Professional Development > Conferences and Workshops

Conferences and Workshops
(Click here for the 2019-2020 Professional Development Series PDF)


Design Thinking for Social Entrepreneurship: BYOB!
Nicholas Java and Amy Botula

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 9:30 am - Thursday, June 23, 2016 3:00 pm

ISACS Classroom
55 West Wacker Drive, Suite 702
Chicago, IL

****WORKSHOP UPDATE AS OF MAY, 6, 2016****
Unfortunately, due to low enrollment we have cancelled this workshop.  

If you had registered for this workshop, ISACS will remit a check to your school. Please remember to cancel hotel reservations. 

If you have any questions, please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190.


Gain deep understanding of design thinking by working with the top experts in the field.

Take advantage of this rare opportunity to work directly with design thinking experts without the expense of traveling to California.  We are bringing the experts to ISACS!

Date and Time
Wednesday, June 22: 9;30 am - 4:00 pm
Thursday, June 23: 8:30 am - 3:00 pm

Participants should make plans to attend the workshop in its entirety.

Who Should Attend
We enthusiastically invite a cross-disciplinary group of middle school and upper school educators.  Experience or basic knowledge of design thinking is required but you do not need familiarity with social entrepreneurship.  Come and learn to Build Your Own Business!

Why Attend
Take advantage of this rare opportunity to experience Stanford’s design thinking training without traveling to Stanford.  Due to the very active and interactive nature of the training, the workshop is limited to 32 participants.  We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to be one of 32 educators to gain deep understanding of the design process in order to bring this expertise back to your school!

Workshop Description
Don’t miss the rare opportunity to train your students as authentic social entrepreneurs—individuals with innovative solutions to society's most pressing social problems. A social entrepreneur, similar to a business entrepreneur, builds strong and sustainable organizations, which are set up to benefit those who are marginalized and poor.  Becoming a social entrepreneur can be immeasurably transformative for you, your students and your school.  Social entrepreneurship provides a dynamic opportunity for real-world problem solving, experiential learning, and the development of crucial non-cognitive skills like critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. Based on the design challenge model, participants will experience a condensed version of the entrepreneurship process, specialized for students: pitching an idea, forming a team, developing a prototype, engaging with customers, and measuring social impact. You will then customize the process for your own school with input and inspiration from fellow participants and facilitators, and will leave with two prototypes: (1) a collaborative social impact business idea, and (2) your own social entrepreneurship training program.

Nicholas Java
is a social entrepreneur and impact investor. He serves as the COO of Breaker and has built the business from the bottom up. He also uses his business acumen to help design curriculum for challenges like the Future of Food - Java moonlights as the chief of staff of Beyond Capital Fund, an impact investment fund that provides capital in the early stages of social ventures in India and East Africa. Since 2012, he has evaluated over 180 social ventures and made six successful impact investments.

Amy Botula is a career educator, writer, and advocate for the arts. She comes with 16 years of experience working across K-12 classrooms including leading departments and grade-alike clusters, developing and implementing district-wide curricula, and supporting staff in a building-wide overhaul of literacy instruction. Most recently, Botula served as implementation supervisor for The Right Brain Initiative, an arts integration education program in Portland, Oregon. Her main role with Breaker is to provide training and coaching support for the growing community of design-minded educators in Oregon.

The workshop will take place at the ISACS classroom at 55 West Wacker Drive, Suite 702, Chicago, IL. 

The location is located in the heart of Chicago, with easy access to public transportation. 

Click here for directions to the ISACS classroom including driving, parking and public transportation directions. Parking is available at several area garages. To secure discounted parking prior to your arrival in Chicago, visit If possible, we suggest you take public transportation.

‚ÄčGO Airport Express (Share-a-Ride) Shuttle Service
ISACS has negotiated a special rate with GO Airport Express for ISACS members – 15% off standard rates. Reservations MUST be made in advance and online to receive the discounted rate.  The standard rate per person to/from O’Hare is approximately $28 one-way; $49 round-trip. The standard rate per person to/from Midway is approximately $24 one-way; $40 round-trip. To receive the 15% discount off the standard rates, please click here for the Go Airport Express website to make a reservation in advance. A credit card is required and charged at the time of reservation. Airport walk-ups are not be eligible for the discounted rate, standard rates apply. Parties of two or more reserving at the same time receive a discount. Please visit their website for more information. .

Hotel Accommodations
ISACS has secured discounted hotel accommodations at Club Quarters at Wacker and Michigan. The Club Quarters is located two blocks from the ISACS classroom. To make a reservation, please contact Club Quarters Member Services at 203-905-2100 (Mon.-Fri. 7am-11pm; Sat. 9am-5pm and Sun. 10am-6pm EST). Make sure to identify yourself as a member with the Independent Schools Association of Central States (ISACS) & provide them with the Group Code: IS0620. Credit cards are required to book all room reservations.  If you would prefer to book online please click here to make your reservation. For directions to the Club Quarters, which also includes walking directions to the ISACS classroom, click here

If you are looking for another option or the room block is full, please take a moment to check out the other hotels that the ISACS Professional Development team has partnered with in the Chicago area. The hotels are within walking distance of the ISACS classroom and as a member of ISACS you have access to the discounted rates all year long for your professional and personal travel. Click here to find out how to make a reservation at any of the hotels and select the option that meets your travel needs. We recommend booking your hotel room early. 

If you have any issues booking a room at the Club Quarters or any other property, please contact the ISACS office at 312-750-1190.

Please note that you should make your reservations early. June is a busy month in Chicago.

Registration Fee

  • $700 member fee
  • $800 non-member fee
  • First registrant pays full fee, each additional registrant receives a $50 discount
  • Meals included in the workshop include: breakfast and lunch on Wednesday and Thursday
  • Please review the Registration Confirmation information below.

Registration Confirmation Communications from ISACS
Once registration for the workshop has been completed the following communications will be sent from ISACS:

  • Once registration is complete, an email will automatically be sent to the contact person on the registration confirming that registration has been completed.
  • Approximately three weeks prior to the workshop, ISACS will send a confirmation email to the registrant with details for the workshop.
  • Approximately one week prior to the workshop, ISACS will send a final confirmation email to the registrant with details for the workshop.

If you do not receive these emails prior to arriving at a workshop, please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190. It is possible your email address was entered incorrectly OR your registration was not completed.

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations must be received in writing to ISACS by emailing 10 business days prior to the event to receive a 50% refund. Cancellations received within 10 days of the event will not receive a refund. Registration may be transferred to another member from the same school. ISACS reserves the right to cancel the workshop for insufficient enrollment. In this case, participants will be notified and given a full refund.

Questions? Please call 312-750-1190


Member Cost: $700     Non-member Cost: $800


55 West Wacker, Suite 701 · Chicago, IL 60601 · Telephone (312) 750-1190 · Fax (312) 750-1193
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