Al Meyers is the TEDxPeachtree Organizer. Previously, Al was President of Saisei Consulting, a provider of strategy and corporate development advisory services to early-stage, growth-stage and mature digital media companies around the world. Al has advised several startups in the areas of digital media, 3D online development, online games and games for K-12 education.
As a result of seeing Jose Antonio Abreu win the 2009 TED Prize, Al co-founded The Atlanta Music Project, the first youth program in Atlanta based on "El Sistema," the globally heralded program developed in Venezuela that uses classical music as an instrument for social change. The Atlanta Music Project is a 5-day-a-week, after-school, youth orchestra and choir program targeting under-served communities in metropolitan Atlanta. A 501 c(3) organization, The Atlanta Music Project was established in February 2010.
Al was previously Co-founder & CEO of Past4Ward, LLC, an Atlanta-based startup focused on developing an immersive learning platform for classroom education based primarily on online game-play. The Company’s mission was to improve education in schools, with a new technology that allowed students to play games and learn at the same time. Learning through video game-like environments is an ideal learning tool for today's digitally-oriented children, who learn and think differently than previous generations. The company’s emphasis was on student-centered learning tools using game mechanics and other web 2.0 features. The Company’s approach, backed by academically rigorous research and data, showed unequivocally how using games in classroom instruction could lead to successful 21st century learning outcomes.
In February 2009, Meyers unveiled his vision for 21st century learning during the highly regarded and virally popular conference “TED@PalmSprings”. Al was chosen to be one of twelve distinguished speakers invited to present at the TEDDIY session. To read more, go to: http://blog.ted.com/2009/02/friday_mornings.php
Meyers accumulated more than 20 years of experience in the media and entertainment industry with several Fortune 100 companies. Meyers served as Vice President of Strategic Planning at Turner Broadcasting where he was a founding member of GameTap, and facilitated the sale of GameTap to a French company in 2008. Meyers spent nearly 13 years at the company (1995-2008), and spent considerable time on M&A transactions and strategy development for Turner (and across Time Warner) and its portfolio of businesses,
Al Meyers received his Bachelor’s degree from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and his Masters in Business Administration from the Leonard Stern School of Business at New York University. He is proficient in both the Japanese and Spanish languages.
Areas of Expertise
Strategy Development, Virtual Worlds, online games, Media & Entertainment, Digital Media Platforms, Console Gaming, Organizational Behavior, Disruptive Innovation
An idea worth spreading
"Digital Natives" require different stimuli to learn effectively, as they have been exposed to technology since they were in preschool or kindergarten. The textbook, "broadcast lecture" passive learning approach must be embraced by our education system, or we risk losing our intellectual leadership to emerging countries in Asia and Europe. These people require constant networking, instant gratification, free-forming exploration and frequent rewards, and this can be achieved through a more aggressive rollout of technologically innovative resources in the classroom setting. The world has flattened, and we must train our children with the skills required for relevance/success in the 21st century work environment.
A big idea worth spreading comes from two books I highly recommend: Clayton Christensen's "Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change The Way The World Learns," and "Grown Up Digital" by Don Tapscott (author of "Wikinomics"). These two books say it all.
I'm passionate about
Student-Centered Learning Technologies, Neuroplasticity, the Medici Effect, our founding fathers, online gaming, globalization, breakthrough innovation, baseball, and my wife and children
Talk to me about
Globalization, Digital Media, Student Centered Learning, Disruptive Innovation, Medici Effect, Games & Learning, Innovation in Education, online gaming/social networking/user generated content/web 2
People don't know I'm good at
Japanese, Business Writing (I have "ghost-written" many board memos and other critical strategy docs), Lecturing in academia, baseball instruction
My TED story
I've been slower than most at embracing technological innovation, as our children are engaging in activities that are foreign to most generation Xers. However, I have been fortunate to travel expensively around the world, particularly in Asia, and I have seen the creative, entrepreneurial and technological innovation taking place there, and it is clear to me that Thomas Friedman was very astute in his book "The World is Flat." It has been happening since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and I believe that a global perspective, appreciating cultural differences, and providing our children with critical skills is the key to success in the digital world. It is our responsibility in Corporate America to collaborate extensively with academia so that our children are prepared for a world much different than the one we grew up in. The ability to exchange ideas via TED could go a long way towards moving the ball forward to grow our civilization. I have a new concept to evangelize at TED 2008.