Alex has worked in education for a decade. After starting out as an English teacher in a London comprehensive, he completed his MA at the Institute of Education before joining Teach For All, a growing network of independent organizations working to ensure that all children fulfil their potential. He is fortunate to spend his time travelling the world in search of the practices that will shape the future of learning and has written about his experiences for the Independent, Guardian, Financial Times and Wired. His book Natural Born Learners is a user's guide to transforming learning in the twenty-first century, taking readers on a dazzling global tour into the future of education, from Silicon Valley to Seoul, Helsinki to Hounslow.
Boser’s work has been highly influential. His research has been featured everywhere from “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” to the front page of USA Today and has helped inspire policy changes at the district, state, and national level. Boser has also developed legislation, advised political campaigns, and served as managing director of the Center for American Progress’s education team.
Ulrich Boser recently launched the Learning Agency. Part consultancy, part service provider, part communications group, the Learning Agency helps people–and organizations–harness the power of learning.
Boser has also been a contributing editor at US News and World Report and a researcher at the newspaper Education Week. His writings have appeared in a variety of publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Slate, Smithsonian, Newsweek, and Wired.
Boser has also been an Arthur F. Burns Fellow, an adviser to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and have been featured on CNN, National Public Radio, and NBC’s Nightly News. His career has also included stints as a reporter, editor, and English teacher. He graduated from Dartmouth College with honors.
Global Head, Learning Centre of Excellence and Novartis Universities at Novartis, Switzerland
Simon Brown has been Global Head of Learning CoE & Novartis Universities since September 2017. Responsibilities include cross-divisional learning, defining and implementing the Novartis Learning Strategy, and building Digital Capability across the company.
Simon joined Novartis in 2013 in Switzerland, to design and build the Novartis Capability Building Academy, focusing on innovative learning for developing Commercial capabilities globally. In 2016, he moved to the Drug Development world, to consolidate multiple learning teams into the Global Development University.
Before Novartis, Simon designed and led the successful enterprise-wide learning transformation at Lloyds Banking Group, driving significant savings while increasing the volume of, and engagement with learning. The transformation included a new learning operating model, processes and technology platforms, an overhaul of the learning curriculum and learning blend, and the outsourcing of the administration and operations of learning.
Previously, Simon had led the UK Learning Strategy offering at Accenture, and co-founded one of the UK's leading e-Learning companies, BrightWave. He has considerable learning experience from working with leading global organizations including Microsoft, HSBC, Barclays, BT, Canon and BP.
Simon was awarded an Honorable Mention as ‘Learning Champion of the Year 2013’. In 2012, Simon received the Chief Learning Officer, Silver Strategy Award for the work at Lloyds Banking Group, and the Lloyds Academy strategy won the 2012 HR Excellence Award.
Professor of Economics at George Mason University, EconLog Blogger and Author, USA
I'm Bryan Caplan, Professor of Economics at George Mason University and blogger for EconLog. I am the author of The Myth of the Rational Voter, named "the best political book of the year" by the New York Times, Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, and The Case Against Education. I am currently colloborating with Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal’s Zach Weinersmith on All Roads Lead to Open Borders, a non-fiction graphic novel on the philosophy and social science of immigration, and writing a new book, Poverty: Who To Blame. I've published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, American Economic Review, Economic Journal, Journal of Law and Economics, and Intelligence, and appeared on ABC, Fox News, MSNBC, and C-SPAN. An openly nerdy man who loves role-playing games and graphic novels, I live in Oakton, Virginia, with my wife and four kids.
Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) at the University of Cumbria, UK
Professor Sara de Freitas is Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Cumbria where she leads on academic matters and the student experience. She is also an Honorary Fellow of Birkbeck, University of London, Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Her consultancy work includes being a Board Advisor to Bibliotech (https://bibliotech.education), a start-up which provides textbooks to students via mobile devices, and has grown from three universities to 43 over the last two years. Over her career, she has worked as an educator, researcher and senior executive in five universities in Australia and the United Kingdom most recently as Pro Vice Chancellor at Murdoch University and Assistant Deputy Vice Chancellor at Curtin University, leading on cross-university curriculum change, blended learning and transnational education. Before working in Australia, Sara was Director of Research at Coventry University, UK, where she founded and developed the Serious Games Institute, bringing together commercial and academic partnerships to fuel regional economic growth. As Director of Research, she led on 56 projects attracting over £10 million in research income from European Regional and Framework funds and UK research councils, charitable organisations and industry, supporting the development of the education games industry and regional growth and development.
