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David BaptistaDavid Baptista, Director

David Baptista is the Co-Founder and Director of Teaching and Learning at the Latin American Leadership Academy (LALA), a non-profit institution that seeks to promote shared and sustainable prosperity in Latin America by developing a new generation of leaders. David's passion is helping students develop the essential dispositions, skills, habits and values that support lifelong learning and wellness. His quest to understand education has taken him on a 15-year teaching journey. He has taught STEAM, philosophy, history, theater, SEL and trained teachers and consulted for schools across Brazil. David majored in Philosophy, Physics and History from Tufts University. Cognitive science sparked his passion for education, and he is broadly interested in understanding the impact of self-regulatory practices in multicultural contexts. David also serves as a lead retreat facilitator for the Posse Foundation.

Zak SteinZak Stein, Director

Stein's interests are in the practices of justice and education, including specializations in developmental psychology and ethics. He studied philosophy and religion at Hampshire College, and then educational neuroscience, human development, and the philosophy of education at Harvard University.

Stein has published on a wide range of topics including the philosophy of learning, educational technology, and integral theory. His work has appeared in a variety of academic journals including, American Psychologist, New Ideas in Psychology, Mind, Brain, and Education, Integral Review, and the Journal of Philosophy of Education. I have taught at Harvard University, Meridian University, and JFK University. His invited speaking engagements span a wide range of venues, from the National Security Agency to off-the-grid spiritual retreat centers.more

Today, Stein is a scholar at the Ronin Institute, where he reseaches the relations between education, human development, and the evolution of civilizations. He serves as Co-President and Academic Director of the activist think-tank at the Center for Integral Wisdom, where he writes and teaches at the edges of integral meta-theory. He is a member of the scientific advisor board of the Neurohacker Collective and other technology start-ups, where he uses his expertise in ethics and human development to help guide innovation.

Theo L. DawsonTheo L. Dawson, Ph.D., Executive Director

Dr. Dawson (U.C. Berkeley, 1998), is an award-winning cognitive developmental psychologist. Since 1995 (originally as academic, and more recently as the founder and CEO of Lectica, Inc.) her work has focused on documenting conceptual and skill development across the lifespan. Findings from this research have informed the design of educational tools and technologies that make it possible to customize—and optimize—learning for everyone.

Dawson has owned and/or operated several businesses in fields as varied as medicine, advertising, and education, including Lectica, Inc., and the Developmental Testing Service, LLC. She has also taught, mentored, or coached hundreds of individuals and has acted as a consultant to institutions like the U.S. Federal Government, Harvard University, the University of Texas at Arlington, JFK University, the University of Ireland, the University of Cyprus, and a variety of businesses and schools, both in the US and abroad. more

As an academic, Dawson has secured more than $1.5 million in grants from funding agencies like the Spencer Foundation, the NSF (pending), and IES, and has held appointments at the University of California at Berkeley, Hampshire College, the Medical Center at Louisiana State University, and the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. She is the author of numerous articles, book chapters, and papers on issues related to human development and learning in journals such as Cognitive Development, Mind, Brain, and Education, The European Journal of Developmental Psychology, Genetic, Social, & General Psychology Monographs, The Journal of Applied Measurement, and Developmental Review, has contributed chapters to several edited books, and has made many dozens of presentations at professional conferences and events.  —CV








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