Award-Winning Journalist; Acclaimed Author; Future of Work, Education and Technology Expert
An award-winning, former correspondent for National Public Radio, Anya Kamenetz is a futurist with a passion for the complexities of how we learn, work and live in a rapidly changing world.
As the lead education reporter for NPR, Kamenetz coordinated the public broadcaster’s education coverage online and on-air. Previously she covered technology, innovation, sustainability, and social entrepreneurship as a staff writer for Fast Company magazine. Her reporting—on technology, the cost of higher education, career development, the future of work, post-pandemic life, and many other topics—has appeared in a wide range of publications, including The Guardian, Medium, Muck Rack, New York Magazine, The New York Times, “O” the Oprah Magazine, Slate, The Village Voice, WIRED, and The Washington Post.
Kamenetz’s most recent book is The Stolen Year: How COVID Changed Children’s Lives, and Where We Go Now (August 2022). In it, she considers the pandemic’s impact on the lives of children and the burden on working parents trying to care for, help educate and keep children safe at home. With audiences, Kamenetz explores the long-term implications of the pandemic for schools, colleges, businesses, and employees. She also traces the many links between the pandemic, the “Great Resignation,” and the growing realization that building diverse, equitable and inclusive working environments is critical to economic growth and a resilient workforce.
Kamenetz’s four previous books include her debut, Generation Debt, which received critical acclaim for stoking debate on the unprecedented economic challenges young people face. In 2010, she published DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education, which looks at the promise and potential of technology and open-source education models for more affordable, personalized, and experience-based learning paths. The book, which directly inspired the founding of at least one $400-million education company, prompted the Huffington Post to name her an “Game Changer in Education.” In it, Kamenetz explored the intersection of meritocracy, race, and class, asking “how can we build a system that works for everybody?”
Critics called Kamenetz’s third book, The Test, a “must read” for anyone interested in our education system. It explored the past, present and future of standardized assessments and challenged conventional ideas about intelligence, achievement, and success. Her book The Art of Screen Time—which has been translated into six languages—is an astonishingly prescient guide to the research on young people’s screen use will change the way you think about digital natives and parenting in the digital age. As co-host of the chart-topping podcast Life Kit for Parenting, Anya continues to shape the dialogue around education, parenting and technology.
Kamenetz is a three-time winner of national awards from the Education Writers Association (2009, 2010 and 2015), and her digital education coverage at NPR won a 2017 Edward R. Murrow award for Innovation from the Radio Television Digital News Association. She appears in the documentaries Generation Next (2006), Default: A Student Loan Documentary (2011), both shown on PBS, and Ivory Tower, (2014) distributed by Participant Media.
Since the coronavirus pandemic kicked off the largest distance learning experiment in history, Anya has been deluged with requests to unpack what the future might bring for colleges, the K-12 education system, and businesses that need to rethink training and recruitment. Her presentations have been called both reassuring and inspiring as they draw people to think about their own experiences in a broader historical context and help students get excited for their role in shaping a better future. Anya engages audiences with insightful perspectives on the evolution of learning, and how to apply it all to advance one’s purpose.
Anya grew up in Louisiana, in a family of writers and mystics, and graduated from Yale University in 2002. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters.