CGI U announces Khan, Dorsey as speakers

Jack Dorsey

The lineup of speakers for the upcoming Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) conference is beginning to take shape.

CGI U and Washington University announced Salman Khan, the developer of online education resource Khan Academy, and Jack Dorsey, the founder of the social media site Twitter, as two speakers for the event. In addition to Khan and Dorsey, former president Bill Clinton will also appear at the conference, which will run from April 5-7.

Khan started his successful YouTube channel, also called Khan Academy, after he began tutoring his cousin online using Yahoo! doodle tools. He eventually went on to give instruction in many subjects using videos that have since received hundreds of millions of views. He left his job as a hedge fund analyst to devote time to Khan

Academy and has developed a website with over 3,000 educational videos and other tools. In 2012, he published a book on education entitled “The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined.”

Salman Khan

Dorsey, a native of St. Louis, developed the idea for Twitter during his time at New York University. He is also the founder and CEO of Square, a company that develops tools for companies to accept payment from credit cards on mobile devices.

“Jack Dorsey is the [main] success story of the St. Louis start-up scene, and everyone should be excited for him to come,” said senior Philip Thomas, director of Wute.vc, a student organization for technological entrepreneurs. Wute.vc is hosting three of Dorsey’s Square cofounders at a 6 p.m. event today in Whitaker Hall.

When Dorsey comes to campus, Thomas said that students can learn from his story of perseverance. Several years ago, most Internet users would have found a 140-character social media model unthinkable, Thomas said.

Sophomore and frequent Twitter user Amanda Phan also expressed excitement for Dorsey’s inclusion at CGI U.

“It’s pretty amazing that our campus will be hosting a speaker that connects so well with our generation,” Phan said. “I’m going to tweet at him: #starstruck.”

High-profile speakers at the 2012 CGI U event included Jon Stewart, Madeleine Albright, Vandana Shiva and Usher.

The deadline to attend CGI U expired Wednesday. However, students at the University have opportunities remaining to get involved during the conference. Students may serve as volunteers for CGI U to assist with photography, registration and ushering, among other responsibilities. University students, faculty and staff may also apply for CGI U programming funds to cover costs for events directly related to CGI U themes. More information about these opportunities can be found by contacting the Gephardt Institute for Public Service at gephardtinstitute@wustl.edu

The Gephardt Institute and a representative from CGI U could not be reached for comment.

With additional reporting by Alex Leichenger