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2022 PROGRAMME

Programme

Explore the programme

Friday 25th March, 12:00 – 17:00 GMT
Speaker Topic list Calendar IconSpeakers Time IconTime
Welcome to Day 1

Vikas Pota, Founder & CEO, T4 Education, UK
Folawe Omikunle , CEO, Teach for Nigeria, Nigeria
Jaime Saavedra, Global Director of Education, World Bank, USA
Amit Patel, Managing Partner, Owl Ventures, USA

12:00
The Teacher Tech Summit Laureate’s Address

Karen Giles, Headteacher, Barham Primary School, UK

12:20 – 12:45
Geo focus: Test Prep in India

Moderator: Azad Oommen, Co-founder, Global School Leaders, USA
Raghav Podar, Chairman, Podar Education, India
Vandana Goyal, Executive Trustee, Avanti Fellows, India

12:45 – 13:10
Geo focus: Student engagement in MENA

Moderator: Mina Al Oraibi, Editor in Chief, The National, UAE
Mounira Jamjoom, Co-Founder & CEO, Aanaab, Saudi Arabia

Abhilasha Singh, Principal, Shining Star International School, UAE

13:10 – 13:35
Partner fireside chat

Moderator: Vikas Pota

Jose Thomas, Minister of Education, Mendoza, Argentina

Albert Nsengiyumva, Executive Secretary, ADEA, Ivory Coast

Abram Abanil, Director, Department of Education, Philippines

13:35 – 13:55
What the future of work holds for the students of today

Bethan Staton, Education and Public Policy Reporter,  FT, UK
Jonas Prising, Chairman & CEO, ManpowerGroup, USA

13:55 – 14:25
Geo focus: Digital transformation of schools in Europe

Moderated by Dan Worth, TES, UK

Olli Vallo, CEO, Education Alliance Finland
Ingvid Skogestad, Teacher, Knappskog School, Norway

14:25 – 14:50
Debate 1: That this House believes EdTech is a back door entry into the privatisation of education

Moderated by Mark Johnson, Education Correspondent, The Economist, UK
Jiang Xueqin, Education Analyst, China
Lucia Dellagnello, Executive Director, Centre for Education Innovation, Brazil

14:50 – 15:20
Innovation in tutoring

Moderated by: Verna Lalbeharie, Executive Director, EdTech Hub, USA
Mark Angel, CEO, Amira Learning, USA
Professor Becky Francis, CEO, Education Endowment Foundation, UK

15:20 – 15:45
Geo focus: Scaling quality education in LatAm

Moderated by: Duriya Aziz, SVP & Publisher, Scholastic International, Singapore
Iona Szkurnik, Founder & CEO, Education Journey, Brazil
Vicky Ricaurte, Co-Founder & CEO, Arukay, Colombia

15:45 – 16:10
Geo focus: North America and approaches on whole child development

Moderated by Stacie Fieth, Director, Global Education Services, JA Worldwide, USA

Sarah Robinson, VP of Product, Panorama Education, USA
Joshua Garcia, Superintendant, Tacoma Public Schools, USA

16:10 – 16:35
Finalist pitches for UCJC Global School Prize

Moderated by Nieves Segovia, President, SEK Education Group, Spain

16:35
EXCLUSIVE FOR EDTECH LEADERS

EdTech Insights

Speaker Topic list Calendar IconSpeakers Time IconTime
Working with Ministries of Education

Moderated by Amit Patel, Managing Partner at Owl Ventures

Debbie Schäfer, Minister of Education for Western Cape SA

Rossieli Soares, Secretary of Education of the State, São Paulo

Michael Bodekaer Jensen, Founder, CEO – Labster 

Ryan Stewart, Former Secretary of Education, New Mexico

16:00 – 17:00 GMT, 11:00 – 12:00 EST, 8:00 – 09:00 PST
Going Global: Best Practices for New Market Entry

Moderated by Ian Chiu, Managing Director at Owl Ventures

Anna Grotberg - Partner & Head of EMEIA Education at EY-Parthenon UK

David Julian – Head of Industry, EdTech at Google

Max Azarov – Co-Founder and CEO at Novakid

Michael L. Chasen, CEO of Class Technologies

17:30 – 18:30 GMT, 12:30 – 13:30 EST, 9:30 – 10:30 PST
Designing for Efficacy and Outcomes Measurement

