John Nash

John Nash, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership Studies, at the University of Kentucky, is the founder of the Laboratory on Design Thinking in Education (dLab) and a director of the Center for Advanced Study Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), both housed at the University of Kentucky. John is a specialist in the design and prototyping of innovations in education. He teaches a range of courses on design thinking, school technology leadership, and school reform.

Nash is one of the founders of the OpenEye Group, a firm established in Sweden and the U.S. to provide leading-edge strategies that shorten time-to-impact in programs within nonprofit organizations, foundations, and government agencies.

He is the former associate director for evaluation at the Stanford Center for Innovations (SCIL), where he conducted applied research on improving program evaluation in grant-funded initiatives. He was also a grant maker for the Wallenberg Global Learning Network, an arm of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation of Stockholm, Sweden, focused on enhancing learning outcomes through educational technology in the U.S., Sweden and Germany.

Big Idea: “The Civil War in Our Brains”

Our brains are at war with themselves, and we are blissfully unaware of the epic battle taking place. This struggle, between the limbic and the neocortical cortexes, is epic and age-old. Our neocortical achievements include our stunning abilities to employ language, engage in abstract thought, and apply math or physics to complex technical problems. Yet, such neocortical abilities are drowning out what may be an even greater human trait: limbic resonance, or our ability to sense the inner world of others. This has immense implications on how we design.