Constructing Modern Knowledge is my life’s work. For six consecutive years, we have demonstrated the remarkable competence, commitment and creativity of educators by creating a four day institute filled with a wealth of materials, an incomparable faculty and the most amazing guest speakers featured by any educator event in the world. Constructing Modern Knowledge is more like the legendary MIT Media Lab, while too much teacher traditional professional development is like traffic school. Educators at Constructing Modern Knowledge master ideas, tools and technology on the frontiers of creativity and learning.

I’ve yet to unpack from last July’s institute and the deeply moving learning accomplishments of CMK 2013 participants continue to inspire me. Admittedly, I have been intimidated by the thought of topping the brilliant speakers who participated in CMK 2013. How does one possibly top the new music and compositional tools of Tod Machover, the provocative genius of Marvin Minsky, the incomparable conversation between Deborah Meier and Eleanor Duckworth or the improvisational magic of Jimmy Heath and Emmet Cohen?

In the coming days, you will learn more about what we have in store for Constructing Modern Knowledge 2014 – July 8-11, 2014 in Manchester, NH.

In the meantime, I could not be more excited to announce our first confirmed guest speaker, Pete Nelson! We worked together last year on s school architecture project for the global design firm, Fielding-Nair International. Last month, I discovered Pete’s hit television show, “Treehouse Masters,” when it was playing during a flight home from Australia.

Mr. Nelson continues the CMK tradition of featuring pioneers at the top of their fields. CMK guest speakers are master tinkerers, learners and makers who exemplify excellence. As the world’s most preeminent treehouse designer, Pete Nelson combines design, natural science, engineering and technology to create sophisticated objects of beauty, whimsy and function. Best of all, he earns his living doing what he loves in a career that your guidance counselor never told you exists.

I sure hope you will join Pete Nelson and the other guest speakers to be announced shortly at CMK 2014! Register today and save a bundle.

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About Pete Nelson

Pete Nelson was born in Mineola, NY in 1962. He grew up in Bergen County, New Jersey, with a stint in Brussels, Belgium as a 9-10 year old.

Early on, Pete had a fascination with and aptitude for working with wood. He loved to build small model boats with his grandfather in his workshop on Long Island. During this same period, Pete also started a handful of treehouse projects with his father and his best friends. He designed his first major treehouse while attending high school at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts. The treehouse was never built, but the seed was planted. Upon graduation he earned an Economics degree from Colorado College.

During his summers, Pete worked as a carpenter and acquired the skills to fulfill his considerable builder’s imagination. With his new wife, Judy, he moved to Seattle and started a small company specializing in residential construction.

Treehouse brewing company
Treehouse Brewing Company in Ohio. (Photo: Animal Planet)

One fateful day, Pete’s high school friend sent him an illustrated book on how to build your own treehouse. It inspired Pete not only to build treehouses again, but also to create a treehouse coffee table book. In 1994 Houghton-Mifflin published “Treehouses, the Art and Craft of Living out on a Limb.” He has published 5 more treehouse books since., His next book is due out May 2014.

Pete Nelson on The Today Show

Pete designs and builds treehouses all over the world with the talented group of individuals that make up his company, Nelson Treehouse and Supply. In 1997, he became the co-founder of TreeHouse Workshop, which teaches hands-on treehouse design and construction. He is also the co-founder and host of the annual Global Treehouse Symposium, attended by treehouse professionals and amateurs alike from all over the world.

Pete and his wife also founded Treehouse Point, an exclusive, environmental treehouse hotel and retreat center in Issaquah, Washington.

After 25 years, authoring 6 books and annual calendars, founding a treehouse bed and breakfast, starring in a hit reality television series, and leading a successful treehouse building company, Pete has firmly earned the title of “The Treehouse Guy.”

treehouse masters

Pete, his wife Judy, and their three children, Emily, Charlie and Henry, currently reside in Fall City, WA.

As Pete likes to say, “Be in a tree!”