Moderated by Malvika Bhagwat, Partner and Head of Outcomes at Owl Ventures 

Dan Cogan-Drew, Co-Founder & Chief Academic Officer at Newsela

Dr Ekaterina Cooper, Deputy Director of Research Acceleration at Educate Ventures

Jaclyn Piñero, Chief Executive Officer at uAspire 

Joanna Kuang, VP of Product Development and Impact at Illumen Capital

Michelle Tiu, Program Officer at EF+Math AERDF

19:00 – 20:00 GMT, 14:00 – 15:00 EST, 11:00 – 12:00 PST
Creating value in the education sector

Moderated by Amit Patel, Managing Director at Owl Ventures

Chip Green, Partner, Education at Oliver Wyman

Maria Spies, Co-CEO and Co-Founder at HolonIQ 

Michael Buchbinder, Managing Director, EdTech at Oppenheimer & Co

Namita Dalmia, Partner at Enzia Ventures

20:30 – 21:30 GMT, 15:30 – 16:30 EST, 12:30 – 13:30 PST

SATURDAY 26TH MARCH

Speaker Topic list Calendar IconSpeakers Time IconTime
Welcome to Day 2

Vikas Pota, Founder & CEO, T4 Education
Camila Pereira, Director of Education, Lemann Foundation, Brazil

11:00 – 11:20
Geo focus: The latest in teacher professional development in South East Asia

Moderator: Urvi Doshi, T4 Education
Ethel Agnes Pascua-Valenzuela, Director, SEAMEO, Thailand

Pushparani Govindarajah, Middle Leader, SMK Pulau Indah School, Malaysia

11:20 – 11:50
Debate: That this House believes a University degree is the worst investment a young person can make

Moderated by Jeff Young, Managing Editor, EdSurge, USA

For the motion: Kay Lack, Makers Academy, UK

Against the motion: Mamokgethi Phakeng, Vice-Chancellor, University of Cape Town, South Africa

11:50 - 12:20
Fireside chat – ‘5 innovations that improve learning outcomes’

Interviewed by Carla Aerts, Founder, Learning Refracted, UK
Olli-Pekka Heinonen, Director General, International Baccalaureate, Switzerland

12:20 – 12:40
Teacher Masterclass: Introduction

Co-Hosts: Andria Zafirakou, Winner of the Global Teacher Prize & Associate Deputy Headteacher, Alperton Community School, UK
Co-Hosts: Francis Jim Tuscano, Xavier School, Philippines

12:40 – 12:50
Teacher Masterclass: How to create engaging digital content

Oda Bjerknes, Norway

Ify Obidi-Essien, Nigeria

Steven Kolber, Australia
Lana Belic, Serbia

12:50 - 13:20
Teacher Masterclass: How to assess using online learning tools

Esther Omonigho Airemionkhale, Nigeria

eTwinz, USA

Fouzia Hamid, Pakistan
Melissa Schroeder-Hribal, Canada

13:20 - 13:50
Teacher Masterclass: How to ensure learner safety in online learning

Ana Elicker, Brazil

Candelaria Durruty, Argentina
Nico Fos, Philippines

13:50 - 14:20
Teacher Masterclass: How to design effective digital pedagogies

Ian Fogarty, Canada

Naiara Chaves de Carvalho, Brazil
Steve Auslander, USA

14:20 - 14:50
Teacher Masterclass: How to use new technologies to enable better learning (VR / AR)

Christian Turton, UK

Cristine Ejercito, Philippines
Olivia Carter, UK

14:50 - 15:20
Teacher Masterclass: Summary 15:20 - 15:40
Geo focus: Foundational literacy and numeracy in Africa

Moderator: Julie Gichuru, Chief Public Affairs & Communications Officer, Mastercard Foundation, Kenya
Rapelang Rabana, Founder, Rekindle Learning, South Africa
Mayank Dhingra, Senior Education Business Leader – EEMEA, HP

15:40 – 16:10
What employers tell us about the skills of tomorrow

Naomi Ackerman, Reporter, Evening Standard, UK
Hans Vestberg, CEO, Verizon, USA

16:10 – 16:40
Fireside chat

Interviewed by Fernando Shayer, CEO, Camino Education, Brazil
Andreas Schleicher, Director of Education & Skills, OECD, France

