Highlights from EDventure 2019

America Succeeds hosted its sixth annual EDventure summit on September 11-13th in Boise, Idaho. The summit kicked off with an opening reception at Boise’s Basque Block, where attendees had the opportunity to reconnect with fellow EDventurers, enjoy some tasty paella, listen to a live local band, and catch up on recent happenings.

Back by popular demand, on Thursday morning the day started with Base Camp, a series of short talks designed to get everyone’s brain thinking and ideas flowing. We heard from seven speakers on topics ranging from personal stories on education’s transformational powers to the fantastic impact of the education crowdfunding platform, DonorsChoose and thought-provoking insights into hacking education. 

In conversation with Zahava Stadler, Mohammed Choudhury wrapped up the morning sessions with a compelling presentation on the innovative work he’s doing in San Antonio to harness controlled school choice to create a more equitable, fairer, and high-quality education system.

Afterward, EDventurers had a chance to explore beautiful Boise for their networking recess. This is a unique feature of EDventure – holding to our core value of “work hard and play hard.” Attendees had the opportunity to head out on a hike, check out some of the local breweries, bike along the Boise River Greenbelt, paint ‘n’ sip, and more.

Keynote speaker Tommy Spaulding joined us Thursday evening to share his personal and professional journey and reminded everyone about the importance of leading with your heart. Tommy believes that building love into work culture helps leaders achieve better results, which is the topic of his newest book, The Heart-Led Leader: How Living and Leading from the Heart Will Change Your Organization and Your Life. 

The evening wrapped up with some laughs and an opportunity for EDventurers to go home with some money! America Succeeds offered interested visionaries and doers the chance to submit a proposal to implement an innovative solution to a problem in education. Three finalists for the EDventure Prize, selected by a committee, pitched their ideas live – complemented by professionally produced videos – on Thursday night. EDventure alum Luke Ragland from Ready Colorado went home with the grand prize of $50,000. Runners-up Stacy Caldwell from Mastery Transcript Consortium and Marguerite Roza from Edunomics Lab each went home with $5,000.

It wouldn’t have been an EDventure without late-night karaoke on Thursday. Dozens of EDventurers congregated at Ha’Penny – some took to the stage to belt out their favorite tunes, others enjoyed the nice breeze from the patio while networking…and the savvy veterans left with tater wraps in their hands.

Friday morning, packed and ready to venture home, everybody attended one last session, “If You Had One Shot.” With America Succeeds’ Eric Lerum refereeing, three EDventure veterans took to the stage and shared where they would stack their own chips if betting on what would have the most impact on education over the next 10 years. The audience was given the opportunity to award points to each speaker based on the merits of each of their bets, and funny enough, Greg Richmond from NACSA even earned points before saying anything, so he must’ve been doing something right!

View the full event photo gallery here.


America Succeeds aims to present a one-of-a-kind summit that feeds your soul and leaves you feeling prepared, inspired, and invigorated to transform the education system. We were intentional about presenting a diverse set of speakers who are great thinkers and doers from within the education sector, along with some leaders from outside as well.

We are thrilled with the many lessons and examples that came out of the 2019 Summit and we hope to see everyone back in Boise next year at EDventure, scheduled for September 23-25, 2020 – mark your calendars now!

About America Succeeds

America Succeeds is a network of non-partisan, business-led, policy and advocacy organizations that offer an informed and credible business voice for education in each state. Learn more by visiting: www.AmericaSucceeds.org.

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