Story of the Day

For Work Expert and 4Front Ambassador Joe Thurman, it’s all about the human element

As founder and CEO of People-First Management Consulting firm Jobber Group, Joe Thurman is literally a people person.

He has more than 10 years’ experience in the human resources sector, with the past six years focused on talent strategy, scale up, HR tech and building inclusive cultures. Working with hundreds of technology firms, he has helped tech companies identify and hire effective leadership and align their workforces to drive business success. He also sits on the board of the Colorado Technology Association.

Thurman will bring that experience to bear as 4Front’s Work Ambassador. So we caught up with Joe to talk about this role, and how the human element drives technology innovation.

What made you interested in becoming an ambassador for 4Front? 

When I think about the future of work, it’s the space that I live in – it’s what I eat, sleep and breathe. The future of work is something I’m extremely passionate about and that crosses into building inclusive cultures, understanding how people can be aligned with work that really matters to them. When people are aligned from a mission and vision and a passion perspective, that’s when people will do their greatest work. For a lot of things that we’re talking at 4Front, that’s really important.

How do you think an event like 4Front could create a positive future?

4Front is different because we are bringing together different industries, different verticals, different people from different stages in their careers. Once we put those all in the same room we can really begin to come up with new ideas and create what I like to call a collective impact to solve real world challenges. When we see competing organizations come together with diverse mindsets and thinking styles innovation can truly take shape, I think that’s what 4Front is bringing to the table.

What unique perspective do you hope to bring to 4Front? 

The human element. When we talk about work, sometimes we get into the function or the tactical thought of human capital. I think when we talk about work in particular, it’s really important to understand that human element from every side, culture, impact, mindset. Innovation is needed, technology is everywhere and changing the world through the next latest and greatest truly is amazing. But it’s not amazing if we leave people behind in the workplace. And that is a big part of what I want to bring to the 4Front conference, is the human-centric people-first view of that.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself than what’s on the current site? What are your passions? What makes you tick?

I believe everyone should have the opportunity to go after something they care about. We spend a lot of time at work. It’s a majority of our time, and I think life’s too short to just have a job. Everyone has the ability to have an impact on something bigger. At Jobber Group we focus our work on using technology to augment and amplify human impact, not removing the human element. Amplifying our ability to make better decisions when it comes to people is my person passion. In that space we are dealing with unconscious bias training one day, leadership strategies another, and interview amplification technology all in the same conversation. I’m very passionate about people having purpose in life, and that’s not above anybody’s pay-grade. Everyone can have purpose. That’s what keeps me up; that’s what I’m passionate about, what makes me tick.

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Story of the Day

Educator and 4Front Ambassador, Mathew Portell, Is Taking On the Future of Education, One Classroom at a Time.

How do you prepare the next generation of leaders and innovators for dealing with problems that might not even exist yet? Mr. Portell may know the answer.

When Mathew Portell became the executive principal of Fall-Hamilton Elementary in downtown Nashville, he took a different approach. Everything in his school, from trauma-informed curriculum to ambient lighting choices, is designed to meet students’ social, emotional and educational needs. His transformative teaching and mentoring practices have been proven extremely successful, resulting in a better academic performance, stronger faculty support system and more confident, well-adjusted kids eager to take on the future. Fall-Hamilton’s success story is that of innovation in action—exactly what 4Front is all about.

Aside from teaching kids and mentoring his fellow educators, Mathew’s other passion is cycling. In 2008, he combined both interests to form an award-winning non-profit called Ride for Reading, an organization that has distributed over 500,000 books to underserved children via bicycle. In 2018, he started Paradigm Shift Education, an international consulting company that provides trauma-informed educator training. Recently, we asked Mathew to tell us a bit more about his goals as an educator, as well as what he hopes to accomplish at 4Front.

What made you interested in becoming an ambassador for 4Front?

