2018 PAEA Education Forum: Speakers

Simon Bailey

Simon Bailey is a best-selling author, teacher, and keynote speaker who will inspire you to find your “inner brilliance” and take charge of your own future in his kickoff address on Thursday, day one of the Forum. A former Disney executive, he will be right at home in Anaheim, aiming to channel the positivity that Disney is known for into helping PA educators shift their thinking and make their dreams come true. While Simon has spoken to audiences of every possible stripe in more than 40 countries, it always comes down to what he calls the “power of meaningful connections.” Catch a preview of his humorous and engaging speaking style in his talk on "The Experience."

Mick Ebeling

Mick Ebeling — who describes himself as a “film and TV producer by trade, an optimist by nature” — will demonstrate the profound power of the art of the possible during his Friday morning talk, “The Fallacy of Impossible.” Through his foundation, Not Impossible, he and his team come up with creative solutions to everyday problems, then use film to bring those discoveries to wider audiences. Watch his Ted Talk to see how he combined ingenuity, teamwork, and a handful of hardware store parts to create the “eyewriter,” a device to help paralyzed people write with their eyes.

John O’Leary

Closing speaker John O’Leary will challenge and entertain you with his powerful story of overcoming unimaginable trauma to live a life driven by helping others to surmount challenges and lead fuller, deeper lives. John’s life changed forever at the age of nine when he suffered third-degree burns over most of his body in a garage accident. While at first he just wanted to hide his disfigurement and be “normal” again, he soon learned that he had no choice but to accept himself as he was and, by sharing his story with others, help them see themselves more honestly as well. You can learn more in his keynote on the “Power of One.”