Our conference theme begins with a nod to Albert Einstein and Walt Disney, who recognized the transformative power of imagination. Albert Einstein told us that “Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” Walt Disney adopted the word, “Imagineering,” in the 1950s, combining imagination and engineering to describe an innovative approach to creating unique experiences.
In these days of rapid and disruptive change, imagination may be the key element that planning in higher education so desperately needs. Harvard President, Drew Faust, in her opening address for the 2013- 2014 academic year, noted that higher education is undergoing “seismic shifts” that present formidable challenges as well as unprecedented opportunities. In spite of these challenges, she is optimistic about the future because institutions of higher education are filled with people who “think and act, and imagine and realize.”
Higher education today is at the point where what has worked in the past is no longer viable. An integrated approach to planning that addresses the academic, physical, financial, and operational and allows us to imagine new ways of addressing the challenges confronting universities and colleges is needed. "Imagination is the essential requisite to innovation...." and innovation is what is needed to address the complex challenges of planning for the future in higher education.
Every discovery begins with a question. In this conference we will bring together imaginative thinkers and practitioners to ask questions, to ignite our imaginations, challenge our assumptions and learn how to transform these new insights into innovative ideas.