Next Lab

About Us

Dan Munnerley

Dan Munnerley

Executive Director and Lead Design Architect, Next Generation Learning

Dan has led digital transformation projects at Higher Education institutions and in the private sector in Australia, UAE, USA and the UK. He co-founded and leads Next Lab at Arizona State University, which accelerates the university's strategic vision through thought leadership and collective action across the education enterprise.


Dr. Bea Rodriguez-Fransen

Director of Imaginarium, Next Lab

Dr. Bea Rodriguez-Fransen is the Director of Imaginarium at Next Lab, bringing together individuals, research, and communities together to imagine the futures of learning and set a bold collective vision. Prior to joining Learning Futures, Bea was an inaugural fellow for ASU’s University Design Institute, which co-designs solutions with universities and diverse stakeholders to transform higher education on a global level. She has served in various leadership and fundraising roles in higher education, local government, nonprofit, entrepreneurship and innovation sectors. A design futurist and futures thinking specialist trained by the Institute for the Future, Bea is currently working on her Ed.D. dissertation on storytelling and imagining decolonial futures in Philippine education.


Toby Vaughn Kidd

Director of Studio, Next Lab

Toby Vaughn Kidd, Studio Director, leads a team of 50+ student developers, in collaboration with faculty, staff, and industry partners to build future-thinking tools and skills. Toby fosters values-based leadership, authenticity, and creativity while overseeing the development of concept creation, prototypes, and research on new tech and learning models. With over 15 years in higher education, including a decade in online learning at ASU's Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, he emphasized sustainable development, technology innovation, and consideration for the uniquely aesthetic and experiential elements inherent to the creative disciplines. Toby holds a M. Mus. in Vocal Performance from Northern Arizona University and remains active in the arts community as a performer, Grammy-winning recording artist, and leader.

Amanda Federico

Management Intern

Amanda is a Secondary Education Master's student at ASU after graduating in Spring 2023 with a BFA in Animation, BS in Media Arts & Sciences, and a certificate in Computer Gaming. After working as a Studio Associate at Next Lab for 2 years, they were promoted to Management Intern to help lead a large-scale Unity game engine education project. In addition to their experience in art/animation, storytelling, game design, and marketing, Amanda has been a professional improv comedian for over 7 years. Wielding humor to call attention to important issues in our modern world, their honors thesis is a techno-feminist satire comedy show that opens a conversation on how technology may be utilized against marginalized communities.

Jesus Franco Yescas

Management Intern

Jesus has been a member of Next Lab since May 2021, becoming a Management Intern after being a co-lead of the Game Engine Guild and serving as a project Tech Lead. Jesus graduated with a B.S. in Informatics and a Certificate in Computer Gaming from Arizona State University in 2023. He is currently working towards a M.S. in Media, Arts and Sciences with a focus in Extended Reality Technologies at the Mesa MIX Center, influenced in part by the kind of work that takes place in the Studio.