16:40 – 17:10
Special announcement of the winner of the inaugural UCJC Global School Prize 17:10 – 17:30
Conclusion

Vikas Pota, Founder & CEO, T4 Education, UK
Jaime Saavedra, Director of Global Education, World Bank, USA
Amit Patel, Managing Partner, Owl Ventures, USA

17:30 – 17:45

Speakers

Vikas Pota

Founder & CEO, T4 Education, UK

Jaime Saavedra

Global Director of Education, World Bank, USA

Amit Patel

Managing Partner, Owl Ventures, USA

Karen Giles

Headteacher, Barham Primary School, UK

Raghav Podar

Chairman, Podar Education, India

Vandana Goyal

Executive Trustee, Avanti Fellows, India

Mounira Jamjoom

Co-Founder & CEO, Aanaab, Saudi Arabia

Bethan Staton

Education and Public Policy Reporter, FT, UK

Olli Vallo

CEO, Education Alliance Finland

Ingvid Skogestad

Teacher, Knappskog School, Norway

Jiang Xueqin

Education Analyst, China

Lucia Dellagnello

Executive Director, Centre for Education Innovation, Brazil

Professor Becky Francis

CEO, Education Endowment Foundation, UK

Iona Szkurnik

Founder & CEO, Education Journey, Brazil

Vicky Ricaurte

Co-Founder & CEO, Arukay, Colombia

Ethel Agnes Pascua-Valenzuela

, Director, SEAMEO, Thailand

Kay Lack

Makers Academy, UK

Mamokgethi Phakeng

Vice-Chancellor, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Olli-Pekka Heinonen

Director General, International Baccalaureate, Switzerland

Andria Zafirakou

Winner of the Global Teacher Prize & Associate Deputy Headteacher, Alperton Community School, UK

Francis Jim Tuscano

Xavier School, Philippines

Rapelang Rabana

Founder, Rekindle Learning, South Africa

Mayank Dhingra

Senior Education Business Leader – EEMEA, HP

Naomi Ackerman

Reporter, Evening Standard, UK

Aaron Feuer

Jeff Young

Managing Editor, EdSurge, USA

Julie Gichuru

Chief Public Affairs & Communications

Mina Al Oraibi

Editor in Chief, The National, UAE

Sarah Robinson

VP of Product, Panorama Education, USA

Verna Lalbeharie

Executive Director, EdTech Hub, USA

Vikas Pota
Vikas Pota

Founder & CEO, T4 Education, UK

Vikas Pota is the Founder & CEO of T4 Education, a digital platform he established as a response to the challenges posed by the pandemic on education, globally. T4 seeks to strengthen the cause of educators and schools by providing them with opportunities to learn and share with each other, and is building a set of tools that help this global community advance its agenda.

Prior to T4, in the education sector, Vikas set up and ran a philanthropic foundation focused on teachers where he launched and ran the Global Teacher Prize as a way of shining a spotlight on the greatness of the profession; he has made the case at UN platforms, the G20 and to several Governments about the Sustainable Development Goals; he established a technical & vocational skills business in Africa to tackle the youth unemployment crisis; he set up a corporate venture capital business investing in high growth edtech businesses; and lead on the brand, marketing, communications and corporate affairs strategy for a globally renowned K-12 education business.

Vikas serves on several non-profit boards including The Education Outcomes Fund, Artists in Residence, Global School Leaders, Queen Rania Teacher Academy, Educate Girls, and Teach for All. He is an Honorary Lecturer at UCL Institute of Education, was a Visiting Practitioner at Harvard Graduate School of Education, and served as a Senior Policy Fellow at the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Science & Policy.

He has been recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum; was accorded the status of one of London’s 1000 most influential persons; is a member of the Young Presidents Organisation; and has been awarded two honorary doctorates by leading universities in the world in recognition of his achievements.

Often quoted in the media, Vikas is a passionate advocate of the transformative power of a good education and is actively building a global community of teachers and schools to make that a reality.

 
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Jaime Saavedra

Global Director of Education, World Bank, USA

Jaime Saavedra leads the Education Global Practice at the World Bank Group. He rejoined the World Bank Group from the Government of Peru, where he served as Minister of Education from 2013 through 2016. During his tenure, the performance of Peru’s education system improved substantially as measured by international learning assessments.

