With more than 600,000 jobs available today in the U.S. technology field, there has never been a more important time to generate a workforce that has the proper skills and educational training than the present.

SAP invites you to join us on Thursday, October 6th at the Harvard Club in Downtown Boston from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. for The New Tech Workforce: An SAP Ideas Forum to be followed by a networking lunch.

The SAP Ideas Forum brings together Boston-area education and employer leaders in two fast-paced and thought-provoking panels on how to prepare the future workforce for careers in technology. Confirmed speakers are listed below. The first panel will bring expertise from the education sector, discussing youth culture, tech education, and the future of work. The second panel will discuss why top corporations in the sector have committed to developing a youth talent pipeline.

We’ll also be highlighting a local partnership. SAP has partnered with The Pathways to Prosperity team at Jobs for the Future to launch a new early college high school in Boston, C-Town Tech. C-Town Tech is a partnership among Boston Public Schools, Bunker Hill Community College, the Boston Private Industry Council, and the Boston Mayor’s Office. Students earn college credit in high school and are on a pathway to earn an Associate’s Degree in Information Technology with opportunities to begin a career or transition on to a university. This program is part of SAP’s pledge to the White House Tech Inclusion Initiative and the White House Computer Science for All Initiative.


10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.: Welcome

10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.:  Inspirational Keynote from Natalie Warne, TED speaker, advocate and featured on Oprah Winfrey

10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.:  Above the STEM: The Next Frontier in Tech Education, featuring a panel of influential leaders in the education sector talking about initiatives being driven today to ensure a healthy pipeline for the US Tech sector:

11:15 a.m. – 11:55 a.m.: WANTED: Tomorrow’s Tech Superstars, featuring a panel of leading global corporations discussing best practices in securing the technology workforce of the future to meet the high demand of skilled workers needed for the industry:

  • Ronald Walker, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development
  • Kelli Wells, Executive Director Education & Skills, GE Foundation
  • Daryl Graham, VP Global Philanthropy, JP Morgan Chase
  • Felix Moesner, CEO Swissnex Boston, Swiss Consul, Founder, S&T Diplomatic Circle Boston
  • Moderated by Marianne Heer, SVP, Head of Digital Business Services, SAP North America

11:55 a.m. –12:00 p.m.: Closing

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.: Lunch and networking time

Join C-Town Tech high school students, faculty, area non-profits, corporations and our education’s elite as we aspire to drive these opportunities for tomorrow’s leaders. The Harvard Club is located at 1 Federal St, Boston, MA 02110. Please RSVP to jackie.montesinos.suarez@sap.com.



WarneNatalie Warne is a film producer, public speaker, and activist. She simultaneously served as the Associate Producer for the Connected Learning Alliance: an innovative education startup, backed by the MacArthur Foundation that supports a growing network of individuals & organizations that promote equity, access & opportunity for all learners.

Born and raised in Chicago, Natalie forwent university for the opportunity to tour the US advocating on behalf of the humanitarian aid organization, Invisible Children. What was supposed to be a five-month internship turned into three years of employment. During this time Natalie developed skills as a film editor, event producer, and public speaker, educating and mobilizing youth through nationwide campaigns featured on CNN and the Oprah Winfrey Show.

In between tours with Invisible Children, she lived and worked in Rwanda as a film producer. In 2011, Natalie was asked to give a TEDx Talk that was featured on TED.com, followed by a second in 2012 and a feature on NPR, all highlighting her experiences about engaging youth in social justice.

She has spoken at more than 150 schools nationally and internationally. She has delivered keynote speeches at Amnesty International, Rotary International Youth Alliance, and Apple, to name a few.

DorseyTurahn Dorsey serves as the newly appointed Chief of Education for the City of Boston and is a member of Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s cabinet. As Chief of Education, Dorsey is charged with setting a strategic agenda for the city that will improve the quality of instruction and student support across the education pipeline and better integrate school-, community-, and work-based learning opportunities.

Prior to joining the Mayor’s cabinet, Mr. Dorsey served as Evaluation Director and an Education Program Officer at the Barr Foundation. At Barr, Dorsey led the development and implementation of data monitoring and evaluation frameworks for Barr’s strategic investments in local education and climate change. Additionally, he managed the Foundation’s giving in out-of-school time and focused on expanding summer learning options, helping to create systemic approaches to school-community partnerships and developing education and career pathways for disconnected youth.

