Michelle R. Weise

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Michelle R. Weise, Ph.D., a Senior Research Fellow at the Higher Education Clayton Christensen Institute in San Mateo, California. Darcy Padilla / Agence VU

Leading Authority on the Future of the Workforce and Innovative Employment Pathways; Expert on How Disruptive Innovation is Transforming Higher Education; Senior VP, Strada Education Network; Chief Innovation Officer, Strada Institute for the Future of Work; Co-Author with Clayton Christensen, “Hire Education: Mastery, Modularization, and the Workforce Revolution”

Biography

Technology is disrupting and transforming nearly every industry, increasing efficiencies as well as the demand for highly skilled workers. And yet, businesses routinely complain of skills shortages while graduates are stuck in ruts of underemployment. How do we create a system that leads to more relevant skills, lower costs, more profitable businesses and a growing economy—all while maximizing equality of opportunity? Dr. Michelle Weise says, to build the learning ecosystem of the future, we should facilitate more seamless movement between learning and work. Higher education will have to undergo a radical transformation to meet the needs of working learners as well as our growing knowledge economy.  Weise’s work informs all parties concerned, from employers and vexed policymakers, to struggling colleges and nontraditional students.

Senior vice president of workforce strategies for Strada Education Network, and chief innovation officer of Strada Institute for the Future of Work, Weise is the primary expert on how disruptive innovation is already beginning to impact our traditional model of postsecondary education. Formerly a senior fellow with the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, Weise builds her research around the fact that technology enables students to become savvier shoppers of higher education—to demand more learning pathways that move them ahead in their working lives. In her thought-provoking keynotes, she discusses how competency-based education (CBE) models break the mold of the traditional college curricula by modularizing education into bite-sized chunks of learning that are particularly well-suited to serve nontraditional students. In her book “Hire Education: Mastery, Modularization, and the Workforce Revolution” (July 2014), co-written with legendary innovation expert Clayton Christensen, Weise discusses the equalizing potential of CBE aligned with workforce needs.

Weise’s voice has been featured in all major education publications, including The Chronicle of Higher Education, EdSurge and Inside Higher Ed, as well as top-tier business outlets such as The EconomistThe Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review and Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Weise also participates on Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s Commission on Digital Innovation and Lifelong Learning, and serves as a senior advisor to Entangled Solutions.

Before joining Strada Education, Dr. Weise was the chief innovation officer at Southern New Hampshire University and designed and led the Sandbox ColLABorative, an innovation lab and research consultancy. She also served as vice president of academic affairs for Fidelis Education. She has held several instructional positions, serving as a professor at Skidmore College and an instructor at Stanford University. A former Fulbright Scholar, Weise is a graduate of Harvard University, and earned her master’s and doctorate degrees from Stanford University.

Weise is available for paid speaking engagements, including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, and conference talks, and advisory/consulting services, through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Videos

Media

Michelle Weise's EdSurge Column

The Future of Work with Michelle Weise (audio)

December 11, 2018

The Robots Are Coming (Audio)

November 20, 2018

"Robot-Ready or Not, the Future is Coming (with Audio)

November 13, 2018

Study Suggests Many College Graduates Are 'Underemployed'

August 25, 2018

Solving Underemployment: The Importance of Lifelong Learning to Help Workers Attain Gainful Employment (Audio)

June 7, 2018

Washington Post logo

First Jobs Matter; Avoiding the Under-Employment Trap

June 1, 2018

The hill logo

Students Don’t Know What They’re Getting When They Pick a College — Data Can Fix that

March 12, 2018

We Need to Design the Learning Ecosystem of the Future

February 22, 2018

Innovation and the Jobs to Be Done in Higher Education (Audio)

April 12, 2017

Harvard Business Review logo

We Need a Better Way to Visualize People’s Skills

September 20, 2016

Food For Thought: The Data-Driven Future of Food and Higher Education

June 7, 2016

Incubating Innovation at Southern New Hampshire University

April 27, 2016

wcet blog logo

Mind The Skills Gap

January 28, 2016

Rods Pulse Podcast

Podcast: Disruptive Innovation in Education: Interview with Michelle Weise

September 18, 2015

A College Diploma is Not Like Scotch Anymore

April 30, 2015

Rwanda’s Ahead of the Online CBE Learning Curve

March 31, 2015

What Comes After “Next”?

February 18, 2015

Wired logo

Skilling Up: CBE Is the $500B Opportunity Every Tech Entrepreneur Should Tap

February 6, 2015

Wall Street Journal

Obama’s Dead-End Community College Plan

January 12, 2015

Competency-Based Education Needs Breathing Room

December 5, 2014

The Economist logo

Got Skills? Why Online Competency-Based Education Is the Disruptive Innovation for Higher Education

November 10, 2014

Harvard Business Review logo

The Real Revolution in Online Education Isn’t MOOCs

October 17, 2014

Bloomberg Businessweek logo

The Quiet Movement That Could End Higher Education as We Know it

October 2, 2014

Clayton Christensen Institute logo

When Bad Teaching Is Better for Students

October 1, 2014

Next Generation logo

Hey, Princeton: Consider Competencies

September 3, 2014

Clayton Christensen Institute logo

Hire Education: Mastery, Modularization, and the Workforce Revolution

July 2014

Degree of Freedom logo

Interview with Michelle Weise on MOOC Disruption

June 6, 2014

MOOCs’ Disruption Is Only Beginning

May 9, 2014

evolllution logo

A Case for Applied Liberal Arts: Adapting to Disruption

May 4, 2014

Biography

Technology is disrupting and transforming nearly every industry, increasing efficiencies as well as the demand for highly skilled workers. And yet, businesses routinely complain of skills shortages while graduates are stuck in ruts of underemployment. How do we create a system that leads to more relevant skills, lower costs, more profitable businesses and a growing economy—all while maximizing equality of opportunity? Dr. Michelle Weise says, to build the learning ecosystem of the future, we should facilitate more seamless movement between learning and work. Higher education will have to undergo a radical transformation to meet the needs of working learners as well as our growing knowledge economy.  Weise’s work informs all parties concerned, from employers and vexed policymakers, to struggling colleges and nontraditional students.

Senior vice president of workforce strategies for Strada Education Network, and chief innovation officer of Strada Institute for the Future of Work, Weise is the primary expert on how disruptive innovation is already beginning to impact our traditional model of postsecondary education. Formerly a senior fellow with the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, Weise builds her research around the fact that technology enables students to become savvier shoppers of higher education—to demand more learning pathways that move them ahead in their working lives. In her thought-provoking keynotes, she discusses how competency-based education (CBE) models break the mold of the traditional college curricula by modularizing education into bite-sized chunks of learning that are particularly well-suited to serve nontraditional students. In her book “Hire Education: Mastery, Modularization, and the Workforce Revolution” (July 2014), co-written with legendary innovation expert Clayton Christensen, Weise discusses the equalizing potential of CBE aligned with workforce needs.

Weise’s voice has been featured in all major education publications, including The Chronicle of Higher Education, EdSurge and Inside Higher Ed, as well as top-tier business outlets such as The EconomistThe Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review and Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Weise also participates on Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s Commission on Digital Innovation and Lifelong Learning, and serves as a senior advisor to Entangled Solutions.

Before joining Strada Education, Dr. Weise was the chief innovation officer at Southern New Hampshire University and designed and led the Sandbox ColLABorative, an innovation lab and research consultancy. She also served as vice president of academic affairs for Fidelis Education. She has held several instructional positions, serving as a professor at Skidmore College and an instructor at Stanford University. A former Fulbright Scholar, Weise is a graduate of Harvard University, and earned her master’s and doctorate degrees from Stanford University.

Weise is available for paid speaking engagements, including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, and conference talks, and advisory/consulting services, through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Speech Topics

The Future of Learning and Work

More Americans than ever before go to college, but graduates continue to struggle to find high-wage employment. Companies are unable to fill positions, and social mobility has stagnated. A practical solution, says Dr. Michelle Weise, lies in online competency-based education (CBE). In this presentation, Dr. Weise illustrates how learning and work are becoming inseparable and why a college degree is not the only path to a successful career. For a growing set of nontraditional students who desire on-demand access to critical education for our ever-evolving knowledge economy, we must consider all possible levers of mobility and opportunity.

Change Management and Innovation Fatigue: How to Become Better Storytellers of Your Organization’s Future

Forecasts about the future of the economy often reveal our fears and anxieties about what seem like tectonic shifts in the economy. Much of this negativity is tied directly to the increasing role of technology. Perceiving newness as danger, it turns out, is hard-wired in our brain’s limbic system. How do we equip ourselves with better tools to pivot toward the future? Dr. Michelle Weise offers foresight and ideation tools to make way for change in even the most intractable of situations. She explains the challenges facing the traditional business model of colleges and universities and discusses how education leaders can develop frameworks for innovation and safe spaces for “play,” risk-taking and creativity within the existing structures of a university setting.

How to Reimagine Education for the Era of Mass Automation

Since the 1890s, we have seen a trillion-fold increase in computing power—one billionfold of that increase just since the creation of mainframe computers. With advancements in machine and deep learning, says Dr. Michelle Weise, ours is a world of exponential futures. There are varying projections of the massive job obsolescence to come, but what is consistent is that despite this incredible rate of change, much of our educational system appears unresponsive to the changing demands in the labor market. There is no way for us to extrapolate from where we are in higher education in 2018 to meet the needs of the workforce of 2030 or 2040.

As the nature of our work lives change, education institutions and employers will need more flexible and relevant lifelong learning mechanisms to help workers move forward, re-tool and advance their careers. More college or more graduate school is not necessarily the answer. In this day and age, learners will continually need to access more flexible, seamless and cost-effective learning pathways to keep up with the changing demands of the workforce. Dr. Weise outlines the transformation that needs to occur and reveals how the future of our prosperity depends on constantly harnessing the power of education throughout our working lives.

 

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Books & Research

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Recommendations

“Michelle’s presentation was one of the best received of our conference. Her new book “Hire Education; Mastery, Modularization, and the Workforce Revolution is available on the Clayton Christensen website and we gave a copy of it to each participant… Her talk incited much discussion among our consortium members.”

– Melissa McGregor, Director of TAACCCT Grant Office

William Rainey Harper College

“On behalf of the entire Distance Teaching and Learning Conference staff, thank you [Michelle] for delivering the opening address during this year’s conference. Your presentation was exceptional and truly enhanced conference-goers’ experiences. Your enthusiasm captured everyone’s attention. The room was filled with great energy and curiosity.”

– Simone Conceição, PhD, Visiting Professor of Distance Teaching and Learning

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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A-Z Name

Weise, Michelle R.

Intro Video

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