Point of Control: Education

Moderated by:
John Heilemann (New York Magazine)
Ted Mitchell (NewSchools Venture Fund), Diana Rhoten (Startl), Davis Guggenheim (Waiting for Superman)
Live Stream, Point of Control
Location: Grand Ballroom Level:
Average rating: ***..
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Photo of John Heilemann

John Heilemann

New York Magazine

John Heilemann writes “The Power Grid” column for New York magazine, as well as longer features. An award-winning journalist and author, he has covered politics, business, and their intersection for nearly two decades, in America and abroad. His recent cover stories for New York have included “Obama Is From Mars, Wall Street Is From Venus,” a look at the dysfunctional relationship between Obama and Wall Street and the push for financial reform; “Obama Lost, Obama Found,” an assessment of the president’s first year in the Oval Office; and “Inside Obama’s Economic Brain Trust,” on the White House’s efforts to rescue the American economy from ruin.

Heilemann’s book about the 2008 presidential election, “Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime,” coauthored with Time’s Mark Halperin was published by HarperCollins in January 2010; it spent seven weeks in the #1 spot on the New York Times best seller list. Game Change is being developed into a movie by HBO Films, and Heilemann and Halperin are set to write a sequel covering the 2012 election for Penguin.

Heilemann is a former correspondent and columnist for The Economist and Wired (where his coverage of the Microsoft antitrust trial made him a finalist for a National Magazine Award) and a former staff writer for The New Yorker. His book Pride Before the Fall: The Trials of Bill Gates and the End of the Microsoft Era was named by BusinessWeek (among others) as one of the best books of 2001. His four-part documentary on the World Wide Web aired on Discovery in 2008.

Heilemann’s writing has been anthologized in “The Best American Political Writing” three times (2005, 2007, and 2008) and in “The Best American Crime Writing” (2006). He appears regularly as a commentator on Morning Joe, The Chris Matthews Show, Hardball, and Charlie Rose, as well as other shows on CNN, MSNBC, and NPR. A native of Los Angeles, he lives in Brooklyn.

Photo of Ted Mitchell

Ted Mitchell

NewSchools Venture Fund

Ted Mitchell is the President and CEO of NewSchools Venture Fund. He also serves as President of the California State Board of Education. He serves on the board of directors of Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools, Bellwether Education Partners, EnCorps, Friendship Public Charter School, Green Dot Public Schools, and New Leaders for New Schools.
Prior to taking the helm at NewSchools in 2005, Ted served as president of Occidental College in Los Angeles. He has also served as Deputy to the President at Stanford University, Vice Chancellor and Dean of the School of Education and Information Studies at University of California – Los Angeles, and as Professor and Chair of the Department of Education at Dartmouth College.

Ted Mitchell is a national leader in the effort to provide high-quality education for all students and has long been active in educational reform initiatives throughout California and Los Angeles. He chaired the Governor’s Committee on Educational Excellence, charged with making recommendations to improve California’s system of K-12 finance and governance, and currently serves on the California P-16 Council and chairs the Commission on Teacher Effectiveness for the Los Angeles Unified School District. In addition, he has been an active board member for a number of high-performing organizations, including Children Now, ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career, The McClatchy Company, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, as well as eight years of service on the NewSchools board before becoming CEO. He also serves on the advisory council for Stanford University’s Initiative on Improving K-12 Education and the advisory board of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Innovation Fund.

Ted graduated from Stanford with bachelor’s degrees in economics and history, and also earned a master’s degree in history and a doctorate in education there. He lives in southern California with his wife, Christine Beckman, who is a professor of strategy and management at the Paul Merage School of Business at University of California-Irvine, and their children Caroline and Theo.

Photo of Diana Rhoten

Diana Rhoten


A social entrepreneur and researcher, Diana has spent her professional life designing and strategizing new organizational models and technological approaches that catalyze innovation.

Currently, Diana is the co-founder and co-director of a new social enterprise called Startl. Launched publicly in 2010, Startl is a social enterprise dedicated to accelerating digital products for learning – from kindergarten to college, inside and outside the classroom. Startl recruits innovators and entrepreneurs, immerses them in rigorous product design and business development processes, and helps them build socially responsible and fiscally sustainable start-ups that will change the future of learning. In this way, Startl seeks to do for the nascent digital media and learning market what the Sundance Institute has done for the independent film community: support promising talent, stimulate alternative products, and open new distribution channels.

At the same time, Diana is also leading a host of New York City institutions—including the New York Public Library, American Museum of Natural History, Museum for African Art, Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, Wildlife Conservation Society—through an adaptive design and experimental change process. The goal of this New Youth City Learning Network project is to create new partnerships and pathways that help young people connect different learning opportunities through online tools and offline experiences.

In 2004, Diana established the Knowledge Institutions program at the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) to support the transformation of organizations focused on knowledge production and dissemination. Current projects look at the mounting challenges to public higher education, new models for scientific innovation and collaboration, and the social and technical factors that drive individual and collective creativity. While in her role at the SSRC, Diana also served a two-year appointment to the National Science Foundation, where she was the founding program director of the Virtual Organizations and the Cyberlearning programs.

Over the course of her career, Diana has worked with various clients on the design of new organizational strategies and structures for innovation, ranging from large-scale international agencies and national research centers to medium-scale technology corporations and small-scale not-for-profit entities. She has also published in numerous academic journals, including Science, Nature, Minerva, Thesis Eleven, and The Annual Review of Law and Social Science. Her recently completed volume entitled Knowledge Matters: The Public Mission of the University will be available in December 2010. For both her practical applications and theoretical contributions in this area, Diana was named a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer (2005-2007), an award that honors individuals at the leading edge of science.

Prior to coming to New York, Diana was the co-founder and research director of the Hybrid Vigor Institute in San Francisco, an assistant professor at Stanford University School of Education, a Fulbright fellow in Argentina, and a policy analyst and advisor for former Massachusetts Governor William Weld. She has a Ph.D. in international development and education and an M.A. in sociology from Stanford University, as well as an M.Ed. from Harvard University and a B.A. from Brown University.

Photo of Davis Guggenheim

Davis Guggenheim

Waiting for Superman

Davis Guggenheim is a critically acclaimed, Academy Award-winning director
and producer, whose early work includes many television dramas such as
DEADWOOD, NYPD BLUE and 24. He transitioned into directing non-fiction films
with THE FIRST YEAR, which aired on PBS in 2001 and won a Peabody Award. AN
INCONVENIENT TRUTH, featuring former Vice President Al Gore, was
Theatrically distributed by Paramount in 2006, won an Academy Award for Best Documentary.
IT MIGHT GET LOUD, featuring Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White was
theatrically distributed by Sony Pictures Classics in 2009. Guggenheim also
directed Barack Obama’s biographical film for the 2008 Democratic National
Convention, as well as Obama’s 30-minute primetime infomercial.

Guggenheim’s latest film, WAITING FOR SUPERMAN, due out in the fall of 2010,
has been given theatrical distribution by Paramount. It premiered at the
2010 Sundance Film Festival and took home the Best US Documentary Audience Award.

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