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Sponsor Spotlight: Georgia Tech

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Over the course of the Future of Higher Ed Challenge, we've been featuring Q&As with our Challenge Sponsors, the organizations and individuals who have partnered with us in building this Challenge, and will play a significant role in supporting top ideas moving forward.

This week, let’s get to know Georgia Tech, one of our 4 awesome Challenge sponsors.

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The Quick Facts

The Georgia Institute of Technology is a leading research university committed to improving the human condition through advanced science and technology.

The Juicy Details

What are 3 words that describe your organization?

Transformational. Technological. Community-driven.

If your organization had a superhero doppelganger, which would it be?

Buzz, the Georgia Tech mascot. He may not be a superhero in the comic book sense, but he’s a superhero for all students and faculty across campus.

What brought you to the Higher Ed Challenge? Give us one word that describes your feelings about it!

"Opportunity". Faced with different students, a changing socioeconomic climate, learning and teaching transformed by science, and workforce demands for future skills, a 21st century Georgia Tech is likely to be quite different from Georgia Tech of the 19th and 20th centuries. Thus, innovation in higher education is essential to the continued leadership and quality of a Georgia Tech education.

If you could give participants in the Challenge one piece of advice, what would it be?

Think broadly and don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo. The pace of change is accelerating in higher education and now is the time for bold ideas!

The Commission on Creating the Next in Education (CNE) at Georgia Tech

What are the biggest opportunity areas you see in the higher ed space?

We see many opportunity areas in the space. To name a few:

     1. As high school enrollments decline in many states, how will Georgia Tech compete effectively for a smaller pool of eligible students?
     2. As our country’s population becomes more diverse, how might we respond effectively to a wider array of learner diversity in terms of gender, language and culture, prior experiences, and economic status?
     3. As career paths become less linear and more entrepreneurial, how can higher education institutions better prepare their graduates for success?
     4. How can our academic and political systems better address issues of access and affordability?

What kinds of ideas or solutions are you most excited about seeing in the Challenge?  

Georgia Tech is excited to see which ideas from the OpenIDEO Challenge can be applied to directly benefit our far-reaching community of learners. Expanding upon solutions produced in the Challenge, Georgia Tech’s CNE will lead Institute-wide discussions of fundamental questions surrounding topics such as the knowledge 21st-century students should gain and how sustained lifelong learning differs from the transformational learning experience of recent high school graduates. In a sense, CNE and Georgia Tech’s participation in the Challenge is an opportunity to deepen the knowledge needed for our community to pursue strategic “options” that can be exercised over the next 20 years.

Tech Tower, the oldest building on Georgia Tech's campus

The Fine Print:

Where is your organization headquartered?

Atlanta, Georgia

What is your organization’s mission?

The Commission on Creating the Next in Education (CNE) is an initiative of the Educational Innovation Ecosystem, a coordinated effort of Georgia Tech units dedicated to the adoption of new and innovative educational methodologies. Through a multi-phased approach, the CNE will take a look at the Institute’s current methodologies and approaches, benchmark best practices in higher education, including issues of delivery and accessibility, and make recommendations for a plan that will maximize Georgia Tech’s strengths, and position the Institute as a transformational leader amongst research institutions.

Who does your organization work with?

Georgia Tech seeks to improve the human condition in Georgia, the United States, and around the globe. This means that K-12, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as lifelong learners from all parts of the world, are a part of the Georgia Tech community.

Questions? Please contact Susie Ivy ( or Brittany Aiello (

Join Georgia Tech, and the rest of the OpenIDEO community in the Future of Higher Ed Challenge!

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