“Leadership requires two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to communicate it.”
Simon Sinek



Recognized as the 2017 #1 Global Voice for Education on LinkedIn media network, Heather McGowan is an internationally known speaker, writer and thought leader. McGowan prepares leaders to most-effectively react to rapid and disruptive changes in education, work, and society. As an innovation strategist, Heather has worked with diverse teams to address these challenges. Recognizing that business innovation begins with education, specifically learning faster than your competition, she has worked with university presidents and corporate human resources managers to prepare both graduates and workers for jobs that do not yet exist. She was the strategic architect of the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering, and Commerce at Philadelphia University (now Jefferson),the first undergraduate college explicitly focused on innovation. At Becker College, she crafted the Agile Mindset learning framework used to prepare students to work in an uncertain future. She assists corporate executives in rethinking their business models, teams, and organizational structures to become resilient in changing markets. Her corporate clients range from start-ups to publicly traded, Fortune 500 companies, including Autodesk and BD Medical. Often quoted in the media, notably by NYT columnist Thomas L Friedmanfor her thought leadership in the Future of Work, McGowan also serves on the advisory board for Sparks & Honey, a New York-based culture focused agency focused on the future for brands. Links: LinkedIn Profile and WorkToLearn Website. Heather is a highly sought after keynote speaker with recent engagements for: The World Bank (DC), AMP Financial Services (Australia), LeadIn HR (China), as well as many corporate and educational clients in the United States. 

Heather has a mind that can hold so much complexity yet combined with her rare gift of making these complex and highly emotive ideas so clear and accessible through her visualizations, models and straight talk - no academic or corporate jargon...just relatable facts, insights and powerful stories and metaphors. No-one can paint the picture of the Future of Work as vividly as Heather McGowan!
— Annalie Killian, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at sparks + honey
Heather is an academic entrepreneur and visionary. She represents a new generation of thought leaders in higher education
— Robert. E. Johnson, PhD, Chancellor University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
Heather has the unique ability to synthesize and intellectualize large amounts of often-disparate data into a cohesive, clear, and actionable strategy while identifying and addressing the inevitable hurdles or challenges in any endeavor. As an academic, a college president, board member, and an entrepreneur I have never met a person with greater ability to craft clear actionable vision and strategy from ambiguity and complexity and to lead diverse teams towards a common vision
— Stephen Spinelli, Jr, PhD, Chancellor Emeritus, Jefferson University


  • Internationally recognized keynote speaker onThe Future of Work and The Future of Learning.
  • Short, succinct highly visual presentations on the essential context of accelerated change in technology and business.
  • Advisory services for higher education executive leadership and corporate executives facing transformational change.
  • Single frame visualizations of complex challenges. 
  • Workshops for corporate executives on innovation and white space exploration. 
  • Faculty development and curriculum conceptualization of emerging areas related to design, business, and innovation-- the 21st century literacies.