Mr. Dorsey’s career is built on the 15 years he spent as a program evaluator and researcher at Moore and Associates in Southfield, Michigan and Abt Associates in Cambridge, MA. In this capacity, he led and participated in research projects spanning a number of public policy, community change and public health related issues. The body of work he contributed to for state and local governments, as well as foundations, also covers a number of quantitative and qualitative technical areas including outcome and impact analyses, Theory of Change-based program evaluation. A native of Detroit, Mr. Dorsey graduated with a BA degree in Economics from The University of Michigan.

WarikooNatasha Warikoo from the Harvard Graduate School of Business is an expert on the relationships between education, racial and ethnic diversity, and cultural processes in schools and universities. Her most recent book, The Diversity Bargain: And Other Dilemmas of Race, Admissions, and Meritocracy at Elite Universities illuminates how undergraduates attending Ivy League universities and Oxford University conceptualize race and meritocracy. The book emphasizes the contradictions, moral conundrums, and tensions on campus related to affirmative action and diversity, and how these vary across racial and national lines. Her first book, Balancing Acts: Youth Culture in the Global City, analyzes youth culture among children of immigrants attending low-performing high schools in New York City and London. Balancing Acts won the Thomas and Znaneicki Best Book Award from the American Sociological Association’s International Migration Section.

Warikoo’s research has been published in numerous publications and she has won grants and awards from top level associations and organizations. Warikoo teaches courses on racial inequality and the role of culture in K-12 and higher education. Warikoo was a teacher in New York City’s public schools for four years, and also spent time working at the U.S. Department of Education and as a fellow with the Teachers Network Leadership Institute. Warikoo completed her Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University, and B.Sc. and B.A. in mathematics and philosophy at Brown University.

KochGretchen Koch is responsible for the Creating IT Futures Foundation’s IT workforce development and education initiatives. She joined the foundation in 2014 after 11 years of developing national workforce initiatives for CompTIA, where she parlayed her knowledge of industry and educational systems to become a nationally known change agent for IT workforce development.

She works closely with the U.S. Department of Education on its Data Sharing Project and currently leads efforts with the State of Illinois and the Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance to develop and promote IT career pipelines in the state. She also is the National IT Career Cluster Leader for the States’ Career Clusters Initiative and the Lead Entity for the IT Learning Exchange for Illinois’ Race to the Top Pathways Initiative. When she is not working from the Foundation’s headquarters in Downers Grove, IL, she spends a great amount of time in downtown Chicago working with local leaders in education and workforce development.

In the past few years, she has spoken at numerous events on the top, even receiving special invitations from the U.S. Department of Education.

Before joining CompTIA and its foundation, Ms. Koch had more than 20 years of experience in IT management at Digital Equipment, Compaq and Hewlett-Packard corporations. Her most recent position in the IT Industry was national education manager, Global Services Division at Compaq & Hewlett-Packard Corporation.

Koch is a graduate of the University of Michigan, with honors, and holds an MAT from Harvard Graduate School of Education and an MBA from Simmons Graduate School of Business.

SchwartzRobert Schwartz is Professor Emeritus of Practice in Educational Policy and Administration at the Harvard Graduate School of Business. He held a wide variety of leadership positions in education and government before joining the HGSE faculty in 1996. From 1997 to 2002, Schwartz also served as president of Achieve, Inc., an independent, bipartisan, nonprofit organization created by governors and corporate leaders to help states improve their schools. From 1990 to 1996, Schwartz directed the education grantmaking program of The Pew Charitable Trusts, one of the nation’s largest private philanthropies.

In addition to his work at HGSE, Achieve, and The Pew Charitable Trusts, Schwartz has been a high school English teacher and principal; an education adviser to the mayor of Boston and the governor of Massachusetts; an assistant director of the National Institute of Education; a special assistant to the president of the University of Massachusetts; and executive director of The Boston Compact, a public-private partnership designed to improve access to higher education and employment for urban high school graduates.

