our team

William Edwards
Executive Director
After nine years leading international corporate giving and employee engagement for The Boeing Company, including several years of partnership with FIRST Scandinavia on the Newton Concept, William left at the end of 2020 to help establish Newton America to bring Newton to the United States.  At Boeing, he oversaw all of Boeing Global Engagement’s charitable giving outside the U.S., including the expansion of Newton into nine new countries in Europe, as well as China and Turkey. 

As the U.S. Newton Operati
ng Partner (NOP) for the Newton Concept, William will lead Newton America into communities across the United States.
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He is a former Captain in the U.S. Army, and is a combat veteran of the war in Iraq as well as three other combat zone deployments in both the active and reserve components. Prior to joining Boeing, William served on the policy staff of U.S. Senator Jim Webb of Virginia, with primary responsibility for the Senator’s 2007 legislation that was enacted as the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill in 2008. He served as a member of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Advisory Council on Veterans’ Affairs from 2012 to 2015.

William is a Trustee of the National MS Society of Greater Illinois, and a Director of Leave No Veteran Behind. William lives in Chicago with his wife.

Thomas K Vaidhyan 
Chairman of the Board, Newton America.
A Social Entrepreneur & Architect of 3 successful start-ups, Thomas K Vaidhyan is currently Chairman & CEO of Aten Inc., USA & Managing Director of Aten India. A multiple Award winning pioneer, Aten was cited as one of the Key Players in the industry by The World Serious Game Market Forecast 2017 -2023. 
Passionate about removing the global barriers to education, Thomas serves as a Founding Board Member with BEST NC (a Bi-Partisan team of over 150+ CEOs dedicated to enhancing Public Education in N.C.), founding Board Member of Triangle Tesla, Founding Board Member/President of Newton America, and as First Robotics Regional and National Judge as well as North Carolina Leadership Forum (NCLF) participant on educational reforms. 

Realizing the existing need for technology expertise in today’s Educational system, he has made it a personal crusade as a Social Ed-Tech evangelist and thought leader to bring in best practices from the corporate world and Global Education to create more meaningful learning experiences for the current and next generation of learners.

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An accomplished public speaker, Thomas has presented at over 20 events across 15 cities worldwide on AI & ML, Data Driven Virtual Immersive Learning Simulations & Serious Games including VR/AR/XR for Training & Education. A MBA from CUSAT, with Bachelors in Physics, Thomas has been a merit scholar throughout his academic career. An avid tennis player and golfer, he reads voraciously, was an Indian classical (Bharthnatyam) dancer and enjoys music, dance, theatre, travel, cultural interactions, and a vast network of friends globally. 

Stian Elstad
Executive Director, FIRST Scandinavia 
Secretary of the Board, Newton America
Executive Director of the non-profit foundation FIRST Scandinavia with 20 years of experience in the STEM education field. 

2000-2005:

Education at Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Exchange student programme at University of Glasgow, UK In 2003
MSc Communication Technology.

2005-2019: 
Employed at FIRST Scandinavia from 2005. 
Project manager 2005-2016

Executive Director FIRST Scandinavia Partner 2010-2021

Executive Director FIRST Scandinavia 2016-2021

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Executive Director Newtonroom gGmbH (Germany) 2018-2021

Executive Director FIRST Scandinavia Partner AB (Sweden) 2020-2021

Developed and engineered the Newton Concept and the Newton Flight Academy.

Stian lives in Bodø, Norway, with his wife and four children.

Per-Arild Konradsen
Founder of FIRST Scandinavia, MSc. 
1983-1988: Education at Norwegian Institute of Technology, Civil Engineer.
1988-2000: Employed at Byggcon AS as a consultant, family owned company. Worked as a project manager and as a constructor; structural analysis for larger steel, concrete and timber constructions.
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2000-  Founded FIRST Scandinavia (Sept. 18, 2000), CEO from 2000-2016. 

From 2016; founder, Head of New business development. Started with FIRST LEGO League in Scandinavia in 2000, now running in 51 cities in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

Developed and engineered the Newton Concept, the Mobile Newton Room, and the Newton Flight Academy. Per-Arild lives in Bodø, Norway, with his wife. He has four grown-up children.