HMH’s Shaping the Future Podcast Offers a Fresh Take on What’s Next for Education

Hosted by Matthew Mugo Fields, the series features candid conversations with cross-disciplinary thought leaders on preparing students for an unpredictable future

BOSTON – Shaping the Future, the popular podcast series from learning technology leader Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), is now streaming its second season, which includes a wide-ranging conversation with former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, available this week. The series, hosted by HMH’s Matthew Mugo Fields, General Manager, Supplemental and Intervention Solutions, and edtech entrepreneur, spotlights spirited discussions on the future of learning with well-known experts across industries, from best-selling authors to CEOs, scholars, artists and more.

Widely available across all podcast channels such as Apple, Spotify and Google, the podcast offers the diverse perspectives and experiences of its guests as a lens to explore how educators can prepare students for today's workplace and begin to cultivate critical career readiness skills for jobs of the future.

The latest episode, titled “School Cyber Attacks and the Rise of Misinformation” features guest Ash Carter, director of the Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School and former Secretary of Defense. During their conversation, Carter and Fields discuss the proliferation of technology in classrooms and what that means for data safety and the future of education. Carter brings his unique perspective to everything from cybersecurity in schools, to the dangers of misinformation, to what makes it worth getting up every morning and going to work.

Fields has devoted his career to transforming education and ensuring that academic success is attainable for students of all backgrounds. He leads the development and strategy of HMH’s supplemental and intervention solutions and is a co-founder of Innovation For Equity, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting innovative ways to improve life outcomes for Black learners of all ages.

“Because I am an unabashed edu-nerd,’ my curiosity drives me to explore all I can about learning, teaching, and the role of innovation in unlocking human potential,” said Fields. “Through this podcast, we aim to provide refreshing dialogue that encourages progress within education by gathering insight from other industries and inspire greater exploration of issues in education and beyond.”

Past season two episodes include Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, best-selling author of Happier and co-founder of the Happiness Studies Academy, VP and Artistic Director, Social Impact from the Kennedy Center of Performing Arts, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and Rana el Kaliouby, co-founder and CEO of Affectiva and author of Girl Decoded: A Scientist's Quest to Reclaim Our Humanity by Bringing Emotional Intelligence to Technology.

The Shaping the Future podcast is part of Shaped, a community-driven collection of resources, blogs and content that supports educators, builds lifelong learners and shapes the future of education. On Shaped, educators can access a variety of free, curated resources, from lesson plans tied to current events to refreshing ideas and perspectives from notable guest bloggers and interviewees. The HMH podcast collection also includes Teachers in America, which features conversations with teachers from across the country who work tirelessly to bring access and equity to their classrooms. Seasons one and two are available on Shaped.

Episodes of Shaping the Future and Teachers in America can be found on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Google Play/Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and HMH’s Shaped blog.

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ: HMHC) is a learning technology company committed to delivering connected solutions that engage learners, empower educators and improve student outcomes. As a leading provider of K–12 core curriculum, supplemental and intervention solutions and professional learning services, HMH partners with educators and school districts to uncover solutions that unlock students' potential and extend teachers' capabilities. HMH serves more than 50 million students and 3 million educators in 150 countries. For more information, visit

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Leah Riviere
Director, Communications
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt