Keynote Speaker

Jason Schmitt (002)Jason Schmitt is a filmmaker, journalist and Chair of the Department of Communication, Media & Design at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY.  Schmitt concentrates his research toward online education impacting a global audience, open access relating to academic publications, and media industry future trends.

As a filmmaker, his documentary, “Paywall: The Business of Scholarship,” has had 350 public screenings at institutions around the globe and an audience of over 150,000 have viewed the film. Since September 2018, Schmitt has given lectures in support of open access of research at venues as diverse as the United Nations, Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands, the University of Iceland, Université Côte d’Azur in Nice, France, Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, and the Institute for Globally Distributed Open Research and Education (IGDORE) in Indonesia. Schmitt’s prior film career found him as the interviewer/field producer for the documentary, “Louder Than Love,” a film on the historic rock venue The Grande Ballroom and its influence on rock and roll music. The film was awarded an Emmy in 2016 and has been to more than 35 festivals from Detroit to LA and London to Australia.


As a journalist, Schmitt has written more than 70 pieces for outlets like Forbes Asia, the Huffington Post, EdSurge, BoingBoing, Slate, EuroDoc, Elmore Magazine, and DBusiness.

In addition to writing and film, Schmitt is involved in providing insight and leadership toward startup companies in the digital space and, in 2016, he judged over 1,000 startup pitches and business models for venture capital funding.

Schmitt has two textbooks released in 2018: Purposeful Communication in the Digital Age and Speaking with a Purpose. Both books are published through Routledge.