The idea of bringing together professionals from four different sectors to share ideas in order to collectively and collaboratively focus on innovation is something I could not pass up. Education is the bedrock for all innovation as children are being prepared for jobs that do not even exist. Educators are often excluded from global innovation conversations, even though we are on the front line of producing innovators and thinkers. To be in a space with like-minded professionals who want to visualize the future with endless possibilities is exactly where I want to be. As the education ambassador, I am honored to be a part of 4Front.

How do you think an event like 4Front could create a positive future?

When collective focus, synergy and collaboration are at the forefront of any organization—a company, school or conference—there is sure to be a positive outcome. By tapping into diverse perspectives and experiences, 4Front is opening countless opportunities for what our future can be. We must reimagine how we live, learn, work and play through a different lens and 4Front can serve as the platform for planning and creating a positive future. 

What unique perspective do you hope to bring to 4Front? 

As a veteran educator, I have been a teacher, instructional coach and school administrator in elementary, middle and high schools. In the past five years I have led an internationally recognized trauma-informed elementary school that’s changing how we educate and support children. Because of this work, I have been given the opportunity to travel and speak, throughout the country and internationally, about the impacts of childhood trauma and how school innovation is imperative to the success of all children. The approaches that my school, Fall-Hamilton Elementary, has established have traveled the globe and impacted countless children. I believe now is the time to shift the paradigm and visualize what education should be for all kids.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself than what’s on the current site? What are your passions? What makes you tick? What quirks do you have?

I have a remarkable family! I am the birth father to an amazing 9 year old boy and a foster father to two remarkably resilient boys who are 6 and 9. I find my self-care and spiritual motivation in cycling. Although my riding is much more limited now, it is still a significant part of me. In 2008, I combined my passions for cycling and education and founded Ride for Reading, a national non-profit organization that has donated over 500,000 books to children, via bicycle, in low-income schools. In 2018, I used my Ride for Reading experience to start Paradigm Shift Education, an international consulting company that provides professional training for educators on the impact of childhood trauma in kids. Making a positive impact on the lives of others makes me tick! It’s what inspires me daily and serves as my motivation. Also, I’m slightly obsessed with building Lego. As an adult whose brain rarely slows down, sitting down with a large Lego set allows me to calm and create. I find it therapeutic!  

Interested in meeting Mathew and other experts in media, health, connectivity, technology and more? Be sure to reserve your seat at 4Front, June 23-24, in Denver, CO.

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Story of the Day

The Doctor is In. Meet Telehealth Expert and 4Front Ambassador, Aditi Joshi.

Aditi U. Joshi MD, MSc is not your ordinary doctor. Over the course of her accomplished career as a medical and health policy professional, she also became fluent in technology—mainly in finding ways to blend traditional medical practices with the latest technological innovations to provide a better patient experience.

Aditi is widely recognized as a telehealth expert by the medical community and is regularly invited to speak about how digital technologies will impact the future of our healthcare system. Currently, she is the Medical Director of JeffConnect, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital’s innovative on-demand telemedicine program, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, where she works on implementing new programs and use cases for telehealth. Outside her work at Jefferson, she also serves as a co-director of Digital Health Scholarly Inquiry Track at Sidney Kimmel Medical College and runs a Telehealth fellowship for physicians, among other things. We’re very excited to have her on board as our 4Front ambassador!

Here’s a little more about Aditi, in her own words.

What made you interested in becoming an ambassador for 4Front?

I’m intrigued by the idea of a comprehensive conference on various ways technology is going to shape our future.

How do you think an event like 4Front could create a positive future?

Getting different groups into the same room is a great way to make sure we all understand the possibilities. For example, there may be a solution from art that would benefit healthcare. That’s why conferences like this are necessary.

What unique perspective do you hope to bring to 4Front?

I spend most of my time speaking about healthcare and its future with others who are working in that space, like physicians, health systems, payors or startups. I think it’s beneficial to engage with a more diverse group because healthcare affects us all.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself than what’s on the current site?

