Speakers

 

Daniel Arzola
Creditos Mikha Dominguez

Daniel Arzola

Daniel Arzola (They/Them) is a Venezuelan artist and LGBTQ+ activist, renowned for their "Artivism," using art to address human rights, diversity, and equality. Their project "No Soy Tu Chiste" (I am not a Joke) gained global recognition and went viral during 2013-2014 for challenging stereotypes against the LGBTQ+ community. Madonna noticed and featured Arzola's work in her Art for Freedom project in 2013. Arzola's art is exhibited worldwide, and they have a permanent display at the Carlos Jáuregui station on the Buenos Aires Subway, the first LGBTQ+ subway station in Latin America. Beyond art, Arzola actively promotes their theory of "Artivism" through conferences and workshops at universities in Venezuela, Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Their colorful and bold style has made them a prominent figure in LGBTQ+ film festivals globally since 2015, designing posters for festivals in The Netherlands, Chile, Uruguay, Albania, Kosovo, and the Faroe Islands. In 2017, Arzola was awarded a Trailblazer Honors Award from Logo TV and VH1. Currently residing in Minneapolis, they serve as a Senior Graphic Designer for the University of Minnesota.

Find them online: Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

 

Brenda Child

Brenda Child

Boarding Schools and American Indian Dispossession 

Building on her long-term research about the history of boarding schools, Child will explain the lasting legacy of the half century when assimilation dominated federal policies toward American Indians. One of the country's leading scholars on the history of American Indian education, Child will discuss her own Ojibwe family's story, along with her commitment to writing history from the perspective of Indian people themselves.

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Brenda J. Child is Northrop Professor and former Chair of the Departments of American Studies and American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota, where she received the President’s Engaged Scholar Award in 2021. She was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2022-23.

Child is the author of several books in American Indian history including Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900-1940 (Nebraska, 1998), which won the North American Indian Prose Award; and Holding Our World Together: Ojibwe Women and the Survival of Community (Penguin, 2012). Her 2014 book My Grandfather’s Knocking Sticks: Ojibwe Family Life and Labor on the Reservation (MHS Press, 2014) won the American Indian Book Award. She edited a book, Ojibwe and Ocheti Sakowin Artists and Knowledge Keepers (Minnesota, 2024) with Howard Oransky, and curated an exhibit of the same title that was at the Katherine E. Nash Gallery at the University of Minnesota in January-March 2024. Her current book project is The Marriage Blanket: Love, Violence, and the Law in Indian Country. 

Child is the author of a best-selling bi-lingual book for children, Bowwow Powwow (2018), and the forthcoming BlueBearies. She was a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Museum of the American Indian-Smithsonian (2013-18) and was President of the Native American & Indigenous Studies Association (2017-18). She was consultant to a major exhibit, Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories at the Heard Museum. She has a popular documentary, Jingle Dress Dancers in the Modern World

Child was born on the Red Lake Ojibwe Reservation in northern Minnesota. She was part of a committee developing a new constitution for the 15,000- member nation. She lives with her husband, the Mille Lacs Ojibwe artist Steven Premo, and family in St. Paul and Bemidji, Minnesota.

 

Nan Gesche

Nan Gesche

Nan Gesche received her M.A. in Organizational Communications and a professional certificate in Training & Development from the University of Minnesota (U of M). She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of North Dakota. She is currently on faculty in the U of M’s Communication Studies department and the College of Continuing and Professional Studies, St. Thomas’ Center of Excellence, and the Graduate School of Banking in Madison.

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Nan Gesche, M.A., is an expert in finding out where things go wrong, and in helping them go right. As an educator, speaker, and consultant whose passion is to “help people play well together,” Nan guides organizations and individuals through transition without losing sight of their strategic goals—so they can get back to the business of business. Using experience, insight, and some sturdy research (sprinkled with a little humor), Nan provides a chance to ponder and practice different ways of making decisions and solving problems effectively with others, so all voices in the room are heard. 

20 years of independent and corporate experience allow her to help clients focus on the realities of business while stretching their thinking. Nan works with diverse organizations and individuals on projects such as change management, resiliency building, and conflict management. Her corporate work experience includes Change Enablement Manager, Director of Training & Development, Organizational Effectiveness Facilitator, and National Bank Examiner. 

Nan received her M.A. in Organizational Communications and a professional certificate in Training & Development from the University of Minnesota (U of M). She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of North Dakota, and qualified to administer and provide training on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. She currently teaches for the U of M’s Communication Studies department and the College of Continuing and Professional Studies, St. Thomas’ Center of Excellence, and the Graduate School of Banking in Madison. She published a workbook on “Implementing Strategic Learning”.

Additional qualities and skills include:

  • A flexible, energetic, and humorous style that is attuned to the dynamics of the situation, the emotional needs of the group, and the ability to get groups “unstuck” and defuse conflict. 
  • The ability to boil situations down to what is useful and practical, and to generate options that are clear, understandable, and usable. 
  • The ability to work well with diverse audiences, in all levels of an organization, as well as with individuals who want help with career choices or transitions to new jobs. 
  • An understanding of the need to tie actions to strategy and the bottom line. 
  • A network of consultants in areas such as finance, sales, and organizational development that she can bring in for special projects.

 

Barry Kudrowitz

Barry Kudrowitz

Barry Kudrowitz, PhD, is a professor of product design and department head in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota, USA. There, he founded and directed the product design program from 2011–2021. Kudrowitz received his PhD from the Mechanical Engineering Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), studying humor, creativity, and idea generation. Kudrowitz is interested in how creativity is perceived, evaluated, and learned. He has years of experience working with the toy industry and has taught toy design for over a decade. Kudrowitz co-designed a Nerf toy, an elevator simulator that was in operation at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., and a ketchup-dispensing robot that was featured on the Martha Stewart Show. He is the author of Sparking Creativity: How Play and Humor Fuel Innovation.

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Radical Innovation is Scary (but good for us)

In industry and academia, we often talk about the desire for innovation, however change is sometimes difficult to embrace. We love incremental innovation as it is relatable and easy to digest. Radical innovation, on the other hand, often creates conflict, confusion, and costs, but is important for advancing society. This talk will playfully discuss current and historical examples of both incremental and radical innovation. It will also include examples and illustrations from Barry's new book -- Sparking Creativity: How Play and Humor Fuel Innovation.

 

Kyle "Guante" Tran Myhre

Kyle "Guante" Tran Myhre

Kyle Tran Myhre (aka Guante) is a poet and activist whose work explores the relationships between narrative, power, and resistance. He’s performed at the United Nations, been featured on a Grammy-winning album, been a member of two National Poetry Slam championship teams, and visited countless colleges, conferences, and festivals, using spoken word and storytelling as doorways into critical dialogue. His most recent book, "Not a Lot of Reasons to Sing, But Enough," is available now via Button Poetry. 

Find Guante online: Website | Instagram | Facebook