We’re very excited to share some news with you about BbWorld 2011: Steven Johnson, best-selling author of “Where Good Ideas Come From,” “Everything Bad is Good for You,” and “Emergence,” will deliver the opening keynote on Tuesday, July 12. A social critic, technologist and a three-time TED speaker, Johnson is noted for his ability to see emerging trends and explain why they are relevant to both personal life and work. At BbWorld, Johnson will discuss the genesis of ideas, exploring the types of environments and systems – including institutions, communities and disciplines – that propagate creativity and innovation. In a recent interview with Publisher’s Weekly Johnson said, “We underestimate how much innovation comes out of the university system. If you look at where innovation, defined as ideas not as commercial product, tends to live, the university system is remarkably innovative… when you combine creative chaos and connective power, you create environments where ideas can truly network…” Following up on recent keynotes – Malcolm Gladwell, Seth Godin and Greg Mortenson – we’re again excited to have a really compelling and innovative thinker to get the event off on the right note. For a taste of Johnson in action, check out his recent TED Talk: Also, check out this clever animation of Johnson’s ideas: With a little over 100 days left until the event, this year is shaping up to be the best BbWorld yet (I know we say this every year, but they just keep getting better.) While the full program is still being finalized, get a sneak peak of some of the sessions that have already been approved here. BbWorld is one of the best professional development and networking opportunities of the year, and both client and Bb-led sessions at the event will focus on topics that are important in your day-to-day including learning analytics and understanding data, how to create rubrics for student evaluation and assessment, and ways to open and extend your Blackboard platform. If you’re considering an upgrade to Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1, there are sessions completely dedicated to strategies for managing the upgrade process. We’re also bringing back the Upgrade Center Live for hands on training opportunities and Q&A. It’s also been a big year for mobile, and BbWorld is again the best place to hear from institutions that are using mobile to drive student engagement and to build stronger and more connected institutional communities. Don’t forget, the Premier Registration rate ends on Friday, April 1 so make sure to lock in your rates today. Follow us for the latest news, information and more about the event – @Blackboard, #BbWorld11, Facebook and the blog. Bookmark and stay tuned!