Michael Furdyk is the Co-founder and Director of Technology for TakingITGlobal.org, a global online community that engages hundreds of thousands of youth in over 200 countries and territories to take on global challenges. He’s able to speak accessibly about new technologies and about why we should always be investing in new technology and new skill.
A pioneer of the Net Generation, Michael Furdyk turned his interest in technology into millions by the age of 17, developing a series of successful online companies, and co-founding MyDesktop.com and BuyBuddy.com (which raised $4.5-million of venture capital). For several years now, he has consulted for many Fortune 500 companies, and is a board member and advisor to numerous groups including Microsoft, Pollution Probe, the ‘Anytime, Anywhere’ Learning Foundation, and several other national and global organizations.
“Michael has great business intuition and a track record of success.”— Microsoft
Recently, Furdyk launched Future Friendly Schools, a new certification and network that supports schools in adopting the values of global citizenship, student voice and environmental stewardship, while integrating the approaches of immersive ICT use and project-based learning. Future Friendly Schools is designed to provide a roadmap to help schools adopt practices to properly address the challenges and opportunites of today’s globalized and technology-rich world.
As one of Teen People’s past “20 Teens That Will Change the World,” Furdyk has shared his opinions about Youth Engagement and experiences as a member of the Net Generation by speaking at dozens of events, including the World Congress on IT, the US Government's National Youth Summit, and Microsoft's ‘Anytime, Anywhere’ Learning Summits.
“I loved how practical this keynote was! I can't wait to explore the resources and ideas. [Michael delivered] one of the best keynotes I've ever seen at conferences. Quite wonderful! I had to force myself to stick to my original plan, and not attend the follow-up session. Truly inspirational, and lots of food for thought, applicable to all educators.”Canadian eLearning Network
“Thank you for expanding the horizons of Lambton College and our students. You demonstrated for us that it is not only the big established corporations that must facilitate a change. You resonated deeply with the College’s social justice focus. [...] Your contribution allowed us to create an even better event that provided educators with the resources and ability to engage and implement mobile learning into the classroom. You motivated our attendees and gave them confidence to be able to tackle mobile learning and use it to better the students’ education.”Lambton College
Imagining Future Friendly Schools Technology, Global Citizenship, and Student Voice
Michael Furdyk was one of the first to explore the transformative potential of applying technology to the classroom—and to our education system. In this talk, he draws on his decade-long journey with TakingITGlobal (TIG), creating an online network engaging millions of youth in taking action on the world’s greatest challenges. To properly educate the Net Generation (students born after 1980), a major overhaul of our schools is needed. How can we successfully integrate technology and teachers? How do we develop curriculum to engage students, who, as a fact of life, are always plugged-in, always looking at one type of screen or another? Furdyk explores blended learning—a hybrid between face-to-face and online—and explains how technology can be used to deeply engage students. He highlights the importance of project and problem-based learning, flexible environments, more fluid interdisciplinary studies, and increased engagement through inclusive education. Furdyk has already helped facilitate global education and civic engagement for millions of youth worldwide. The world has changed, he has learned firsthand. It’s about time education caught up.
Social Networking for Social Good Using Technology for Global Impact
During this information-packed and entertaining keynote, Michael Furdyk shares his entrepreneurial journey from growing up during the early days of the Internet to starting up three dot-com companies before even turning 18. He provides audiences with an in-depth look at the “Net Generation,” and how their use of technology is influencing every aspect of society, and challenging business, government, and education to bridge the gap between how they live, work, and learn. He shares innovations from TakingITGlobal, the global charity he co-founded that engages millions of young people to understand and act on the world's biggest challenges, and insights into upcoming technology trends shaping our world.
The Future of Learning at Work
What’s the future of learning in the workplace? How can we use technology and social media to make employees more effective, more engaged, and happier? In this talk, Michael Furdyk explores the new frontier of employee training and development: where learning experiences are designed to make the most out of new technology and where social media is a valuable tool, not a distraction. He demonstrates how small steps—such as providing fitness trackers or participating in corporate social responsibility projects—can make a big difference. Employee engagement is one of our most valuable tools at work, he says: and it’s beneficial for the company, the customer, the employee, and the bottom line.