February 2017: Heather spoke at the ECUC Annual Meeting on The Future of Work

As more workers become “unbundled” from corporate employers, they will become Companies of One - individual contractors doing project-based work independently or in virtual teams. Decoupled from corporate structure, these workers lose the social equity, social structures, and social safety net bundled in the status of employee. Changes in policy and social media and networks are filling part of the void (equity and safety net), but social structures are largely missing for the unbundled worker.Social structures provide security, professional growth and the serendipitous collaboration that often leads to creative breakthroughs, important insights, and new opportunities.  In this workshop, we will explore this problem to better define the social structures that support workers as they move from corporate organizations to a Company of One. This discussion will be lead by Chris Shipley and Heather McGowan.

The Future of Work is Learning Agility
We have been disrupted. The current rapid cycles of accelerated change require we continually update our mental maps, contextual references, and overall cognitive operating system. Education led to being educated. We were once educated—a linear path to expertise—for known career trajectories. Today we must develop learning agility. Learning is continuous and infinite. Design is a constant pursuit of discovery and, as such, uniquely suited for such a new paradigm. Design lives in the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) with a sharp focus on honing the uniquely human skills that cannot be automated. This talk by Heather McGowan will explain why there has never been a more important time for design, both the design of new artifacts as contextual references morph and new mental models merge as well as the design of interventions, systems, processes, business models, and experiences.


DMI FuturED Session
September 29, 2015 1-4pm

According to futurist and chief engineer of Google, Ray Kurzweil, " we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century — it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate)." We are just beginning to feel this shift—rising automation, internet of things, autonomous vehicles, and drones are words and concepts that have recently entered our daily vocabulary. Contextual references are shifting rapidly when you consider that banking may no longer actually mean inclusion of a bank, "call me" may not mean an audio conversation, and driving soon may no longer actually include the act of driving. Rising automation means anything mentally or physical routine or predictable can be replaced with an algorithm. There has never been a more important time for design, both the design of new artifacts as contextual references morph and new mental models merge as well as the design of interventions, systems, processes, business models, and experience. Heather McGowan will lead this probing, collaborative discussion of what these shifts mean to industry, academia, and the student as the boundaries of design continue to expand and the imperative to create a culture of innovation and change increases.


MIT: SOLVE: LEARN: Transforming Universities for Lifelong Learning
October 7, 2015 1:00-5:00PM

Solve will convene technologists, philanthropists, business leaders, policy makers, and change agents to examine and address the problems where technology, business innovation, and smart policy can be leveraged to bring about real and lasting change. Solve embraces a diverse community of thought leaders and activists, empowers them to work together, and holds them accountable for their commitments and actions. In this way, the Solve community does not just talk about grand challenges; it works to conquer them. Heather will join panelists to discuss the evolving role of higher education in society. 


Amplify Festival Australia, New Zealand
Future of Work,  Rethinking Employment and the Social Contract
June 2015

Amplify is Australia and New Zealand's  leading ideas and events platform for exploring business innovation, technology, thought leadership and customer culture with the world’s best thinkers. In a time of unprecedented business disruption, Amplify is AMP’s initiative to discuss the future of business with Australian and New Zealand business communities. In this talk Heather McGowan shares her insights about the end jobs, the future of income generation and micro-entrepreneurship, and the reality that learning now, must be, irrefutably life-long.

CIC President's Institute 2015
THe Academic Entrepreneur: Leading Transformational change

How can college presidents manage transformational change while promoting the liberal arts as a competitive advantage? Presenters will discuss a framework for the process of change and examples of actual cases. Heather McGowan led this breakfast discussion with Lycoming President Kent Trachte and CCA President Ed Sirianno. 

Chief Academic Officer and Chief Financial Officer Institute 2014
The Entrepreneurial CAO-CFO Partnership

Institutional growth occurs through new programs and new markets. Finding the funds to support new programs and market expansion requires that CAOs and CFOs analyze current program and course offerings, financial aid allocations, retention efforts, and the debt structure of the institution. The CAO and CFO of Becker College, in cooperation with the president, a higher education consultant, and faculty members, are implementing a plan for institutional transformation. The college is currently in a five-stage process that is intended to result in university status by 2020. Accomplishments thus far include improved retention and graduation rates, higher admissions standards, increased student enrollment, discontinuation of remedial courses, and new programs. Heather McGowan led this panel through key frameworks and a case-based discussion.

International Society for Professional Innovation Management Americas 2014

The Academic Entrepreneur: Transformational Leadership in Higher Education

The 2014 ISPIM Americas Innovation Forum was held in Montreal, Canada on 5-8 October 2014. Organised by ISPIM, in collaboration with Université de Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal, HEC Montréal and Univalor, this event brought together 150 innovation experts from 20 countries. The event program tackled the region’s key innovation issues by attracting top-level speakers from The Americas from academia, industry and government.