Sara is a passionate advocate of pedagogy-driven approaches to leadership and has a special interest in online, blended, accelerated, game-based and active learning to enhance flexibility, retention and high quality learning in different student cohorts. Her research findings are published in seven books and over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, conference papers, book chapters and technical reports (over 8,000 citations). Her cross-disciplinary and cross-sectoral influence upon the academic domains of educational technology and higher education policy and leadership development has been fostered by sitting on over 60 programme committees and advisory groups, and undertaking over 120 international keynotes, presentations and public lectures in four continents. She has led significant international industry and academic clusters in ICT, manufacturing and digital games.
Blogger and Educator at the International School of Brussels, Belgium
Benjamin Doxtdator is a First Nations teacher from Canada who now lives in Belgium and teaches Middle School English Language Arts at The International School of Brussels where he is also a co-ordinator of the Personal Learning Program. In his teaching practice, he values helping students develop their identities as readers, writers, and thinkers. In 2017, he organized a strand of Learning by Design at ISB where over 100 students worked to develop social innovation projects. He is currently planning for #ISBLbD 2019.
Benjamin received his MA in philosophy from McMaster University and his teaching degree from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Before moving to Brussels, he taught philosophy at a private alternative school in Toronto, and then Grade 2 in the public school system in Abu Dhabi.
Edu.Director at EIT Digital and Professor at KTH, Sweden
Prof. Flodström is the Chief Education Officer of EIT Digital and a member of the Management Committee of EIT Digital.
Prof. Flodström started his career in Palo Alto, USA, as a member of research staff in Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. Since 1985 he is professor in physics at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden. Prof. Flodström has been the Secretary General of the Swedish Research Council for Engineering Sciences and President at Linköping University (LiU), Sweden. He was President of the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm until July 2007 when he was appointed University Chancellor for Swedish universities.
Flodström is member of the Swedish Academy for the Engineering Sciences (IVA). He is also honorary doctor at Riga Technical University in Latvia, honorary doctor of Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) and honorary professor in Dalian University of Technology in China. He is a member of the advisory board of Karlsruhe Technical Institute (KIT) and a former Chairman of CLUSTER and Baltech - a network of technical universities around the Baltic Sea. He has also been guest researcher at HASYLAB/DESY in Hamburg, Germany as well as in National Bureau of Standards (NBS) in Gaithersburg, USA.
After 13 years at The Open University, Hannah was asked to join Solera’s EMEA division to oversee the development and launch of their internal Business School, to train staff in 44 European Countries, with further expansion plans as part of the company’s 2020 vision.
Hannah joined The Open University in 2005, and developed a range of projects with students and academics, largely in on the theme of improving online communication methods within the web presence of The Open University, which utilised a range of emerging tools, platforms, and techniques to leverage student engagement.
In her last position at The Open University Hannah worked on several projects regarding the impact of social media on student engagement. With the developing movement towards social learning and its use of hosting on third party platforms, Hannah’s portfolio subsequently expanded to Senior Producer: MOOCs at The Open University. It was within this role coupled with the culmination of her experience across the domain that led to Hannah influencing and leading the development of aspects of The Open University’s free online learning platforms, OpenLearn and FutureLearn, with additional syndication arrangements to third party platforms.
Hannah has worked in both the public and private sections, and has graduated with five qualifications, including an MBA and an MSc, from The Open University. As an advocate of lifelong learning, Hannah was recently awarded her fifth qualification, a doctorate on the ‘Engagement of Informal Learners Undertaking Open Online Courses and the Impact of Design’, providing the academic field with the largest single source of MOOC engagement data to date.
