Collab Lab 11: Creating a Culture of Innovation

Collab Lab 11: Creating a Culture of Innovation

How do you support the teachers at your school(s) that want to do great things?

There’s a recurring theme we’ve heard in our Collab Lab series this year — the innovative ideas teachers have to engage students in collaborative, authentic learning experiences are hard to get off the ground without support from school and district leadership.

So what are you doing to ensure that teachers at your school(s):

  • have the time, autonomy, and resources to experiment,
  • permission to fail and learn,
  • the flexibility to seize opportunities as they arise?

Come share ideas with your colleagues at public, private, and charter schools from across greater Milwaukee, as well as some folks outside of K12 who offer an interesting perspective on the topic.

Collab Lab 11 is aimed at school and district leadership who are wondering how to support the efforts of their teaching staff to best serve students.  We’ll bring along folks from the wider community that understand what it takes to build a culture of innovation and welcome back the strong voices of educators we’ve heard over the past several months.


5:30 – 6:00 Grab something to eat and drink, say hello

6:00 – 8:30 Let’s learn from each other

Food and beverage will be provided. There is no charge for participation but space is limited!


Featured Participants

Among others, you’ll have a chance to talk with:

Jane Barr – Regional Vice President, North America Sales, Services & Solutions, Rockwell Automation

Jane provides leadership and strategic direction for the sales force in the North America Eastern region. She is responsible for developing and executing the business strategy positioning Rockwell Automation products and services to best support Rockwell’s customers in achieving their business objectives.


Jan Haven – Director, Department of Innovation, Milwaukee Public Schools
The Innovation Office directs the research, promotion, development and implementation of innovative educational programs and practices and manages the interface of the innovation function with other central service offices and schools. The office also works to build capacity of district and school staff through strategic partnerships.


Jason Montague – Senior Vice President, Baird
Jason is Senior Vice President for Baird, a privately held, employee-owned financial services firm (currently #4 on Fortune’s 100 Best Places to Work list!). Jason is responsible for multiple functions at Baird, including software development, architecture, and data management. Before joining Baird, he held leadership positions at Wells Fargo; MacDonald, Dettwiler & Associates; and US Bank. Jason is on the board of a number of community groups, and helped found Milwaukee Agile, an industry group dedicated to growth in technology leadership. He has also been a very active proponent of Innovation in many forms, including Systems Thinking and Lean Startup.


Dave Neuman – Global Product Manager, Software Identification Solutions, Brady Corporation
For the past 20 years, Dave has been developing and promoting new technology solutions & services, building world-class software engineering & IT organizations, and coaching the next generation of technical leaders & agile practitioners.

Today, Dave is leading global product engineering teams at Brady Corporation in the development of new cloud products and mobile apps, driving commercialization and growth of software and solutions as a global product manager, and scouting emerging technologies that could help customers better identify and protect people, products, and places.


Tim Poppert – Assistant Director of Digital Innovation – Northwestern Mutual
Tim Poppert is a Wisconsin native and has spent over 15 years at Northwestern Mutual working in Application Development & Support, IT Architecture and Digital Innovation. In 2014, Tim was asked to help create and lead the strategy of digital innovation at Northwestern Mutual, which includes the implementation of the Digital Innovation team. In this role, Tim oversees, creates and maintains the vision for Digital Innovation and how to continuously foster a dynamic culture of innovation. He works to develop and maintain self-empowered teams to drive innovation, from design thinking to ideation to the execution of digital solution prototype’s and MVP’s.


And others to be announced…


The CommonsThe Collab Lab will be held in the innovation space at Ward 4, 333 North Plankinton Avenue, Milwaukee, WI.  Space provided courtesy of The Commons.




Professional Development 2.0

Change is hard, especially change in an educational system that has been in place for over 100 years.

The world of education is moving towards Authentic Learning and Project Based Learning. How does your school even begin to move in that direction? It seems like we’re all caught in a system that discourages true innovation.

At Learn Deep, we come from the worlds of entrepreneurship and agile software development. In this way of thinking, the goals are:

  • to gain a solid understanding of the problem one is trying to solve;
  • use rapid, iterative development process to drive towards solutions that are both effective and sustainable.
  • reduce risk by first and consistently enhancing understanding
  • learning from ‘failure’
  • use a disciplined, measured approach to ‘scaling’ the solution to ensure meeting stated objectives

Getting Started

If you have a couple of colleagues and a project you’d like to take on, we can help structure a process that reduces both the risk of failure and the costs of getting started. At the same time, we can coach your staff in the use of tools that will allow them to do the same moving forward. Unique in our approach is to structure your project so that students are involved in the work.

A true win-win-win

We believe our approach is unique in using ‘on the job’ experiences to professional development of teaching staff. Coaching teachers in this structured, problem solving oriented process can result in a triple benefit:

  • You get a chance to practice leading collaborative multi-disciplinary efforts;
  • Your students get to solve a real world issue that impacts their school;
  • Your school develops a better understanding of the path to move towards modern, 21st learning.

To learn more or to invite us to your school to discuss how we might help you, submit your information using the form below.

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