The KNC Archive

KEEN National Conferences

The KEEN National Conference (KNC) brings together hundreds of faculty, staff, and administrators annually who are interested in graduating engineers with an entrepreneurial mindset. This page contains snapshots from previous years. See our most recent conference.

Snapshot from #KNC2023

The 2023 KEEN National Conference (#KNC2023) was held online and in person on January 26-28, 2023.










Cards from workshops


Keynote Speakers


Erika Wagner

Blue Origin - Senior Director Emerging Market Development

Watch her keynote.

Dr. Erika Wagner serves as Senior Director of Emerging Market Development for Blue Origin, a developer of vehicles and technologies to enable human space transportation. Prior to joining Blue Origin, Dr. Wagner worked with the X PRIZE Foundation as Senior Director of Exploration Prize Development and founding Executive Director of the X PRIZE Lab@MIT.


Narayanan "Bobby" Kasthuri

Argonne National Laboratory - Neuroscience Researcher

Watch his keynote.

Narayanan “Bobby” Kasthuri combines the power of electron microscopy and supercomputing to construct connectomes. In 2015, Kasthuri joined Argonne National Laboratory, becoming the first neuroscientist to be hired at the U.S. Department of Energy Laboratory. Kasthuri is also an assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology at The University of Chicago.


Austin Ramirez

Husco International, Inc. - Chief Executive Officer

Watch his keynote.

Austin Ramirez is CEO of Husco, a privately held engineering and manufacturing company. During his tenure as CEO the company has tripled in size to more than $500M in global sales, received designation as Global Growth Company by the World Economic Forum and been recognized as Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year.


Snapshot from #KNC2022

The 2022 KEEN National Conference (#KNC2022) was held online on February 2-4, 2022.


Cards from workshops


Plenary Speakers


Batya Friedman and David Hendry

Value Sensitive Design Lab - Co-Directors

For two decades, Batya and David have developed tools that help designers engage their technical and moral imaginations


Ryan David

Rivian Automotive - System Architect

Ryan shared his personal entrepreneurial journey that started as an engineering student at a KEEN partner school and led him to jobs at Apple and Tesla. Get key insights into the product design cycle when matched with the 3Cs of the entrepreneurial mindset: Curiosity, Connections, and Creating Value.


T.K. Coleman

Foundation for Economic Education - Director of Entrepreneurial Education

T.K., who is also the creator of the “Revolution of 1” podcast, discussed how he has identified and built upon a characteristic he describes as “forward-tilt” with youth across America