Throughout his career, Mr. Saavedra, a Peruvian national, has led groundbreaking work in the areas of poverty and inequality, employment and labor markets, the economics of education, and monitoring and evaluation systems. He has held positions at a number of international organizations and think-tanks, among them the Inter-American Development Bank, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, International Labour Organization, Grupo de Análisis para el Desarollo and the National Council of Labor in Peru.

He has also held teaching and research positions in academia and has published extensively. Prior to assuming his role as Minister for Education of Peru, he had a ten year career at the World Bank where, most recently, he served as Director for Poverty Reduction and Equity as well as Acting Vice President, Poverty Reduction & Economic Management Network. Mr. Saavedra holds a Ph.D in economics from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree in economics from the Catholic University of Peru.

 



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Amit Patel

Managing Partner, Owl Ventures, USA

Amit has experience scaling several education start-ups and is deeply committed to building new organizations that will create sustainable and higher quality education solutions. Before joining Owl Ventures, Amit founded Personal Academic Trainers, an afterschool tutoring company, and created the quality assurance program and institutionalized sales training for Mathnasium Learning Centers, an after-school math learning center franchise with 1,000+ locations in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Amit also served as the Director of Technology for Success Academy Charter Schools, a premier charter school network in New York City with 45 schools. Amit sits on the National Board for uAspire, a nonprofit organization ensuring that all young people have the financial information and resources necessary to find an affordable path to and through college.

He received a B.A. in Mathematical Economic Analysis from Rice University and studied theatre/film at The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and New York University. Amit was an Education Pioneers Graduate School Fellow, a Pahara-NextGen Fellow, and he earned a M.B.A./M.A. in Education from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Graduate School of Education.



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Karen Giles

Headteacher, Barham Primary School, UK

Karen Giles is embedding excellence in her nineteenth year of Headship at Barham Primary School, a titan (930 pupils, 150 staff) multi-lingual/cultural/faith primary school in London, UK.

She has been teaching and leading learning in urban primary schools for over three decades. She is also the Interim Executive Headteacher of The Stonebridge School.

Karen is a Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching. She recently served as Chair of the Inspire Partnership Academy Trust Board.

Karen worked for Brent Local Authority as a School Effectiveness Lead Professional.

Her work with Challenge Partners was initially as a Leadership Coach for the Greater London Assembly Getting Ahead London programme for Aspiring Leaders and then as a Leadership Development Broker.

Karen has been a Leadership Coach with The Future Leaders Trust/Ambition School Leadership (2013-17) and a Director for the London Leadership Strategy (2016-17).

Karen was Consultant/Executive Headteacher for a school causing concern (Dec. 2014-Aug. 2015).

She was an OFSTED Team Inspector (2010-15).

Karen received the London Region National Teacher Award for (DCSF) Enterprise and Innovation in 2009.

She has experience of study visits to schools locally, nationally and internationally (USA, China, Ukraine, Norway, Brazil, Ghana and UAE) and experience of interviewing teachers in Canada for recruitment to the UK.

Karen facilitated National College (NCSL) leadership development programmes (New Vision, Head for the Future, Tomorrow’s Heads, NPQH). She currently facilitates professional development, (most recently in Argentina and Brazil), Next Step Leadership on behalf of the London Leadership Strategy and DfE funded training for Diverse Leaders as well as the inaugural Women’s NPQH.



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Raghav Podar

Chairman, Podar Education, India

A fine blend of global thinking & Indian values, Raghav Podar is a path-breaking educationist and a thought leader on constructing optimal learning environments.

Having studied the education systems of Finland, Singapore, U.K. and Australia, he has been vested heavily into upgrading the quality of schooling in India. His trainings, presentations and workshops on aligning digital transformation with 21st century skills are keenly sought across schools, conferences and ministries in Australia, Spain, and the U.K.

He makes a strong distinction between educationist-run schools and businessman- led schools, and also personally supports the the Beti Padao, Beti Bachao Yojana as well as Tata Memorial’s Impacct Foundation that focuses on children’s cancer treatment for the poor.

He has recently been at the forefront of relief efforts for the poorest of the poor affected by the Covid lockdown across India; providing 1000s of kilograms of food grain as well as started kitchens to supply over 1200 meals per day to the needy.

His contribution to the field of education and society is commendable and he has been bestowed with many awards for his contributions in the field of education and nation building including:



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Vandana Goyal

Executive Trustee, Avanti Fellows, India

Vandana Goyal is currently the Managing Trustee of Avanti Fellows, an award-winning nonprofit based in India focused on putting low-income students on a path towards professional success through competitive test preparation and a focus on high quality STEM education in secondary government schools. 

She was formerly CEO of The Akanksha Foundation. Under her leadership, Akanksha became one of the largest networks of public-private partnership schools in India, currently 21 schools serving over 9,300 students and 10,000 alumni.  In 2012, Vandana was honored by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader.

Vandana serves on the Board of Directors of Avanti Fellows, Save the Children India and Kizazi (UK). She also serves on the advisory board of The Akanksha Foundation, The Education Alliance and the Investment Committee of the School Quality Excellence Program. 

Vandana grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, where her parents emigrated from India in 1978. She moved to Mumbai in 2006, and currently lives there with her husband and two children, Siena and Samar. 



Mounira Jamjoom
Mounira Jamjoom

Co-Founder & CEO, Aanaab, Saudi Arabia

Mounira is a co-founder and CEO of Aanaab, an online professional development platform for teachers. She is also Co-founder of Emkan Education, an education advisory company. Mounira worked as an Advisor for the Evaluation, Training and Education Commission (ETEC). In 2012, Mounira worked as a senior research specialist with the Ideation Center, Booz & Company’s think tank in the Middle East. Mounira also serves as a board of trustee at Dar Al Hekma University in Jeddah. She was an advisory board member of the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) for women. Mounira serves as an advisory board member of the Queen Rania Teacher Academy (QRTA). Mounira holds a Ph.D. in education from Oxford University and a master’s degree from Columbia University. Mounira is a currently a fellow at the Owner President Management (class 56) program at Harvard Business School (HBS).

Bethan Staton
Bethan Staton

Education and Public Policy Reporter, FT, UK

Bethan Staton is a reporter at the Financial Times, covering education. She is especially interested in the relationship between learning, work and quality of life, university finances and corporate interests in education, and she also covers public policy and economics. Before joining the FT she was a reporter at Sky News and freelance in the middle east.

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Olli Vallo

CEO, Education Alliance Finland

Olli is the CEO of Education Alliance Finland. He has worked in the Edtech field since 2012, has an MSc in Education, and has previously worked as a primary school teacher. 

Education Alliance Finland is specialized in the quality certification of EdTech products. Through the product evaluation work, EAF gathers insights into the global EdTech product market. Together with Finland’s National Agency for Education, EAF has developed quality criteria for EdTech solutions in Finnish schools.



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Ingvid Skogestad

Teacher, Knappskog School, Norway

Ingvild Skogestad is a teacher and coordinator of digital thinking at Knappskog School in Norway. She is very passionate about good use of ICT, student learning, and student participation. She has worked digitally, without textbooks, for the last 6 years and is very concerned with balanced digital teaching based on the students’ prerequisites.

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Jiang Xueqin

Education Analyst, China

Jiang Xueqin is a China-based educator and writer.  He has written two books, both published in China.  “Creative China” (2014) tells the story of how he built two innovative school programs, and “Schools for the Soul” (2021) is his blueprint for how to make Chinese education equitable and creative.

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Lucia Dellagnello

Executive Director, Centre for Education Innovation, Brazil

Lucia Dellagnelo is Head of the Center of Innovation for Brazilian Education – CIEB, a leading organization for advocacy and technical support of policies in innovation and educational technology. Dr. Dellagnelo holds a Doctor of Education and Human Development degree from Harvard University and has worked as a consultant for national and international organizations.

Among the awards received for her work, she was elected President of the international jury of UNESCO 2018 ICT Prize in Education and was a recipient of the National Education Merit Award granted by the President of Brazil.



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Professor Becky Francis

CEO, Education Endowment Foundation, UK

Professor Becky Francis is Chief Executive Officer of the Education Endowment Foundation. She was previously Director of the UCL Institute of Education (IOE), which is ranked #1 in the world for education in the international QS rankings. Her prior roles include Professor of Education and Social Justice at King’s College London, Director of Education at the RSA and Standing Advisor to the Parliamentary Education Select Committee.   

