Norwich University’s Todd Lecture Panel Culminates Yearlong Focus on Innovation


April 13, 2017

Norwich University presents three nationally and internationally known innovators from the fields of creative design, technological design, and design for social good, for a Todd Lecture panel discussion on Thursday, April 27, in Plumley Armory, which follows a showcase of innovation. The “Making Innovation Symposium” is free and open to the public.

Please join us at 6 p.m. for the “Making Innovation Showcase,” a curated exhibition of student academic and creative research that is the culmination of a yearlong focus on innovation.

The showcase will be followed by a 7 p.m. Todd Lecture panel discussion, “To Act As Well As To Think: Leadership, Innovation, and the Creative Impulse,” an evening with Michael Jager, Natalie Jeremijenko, and William Kamkwamba. The panel will be moderated by entrepreneur Jonathan Speed, a 2014 graduate of Norwich’s Master of Arts in Military History. Two awards will be presented to students at the conclusion of the evening in recognition of work that exemplifies leadership through innovative thought as well as practice.

The Making Innovation Symposium is the culminating event of a series of experiential learning exercises focused on the themes of leadership and innovation. Throughout the year, six co-curricular NU IDEA Design Challenges engaged nearly 100 students to creatively solve real world problems with their peers. The innovation challenges further Norwich’s goal of creating a culture of innovation, entrepreneurship, and creative thinking on campus. The final challenge of the term will be facilitated by Jonathan Speed on Wednesday, April 26, at 4 p.m. in the Kreitzberg Library Todd Multipurpose Room.

While panelists are on campus, Norwich will seek their input regarding emerging fields, critical path skills for near-future leaders, as well as recommendations about curriculum to strengthen entrepreneurship-related courses. Panelists will visit with students enrolled in a range of courses across campus, including biology, engineering, nursing, English, writing, and architecture. They will additionally interact with students affiliated with the Center for Global Resilience & Security and the Entrepreneurship Club.

The panelists are:


Michael Jager is founding Partner/CCO of Solidarity of Unbridled Labour (formerly Jager DiPaola Kemp (JDK) Design). For more than 25 years, Jager has been creating and collaborating with international brands, driven by the idea that design distinction matters most. Guided by Ezra Pound’s simply but elegantly stated principle, “Make it new,” his work for brands such as Burton Snowboards, Seventh Generation, Xbox, Nike, Levis, DontPayFull, and Patagonia is recognized worldwide.

NATALIE JEREMIJENKO (pictured above)

In 2014, Natalie Jeremijenko was awarded the VIDA Art and Artificial Life International Awards Pioneer Prize, “for her consistently brilliant portfolio of work over the past two decades.” Named one of 2013’s Most Innovative People, one of the most influential women in technology in 2011, and one of the inaugural top young innovators by MIT Technology Review, Jeremijenko directs the Environmental Health Clinic and is an Associate Professor in the Visual Art Department at New York University. She holds degrees in biochemistry, engineering, neuroscience, and history and philosophy of science.


William Kamkwamba is the co-author with Bryan Mealer of the New York Times best-selling book “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope.” A remarkable success story about the power of human ingenuity in the face of crippling odds, Kamkwamba’s story shares his vision for “a new kind of Africa, a place of leaders instead of victims, a home of innovation rather than charity.”


An alumnus of Brown University—where he is an emeritus trustee and board member of the Brown Entrepreneurship Program—and Norwich University, Jonathan Speed has 30+ years of business development, finance, and start-up experience with companies in the finance/private equity, life sciences, and technology sectors. He is currently the CFO at Versal Group, a San Francisco-based eLearning company. During his twenty years in the Bay Area, Jonathan has advised non-profits, entrepreneurial organizations, and serves on the boards of four start-up companies. In fall 2017, Jonathan will launch 1790 Media—a student-oriented media platform created to expand entrepreneurial and innovation education, knowledge, and mentorship to today’s diverse student population.

The Making Innovation Symposium is hosted by the Colleges of Professional Schools, Science and Mathematics, and Liberal Arts. It is a capstone event in Norwich’s Year of Leadership, the third of a five-year $100M campaign to transform academics at Norwich University in celebration of Norwich’s upcoming bicentennial.

About Norwich University

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) 

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Norwich University will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Transformation” here:    

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Daphne Larkin
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