He currently sits on the board of NAF.  Schwartz has written and spoken widely on topics such as standards-based reform, public-private partnerships, and the transition from high school to adulthood. In recent years Schwartz has contributed to three volumes published by Harvard Education Press: Teaching Talent(2010), Surpassing Shanghai(2011), and The Futures of School Reform (2012).

He currently co-leads the Pathways to Prosperity Network, a collaboration among a group of states, HGSE, and Jobs for the Future designed to ensure that many more young people graduate high school, attain an initial postsecondary degree or credential with value in the labor market, and get launched on a career while leaving open the possibility of further education.

Ronald L. Walker, II, Secretary of Labor & Workforce Development, is Managing Partner and President of Next Street, the merchant bank he founded to transform the way finance and business advisory services are provided to small businesses and entrepreneurs operating in major cities across the U.S.

Prior to joining Next Street, Ron served as Executive Vice President and Regional Executive of Retail Banking for Sovereign Bank and oversaw the bank’s 38 Business Banking Centers and 200 employees. Prior to joining Sovereign, Ron held several senior executive roles in retail, commercial banking, including roles with  Fleet Financial Group, Bank of New England, the Xerox Corporation and IBM  Mr. Walker is Chair of the Board of THE BASE and serves as an overseer for the Boston YMCA.

He recently received the 2013 Boston Business Journal “CEO of the Year Social Leadership Award” and the 2013 Harry Dowd Community Service Award from Central Boston Elder Services. In 2012, he received the prestigious Heroes in Health Care Award from the Visiting Nurses Association of Boston. Ron also received the under 40 Leadership Award from the Boston Chamber of Commerce.

MoesnerDr. Felix Moesner is the CEO of Swissnex Boston and the Consul of the Consulate of Switzerland. Established as the world’s first “Science Consulate” in 2000, swissnex Boston is part of a global network in San Francisco (2003), Singapore (2004), China (2007), India (2009) and Brazil (2013) and an outpost in New York City. Formerly, Felix Moesner was the Head of the Science and Technology Office at the Embassy of Switzerland in Tokyo, promoting Swiss S&T and Education in Japan and interfacing between Swiss and Japanese governments, universities, R&D institutions and companies. Since 2005, he also held the presidency of the Science and Technology Diplomatic Circle in Tokyo and now in Boston. Felix Moesner, a graduate from ETH Zurich with research records at the University of Tokyo, Asia’s leading university, specialized in robotics, MEMS and nanotech. He worked for Credit Suisse Life Insurance Japan, Toshiba Corporation, the Kanagawa Academy of S&T, Synpulse and Egon Zehnder.

WellsKelli List Wells is the Executive Director for Global Education and Skills at the GE Foundation.  Her portfolio focuses on building education, skills and training initiatives to prepare the next generation for the demands of the workforce and the changing labor economy both nationally and globally.

Wells joined GE in 1995 as an Investment Broker with GE Asset Management. In 1996, she was appointed to Quality where she became a Black Belt in Six Sigma.  After her role in Quality she managed International Marketing for GE’s Retail Services Division.  In 2001 she joined the corporate citizenship team at GE Capital where she held responsibilities around global programs. In 2004, she was appointed to her current role at the GE Foundation.  Prior to joining GE, Wells spent 5 years as a licensed financial advisor, holding her Series 7 and Series 63 Investment licenses.

Wells is also a member of various non-profit organizations and she serves on the board of directors for the Bridgeport Public Education Foundation.  She has served on the distribution committee of United Way; the board of the Parent Leadership Training Institute; the board of the Connecticut Academy of Education; and member of the Stamford Mayor’s council for School Readiness.  Wells studied International Relations and Japanese at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and continued her education at Nanzan University in Nagoya, Japan.

GrahamsDaryl A. Graham is the Vice President of Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase & Co. He is a results oriented Financial and Relationship Professional with significant experience in financial services and manufacturing industries. A proven track record of success by providing strategic financial, managerial and philanthropic solutions; resulting in highly impactful programs, projects and initiatives. Graham has been at JP Morgan Chase since 2001 in several roles. Prior to that, he served in various roles at Conoco Philips, GE and KPMG. He is a graduate of Morgan State University.