Innovations 2023 Monday Keynote Michael M. Crow

General Session Keynote
Monday, March 13
9:00 - 10:00 AM

Michael M. Crow

President, Arizona State University

Keynote Address

Adopting an Innovation Mindset to Create Meaningful Change
Traditional postsecondary education models have served generations of learners and remain exemplars for higher education around the world, yet organizational innovation has been subtle and measured. At a time when knowledge creation, global complexity, and the demand for lifelong learning is growing at a lightning pace, how can we foster organizations capable of developing new and effective ways to meet the needs of students and communities? This keynote addresses the role that an innovation mindset plays in creating progress, and the steps involved in cultivating a culture of design for better outcomes.


Michael M. Crow is an educator, knowledge enterprise architect, science and technology policy scholar, and higher education leader. He became the sixteenth president of Arizona State University in July 2002 and has spearheaded ASU’s rapid and groundbreaking transformative evolution into one of America’s best public metropolitan research universities. As a model New American University, ASU simultaneously demonstrates comprehensive excellence, inclusivity representative of the ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of the United States, and consequential societal impact.

Lauded as the ”#1 most innovative” school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report (2016-2023), ASU is a student-centric, technology-enabled knowledge enterprise focused on complex global challenges related to sustainability, economic competitiveness, social embeddedness, entrepreneurship, and global engagement. Under Crow’s leadership, ASU has established 25 new transdisciplinary schools, including the School of Earth and Space Exploration, the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, and the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, and launched trailblazing multidisciplinary initiatives, including the Biodesign Institute, the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory, and important initiatives in the humanities and social sciences.

Crow’s model has achieved record-breaking levels of traditional, online, and international student enrollment; freshman quality and retention; and nearly five-fold growth in research expenditures. ASU’s meteoric ascent in quality, growth, and modernization has earned it separate rankings as one of the top 100 most prestigious universities in the world by Times Higher Education, and a top 100 position in Shanghai Jiao Tong’s 2018 Academic Ranking of World Universities.

The inaugural recipient of the American Council on Education Award for Institutional Transformation and one of TIME magazine’s “10 Best College Presidents,” Crow previously served as executive vice provost and professor of science and technology policy at Columbia University. He has advised the U.S. Departments of State, Commerce, and Energy, as well as defense and intelligence agencies, and serves as Chairman of In-Q-Tel. He is a two-term member of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and has advised several nation-states on matters of knowledge enterprise development. An elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Public Administration, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Crow is the author of books and articles analyzing knowledge enterprises, science and technology policy, and the design of higher education institutions and systems. He coauthored Designing the New American University (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015), outlining the imperative for new and creative public university models that advance both academic excellence and broad accessibility, and The Fifth Wave: The Evolution of the American Research University (2020), which urges the comprehensive redesign of higher education to educate large numbers of qualified students while leveraging discovery and accessibility. A member of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness and the Council on Foreign Relations, Crow has also served on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council. 

Crow earned his Ph.D. in public administration (science and technology policy) from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. Born in 1955 in San Diego, California, Crow is married to Dr. Sybil Francis and is the father of three adult children.

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