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NEASC Annual Conference and Showcase
Dates: December 5-6, 2019
Location: Marriott Hotel, One Burlington Mall Road, Burlington, MA 01803 USA
avatar for Michael B. Horn

Michael B. Horn

Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation
Co-founder/distinguished fellow
To innovate in the digital age, businesses must adapt constantly to advancements in technology by drawing upon highly skilled, flexible workers. The problem in finding agile employees across all generations is that our education system is still designed for the industrial – versus knowledge – economy. Michael Horn, a leading expert on disruptive innovation in education, argues that if our economy is to obtain the vital skills it requires to achieve sustainable growth, we must radically reimagine our approach to educating and upskilling people for the future of work and society.

The central problem with education, says Horn, is that schools operate on the model of an assembly line as they seek to standardize the way we deliver education to students. Although this suited the needs of our economy during the age of mass manufacturing, today’s businesses need workers who can think critically, constantly learn new knowledge and skills, and adapt to rapidly evolving technologies and circumstances. His book, “Choosing College: How to Make Better Learning Decisions Throughout Your Life” (Jossey-Bass, August 2019), co-written with renowned innovation expert Bob Moesta, has a two-pronged mission. First, Horn and Moesta equip students with the tools they need to choose the right higher education institution and program to suit their individual goals. Second, the authors advise both colleges and businesses on how they can better ensure students will acquire relevant, beneficial skills. Horn and Moesta evaluate these issues through the lens of the “Jobs to be Done” theory of innovation, a framework used to predictably develop new products and services that delight their users. Horn argues that in the future, because of the demands of a constantly changing economy and workforce, businesses will be playing a greater and more direct role in education, through partnerships with colleges and providers, as well as on-the-job training. To guarantee their future workers are acquiring the skills they need, companies must understand Horn’s and Moesta’s framework equally as well as any student or college admissions director.

Horn is committed to developing new ideas, policies and frameworks that address the shortcomings of monolithic, factory-model education systems by creating more student-centered, lifetime-oriented models to keep pace with the demands of the New Economy. In addition to serving as chief strategy officer for Entangled Group, an education technology studio based in San Francisco, Horn is also the co-founder of and a distinguished fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, a non-profit think tank. In this role, he has merged business approaches to disruptive innovation with public and private education systems. Writer of an education-focused Forbes blog, Horn is the author and co-author of multiple books, white papers and articles on the digital transformation of education, including the award-winning book written with Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen, “Disrupting Class,” and the Amazon-bestseller written with Heather Staker, “Blended“ and the “Blended Workbook.”

An expert on the global “EdTech” revolution, Horn was selected as a 2014 Eisenhower Fellow to study innovation in education in Vietnam and Korea. Tech&Learning magazine named him to its list of the 100 most important people in the creation and advancement of the use of technology in education. Horn holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.