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Design Team

President and Founder

Lisa Petrides is president and founder of the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME), an independent non-profit educational research institute. Her research seeks to inform and improve the ways in which those in formal and informal education foster the creation and sharing of information, apply it to well-defined problems, and create knowledge-driven environments focused on improved learning and organizational success.

Project Leader

Jonah Houston is a designer at IDEO. He focuses on bringing the tools of design and design thinking into new markets and industries. Jonah's recent work has focused on helping large, complex organizations discover and leverage their full potential by taking a human-centered approach to the design of the organization itself.

Director of Training & Design

Samantha extends ISKME’s leadership in education innovation into the field by creating curriculum, designing workshops and training facilitators to get groups to stretch their thinking and create real change in education. Her background includes facilitating group therapy, teaching college courses, training unemployed adults on the importance of networking, and managing after school art programs.

Teacher and Performer

Chris Miller is an improviser, musician, and facilitator. In 2000 he co-founded Life Plays to bring the skills embedded in improv to forward thinking companies such as Google, Genentech, Microsoft, Whole Foods Markets. He’s delivered improv-based workshops on leadership, innovation, team development, and public speaking. Since 2009 Chris has worked with ISKME to help design Action Collabs for Big Ideas Fest. He also teaches in the Executive MBA program at the University of San Francisco.


Foresight and Strategy Developer, Researcher, Sense-maker

Andrea makes the future actionable for clients through research-based foresight, highly creative engagement experiences, visual maps, and forecast artifacts. With over 20 years experience in diverse organizational settings, Andrea partners with clients to create clear strategic pathways to transformation and resilience in this complex world.


O’Connell teaches Classics and Comparative Literature at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Her scholarly interests include ancient and modern comparisons of literature, performance, and philosophy, and she is committed to making education relevant to today’s students.

Consultant, Facilitator, Executive Coach

Gordon helps organizations become more innovative by working through the people- focusing on creativity, collaboration/teamwork, leadership, and corporate culture. She teaches Teaming for Innovation at Stanford Continuing Studies and has organized & facilitated several seminars on innovation for Fulbright scholars.

Education Leader

Khalid Smith helps hackers and education experts build teams, start companies and acquire the resources to make meaningful advances in the way people teach and learn. 

Eduational Consultant

Maggie Barber is an educational consultant, focusing on building the capacity of schools and districts through leadership development, research, and program evaluation. She is engaged particularly in working with high-need communities to develop systemic and sustainable strategies for change.

Education Program Manager

Megan Simmons supports the development of education programs, workshops, training activities, and events for the OER Commons project, which includes Common Core OER Training Initiatives, the Teachers as Makers Academy, and the OER Fellowship Program. She also designs and facilitates Action Collabs and Big Ideas Fest Activities.

World Wide Education Program Manager

Melissa Jones is a former teacher who currently serves as a World Wide Education Program Manager for Adobe, where her work helps teachers and students create 21st century, creativity-fueled classrooms.

Anti-Oppression & Social Justice Education

Natalie has designed and facilitated anti-oppression curriculum with diverse groups for over 10 years. Through interactive processes, Natalie supports and develops groups creating mutual understanding, and she specializes in creating safe spaces to engage challenging conversations.

Arts and Education Consultant

Sabrina draws on her experiences as a theater artist, consultant, trainer, nonprofit manager, and mother to design and facilitate group processes for nonprofit and government agencies. She is also an executive coach for nonprofit leaders and a curriculum consultant for arts institutions working with teachers and teaching artists.