We are excited to invite CELA fellows to attend the final five days of CELA's 17th Academy in Astana, Kazakhstan, July 20-24, for an extraordinary opportunity to participate in the Merrick Furst Innovation Sessions. This special program aims to make our traditional post-academy alumni gathering more productive and enriching. The participant alumni are expected to arrive in the morning of Saturday, July 20, to join the first session in the afternoon and leave on July 25th after breakfast.

Event Details

Dates: July 20-24, 2024
Location: Nazarbayev University, Graduate School of Business, Astana
Cost: Option A: $825 (program, dorm accommodation in a single room, a full board, the Academy graduation dinner, transaction fee). Option B: $685 (the same, but without accommodation)


  • Introduction to Deliberate Innovation
  • Barriers to Innovation Exercises
  • Grip to Grip Mapping
  • Situational Diagramming
  • How Influencers Work
  • How to Paralyze Your Customers
  • Practicing Deliberate Innovation

About Merrick Furst

Merrick L. Furst, Ph.D., is a Distinguished Professor at Georgia Tech, where he runs commercialization and new venture creation programs. He has an impressive career spanning multiple prestigious institutions. Dr. Furst founded the anti-botnet startup Damballa, Inc., served as a professor at UC Berkeley, and was president of the International Computer Science Institute at Berkeley. Additionally, he was the CEO of Essential Surfing Gear, Inc., and helped establish a new high school in San Francisco. He is renowned for his seminal research in algorithms, complexity theory, and AI, including co-inventing probabilistic circuit analysis and planning graphs.

Why Attend?

  • Innovative Learning: Engage in cutting-edge sessions led by Dr. Merrick Furst, a leader in AI and technology innovation.
  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with alumni and current participants, fostering valuable professional and personal relationships.
  • Tradition with a Twist: While it’s a tradition for alumni to join the last two days of the Academy, this year, we've extended it to five days to maximize productivity and learning.
  • Comprehensive Package: Enjoy a hassle-free experience with accommodation and meals included.
Don't miss this chance to learn from a distinguished expert, reconnect with the CELA community, and enhance your innovative thinking and entrepreneurial skills.