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Juliette LaMontagne | TED Fellow, Founder of Breaker
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

TED Fellow Juliette LaMontagne is pushing education further—outside of the classroom. A former New York City high school teacher, LaMontagne is the founder of Breaker, a social innovation program in which “legions of underestimated young people with new insights to old problems” use design solutions and entrepreneurial savvy to address our biggest social challenges. 

LaMontagne connects interdisciplinary groups of youth with industry leaders and innovators to bring new ideas to fruition. Successful business solutions have been found for everything from the future of the book to urban agriculture. The idea for this creative problem-solving process began with LaMontagne’s personal experiences in teaching. She noticed, time and again, that the most effective learning strategies often involved extra-curricular activities. The interaction and hands-on approach simply stuck better than more traditional methods. Breaker arose from the desire to focus and intensify these results and establish a model for education in the real world. Before Breaker, LaMontagne taught at public school, and was a professor at Columbia University, where she was also the coordinator of the MA student teaching program for pre-service teachers. She has a doctorate in education from Columbia University.

Speech Topics

Grit at School
Breaker Redefining Education, Creating Entrepreneurs, Designing Change

Juliette LaMontagne talks about expanding the boundaries of traditional classroom-based education. Drawing on her work at Breaker, in which interdisciplinary learning is key, she argues that the difficulties found in “messy collaboration” can serve as a great point of departure for deep learning and truly innovative change.

Design Thinking to Foster Innovation
What is design thinking and how is it used to drive innovation, particularly in the context of teaching and learning? Juliette LaMontagne, Founder of Project Breaker, will illustrate the process she and her team use in this breakaway experiential learning program. LaMontagne believes that ingenuity is a learned skill that can be taught to students and teachers alike. By identifying local and global challenges and using them to connect and catalyze students, teachers, administrators, and community members around designing solutions to real world problems, Breaker is creating the next generation of innovators.