1000 Featured ED: Cities of Learning: Opening New Pathways to Opportunity

06/12/2015 @ 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
California Ballroom

Organizer: Amy Eshleman
Participants: Sybil Madison-Boyd, Cathy Lewis Long, Ed Meier, Michael Robbins, Jennifer Humke

In our increasingly complex world, learning must expand beyond classroom doors to fully engage young people and provide the skills needed to succeed in the 21st century. These young minds, many of whom live in some of our most underserved communities, deserve a life path that provides equal access to opportunity, is driven by their personal passions, and reimagines learning as not just “something you do” but as “something you live.” Today, Cities of Learning are working to solve this. These forward-thinking cities are activating innovation by using technology to connect cross-sector partnerships to ensure all youth have access to learning opportunities in libraries, museums, parks and other local institutions, as well as online. Overall, Cities of Learning are working to close that opportunity gap by remaking learning into an exciting enterprise that is open to all young people and relevant to the world they live in today and will work in tomorrow. This national effort, started in Chicago in 2013, has spread to Dallas, Pittsburgh and Washington, DC, with more cities poised to join.


[1] Attendees will review the origins of the Cities of Learning vision and discuss what it takes to launch a Cities of Learning

[2] Attendees will receive an overview of how connected learning principles and digital badging are used in systematically creating a city-wide learning infrastructure

[3] Attendees will learn firsthand from leaders of the four current Cities of Learning – Chicago, Dallas, Pittsburgh and Washington, DC – what their efforts have achieved for learners and community partners.


Speaker 1: Sybil Madison-Boyd, Learning Pathways Program Director, Digital Youth Network, Chicago

Speaker 2: Cathy Lewis Long, Founding Executive Director, The Sprout Fund, Pittsburgh

Speaker 3: Ed Meier, Chief Operating Officer, Big Thought, Dallas

Speaker 4: Michael Robbins, Founder, Span Learning, Washington DC

Moderator: Jennifer Humke, Program Officer, MacArthur Foundation, Chicago


Main website: http://www.citiesoflearning.org

Videos: http://www.citiesoflearning.org/media/

Chicago City of Learning: http://chicagocityoflearning.org

Dallas City of Learning: http://dallascityoflearning.org

Pittsburgh City of Learning: http://pghcityoflearning.org

Washington DC City of Learning: http://districtoflearning.org/

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