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what makes me different

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I am an academic with industry experience

I develop original research about human intelligence, I write and speak about cultivating imagination. AND I cut through all the noise using analysis of the market signals, competitive landscape, and human factors to unearth the real business opportunity at the center of a novel idea.

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Zaza Kabayadondo is a researcher, a designer, and an advisor with over 15 years of experience as a trusted partner for stakeholders across the entire education ecosystem. Highlights from her career include work in the three-sided upskilling marketplace, developing coalitions unified by a common vision of thriving in the journey from cradle to career, as well as building new degree offerings and experiential learning opportunities for students.

Zaza has worked with clients such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, IEEE, Boeing, edX, and the Association of Asia-Pacific Rim Universities. Zaza was a consultant at Entangled Solutions where she helped a roster of universities design for the future. She created strategy playbooks for the B2B Learning Marketplace at Guild Education to help cement collaborations between academia and industry. Zaza was Director of Industry Partnerships for the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, the research and innovation arm of Sesame Workshop. She built a roadmap for creating a new business unit focused on leveraging Sesame IP to support youth-friendly digital designers; and helped broker the unit’s collaborations with early startups and global brands such as LEGO, Google, and Meta. As Director of the Design Thinking Initiative at Smith College, Zaza designed campus-wide programming and immersive experiences for undergraduates including novel alternatives to internships to bridge the gap between liberal arts education and career pathways. Zaza holds a PhD in Learning Sciences and Technology Design from Stanford University, a Bachelors in Media Arts and Sciences from Wellesley College; and she is a co-author of Taking Design Thinking to School and a speaker on the battle for the imagination, and the future of human intelligence.

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