Throughout her career, Becky has sought to maximise the impact of academic research by working closely with teachers and policy-makers. Becky has been a judge for the National Pupil Premium Awards and the TES Teacher of the Year awards. She has spearheaded high-profile research programmes assessing the impact of major reforms in the English school system on educational inequalities.

Becky’s academic expertise and extensive publications centre on social identities and inequalities in educational contexts. She is best known for her body of research on social identities and educational attainment, including gender, race and social class.



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Iona Szkurnik

Founder & CEO, Education Journey, Brazil

Iona is a Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur with 8+ years in Educational Technology and is the CEO and founder of Education Journey, an edtech hub for innovation in education. She holds a B.A and M.S in Psychology, an MBA and a masters degree in Policy, Organization and Leadership from the Stanford University School of Education. Iona is a founding member and president of Brazil at Silicon Valley, a non-profit organization that improves Brazil’s competitiveness through innovation and technology. Iona has also served as a Menlo Park School District’s teacher and today is part of the city council for Education. Mentor and advisor for Brazilian students and entrepreneurs, Iona is a Lemann Fellow and a recipient of the Lemann Foundation Start-Ed Award’14

Vicky Ricaurte
Vicky Ricaurte

Co-Founder & CEO, Arukay, Colombia

Vicky Ricaurte is a serial EdTech entrepreneur. Currently, she is the co-founder of Arukay (www.arukay.com). Arukay is a curricular learning system in computational thinking and coding for k-12 schools. Arukay has impacted more than 100K students and has presence in 8 countries in LATAM. She is passionate about preparing the current and next generation of innovators who will solve the most pressing problems of our humanity.

Vicky was the winner of WeXchange 2019 where she was recognized as the most innovative and dynamic STEMpreneur of LATAM and the Caribbean by the BID Lab. Vicky was also the winner of Mujer que Impacta 2019, a competition organized by Endeavor Colombia. Endeavor Colombia awarded her as Arukay is solving a global problem with a scalable solution.  

Arukay has also received many recognitions. Tech de Monterrey highlighted Arukay as one of the 10 companies that are revolutionizing k-12 education in the world. Holon IQ (https://www.holoniq.com/) recognized Arukay as one of the 100 most innovative companies in LATAM. The Pacific Alliance and the IDB, highlighted Arukay as a company that has mitigated the impact of Covid19 on education. Semana Educación magazine chose Arukay as one of the forty companies that are changing the education in the LATAM region. Vicky has her TEDx Talk on “Programming, the Language of the Future.” She was chosen as one of the Geniuses in education by Money Magazine. 

Vicky has been a panelist at the Singularity University Summit.  She is a regular speaker at the most relevant events in education, innovation and entrepreneurship. Before joining the entrepreneur world, she had a successful career in the corporate arena. She holds a BSc. in Industrial Engineer from Universidad de los Andes, a MSc. in Marketing from CESA and a Master’s in liberal arts in Management from Harvard University.



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Ethel Agnes Pascua-Valenzuela

, Director, SEAMEO, Thailand

Dr Ethel Agnes Pascua- Valenzuela is the director of the SEAMEO Secretariat, which serves as  the executive arm of the SEAMEO Council of Ministers of Education from 11 member states  that make up SEAMEO. She is the 18th Director of SEAMEO Secretariat and the first woman  director since SEAMEO’s establishment in 1965. 

Since Dr Ethel Valenzuela joined the SEAMEO Secretariat, she oversaw the implementation of  SEAMEO College projects with ADB; SEA PLM- the first regional assessment of grade 5 learners  in reading, writing, mathematics literacy as well as global citizenship and SEAMEO Inter-centre  

collaboration activities and UNESCO-SEAMEO projects. She represents SEAMEO in the UNESCO  SDG Steering Committee and the Intl Teacher Task Force. She is a advisory board member of  UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), the ASEAN TVET Council and UNESCO ISCED-T  Advisory Group. 

