Mount Vernon Ventures invites you to join educators from around the country and throughout the world for a two-day fun-filled, transformative professional learning experience. Scheduled for March 31 and April 1, Mount Vernon Ventures Annual Conference will be held at The Mount Vernon School’s Atlanta-based Upper Campus.

Come to Atlanta ready to participate in interactive workshops in innovative spaces facilitated by people-centered educational experts. You will be equipped with tools, strategies, and systems for transforming teaching experiences and innovating programs within your own school.

This year’s conference theme is Activate Agency. Agency is having a sense of ownership of learning and being empowered to positively impact the world around you. Agency for all learners…students & adults…could never be more important than it is today.

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Reflective of interests, passions, values, and inner motivations, how might we activate agency in us and those around us? How might we design instructional experiences that activate agency for all learners? Empower all learners to be seekers and explorers? Build systems and strategies to fuel school innovation and transformation? Let’s explore these questions together.

A key thread throughout the conference is to unveil a new Ventures product and guide for educational communities, Activate Agency: Empower Your Students to Own Their Learning. Released at the conference, this product is a step-by-step curriculum and instructional toolkit designed and implemented by The Mount Vernon School’s Innovation Diploma Program (iD) in the Upper School.

iD is a student-led, transformation design studio that inspires and creates high-impact work in partnership with Fortune 100 companies, major nonprofit organizations, and area civic environments. By attending the conference, you will receive a copy of Activate Agency before it is released to the general public.

Friday Schedule:

Welcome to Atlanta! We’re glad you’re here. The conference will get started at The Mount Vernon School Upper Campus. Fridays schedule will run from 6 – 8 pm and include registration, food, music, and a message from some of our speakers.

The Mount Vernon School – Upper Campus

510 Mount Vernon Highway
Atlanta, GA 30328
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Saturday Schedule:

SPARK – The Saturday Opening Session of Activate Agency will start with a Spark, as all conference attendees will gather together to hear an energizing and stimulating message. Following the conference opening, attendees will choose to either Wonder & Wander or Innovate & Impact.

WONDER & WANDER – During a three-hour morning block, attendees choosing the Wonder & Wander pathway will be able to opt into three different 45-minute workshops. These workshops will cover topics such as:

  • Equitable Assessment Practice: How deep is it?
  • Using Depth of Knowledge to Measure Proficiency and Give Feedback
  • Explore Your Story: Building Cultural Proficiency School-Wide
  • Using Visible Thinking to Balance Inquiry and Foundational Skills
  • I Hear You: Empathy Mapping for Learning
  • Stay: Coaching and Care to Maximize Faculty Retention

INNOVATE & IMPACT – Attendees choosing the Innovate & Impact pathway will spend the entire day taking a deep dive into the mindsets, tools, and strategies found in Activate Agency: A School within a School Model. Attendees in this pathway will learn alongside our expert Innovation Diploma faculty and students. Each participant will be able to learn how the program is structured, will engage with the tools in Activate Agency, and will focus on the benefits and challenges of a school within a school model.

LUNCH – Provided by Ventures, attendees will break bread together to take a breath, get some nourishment, and maybe even share a story from the morning sessions. Following lunch, attendees will choose the Lead & Let Go pathway or the Inquire & Investigate pathway. Note: Innovate and Impact attendees will continue their day-long session with iD experts.

LEAD & LET GO – Facilitated by the CEO & Head of School at Mount Vernon, the Lead & Let Go afternoon pathway is geared towards administrators and aspiring leaders. In the afternoon block, attendees will activate agency through building leadership capabilities, managing polarities, and designing systems & strategies. Also, the session will provide time for attendees to explore questions of empowerment, transformation and implementation.

INQUIRE & INVESTIGATE – Facilitated by Innovation Diploma experts and students, the Inquire & Investigate pathway is geared for teachers and leaders. This is a low risk, accessible entry point to become familiar with how to activate agency at scale, exploring how innovation can start as a learning unit, a club, or class. Participants in this workshop will explore Activate Agency as well as the mindsets, tools, and strategies for building inquiry and agency in an interactive, hands-on experience.

HUDDLE – Corporately, attendees in both pathways will wrap up the conference with a group reflection on big ideas and takeaways from their learning experiences. Afterward, there will be time to connect with conference attendees and the MV Ventures team. Light food and beverages will be provided.

Meet Your Guides

We would like to introduce you to our expert field practitioners that will be speaking at the Ventures Annual Conference alongside the Ventures Team.

Dr. Brett Jacobsen


Kristy Lundstrom

Head of School

Leah Nestor

Head of Middle School

Nicole Martin

Executive Director of Learning and Innovation

Jared Colley

Head of Learning and Innovation, Upper Campus

Molly Hudson

Director of Lower School

DeShawn Jenkins

Director of Interim and Global Impact and Upper School Faculty

Matt Neylon

Chief Talent and Experience Officer

Krista Fancher

Innovation Diploma Teacher

Elisse Hayes

Lower School Dean of Student Life and Operations

Kevin Day

Impact Design Lab Teacher, Middle School

Brad Droke

Dean of Student Life and Experience, Upper School

Dr. Chaundra Suddith

Middle School Learning Coach

Dr. Todd Wass

Impact Design Lab Teacher, Middle School

Ryan Welch

Impact Design Lab Teacher, Middle School


Ventures has partnered with local hotels to secure a special rate for your stay in Atlanta. Click through the hotel options to book!

*Last Day to book with discounted rate: Friday, March 3, 2023

We are excited for you to Activate Agency with us. This will be one of the most intimate, enriching learning experiences you participate in all year. Spaces are limited; reserve your spot today!


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