skip to Main Content

The Future of Work and Higher Education

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 at 4:00 P.M.
Design and Innovation Building (DIB), 2nd Floor Large Event Room #202

*This talk is hybrid (in-person & remote). Capacity is limited. Please register ahead of time.


Quality education that leads to employment opportunities is considered an essential platform for social mobility. Unfortunately, not all children have access to robust k-12 education that provide avenues to college. Educational disparities exist across socioeconomic backgrounds, race and ethnicity, and geography. While educators and policymakers are grappling with these challenges, they are also faced with educating the future workforce in a rapidly changing economy. California is at the forefront of technological innovations, including automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics, that will radically transform the labor market. How do we prepare our students for the skills necessary for future work? How can we ensure that all children are well-educated so that they can thrive in the 21 st century workforce?

Join us for a VERY SPECIAL EDITION of Design@Large where we will be hosting this panel in not 1, not 2, but 3 locations! You can join us in person at the Design and Innovation Building on UC San Diego’s campus or the UCSD @ Park & Market Building in Downtown San Diego. Two live audiences will engage with each other to model how technology is changing the future of education and work. You can also join us via livestream on zoom or YouTube.

Featured Panelists:

Lenny Mendonca was the Chief Economic and Business Advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom of California and Chair of the California High Speed Rail Authority. He is a Senior Partner Emeritus of McKinsey & Company and a Lecturer on Inequality at the Stanford Business School. He founded McKinsey’s U.S. state and local public sector consulting practice. He also oversaw their knowledge development, Chairing the McKinsey Global Institute and the Firm’s communications, including the McKinsey Quarterly. He served for a decade on the McKinsey Shareholder Council (its Board of Directors). He retired from McKinsey in 2014.

Dr. Zach Pardos is an Associate Professor of Education at UC Berkeley studying adaptive learning and AI. His current research focuses on knowledge representation and recommender systems approaches to increasing upward mobility in postsecondary education using behavioral and semantic data. He earned his PhD in Computer Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a dissertation on computational models of cognitive mastery. Funded by a National Science Foundation Fellowship (GK-12), he spent extensive time with K-12 educators and students working to integrate educational technology into the curriculum as a formative assessment tool. After completing his PhD in 2012, he spent one year as a Postdoctoral Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At Cal, he directs the Computational Approaches to Human Learning research lab, teaches in the data science undergraduate program, and is an affiliated faculty in Cognitive Science.

Peter Callstrom has led nonprofits for 30+ years. He joined the SDWP as CEO in 2012. Peter and his team have transformed the SDWP and reimagined workforce development delivery. They have built a very diverse budget (public, private and philanthropy), and deliver programs to empower job seekers of all ages. They manage a countywide network of full-service career centers. With an emphasis on underserved populations, but available to all job seekers, the SDWP and its partners reach tens of thousands annually. The SDWP created the only workforce Income Share Agreement (ISA) fund, an innovative student financing model to access post-secondary skills – students pay back to the fund, creating an ‘evergreen’ fund that empowers future participants. The SDWP utilizes in-depth labor market research and created content for K-14 students and ‘MyNextMove’ – an online experience to inform and inspire students, teachers and job seekers and the ‘Launch Pad’ with the Cajon Valley School District – an innovative in-person experience integrating career exploration with academics.

Dr. Elizabeth H. Simmons (she/her/hers) is the Executive Vice Chancellor at the University of California San Diego. In this capacity, she serves as UC San Diego’s chief academic officer and is responsible for policies and decisions relating to all academic programs and curriculum, instructional support programs, and faculty appointments and performance. She is the institution’s second-ranking executive officer and acts on behalf of the Chancellor in overseeing the University in his absence. Simmons aspires for UC San Diego to work collectively and coherently in becoming an inclusive student-centered, research-focused, service-oriented university. She envisions that the university will scale up the size, connectivity, and impact of research collaborations; be as proudly innovative in education as in scholarship; and empower every Triton to succeed – undergraduates, graduate students, staff, and faculty.



Design@Large is a speaker series hosted by The Design Lab at UC San Diego, where each quarter we examine a topic in society and the relevance and implications through the lens of human centered design.

For the first time in the nearly 10-year history of the Design@Large speaker series the UC San Diego Design Lab is partnering with a state-wide organization, California 100, to present an expanded hybrid experience to not only expand the audience of our series, but to deepen the means of engagement. California 100 is an initiative focused on identifying and uplifting transformative ideas, people, and projects through research and engagement that accelerate progress towards a shared vision of California’s future over the next century, the Design Lab will host six hybrid experiences between April 13 – May 25, 2022.

Taking place in the Design Lab’s state of the art new home, the Design and Innovation Building, a series of panels, talks, and participatory design sessions will be led by an extraordinary group of California thought leaders who reflect diversity by region and industry, and the perspectives of communities who have been historically marginalized or excluded. Attendees can plan to learn more about, and actively co-create, around the following topics:

  • Alternative Transportation Futures
  • Climate Risk Reduction and Technology
  • Housing Justice and Design
  • Transborder Regions and Immigrant Integration
  • Future Prospects in Health Equity and Tech Innovation
  • The Future of Work and Higher Education

This series is sponsored by the Burnham Center for Community Advancement, San Diego Supercomputer Center, and Qualcomm Institute. Session are open and free to the public.

**If you are needing ASL services for the event, please contact

Read Next

Salina Rise

Studio Session: What’s wrong with Individualism? with Rise San Diego

Power, Privilege, and Ethical Responses: Anti-Racism
Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 6:30 P.M. - 8:30 P.M.
Virtual Conference (Registration Required)

Kelema Moses (UC San Diego) & James Miller (Western Washington University)

Wednesday, February 23, 2022 at 4:00 P.M.
Troubling Housing: Process & Pedagogy in Oceania
Hybrid, see restrictions in event details
Byron Washom Ucsd Design Lab

Byron Washom (UC San Diego)

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 4:00 P.M.
UC San Diego as a Lab-to-Market Ecosystem for the Electrification of Transportation
Back To Top