We are pleased to announce the keynote & breakout speakers for the 2019 World Affairs Seminar!


Dr. Kelly Ottman

Professor, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Rader School of Business

Drop-In Session: Identity and Social Media
Saturday, June 22, 4:00PM in the Stackner Ballroom (Campus Center)

The intersections of Dr. Kelly Ottman’s professional accomplishments, educational history, service experience, and personal mission position her to make a positive difference to the health and success of a corporation. As an executive, she successfully led complex organizations. For the past 25 years, her focus has been on developing leaders, often executive teams. Her multi-disciplinary academic leadership training includes a two-year executive development fellowship. An understanding of board functions emerges from her serving on various professional, educational and not-for-profit boards, as well as reporting to and consulting for boards. Dr. Ottman’s knowledge, skills and experiences center on the growth of individuals, teams and organizations. Key areas of expertise and impact include leadership and team development, mission and value, strategic planning, organizational culture, diversity and inclusion, employee engagement, and global mindsets.

As an independent consultant, Dr. Ottman works with local, national and international executive leaders, management groups and boards of directors from an array of industries and professions. These range from executive steel workers to executive nuns. She has conducted on-site consultation and education with Asia-Pacific leaders and teams, and facilitated strategic planning for businesses and professional organizations. As an Executive Coach, she assists individuals in the areas of leadership and career development.

She has a passion for exploring different cultures through travel and believes in diversity and inclusion from multiple perspectives. Aligned with Servant Leadership, she has been transformed through coordinating/engaging in local and international service projects. Locations have included China, Mexico and Vietnam. For over 25 years she has coordinated a Christmas Eve program for the homeless in Milwaukee, WI.

Neal Patel

Principal Product Manager, Amazon Headquarters (Seattle)

Keynote #1: Responsible Digital Citizenship
Saturday, June 22nd, 7:00 p.m. in the Shattuck Auditorium

Neal Patel is Principal Product Manager for Amazon’s Seattle headquarters. Prior to arriving at Amazon, Patel was Head of Human/Social Dynamics at Google, where he led a team of software engineers and data scientists charting the terrain of human emotion: how, why, and what we feel. He is also a computational sociologist. His approach to product management applies advanced empiricalmethods and frameworks for understanding motivation, social structure, and people to connect products with users. Patel founded and was Technical Project Lead with Google’s Advanced Technology & Projects (ATAP), developing three hardware and software R&D efforts advancing scientific and business application of emotional processing. He has also authored many research projects including Project Oxygen—a Wiley Award-winning study quantifying the impact of effective management—featured in The New York Times and Harvard Business Review. Patel holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Jim Milner has over30 years of experience as a facilitator in strategic planning and evaluation, workforce development consulting, operating/leading businesses and organizational systems and leadership coaching. Jim
has designed systems and strategies that foster individual and organizational engagement and alignment.
Milner’s work in all areas incorporates an evidence-based approach that merges science and art through the use of assessments and observational strategies that support individual and organizational growth. He is known for his use of analytical and personal/professional acumen.

Milner has facilitated and led planning for the We Energies-Power Generation, Milwaukee Public Schools, U.S. Dept of Housing & Urban Development, Housing Authority of City of San Buenaventura, the State of Wisconsin, Associated Bank, National Community Action Partners and the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board. He has lectured at Marquette University, Rockford College, Alverno College, UW-Milwaukee and Cardinal Stritch University on such topics as Team Building, Mentoring, Diversity, Business Life Cycle, Organizational Change, System Thinking, and his signature program “Leading with The Power of Intent.Milner planning work frequently leads to internal org re- alignment of resources.

Milner managed, directed and led forprofit & non-profit organizations. He has designed talent-management workshops and participated in business acquisition and merger strategies. Milner’s assessment instruments and tools include Hogan (HIP, HDI, MVPI); Emotional Intelligence; Conversational Intelligence; The Leadership Circle; MBTI Type 2; Management by Strengths (MBS); Everything DiSC, MRG and the Internal Coaching Federation. Some of Milner’s other clients include: Kohler Company, Schneider Trucking, ThedaCare, Medical College of Wisconsin, City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Milwaukee Area Workforce Funding Alliance.

Jim is a member of, and certified by, the International Coach Academy, the International Coach Federation, the American Society for Training and Development and the Society for Human Resource Management. He also is a member of the International Franchising Association, the International Business Brokers Association, Inc. and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Association of Commerce. Jim has served/serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Downtown Milwaukee Rotary International. Past Board Chair of African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin, Past Board Chair of Feeding America of Eastern Wisconsin, Past Board Chair of the Wisconsin chapter of the International Coach Federation, Past Vice President of the Ethics Internal Review Board for ICF, a member of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors and current President of the ICF Midwest Regional Advisory Council serving 13 chapters across 11 states

Join The Movement to STOP Human Trafficking. Their mission is to educate the community and neighbourhoods about what human trafficking is, how you can help and what to do if you see something suspicious. Dawn Heath, the organization’s president,  is an educator, advocate and large community awareness event organizer.

One of the few professionally trained futurists in the US, David Zach – through his company, Innovative Futures – works with businesses, universities, and associations to help them understand how to think about the future, change, and continuity – and how to make choices about them. He gathers his information and ideas through extensive research, and a daily study of books, magazines, discussions, and online explorations. In his thought-provoking presentations, he takes his audiences on a tour of key trends and current issues in technology, business, education, and society.

Spotting the trends is not enough. Knowing what they mean is what people really need from a futurist. With Zach’s (rhymes with Bach) degree in Studies of the Future from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, he’s got the credentials to spot the trends along with their long and short–term implications for your work, life, and community. He spends a lot of time looking back at the traditions that have proven themselves over time, which helps his audiences think across time so they can learn how to choose between change and tradition. When they do that they can even start to see the implications of the implications, going beyond just strategies and tactics to help build a sense of mission and vision.

Anyone who knows Zach knows that he doesn’t take the future or himself too seriously. Combining a professional–level wit with small town, Midwestern charm, he takes an important subject and gets your audience to laugh, talk, and reflect. The future isn’t what it used to be. The more uncertain we are about today, the more opportunities there are for explorations, innovations, and commitments. Times like these are ideal for remembering, connecting, and asking the question, “Where do we go from here?”

He previously worked at Johnson Controls and Northwestern Mutual Life in the areas of environmental scanning and strategic planning. He has also taught future studies in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The leader of the NEWaukee team, Angela has spent over a decade developing engagement strategies that work. She helps communities and companies build meaningful connections and attract top talent. Angela is a serial entrepreneur launching four businesses, guest contributor and writer for national publications like Fortune, New Geography and Style Salute, frequent public speaker at economic development symposiums like Future Wisconsin and was a 2016 40 Under 40 Award Winner. She lives by the mantra, “uncompromising momentum forward” – there is no challenge too big that can’t be tackled by simply asking “how”.

LaToya Dennis joined WUWM in October 2006 as a reporter / producer. LaToya began her career in public radio as a part-time reporter for WKAR AM/FM in East Lansing, Michigan. She worked as general assignment reporter for WKAR for one and a half years while working toward a master’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. While at WKAR, she covered General Motors plant closings, city and state government, and education among other critical subjects.

Before coming to public radio, LaToya interned at the CBS affiliate in Lansing, Michigan. She also took part in NPR’s 2005 Next Generation Radio Project in Kansas City, Missouri as well as NPR’s summer 2006 Next Generation Radio Project in Indianapolis, Indiana.

LaToya holds both a Bachelor’s degree and a Masters degree in journalism from Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. Dennis is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Romke E. De Haan is an innovative and results-oriented technology leader and executive with over 20 years of experience managing digital experiences for some of the world’s largest brands, organizations, and startups. He is a thought leader and top digital strategist with strong expertise in the area of IT modernization. His divergent thinking ability and holistic approach to management and problem-solving make him an asset to organizations seeking leaders who can level-up technology operations and provide a competitive edge.

Wunderkind, by Kenya C. Evans | July 16, 2012.

Rob “Biko” Baker is the Executive Director of the League of Young Voters, and a nationally-recognized leader. Baker is a pioneer in running city-level, data-driven voter turnout campaigns that dramatically increase the voter participation of young urban citizens. A leading voice on field campaigns targeting young African American voters, Baker serves on CIRCLE’s research advisory board and is a board member of the New Organizing Institute. He is a well known communicator around elections, as well as cultural and political issues including gun violence and voting rights. In addition to being a former contributor to The Source, he has appeared on C-SPAN, Fox News and CNN. A popular and powerful speaker at conferences and events, Baker has interviewed luminaries Cornel West, Russell Simmons, and Howard Dean, and has been on panels with many of the nation’s strongest progressive voices. Baker holds a Ph.D in History from UCLA.