I’m originally from Chicago and consider myself a “big city” person. Philly, where I live now, feels pretty small to me. My hobbies outside of healthcare are reading—I can get through three books a week if I have the time—and working out. I have been practicing martial arts seriously for nearly ten years. Aside from that, I find the interdigitation between health and technology fascinating. Although technology and connectivity has made the world feel smaller, it has not affected healthcare as quickly. Because healthcare and medicine are based on creating a real-life connection and a sense of trust between a patient and a doctor, using technology can create what feels like distance. But in reality, these two things have to be put together for real health. How can we better combine geographical distance with the necessity of human connection in medicine?  That’s the question we need to answer.

Interested in meeting Aditi and other experts in health, education, connectivity, technology and more? Be sure to reserve your seat at 4Front, June 23-24, in Denver, CO.

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Story of the Day

Media Entrepreneur and 4Front Ambassador, Elizabeth Giorgi, Wants Everyone to Tell Better Stories Online

Emmy-award winner, media entrepreneur and our next 4Front Ambassador, Elizabeth Giorgi, knows how to tell a good story. Her latest venture, soona, taps into the needs of our visually-driven society with high-quality images and videos that can tell an engaging story for less than the price of stock! Plus, the folks at soona can shoot and deliver professional content within just 24 hours—anywhere in the U.S. Elizabeth recognizes that talent and creativity aside, none of this would have been possible without the meteoric strides made in networking and connectivity. Media businesses like soona, as well as video gaming, fitness, music and sports companies, heavily rely on the latest technology to build highly-personalized and engaging entertainment experiences. By joining us at 4Front, Elizabeth can now bring her unique perspective and actively contribute to the evolution of this technology. We couldn’t be more excited to have her on board!

Prior to starting soona, Elizabeth founded Mighteor, a successful video production company, and is a passionate advocate for women in entrepreneurship. Recently, we were able to catch up with her to talk about her role at 4Front and her vision for the future of media and technology.

What made you interested in becoming an ambassador for 4Front?

One of the key things about our business at soona is thinking about the network of the future. Everything we do with photo and video is reliant upon having a really dynamic network that can support the experience we’re providing to our customers.

I was delighted to be invited to become an ambassador because it meant I could contribute to the picture of that future and what a strong network infrastructure can potentially create.

At soona, we provide clients the ability to get same day photo and video at an affordable price. We are truly democratizing content. I already feel like I’m an ambassador for the network of the future every day. Being part of the 4Front community is a no brainer to me.

How do you think an event like 4Front could create a positive future?

Bringing together the best minds in the industry to see what might be possible in the future is something that can only deliver positive results. When we think about the best inventions, the best startups, the best new products, it usually happens because of a collaboration between customers and companies that are eager and excited to serve customers. And I really think 4Front can be a catalyst for those kinds of relationships.

What unique perspective do you hope to bring to 4Front?

I am running a creative startup and I think a lot of people tend to undervalue what creative people do, but we are a technology-driven creative startup and I think bringing that creative play to the story of what the network of the future will be is something really special, which I can bring to the table.

As a founder and entrepreneur, I’m incredibly passionate about how we tell our stories online. One of the things modern brands, startups and leaders have to do to gain traction and attention is to be able to tell their story consistently, passionately and with a ton of conviction in order to connect with the world around them. I think 4Front is a great opportunity to talk about how we tell our stories online and explore the different tools and technologies emerging around this idea.

Anything else you’d like to add about yourself or why you think this event is important.

We will be bringing our soona popup to the 4Front event and we’re really hoping people will come check us out. Each attendee will be able to get a brand new, attention-grabbing headshot.

Check out Elizabeth’s LinkedIn for more info.

Interested in meeting Elizabeth and other experts in media, health, education, connectivity, technology and more? Be sure to reserve your seat at 4Front, June 23-24, in Denver, CO.

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