Keynote Speaker


José Antonio Bowen

José Antonio Bowen has been leading innovation and change for over 35 years at Stanford, Georgetown, and the University of Southampton (UK), then as a dean at Miami University and SMU and as president of a USN&WR most innovative college until 2019. He now runs Bowen Innovation Group L.L.C., and does innovation, leadership, pedagogy and D&I consulting and training in both higher education and for Fortune 500 companies in the healthcare, energy, automotive, and telecom sectors.

As a scholar, Bowen holds four degrees from Stanford University (in Chemistry, Music, and Humanities), has written over 100 scholarly articles, was editor of the Cambridge Companion to Conducting (2003), and an editor of the 6-CD set, Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology (2011). He received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and has a TED talk on Beethoven as Bill Gates. In 2010, Stanford honored him as a Distinguished Alumni Scholar.

Bowen is a musician and has appeared on five continents as a jazz pianist and conductor with Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby McFerrin, Dave Brubeck, Liberace, and many others. His compositions include a symphony (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 1985), and music for Jerry Garcia.

Bowen has long been a pioneer in education, classroom design and technology, featured in The New York Times, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Newsweek, PBS News Hour, and on NPR (an extended media list is here). He was given a Stanford Centennial Award for Undergraduate Teaching in 1990 and has presented hundreds of keynotes and workshops around the world.

His book Teaching Naked (2012) was the winner of the Ness Award for Best Book on Higher Education from the American Association of Colleges and Universities. The sequel, Teaching Naked Techniques: A Practical Guide to Designing Better Classes with G. Edward Watson (2017), was called “as rich a resource…to improve students’ learning as has been written in a generation.” For more, see his website or his education TED talks.

His focus on a better classroom experience led to innovations as an educational leader. He removed podiums and fixed computers from classrooms long before others were thinking of BYOD. He led Goucher to the nation’s first video-application, a new process-focused streamlined general education curriculum with a focus on a new 3Rs of Relationships, Resilience and Reflection, and a revitalization of the campus. Goucher has since been recognized as a top college (#11) for innovation. His new book, Teaching Change: How to Develop Independent Thinkers using Relationships, Resilience and Reflection, will be released in 2021 (Johns Hopkins University Press).

After thirty-five years of innovation educational leadership, he received the Ernest L. Boyer Award (for significant contributions to American higher education) from the New American Colleges and Universities in January 2018. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) in England, is currently a Senior Fellow at the Association of American of Colleges and Universities and an Inaugural Senior Fellow for Religious Pluralism at the Aspen Institute (Inclusive America Project) and Interfaith Youth Core.