When the pandemic broke in, she has introduced a wide range of COVID-19 responses of the  organization including the development and rolling off the SEAMEO Webinar Series, SEAMEO  COVID -19 Accessible and Responsive Education Support (CARES) Programme and SEAMEO  Border Schools Project aligning its actions to the UNESCO Global Education Coalition for COVID 19 Response and Toolkit for Remote Teaching and Learning to name a few. 

Prior to joining SEAMEO, Dr Valenzuela also served in the Philippines as Commissioner of  UNESCO National Commission (2003-2010) and played an integral role in the ratification of  UNESCO Mutual Recognition of Higher Education Degrees, Studies and Certificates (2003) as  well as in the drafting of the TOKYO Convention for the Recognition of Higher Education  Qualifications (2011). She served as Director IV of the Commission on Higher Education for  Office of Student Services and Director III of the International Affairs Services and was awarded  as Most Outstanding CHED Director in 2010. She contributed to several CHED policies on  international linkages, transnational education and distance education and serves as CHED  technical panel for Transnational and Distance Education. 

An accomplished academic and writer, Dr Valenzuela led SEAMEO researches on K to 12  Toolkit, Regional Comparison of K to 12 Systems in Southeast Asia, Southeast Asia Teaching  Competency Standards, Education For All Assessment of the Philippines, Multigrade  Instruction in Southeast Asia, ECCE Standards in Southeast Asia, ESD Toolkit, UNESCO Toolkit for  the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications and Toolkit for National Information Centre  to name a few. She has earned two Outstanding EIU Best Case Studies from UNESCO APCEIU on  Peace Education and Literacy. 

As a passionate educator, Dr Valenzuela also serves as Professorial Lecturer at the Department  of Educational Leadership and Professional Services, College of Education, at the University of  the Philippines -Diliman Philippines since 2006.



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Kay Lack

Makers Academy, UK

Kay Lack leads the education team at the software engineering school Makers. Her mission is to dramatically shorten the time it takes to learn highly valuable skills.

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Mamokgethi Phakeng

Vice-Chancellor, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Mamokgethi Phakeng is the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town. She holds a PhD in Mathematics Education from the University of the Witwatersrand; she is well published and is one of the leading mathematics education scholars in the world.  She has won numerous awards for her research and community work. She is one of the 2020 Forbes’ top 50 Most Powerful Women in Africa. In 2019 Bristol University conferred on her an Honorary Doctorate in Science in recognition of her leadership role in mathematics education in South Africa. Kgethi donates 20% of her monthly salary to UCT to fund financially impoverished black South African women, postgraduate students.

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Olli-Pekka Heinonen

Director General, International Baccalaureate, Switzerland

Mr Olli-Pekka Heinonen became the 8th Director General of the International Baccalaureate Organization on 1 May 2021.

Prior to joining the IB, Mr Heinonen was Director General of the Finnish National Agency for Education where he worked from January 2017.

Mr Heinonen had an active career in politics in Finland between 1994 and 2002: he was Minister of Education and Science from 1994-1999; Minister of Transport and Communication from 1999-2002 and a Member of Parliament from 1995-2002.

From 2002 to 2012, Mr Heinonen was Director of Yle, the Finnish national public broadcasting company, before joining the Finnish Prime Minister’s Office in March 2012 as State Secretary, responsible for organizing and leading the office. He has also been responsible, as State Secretary, for the portfolios of the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Development and then as State Secretary at the Ministry of Finance of Finland.

Mr Heinonen holds a Master of Laws from the University of Helsinki in Finland and has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the Faculty of Education and Psychology at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. He is married and has three children.



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Andria Zafirakou

Winner of the Global Teacher Prize & Associate Deputy Headteacher, Alperton Community School, UK

Ms ANDRIA ZAFIRAKOU, MBE (2018 Global prize winner, Best teacher in the world)

Andria Zafirakou, a teacher at Alperton Community School in Brent, won $1 million when she was crowned the best teacher in the world.

Andria was born in north-west London to Greek-Cypriot parents and state-educated in Brent and Camden.

She is an art and textiles teacher in Brent on the outskirts of London, one of the world’s most ethnically diverse places. She is passionate about education and changing the lives of young people and underserved communities through creativity.

She has worked her entire teaching career of 16 years at Alperton Community School is now an Associate Deputy Headteacher leading on Staff Development, Diversity and Transitions

Using the prize money awarded by the Global Teacher prize, Andria founded a charity calledArtists in Residence (AiR)with an aim to improve arts education in schools.

