Yesterday was the first day of the ShapingEDU Winter Games, and it was a full day of panels and breakout sessions! Day 1 was looked at education post COVID-19 with the keynote focused on the future of education post-pandemic. The events throughout the day were designed to showcase how campuses and organizational leaders have been leveraging the pandemic as an opportunity to improve community experiences. One of the great issues highlighted in yesterday’s discussions is the great divide when it comes to internet access. Because of the switch to virtual learning and work, the problem of digital equity became more prominent during the pandemic.
Continuing throughout the day, attendees participated in sessions that discussed the success of smart campuses, innovation of K-12 education, and the digital barriers in smart cities.
One of the highlights of the day was the Smart Region Gala, a celebration of the one year anniversary of the Smart Region Consortium, officially called the Connective. The Connective is transforming Greater Phoenix into a top global market for innovation and technology by creating and enabling a cross-sector and cross-jurisdictional collaboration ecosystem which connects community leadership to the research institutes, advanced industries and high-tech entrepreneurs who have solutions to address real world problems affecting citizens and businesses in Greater Phoenix.
At the Gala, Elected Officials, Chief Information Officers, University Leaders, and Technology Industry Champions gathered to discuss, learn and showcase the latest advancements of Smart Campus, City and Region initiatives. Leading with opening remarks was Mayor John Giles from the City of Mesa, followed by remarks from John Wolfe, Senior Vice President & South West Region Manager, Cox Communications. Later in the evening Doug Sylvester, Dean of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law moderated a panel discussion with Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates, Arizona Commerce Authority President and CEO Sandra Watson, General John Wharton, State Representative Jeff Weninger and ASU Thunderbird School of Global Management Dean Sanjeev Khagram.