STEAM represents the economic progress and breakthrough innovation that comes from adding art and design to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and research: STEM + Art = STEAM. Access to ever-increasing data sets, complex scientific discovery, and always-on devices have left us oversaturated with information. The tools and methods of design offer new models for creative problem solving and interdisciplinary partnership, introducing innovative practices of design thinking into STEM education and research. To realize this potential, scientists, artists and designers must develop new ways of working together and new modes of research and education. This will keep America at the forefront of innovation, ensuring our sustained global leadership and cultural prosperity in the 21st century. For more information visit stemtosteam.org.
John Maeda – President, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)
John Maeda is a leader who imagines how design can simplify technology and help leaders respond to new challenges in the era of social media. His work as a graphic designer, computer scientist, artist and educator earned him the distinction of being named one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century by Esquire.
In June 2008, Maeda became president of Rhode Island School of Design, and in late 2012, Business Insider named RISD the #1 design school in the world. At RISD, Maeda is leading the movement to transform STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to STEAM by adding Art. Called the “Steve Jobs of academia” by Forbes, he believes art and design are poised to transform our economy in the 21st century like science and technology did in the last century.
Maeda previously served as associate director of research at the MIT Media Lab. He serves on the boards of Sonos, Quirky, and Wieden+Kennedy, and on the Davos World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on New Models of Leadership. His books include The Laws of Simplicity, Creative Code, and Redesigning Leadership, which expands on his Twitter feed at @johnmaeda, one of TIME Magazine’s 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2012. Maeda received the AIGA Medal in 2010 and is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.