the President

Updates from President Crow: October 18, 2016

  • Public Service and Innovation at the 2016 Concordia Summit
  • Showcasing Local Startup Talent with Steve Case
  • Posing Questions and Ideas to the Presidential Candidates
  • Full-day Kindergarten Supports Lifelong Learning

John DeGoia, Eduardo Padron, Michael Crow and Tom Brokaw at the 2016 Concordia Summit

Georgetown President John DeGoia, Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padron, ASU President Michael Crow and and NBC news special correspondence Tom Brokaw discuss the future of public service at the 2016 Concordia Summit.

Public service and innovation at the 2016 Concordia Summit

The Concordia Summit is an annual global affairs forum that convenes minds from business, education, government and non-profit worlds to discuss complex societal issues. Through presentations and panel conversations, there are also unique openings to collaborate in search of solutions. As part of this year's Summit, I had the honor of joining NBC broadcast legend, Tom Brokaw for two discussions on higher education priorities and 21st century innovation.

Last fall, in collaboration with Tom Brokaw, we launched our Public Service Academy with the goal of initiating a national network of programs designed to educate and prepare future generations of highly skilled and character-driven military and civilian national service leaders with a passion for problem-solving. More than 250 ASU students are enrolled in PSA and we look forward to doubling participation in our innovative program while we simultaneously share our experience in the hope of inspiring other universities to start academies of their own.

In a separate conversation, we both joined John DeGoia, president of Georgetown University, and Eduardo Padrón, president of Miami Dade College, to discuss the rapidly changing needs of the U.S. workforce and the ways that American higher education will need to evolve in order to prepare high quality, adaptive thinkers capable of fulfilling those demands and keeping the U.S. competitive in a global market.

AOL founder Steve Case and ASU President Michael Crow at Rise of the Rest in Phoenix

AOL founder  and former CEO Steve Case and ASU President Michael Crow at Rise of the Rest in Phoenix on October 7.

Showcasing local startup talent with Steve Case

For two and half years, Steve Case, founder and former CEO and chairman of America Online (AOL), has been on a mission to promote the vibrancy and continued growth of American entrepreneurship. A major part of his effort is Rise of the Rest, a twice-yearly bus tour to five U.S. cities for a day-long series of forums and activities with local leaders and entrepreneurs. The goal is to inspire ideas, establish connections and build support for a nationwide network of startups to launch next era of American entrepreneurship.

The Phoenix and ASU communities lobbied aggressively to be a "Rise of the Rest" stop and the tour's October 7 visit to the Valley did not disappoint. After kicking off the day with community leaders, the tour moved to SkySong for an insightful roundtable discussion with area entrepreneurs. Steve and I later hosted a fireside chat, answering questions about the current state of the Valley's entrepreneurship ecosystem and how to build on our existing momentum. We also fielded excellent questions from among the hundreds of enthusiastic innovators in attendance. 

As I stressed to the audience, we live in a place of limitless potential and great talent. There is nothing impeding our ascension as an innovation hub. With a collective demonstration of will and a commitment to increasing the clock speed of our actions, we can make the Valley a place where entrepreneurship thrives and define our role in the economic competitiveness of our state and the nation.

The day closed with a fantastic pitch contest where five local startups competed for $100,000 investment from Steve Case. I'm proud to say that this year's winner, Neolight, was founded by a group of ASU graduates and former Edson Student entrepreneurs.

Voting booths

Posing questions and ideas to the presidential candidates

We are three weeks away from the Presidential election and while coverage of the candidates and their campaigns has been ubiquitous, limited attention has been devoted to many complex issues that hold significant importance to the future of our nation. In years past, ASU has reached out to current and future leaders on topics from the future of education and science policy to energy and national security because we believe it is important to offer diverse perspectives on topics of critical relevance to our country and the world. This year is no different.

The leader of the free world has a great challenge and opportunity to direct the course of our nation during a time of rapid and unprecedented change. I joined my colleagues on the Council on Competitiveness in encouraging debate moderators to ask the candidates about their plans for expanding U.S. innovation and our national competitiveness in the global marketplace. Fortune magazine published our questions seeking insight on strategies for economic growth, manufacturing and national debt, all of which merit thorough answers for voters who stand to be affected by changes to the American standard of living. We will continue this effort in advance of the final presidential debate on October 19.

On the same day, ASU's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law and McCain Institute for International Leadership are joining with our partner New America to host a conference in Washington, DC titled"The Next President's Fight Against Terror". This day-long event will gather experts, educators and government representatives to discuss the international rule of law and counterterrorism with the aim of developing recommendations for the next administration. You can follow the day's conversations on Twitter with #RuleofLaw and@ASU_ROLG, @NewAmerica and @McCainInstitute.

ASU lifelong learning diagram

Full-day kindergarten supports lifelong learning

The ASU Downtown Phoenix campus was also the site of last month's "Power of K: Full-day Kindergarten's Impact on Literacy Breakfast", a gathering of cross-sector community members interested in strengthening education in Arizona.

It was a pleasure to join Governor Doug Ducey and other education stakeholders in offering my view on the vital nature of literacy and the relationship between learning and the future success and prosperity of our state.

As I shared at the event and in this op-ed, it is time for us to rethink education across the entire learning continuum, including full-day kindergarten. Through the benefit of technology and new insights into how we can make learning more effective, we are at a privileged juncture we can make informed choices that better prepare learners to fulfill the needs of a changing workforce and to contribute to the Arizona we want. 

I can think of no decision more important than that of dedicating our time, leadership and investment to the education and preparation of a young mind. Education is the greatest indicator of future social mobility. Investing in children is an investment in our future leaders, our next generation problem-solvers and the drivers of our democracy and our economy.

The only way we will succeed in adapting to the challenges ahead is if we commit to evolving continuous lifelong learners - individuals who are educated and capable of perpetuating America's legacy of innovation, achievement and competitiveness.