The Todd Lecture Series panel discussion, “To Act As Well As To Think: Leadership, Innovation, and the Creative Impulse,” an evening with Michael Jager, Natalie Jeremijenko, and William Kamkwamba, was moderated by entrepreneur Jonathan Speed, a 2014 graduate of Norwich’s Master of Arts in Military History.
Michael Jager is founding Partner/CCO of Solidarity of Unbridled Labour (formerly Jager DiPaola Kemp (JDK) Design). For more than 25 years, Jager has been creating and collaborating with international brands, driven by the idea that design distinction matters most. Guided by Ezra Pound’s simply but elegantly stated principle, “Make it new,” his work for brands such as Burton Snowboards, Seventh Generation, Xbox, Nike, Levis, and Patagonia is recognized worldwide.
In 2014, Natalie Jeremijenko was awarded the VIDA Art and Artificial Life International Awards Pioneer Prize, “for her consistently brilliant portfolio of work over the past two decades.” Named one of 2013’s Most Innovative People, one of the most influential women in technology in 2011, and one of the inaugural top young innovators by MIT Technology Review, Jeremijenko directs the Environmental Health Clinic and is an Associate Professor in the Visual Art Department at New York University. She holds degrees in biochemistry, engineering, neuroscience, and history and philosophy of science.
William Kamkwamba is the co-author with Bryan Mealer of the New York Times best-selling book “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope.” A remarkable success story about the power of human ingenuity in the face of crippling odds, Kamkwamba’s story shares his vision for “a new kind of Africa, a place of leaders instead of victims, a home of innovation rather than charity.”
JONATHAN SPEED M’14, Moderator
An alumnus of Brown University—where he is an emeritus trustee and board member of the Brown Entrepreneurship Program—and Norwich University, Jonathan Speed has 30+ years of business development, finance, and start-up experience with companies in the finance/private equity, life sciences, and technology sectors. He is currently the CFO at Versal Group, a San Francisco-based eLearning company. During his twenty years in the Bay Area, Jonathan has advised non-profits, entrepreneurial organizations, and serves on the boards of four start-up companies. In fall 2017, Jonathan will launch 1790 Media—a student-oriented media platform created to expand entrepreneurial and innovation education, knowledge, and mentorship to today’s diverse student population.
The Making Innovation Symposium was hosted by the Colleges of Professional Schools, Science and Mathematics, and Liberal Arts. It was a capstone event in Norwich’s Year of Leadership, the third of a five-year $100M campaign to transform academics at Norwich University in celebration of Norwich’s upcoming bicentennial.