Andria has also been named in the top ten of The Evening Standard’s 1000 Londoners List. She is a Culture Leader for the World Economic Forum as well as a member of their Global Future Leaders Council. Andria sits on the Advisory board for the Cultural Leaders Alliance, Art UK, Metroland and was the winner of the prestigious GIWA (Greek International Women’s award) for Arts and Culture in 2021.  Her debut and best selling book “Those who can, Teach” was published by Bloomsbury in April 2021 and she recently received an “Honoris Causa” Degree from the University of Worcester.

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Francis Jim Tuscano

Xavier School, Philippines

Francis Jim Tuscano is the Grade School EdTech Coordinator at Xavier School-San Juan and digital learning and innovation consultant. Jim is passionate about guiding educators leaders, and school communities in designing transformative learning experiences, with focus on STEAM and technology innovation programs. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator and was a 2017 Global Teacher Prize finalist. He currently hosts the empowerED Podcast.

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Rapelang Rabana

Founder, Rekindle Learning, South Africa

Featured on the cover of ForbesAfrica magazine before the age of 30, selected as a FastCompany Maverick, named Entrepreneur for the World by the World Entrepreneurship Forum and selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum – Rapelang is an internationally lauded technology entrepreneur.

Rapelang has over the past 7 years developed expertise in the role of technology in education and developing the skills of the future. Her TEDx talk, Using mobiles to rekindle learning, has garnered almost 8,000 views. Rapelang is the Founder of Rekindle Learning, which enables people to adapt to the changing world of work and serve as the Chairperson of the board of Imagine Worldwide, which empowers children to build literacy and numeracy skills.



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Mayank Dhingra

Senior Education Business Leader – EEMEA, HP

Mayank Dhingra leads the Education Business Vertical for Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe at HP Inc. His role is to provide commercial headship, strategic direction, solution frameworks, social-capital curation and thought leadership to the Education business line.

Mayank works with National Education Ministries to support country level education policy and to evangelize HP’s education proposition. He has spearheaded the regional development of HP’s Remote Learning Program, Smart Classroom Ecosystem, Innovation Labs, Digital Capability Program for Educators, and Pedagogy Consultancy Frameworks for governments and regulators. He was previously with GEMS Education where he headed the Commercial line for a network of 50 Schools in MENASA region. In addition, he sat on the board of two schools. Prior to GEMS he was with the Emirates Group for nearly 15 years in two stints and his last role was Head of Global Technology Partnerships where he led a portfolio of over 450 vendor relations and his organization portfolio managed large scale collaboration projects with tech partners. His preceding role was Head of Customer Experience for dnata (Emirates Group) where he set up the line and managed the business technology, product, pricing, loyalty and customer service functions across the network.

Earlier roles included Country Management and Regional P&L responsibility with leading multinational groups. Mayank is a sought-after keynote speaker, author and moderator on EdTech subjects. He has spoken at prominent international conferences and his articles have appeared in leading publications. He has also been an active mentor for several talent management pools. Mayank is a certified Yoga teacher as well and the founder of a non-profit entity – Yogasmriti; which combines individual and community wellbeing. All proceeds from the initiative are directed to charitable causes supporting children in need. Mayank’s philanthropic work has been recognised at regional and international forums.

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Naomi Ackerman

Reporter, Evening Standard, UK

Naomi Ackerman is a freelance business journalist and former Business Reporter for London’s Evening Standard.  She specialises in covering tech and the hospitality / leisure sectors, and is experienced in interviewing leaders from FTSE 100 CEOs to major startup founders.

Naomi has reported from locations around the world, and worked on award-winning social affairs campaigns for the Standard and The Independent, including an education-focused campaign twinning young people in the U.K. with displaced Syrian refugees in Jordan. 

She has frequently appeared as a specialist on the Evening Standard’s Tech & Science Daily and The Leader podcasts. 



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Aaron Feuer

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Jeff Young

Managing Editor, EdSurge, USA

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Julie Gichuru

Chief Public Affairs & Communications

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Mina Al Oraibi

Editor in Chief, The National, UAE

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Sarah Robinson

VP of Product, Panorama Education, USA

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Verna Lalbeharie

Executive Director, EdTech Hub, USA

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