Confirmed Mentors
Experts selected to share their digital-age skills for all areas of life.



Learn how to gain knowledge about a relevant topic or combine new skills like storytelling and coding in ways that transform you and those around you. Improve the ability to find an ally in the uncertainty that the digital age brings with it, or alterthe way you use physical activity to learn and improve digital-age skills.

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Binaebi Akah is one of the people who we think has developed a practical way to enrich her personal life in a world of digital technology. As members of the Million Skills Project team, we find ourselves thinking: “I’d like to be able to do what Binaebi does!” We think you will, too.

In her busy life as user experience designer and owner of a micro-publishing company, Binaebi adopted a useful way of recording and sharing information. "Sketchnotes" can improve recall, stimulate creative thinking, and make it easier to share ideas with both social and professional connections. Binaebi wrote a short Sketchnote Field Guide and is currently the curator of Sketchnote Army, a worldwide community of sketchnote artists. Her ability to visualize what she hears and quickly put it in a form that can be shared with others is a great reflective practice. Binaebi is also a member of SwingColumbus, a competitive and performance dance community, so we hope her Sift involves some Duke Ellington.

Working and Living Together

Learn how to build an open community, coordinate project contributions, bridge team boundaries within a company, promote mental health, play games to lower barriers and enlist everyday people to help complete not-so-everyday projects.

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We first met Carla on a Mozilla Web Literacy Standard community call, where we watched her guide over 20 people from multiple organizations and continents into a cohesive and productive team.

In an hour, the team had produced new ideas, generated multiple points of consensus, and ended on time. The meeting was highly productive, and everyone was engaged. Since then, we have witnessed repeat performances of Carla’s abilities on these calls with even larger groups. Her positive and inclusive style as the director of Badge System Design + Implementation at Mozilla allows Carla to infuse this practical skill with her big-picture strategies aboutlearningOpenBadges, and Web Literacy. After many months of mystery, we hope that Carla’s sift will finally reveal to us (and you) how she runs such incredibly fun and efficient community calls. 

Tools and Materials

Learn to understand the capabilities and limitations of digital-age tools and materials, whether video or printed canvas—or a combination of both—learning to manipulate these materials can impact a wide range of societal concerns, from politics to self-efficacy and interpersonal growth. In the digital age, this is how you make meaning and effect change. 

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We first met Ken through GeekDad, a parenting and technology blog he has run since 2007. The GeekDad mission—to “write about what we love as geeks and parents”—is supported by over 40 contributors and won a People's Voice Webby Award last year.

Also a Civil Engineer at CH2M Hill, Ken’s intersecting love of the digital and physical worlds began early, in his father’s well-appointed workshop and through his heavy involvement in building set pieces for high school theater productions. 
Often the only computer-savvy member of his construction crews, Ken overcame the fear that many have when encountering new technology, allowing him to learn new things on his own to support team projects. This über geek now shares what he knows and loves with millions through his blogging and 8 great books, including a 2010 New York Times best-seller. We can’t wait to discover what Ken's sift can teach us about how we can better use digital-age tools and materials. 

Managing Resources

Learn digital-age skills like creative storytelling, efficient use of time and effort, and making decisions in a complex world of interconnected technologies. Improve your thinking about place and history, or how to buy things in the digital age in order to find hidden connections, manage and transform the materials in your care, and better communicate your meaning to others.

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Making a movie is a big challenge that requires the ability to manage large amounts of resources. This is particularly true of a documentary, where research can unearth enough content for several films. Joel recently launched Dear Mr. Watterson—an award-winning, Kickstarter-funded documentary about the impact of the comic strip Calvin & Hobbes.

Joel discovered and fell in love with filmmaking as a teenager, when he realized the impact his videos could have on an audience. After graduating from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, he worked with a small Los Angeles production company before focusing on his documentary. Begun as a series of fan interviews, Dear Mr. Watterson is the product of six years of work collecting and filtering information about the iconic comic strip and its creator, Bill Watterson. One of Joel’s favorite experiences was going to Ohio State University and visiting the Billy Ireland Cartoon Art Library and Museum, where most of the original Calvin & Hobbes strips are curated.


Learn to incubate software-as-a-service startups, cultivate the development processes needed to expand an existing company, use social media and other online content to market products, or to align organizational tactics with strategic goals.

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In marketing instructor Sarah Smith-Robbins, we have recruited an everyday mentor capable of providing deep insights about how digital-age skills help organizations thrive in the marketplace. 

Known to many through social media as Intellagirl, Sarah is a sought-after speaker on many topics related to the use of digital technology in the classroom and business. Her role as an undergraduate instructor at Indiana University affords Sarah the opportunity to prepare business students for a rapidly changing world. As a Senior Director of Emerging Technologies at Kelley Executive Partners, she improves the learning culture for many large corporate clients. This gives her a holistic perspective on how digital skills education can sustain successful business practices. Sarah has twice served as the emcee of TEDxBloomington, where she learned to work 'Bonobo' into most conversations.


Learn to better connect with others across the distance of time and space, whether in the form of a collaborative wiki platform or a shared MP3. Improve your authentic connections with kids or adults using digital-age skills to overcome disconnection and communicate shared goals.

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Doug Belshaw embraces work-life balance, but does so in a way that honors the authentic relationships he nurtures in both contexts.

Through his work on Mozilla's Web Literacy Standard and Open Badges, Doug is wildly productive in his collaborations with people situated around the world. Doug's past lives include being a researcher and analyst at Jisc infoNet, where he wrote infoKit resources and supported higher education institutions in the UK. In 2012, he gave a TEDx talk on the essential elements of digital literacies. In helping others teach the Web, Doug has developed practical ways of managing his day that promote life-work balance, his ability to connect with others, and to share what he knows.