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Dr. Michelle R. Weise (pronounced W-ice) is the author of Long-Life Learning: Preparing for Jobs that Don’t Even Exist Yet (Wiley, 2021). Her book was awarded the 2021 Phillip E. Frandson Award for Literature by UPCEA (University Professional and Continuing Education Association) for an outstanding work of continuing higher education literature. Thinkers50 named her one of 30 management and leadership thinkers in the world to watch in 2021.

Dr. Weise leads Rise & Design, an advisory service tailored for organizations seeking to design education and workforce strategies that will prepare working-age adults for the jobs of today and tomorrow. In the past, she has served as Vice Chancellor of Strategy and Innovation at National University System and Senior Advisor at Imaginable Futures. She was also the Chief Innovation Officer of Strada Education Network as well as of Southern New Hampshire University. With Clayton Christensen, she coauthored Hire Education: Mastery, Modularization, and the Workforce Revolution (2014) while leading the higher education practice at Christensen’s Institute for Disruptive Innovation.

Her service work includes advising and mentoring numerous non-profit and venture-backed startups as well as serving as a commissioner for Massachusetts Governor Baker’s Commission on Digital Innovation and Lifelong Learning, Harvard University’s Task Force on Skills and Employability, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education.

In addition to a TED talk, Dr. Weise's commentaries on redesigning higher education and developing more innovative workforce and talent pipeline strategies have been featured in The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Harvard Business Review and on PBSNewshour.

Dr. Weise is a former Fulbright Scholar and a graduate of Harvard and Stanford. She received her doctorate from Stanford in 2008, and in 2024, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Indiana Tech.

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Radar Class of 2021

Every year, Thinkers50 names 30 

management and leadership thinkers in the world to watch in the coming year. Michelle was selected as part of the Radar list for 2021, an amazing group of people who will make an impact with their campaigning, their ideas, their research and their passion in the year ahead.

Michelle discusses the urgency to build now the lifelong learning architecture and systems to support job seekers as they seek to move more seamlessly between education and work—and back again.


Michelle speaks frequently at postsecondary, industry, workforce education, and HR conferences and gatherings around the world on:

  • The future of work and future-proofing organizations

  • The so-called skills gap

  • Transforming higher education

  • Equitable workforce development: Reskilling and upskilling

  • On-ramps to better economic opportunities

  • Disruptive innovation

  • Organizational change and innovation fatigue

  • Competency-based and project-based learning

  • Workshops for new programs and new strategic initiatives

About Michelle: Pro Gallery
Graphic Spiral

"The future of work matters,
but the future of WORKERS matters
much more."

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