Plenary Keynote Session

Optimizing Learning Environments: Neuroscience and Holistic Education 

Jean-Claude Brizard, CEO, Digital Promise
Tuesday, November 12, 9:15 AM – 10:30 AM
Credit: (1) AIA LU, IDCEC

Great education transcends academics alone — it’s about nurturing the whole child. Join us in the journey as Jean-Claude Brizard delves into holistic approaches that prioritize emotional well-being, social development, and physical health alongside intellectual growth. By embracing whole child education principles, we foster environments where students thrive in all aspects of their lives.

Hear how the dynamic interplay between neuroscience, the science of learning, and innovative school design, forging a path toward holistic education. Drawing from the latest research from Digital Promise, hear how the brain learns and adapts, illuminating strategies to optimize learning experiences for all students. From fostering neural plasticity to embracing neurodiversity, discover the keys to unlocking each student’s full potential.

With brain science and holistic outcomes in mind, reimagine the physical learning environment itself as a tool for empowerment. From flexible spaces to outdoor classrooms, see how innovative school design can ignite creativity, collaboration, and exploration. Join us in shaping the future of education, where the science of learning and development and principles of school design converge to inspire and elevate the minds that will shape our future.

Jean-Claude Brizard

Jean-Claude Brizard

CEO, Digital Promise

Jean-Claude Brizard is President and CEO of Digital Promise, a global, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization focused on shaping the future of learning and advancing equitable education systems by bridging solutions across research, practice, and technology. He is a former Senior Advisor and Deputy Director at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation where he focused on PK-16 education. He also led several strategies supporting Washington State’s educational system. The Carnegie Corporation of New York honored Brizard in the 2023 class of “Great Immigrants, Great Americans,” a prestigious honor celebrating naturalized citizens who have enriched and strengthened our society.

He is a former Chief Executive of Chicago Public Schools. Prior to his appointment in Chicago, he was Superintendent of Schools for the Rochester, NY School District. Mr. Brizard’s experience also includes a 21-year career as an educator and administrator with the NYC Department of Education. He served as a Regional Superintendent, supervising more than 100 schools in the Borough of Brooklyn and he also served as the system’s Executive Director for its 400 secondary schools. He is a Fellow of the Broad Center, a Fellow of the Pahara-Aspen Institute, and a member of the Aspen Institute Global Leadership Network.