Must Read Blog April 30, 2024

10 Ruminations on ASU+GSV 2024 on Higher Education, EdTech, and People

Our team here at Tyton Partners was out in force at this year’s ASU+GSV conference, with almost 30 of our strategy consultants and investment bankers on-site in San Diego. We joined a crowd of movers and shakers representing institutions as well as ed tech companies, non-profits, foundations, entrepreneurs, and investors operating across the education sector. It was a pleasure to see so many current and former clients and collaborators, and as always, we loved meeting new folks at the five panels we moderated and three events we hosted.

Whether you were in attendance or not, we’d like to give you a sense of the serious, not-so-serious, and generally buzzy topics that may interest you and your institution.


Seen and heard over the noise of the crowd:


AI dominated the panel topics and was top of mind for most attendees, with lots of conjecture about how it will change teaching and learning. We can’t help but wonder: If entrepreneurs and technologists are having a hard time pinning down its impact, can institutions – rarely first adopters – be expected to see around the bend?


Attending an event on the Midway aircraft-carrier-turned-museum – and chatting with the former Navy crew members who continue to proudly staff it – reminds us of the importance of skills transferability and also how lucky people are to find not just a career, but a vocation.


Parlance profusion seems to be the name of the game in the work-based learning sector, with overlapping references to apprenticeships, experiential learning, earn-to-learn, internships, co-ops, and vocational training signaling an increased focus on bridging learning to work.


We are perennially delighted and surprised by the new technology being developed to support both the student and instructional journeys, and we understand that it’s a challenge to keep up with it all. One obvious strategy: make sure that your Chief Information/Chief Technology Officer is more futurist than technologist.


Amidst technological advances and announcements, a strong undercurrent of the humanistic aspects of education continued to bubble up throughout the event in numerous private discussions and broader addresses.


We visited with many more leaders of higher education institutions than in previous years. We see this conference as increasingly an important cross-sector community and a productive break from the silos and fractured conversations that dominate.


Amazing how many institutions are considering affiliation these days; to which we respond: It’s not a simple process, but given the number of schools that have initiated and completed this journey, the days of Lewis and Clark appear to be behind us.


Ruby Bridges, who, as a six-year-old in 1960, helped change history by integrating into a New Orleans elementary school in the wake of the Brown v. the Board of Education ruling, kept the Women’s Lunch transfixed. She was the right girl for the job then and the right woman for the job now, reminding us how far we’ve come and how far we have to go. And also, an incredible cheerleader for mothers and their role in forcing change!


Is “online” becoming a word so broad as to be meaningless? And mightn’t something be learned from the Inuit’s 50+ different words for snow?


For all of you who love your on-premises legacy systems: Let go! The world of quality consistent data without bespoke customizations and integrations awaits!

If you’d like to talk about the event with us or any of the things we heard above, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.