The Getting Smart team is available for a variety of speaking engagements such as keynotes, panel discussions, roundtables, design discussions and workshop sessions. From learning to leadership, we can customize an engagement to fit the needs of your event and audience.


Like our other services, we personalize speaking experiences based on who is in the room, what your goals are and what you want your attendees to do next. A few of our specialties include:


A keynote presentation is the perfect way to inspire, energize and inform the path forward. We specialize in speaking to rooms of district leaders, workplace leaders, educators and much more.

Webinar or Virtual Experience

We believe virtual experiences can be a powerful way to interact with and engage viewers, a place to personalize big trends and data and a way to introduce you to some of the most innovative leaders and locations in education.

Panel Facilitation

One of our strengths is our ability to connect some of our favorite partners, districts and organizations and put together an incredible panel on a theme. Because we’ve called the group to assembly, we then are able to eruditely moderate the conversation to get to the highlights of each persons’ unique experience.


The power of the workshop is the ability to get an outside perspective, a set-aside time for internal alignment and collaboration and a unique space for design thinking, creativity and ideation. We’re here to catalyze your next best step.

Focus Areas

The Getting Smart Team can speak on a wide range of topics from artificial intelligence and poetry to competency-based models and career and technical education, below we’ve listed a few of our favorites:

Future of Work

The ethical, economic and educational impacts of artificial intelligence and the Fourth Industrial Revolution and what this means for workers and learners.


Leading community conversations, facilitating agreements in support of iterative development, distributing leadership, and balancing improvement and innovation. 


Public-private partnerships, impact investing, innovation zones, education and workforce policy.

Learner Experience

Personalized and project-based learning, design thinking, social and emotional learning, competency-based progressions, and credentialing capabilities. 

Learning Models

Design principles, school and system designs that leverage community connections, advisory systems.


Creating systems and agreements that enable young people to show and articulate what they know.


Helping connect young people to work that matters and providing support and guidance along the way. 

Building a Learning Culture

Building a growth mindset culture for all, power of productive self-talk, mindset shift in action, identifying and changing your inner voice, teaching self-talk, productive struggle.



Tom Vander Ark

CEO & Partner
Tom is a thought leader in the future of work and learning, leadership, impact investing, place-based education and difference making. His experience ranges from districts to non-profits and he has a track record of being ahead of education industry trends for the last 25 years.

Rebecca Midles

Vice President of Learning Design
Rebecca Midles is a thought leader transforming systems, learner-centered instructional frameworks & design, and social and emotional learning frameworks. She also can speak to creating a productive and inclusive school and district culture and modern leadership design.

Nate McClennen

Vice President of Strategy & Innovation
Nate McClennen is a long-time innovator in education and has experience in a wide variety of settings ranging from tech to network building. He loves speaking on place-based education, school start-up, technology, rural communities, networks and more.
Caroline Vander Ark specializes in speaking on community leadership, marketing, social media and storytelling. Her passion is growing people and enabling them to grow themselves.

Shawnee Caruthers

Vice President of Advocacy
Rashawn Caruthers is a longtime educator with a background in marketing, journalism and advertising. She loves to speak at the intersection of business and education, noting the importance of lifelong learning and CTE. She also speaks on community building and equity and diversity in learning.

Pricing & Requests

Pricing for every engagement is tailored to meet the needs of our partners. We quote fees based on staff requested, travel time required, size of the audience, length of engagement, preparation needed and organization type.

If you are interested in having a member of our team speak at your next event, please fill out our speaking engagement form below.

Please include relevant event links
Convention center, school, etc
Start and end time for entire event.
Conference, summit, annual meeting, etc
Policy Makers, Educators, School/District Leaders, Families, etc.
Roundtrip airfare, ground transport & parking, hotel, etc.
We can offer reduced rates on all Getting Smart books.