NCW Tech Alliance has partnered with the North Central Educational Service District (NCESD), the Apple STEM Network, and Microsoft to bring the third annual Artificial Intelligence (AI) Expo to the region.
During this dynamic in-person event attendees will gain a better understanding of AI, how it’s being used to solve real-world problems, and how we prepare our businesses and students for the future of work. Everyone should be aware of the ways AI is shaping our world – this is a discussion you won’t want to miss out on!
The AI Expo is included in STEM Summit programming, a four-day professional learning opportunity designed for K-12 educators. This creates an opportunity for us to bring hundreds of educators and the business community together to discuss the impacts of AI in both education and business environments.
Thanks to presenting sponsor, Microsoft, the AI Expo is now open to the business community and general public to attend for free.
Thursday, August 17
12:30 -1:30 Introduction and keynotes
1:30 – 2:00 View Exhibitor Booths
2:00 – 4:00 AI Breakouts
4:00 – 5:00 All Conference Social (hosted appetizers and bar)
The core objective of this year’s AI Expo sessions is to foster an environment of connection and exploration, focusing on the profound impact of AI on education, workforce development, and everyday life within rural communities. Featuring an engaging lineup of speakers and discussions, participants will be immersed in community conversations aimed at addressing the myriad questions that arise in the context of AI integration. Speakers include:
Ben Bardsley, BX: Ben is a driven and dynamic tech entrepreneur with extensive leadership and management experience. Ben started his career as an Officer in the British Army. He spent 5 years in the Welsh Guards Infantry regiment deploying to Afghanistan in 2012. After leaving the Army in 2013 Ben joined his family fruit farm as the 5th generation. He went on to transform his 130 year family fruit farming business Bardsley England, growing it by 1400% over 8 years to to become the UK second largest apple producer and then delivered a successful exit for his family in 2021. Whilst he was a fruit farmer, it was clear to Ben that the food system was broken and needed transforming. This is where BX was born. Ben transitioned from being a farmer to a tech entrepreneur and is now building a climate tech platform that can support farmers in their environmental journey using data, AI and FX exchanges to enable this transition.
Jolenta Coleman-Bush, Microsoft: Jolenta leads the Education & Workforce Development portfolio for Microsoft Philanthropies in Washington State. Prior to joining Microsoft, Jolenta was a leader in the public and nonprofit sector developing, implementing, and advocating for student-centered policies and practices to eliminate opportunity gaps. Jolenta has held roles at the City of Seattle’s Department of Education and Early Learning, Rainier Scholars—a pipeline college access program, and the League of Education Voters. Jolenta is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied Child Development and Family Studies and has a master’s degree in Education Policy from the University of Washington.
Dr. Paola Pesantez-Cabrera, AgAID Institute: Paola is a Research Assistant Professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University. She is also the data manager/scientist for the AgAID Institute – AI for Transforming Workforce and Decision Support in Agriculture and the Washington Soil Health Initiative (WaSHI). Her research focuses on the development of data-driven decision support tools through the application of FAIR data principles and the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning with a direct impact on agriculture and its environmental and economic sustainability. She is an avid advocate of accessible education, the generation of knowledge, respect for diversity and the visualization and engagement of Latin American women in STEM, which is why she is also a member of SACNAS, Women in Analytics and the Association of Data Scientists.
Dr. Shannon Thissen, Capital Region ESD 113: As the Regional Administrator for Educational Technology and Computer Science, she works to develop student success in academics by supporting the implementation of district-approved curricula and school improvement plans. This includes documenting teaching and student progress, activities, and outcomes; developing lesson plans; modeling successful teaching strategies; and providing feedback to staff and administration regarding improvement plan progress, plan modification, AI communications, and impact of professional development activities with a continued focus on Educational Technology and Computer Science Integration in-person, in-districts, or remotely.
Eduardo Castillo, Director General at Centro de Inteligencia Artificial – IA Center: A renowned technology enthusiast and innovator with an impressive 30-year career in the field of information technology and communications. As the Director at the Center for Artificial Intelligence – IA Center, Eduardo leads transformative initiatives in talent development, innovation, and entrepreneurship, working closely with industry partners and the communities of Chihuahua and Ciudad Juarez. In addition to his work at the IA Center, Eduardo plays a pivotal role in a National AI Alliance in Mexico, leading vital working groups in areas such as education, data, and innovation. The Alliance’s mission is a testament to Eduardo’s vision: to craft a cohesive national strategy for artificial intelligence adoption, regulation, innovation, and education in Mexico.
Titus Petersen, Founder and CEO Avais: As a dedicated and ambitious student currently pursuing a B.S. in Entrepreneurship at Grand Canyon University, I am eager to make a meaningful impact in the world of business. My passion for entrepreneurship and commitment to lifelong learning has led me to create and manage my own company, embracing challenges and celebrating successes along the way. While I hail from the picturesque Lake Chelan, during the academic year, I immerse myself in the vibrant campus life of Phoenix. Outside of my studies and business ventures, I maintain a well-rounded lifestyle with a diverse set of hobbies including river surfing, basketball, and engaging in local community events.