In anticipation of the 2021 SAIS Annual Conference, we are highlighting suggested articles and books from the keynote speakers. The conference will take place October 17-19 in Atlanta.

Anne-Marie Balzano and Ari Betof from Mission & Data will lead the Board/Head Workshop, Tap Dancing on Marbles: Leadership, Governance, and Stewardship, and a breakout called Leading School Change (When No One Wants To).

Starting Confused: How Leaders Start When They Don’t Know Where to Start by Barry Jentz & Jerome Murphy

  • “My brilliant vision was in the trash bin. Conflict had replaced consensus. Trust had disappeared. After such a promising start, all I heard were complaints about process.”

Change Forces by Michael Fullan

  • “It probes deeply into the role of knowledge inside and outside learning organizations and unpacks the problem of transferability – why obvious good ideas do not get used by others and how to reframe strategies so that larger scale change becomes possible.”

NAIS Board Chair Handbook: An Essential Guide for Board Leaders at Independent Schools by Jack Creeden

Amanda Ripley, investigative journalist and bestselling author will open the conference on Sunday evening with her keynote, Breaking the Spell of High Conflict.

High Conflict by Amanda Ripley

  • “High conflict … is what happens when discord distills into a good-versus-evil kind of feud, the kind with an us and a them. In this state, the normal rules of engagement no longer apply. The brain behaves differently. We feel increasingly certain of our own superiority and, at the same time, more and more mystified by the other side.”

The Smartest Kids in the World by Amanda Ripley

  • “In a handful of nations, virtually all children are learning to make complex arguments and solve problems they’ve never seen before. They are learning to think, in other words, and to thrive in the modern economy. What is it like to be a child in the world’s new education superpowers?”

Monday’s keynote, Leading an Independent School in a Post-Pandemic World, will be presented by Will Richardson and Homa Tavangar from Big Questions Institute. Will and Homa will also lead a follow-up breakout session, Deep Dive: Post-Pandemic Strategic Design for Schools.

The Global Education Toolkit for Elementary Learners by Homa Tavangar & Becky Morales

  • This all-in-one resource provides hundreds of easy, stand-alone activities, resources, and projects to help busy educators integrate global awareness themes into existing curriculum. Includes a timeline and ready-to-start projects.

Growing Up Global: Raising Children to Be At Home in the World by Homa Tavangar

  • “In today’s increasingly interconnected world, how do we prepare our children to succeed and to become happy, informed global citizens?”

Freedom to Learn by Will Richardson

  • “Study the disconnect between how students learn outside of school and how learning is set up in schools. Explore what’s most important for students to know given their access to information and knowledge. Examine the teacher’s role and evaluate the toughest barriers to having more freedom to learn in the classroom.”

From Master Teacher to Master Learner by Will Richardson

  • “As we gain access to more and more knowledge and information online, the future will belong to those who are powerful, literate, curious learners. That means emphasis in classrooms must move toward helping students develop the skills, literacies, and dispositions to be powerful, self-organized learners. Teachers who are themselves master learners in new, modern contexts are crucial to making that happen.”

Jeff Shields, president and CEO of the National Business Officers Association (NBOA), will lead the Tuesday morning keynote, Before, During, and After the Pandemic: A Business Perspective.

Projections: The Next Iteration of Independent Education by Jeff Shields

  • “School will likely look different in coming years, in everything from our markets to our staffing approach to the ubiquitous touch of technology on and off campus.”

Think Like A Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life by Ozan Varol

  • “Nine simple strategies from rocket science that you can use to make your own giant leaps in work and life — whether it’s landing your dream job, accelerating your business, learning a new skill, or creating the next breakthrough product.”