In her professional career outside The Open University, Hannah also undertakes freelance consultancy in the field of social media with learning design and its impact on a range of industry sectors, and serves as an Online Executive Panel Member at McKinsey giving views on emerging technologies and the impact of social changes across the industry.
Editor of Learning TRENDS, Author and Head of the Masie Center, USA
Elliott Masie is an international analyst, experimenter, author and advocate for Learning around the world. He is the editor of Learning TRENDS by Elliott Masie, an Internet newsletter read by over 57,000 business executives worldwide, and a regular columnist in professional publications, including CLO Magazine. He is the author of a dozen books, and is the convener of Learning 2018. Elliott has been to Africa many times and was part of a major Malaria Net Project with the Canadian Red Cross in Mali.
He heads The MASIE Center, a Saratoga Springs, NY think tank focused on how organizations can support learning and knowledge within the workforce. He leads the Learning CONSORTIUM, a coalition of 200 global organizations cooperating on the evolution of learning strategies, including CNN, Walmart, American Express, Walmart, Emirates Airline, Starbucks, General Electric and Fidelity Investments.
Elliott's professional focus has been in the fields of corporate learning, organizational performance and emerging technology. He has developed models for accelerating the spread of knowledge, learning and collaboration throughout organizations. Elliott is acknowledged as the first analyst to use the term e-Learning and has advocated for a sane deployment of learning and collaboration technology as a means of supporting the effectiveness and profitability of enterprises.
Elliott is known as a highly approachable speaker and trainer, blending humor, applicable stories of best practice and high levels of audience involvement. Over the past thirty years, he has presented programs, courses and speeches to over 2,200,000 professionals around the world. He lives in Saratoga Springs, owns thoroughbred horses, is a producer/investor in Broadway shows including the TONY Award Winning Kinky Boots, as well as An American in Paris, Macbeth, Allegiance, Unknown Soldier, SpongeBob the Musical and more.
Geoff Mulgan has been Chief Executive of Nesta since 2011. Nesta is the UK's innovation foundation and runs a wide range of activities in investment, practical innovation and research. Under his leadership it moved out of the public sector to become an independent foundation; greatly expanded its work, partly through creating new units, centres and funds in fields ranging from evidence and impact investment to challenge prizes and skills; and complemented its work in the UK with work in dozens of countries around the world.
Between 1997 and 2004 Geoff had various roles in the UK government including director of the Government's Strategy Unit and head of policy in the Prime Minister's office. From 2004 to 2011 Geoff was the first Chief Executive of The Young Foundation. He was the first director of the think-tank Demos; Chief Adviser to Gordon Brown MP and reporter on BBC TV and radio. He has been a visiting professor at LSE, UCL and Melbourne University and is currently a senior visiting scholar at Harvard University. He has helped set up many organisations including Demos and the Young Foundation as well as the Social Innovation Exchange (SIX), Uprising, Studio Schools Trust and Action for Happiness.
Geoff co-chaIrs a World Economic Forum group looking at innovation and entrepreneurship in the fourth industrial revolution. He has advised many governments around the world and is currently chair of an international advisory committee for the Mayor of Seoul and a member of advisory committees for the Prime Minister’s office in the UAE, the Scottish Government and SITRA, the Finnish Innovation agency.
Past books include ‘The Art of Public Strategy’ (Oxford University Press), Good and Bad Power (Penguin) and ‘The Locust and the Bee’ (Princeton University Press). His most recent book is ‘Big Mind: how collective intelligence can change our world’ published by Princeton University Press. His books have been translated into many languages. Geoff has also given TED talks on topics including the future economy, happiness and education.
Co-founder of Iris.ai and Faculty at SingularityU Nordic, Norway
Anita is the CEO and Co-Founder of Iris.ai; one of the 10 most innovative artificial intelligence startups in 2017 according to Fast Company. Iris.ai is an AI Science assistant, able to read, digest and connect scientific knowledge, that will grow up to be the world’s first AI Researcher within a decade.