Purushottam Papatla

Interim Associate Dean, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Keynote #9: The Social Media Moneyball
Thursday, June 27th, 9:30 a.m. in the Shattuck Auditorium

Dr. Papatla’s research interests include Bayesian modeling of Big Data to understand how and why Instagram posts by consumers affect how other consumers respond to brands. He is also using Bayesian and Big Data methods with psycholinguistics to investigate why and how consumers engage with brands on Facebook, why consumers retweet brands’ tweets, how Uber and AirBNB have affected consumer response to legacy taxi and hotel brands, and whether consumer ratings affect sales in the restaurant, hospitality, and music categories. Dr. Papatla works with companies through non-commercial research relationships and publishes his findings through scholarly journals. He teaches Marketing Strategy and Digital Marketing Strategy in the Executive MBA program and Doctoral Seminars on Bayesian Methods and Models in Marketing at his university. Dr. Papatla also has been, and continues to be, the Dissertation Committee Chair for several Doctoral students.

Dr. Papatla is the author of numerous publications in academic journals. He is a member of the Institute of Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS), and works with both doctoral students and businesses on projects related to his areas of expertise.

Breakout Session Speakers

Monday, June 24

  • Creating Your Own Social Media: An Interactive Design Workshop (Josh Wankowski, WAS Alumnus; Undergraduate Student, MSOE)
  • The Basics of Organizing and Security with Social Media and Tech (Emilio De Torre, Director of Community Engagement, ACLU)
  • Mental Health and Social Media: A Therapist’s Perspective (Brandon Wells, MS, LPC)
  • The Mixed Messages of Social Media (Celese Cuffie – Skype session)
  • Music, the Arts, and Social Media (Janice Vogt, Acting Executive Director, The New State)
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Social Media: Using Data to Create Content (Nick Myers, Creative Director, Redfox Creative)
  • Using Social Media to Map Community Spaces (Dr. Arijit Sen, Associate Professor of Architecture, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
  • Building Social Movements Through Social Media (James Godsil)

Tuesday, June 25

  • How Do You Creatively Tell Your Story on Social Media? (Linda Menck)
  • Researching Subculture through Social Media (David Schalliol – Skype session)
  • Big Programs Don’t Require Big Solutions: Learn How Milwaukee Tackles Mass Incarceration (Paul Rinaldi)
  • Art, Activism, and Social Media (Panel Discussion: Joe Brusky, Social Media Organizer, Milwaukee Teachers Education Association; Kim Cosier, Faculty, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts; and Nicolas Lampert, Faculty, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts)
  • Representing the Power of Place (Bridgette Binczak)
  • Activism in the Digital Age (Tatiana Washington, Executive Director, 50 Miles More)
  • Mobilizing Technology to Expand the Humanities (Robert Smith and Will Tchakirides)
  • Technology, Humans, Data and Money – The Business of Social Media (Joe Poeschl, Co-Founder and Project Director, The Commons)
  • Democratizing News Production: The Relationship Between the Mainstream media and Activists During the Tunisian Revolution (DJ Wolover, UWM Sociology Department)

Wednesday, June 26

  • How Colleges Engage Students – And How They Should (Sebastian Thachenkary, Vice President of marketing and Community Engagement at Milwaukee School of Engineering)
  • Using Big Data to Answer Big Questions (Dr. Colleen Janczewski, UWM Helen Bader School of Social Welfare)
  • Towards a History of “Fake News” (Dr. Michael Carriere)
  • Art, Youth Outreach, and Social Media (Shalina S. Ali and Fidel Verdin, Co-Directors, True Skool)
  • What is Propoganda? Lessons from the Holocaust (Elana Kahn, Director of Jewish Community Relations Council of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation)
  • The FBI and Cybersecurity: An Overview (Bryon Franz)
  • Sharing Milwaukee’s Water Stories Through Engaging Digital Media (Justin Hegarty)
Rotary District 6270 with Rotary Wheel

A Rotary District 6270 Initiative

World Affairs Seminar
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West Allis, Wisconsin 53214

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To receive credit after payment has been made, students, sponsors must notify the World Affairs Seminar in writing that their delegate is unable to attend, or if the sponsor is unable to fill a paid for space at the Seminar. (e-mail is considered "in writing" for these purposes as long as the e-mail is acknowledged as having been received.) Full credit applies if notification is received by April 1; 50% credit if application is cancelled between April 1 but prior to May 21; no credit is available if application is cancelled after May 21, unless extraordinary circumstances such as illness, death exist. All cancellation credits are subject to $75.00 processing fee and must be used within one calendar year. Note: in agreeing to attend WAS, parents and students promise to reimburse their sponsor for the full amount of any loss due to cancellation. WAS offices: (414) 453-4984, or contact@worldaffairsseminar.org.

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