Set out to democratize access to science, Iris.ai can reduce R&D departments’ time to map out existing research by 95% and remove current requirements of having deep domain expertise involved in the process, thus allowing more people to solve more difficult problems.
Anita is a highly sought after public speaker, voted one of the Nordic’s most inspiring women in tech, twice TEDx speaker and 500 startups, SU Global Grand Challenges Awards and TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield alumni. Anita is also the first Norwegian to attend Singularity University’s Global Solution Program in 2015 – and she put on the first Global Impact Challenge Norway in 2016.
Anita has never had what she refers to as “a real job” and Iris.ai is her fourth own startup. The past 10 years of her career have spanned over 9 industries including developing an e-learning tool in Silicon Valley, performing theatre for babies, reducing energy consumption in the process industry through heat exchanger network optimization, getting 30 (mainly middle-age, male) engineers to dance to ABBA in front of their co-workers, facilitating solar light business creation in Kenya, being in the centre of several startups crashing and burning, organizing entrepreneurial conferences and trying to disrupt the recruitment industry. She also dropped by 6 universities on the way. And built a race car.
Learning Designer, Analyst, Author and President of Learning Peaks, USA
Patti Shank is an internationally recognized learning designer and analyst, researcher, and author who is cited as one of the elite international learning experts. She works with organizations to analyze and find solutions for organizational performance needs and is regularly asked to speak at conferences and train trainers, instructors, designers, and experts.
Patti authored, co-authored, or edited numerous learning books and eBooks. She was an award-winning contributing editor for Online Learning Magazine and the research director for the eLearning Guild. You can find her articles and research in eLearning Guild publications, Magna Publications’ Online Classroom, eLearning Industry, and ATD’s Science of Learning and Senior Leaders and Executives blogs.
Author and Senior Researcher at the University of Edinburgh, UK
Dr Ben Williamson's research traces the connections between educational policy, digital technologies, and practices in schools and universities.
He is the author of Big Data in Education: The digital future of learning, policy and practice (Sage, 2017) and over 30 research articles and chapters. Recent topics of Ben’s research include data analytics, algorithmic decision-making, coding in schools, behavioural apps, and the development of performance metrics in the schools and HE sectors.
He is especially interested in examining how digital technologies and data are brought into education policy and practice through the involvement of policy networks of government agencies, think tanks, consultancies, policy labs and software companies. His current projects focus on ‘intimate data analytics’ such as wearable technologies, and on the ‘data infrastructures of higher education’ that are required for performance measurement of universities.
Esther Wojcicki is an internationally known journalism teacher and the founder of the Palo Alto High School Media Arts Program, a program that focuses on empowering students through the use of media (newspaper, magazine, yearbook, websites, video production, photography, radio, & television). The program started in 1984 with an already established (1918) 6 -8 page newspaper and 19 students; it has grown to become one of the most distinguished and the largest scholastic media program in the nation today (2016) with 600+ students, five additional teachers, nine publications, and a new 25,000 sq. ft Media Arts Center (2014).
Esther is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at MediaX at Stanford, a 2009 MacArthur Foundation Research Fellow, ; the 2002 California Teacher of the Year by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing; the 2011 Charles O’Malley Award recipient from Columbia Scholastic Press. In 2013, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Palo Alto University, and in 2016 an honorary doctorate from Rhode Island School of Design. In November, 2016 she was awarded the MyHero Award for her work in global education. She has been a speaker at multiple conferences including TED (2015), G20 Summit, and Singularity University Summit. She co-authored popular education book on blended learning entitled Moonshots in Education: Launching Blended Learning in the Classroom (2015) that explains a way to revolutionize education for the digital age. Her focus is give student agency in the classroom to empower their creativity and innovation skills. She is also the mother of Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, Janet Wojcicki, Professor of Pediatrics at UCSF Medical School and Anne Wojcicki, CEO of 23andMe. She is married to Stanford Physics Professor Stanley Wojcicki. She and her husband are proud graduates of UC Berkeley. They have nine grandchildren.