Keynote Speakers


Graham Brown-Martin

For many years, Graham Brown-Martin has been building fast growth technology businesses in the entertainment, education and publishing sectors. Today he works with commercial and social sector enterprises from large corporations to start-ups to help them identify their innovation immune system and unleash their own creativity.

As a serial disruptor, Graham draws on his experiences of creating startups and organisations that challenged the status quo across the digital, creative and education sectors. He designed mobile computers in the 1980s, interactive digital music systems in the 1990s and cloud-based storage systems in the early 2000s. He takes his audience on a journey that challenges them to think differently about the future. Inspired by a chance meeting with artificial intelligence pioneer Seymour Papert, Graham has been working with AI systems for nearly 30 years with a particular interest in its potential to transform education.

During the last year Graham has created an agile learning experience for the senior leadership of a FTSE 100 financial services company, designed a science programme for primary school children using the Internet of Things and an experiential learning experience for children to learn about working with autonomous humanoid robots. Graham founded Learning Without Frontiers (LWF), a global movement that brought together renowned educators, technologists and creatives to share provocative and challenging ideas about the future of learning. He left LWF in 2013 to pursue new programmes and ideas designed to transform the way we learn, communicate and live. His book, Learning {Re}imagined, was published by Bloomsbury in 2015.

Graham was the Chief Education and Product officer for Pi-Top until 2019. Pi-Top enables users to build and understand their own Raspberry Pi powered laptops. Pi-top is the only STEM platform to be endorsed by a national exam awarding body (OCR) for use in the Computer Science curriculum in the UK.

“Given the nature of global change, transforming education around the world is one of the deepest, most urgent challenges we now face. With his open but penetrating gaze, Graham Brown-Martin is an ideal guide through the complex terrain of ideas and innovations that might just create the new forms of education that we really need.”
— Sir Ken Robinson

Keynote Title: Learning Innovation in an Era of Exponential Change

The jobs of the future are the ones machines can’t do.

Ubiquitous, mobile supercomputing. Intelligent robots. Self-driving vehicles. Neuro-technological brain enhancements. Genetic editing. Artificial intelligence. Climate change. Population growth. Migration and the rise of the Precariat.

What do these mean for the future of work, how do we prepare ourselves and our colleagues to thrive in this rapidly transforming world?

Focusing on nurturing human potential, Brown-Martin considers the opportunities, exciting possibilities and significant challenges of the fourth industrial revolution and how organisations as well as individuals can respond.



Carlene Firmin

Carlene Firmin MBE is a British social researcher and writer specialising in violence between young people, and founder of the MsUnderstood Partnership. She is a senior research fellow at the University of Bedfordshire.

Firmin was senior policy officer at Race on the Agenda (ROTA), and founded the GAG project (Girls Against Gangs, or Girls Affected by Gangs, or Gendered Action on Gangs). She has held positions of assistant director of policy and research at Barnardos, specialising in youth justice and sexual exploitation of children; principal policy adviser at the Office of the Children's Commissioner; and head of the secretariat for the Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Groups and Gangs. Between 2011 and 2014 she wrote a regular column "Girl in the Corner" in The Guardian. In 2013 she founded the MsUnderstood Partnership, a joint project between Girls in Gangs, Imkaan and the University of Bedfordshire. The project "aims to improve local and national responses to young people’s experiences of inequality". Firmin is a senior research fellow in the Institute of Applied Research of the Department of Applied Social Studies at the University of Bedfordshire.

Firmin was awarded an MBE in the 2011 New Year Honours for "services to girls' and women's issues", and was the youngest black woman to have received this honour.

Keynote Title: Build a contextual response to peer-on-peer abuse in schools

Description: This keynote will introduce the audience to the global nature of peer-abuse between young people in schools – focusing on the dynamics present in international school contexts. Presenting global research evidence base, and emerging lessons from workshops with international school colleagues, the keynote will explore the significance of the school environment itself, student and staff cultures and wider neighbourhood settings to understand the capacity of schools to take a proactive approach to safeguarding their students. Particular dynamics of family, peer, school and community contexts, both online and offline, will be referenced to highlight the contextual nature of peer-abuse and to provide an evidence-base upon which to build strategic plans including levers within policy and practice frameworks in international school contexts. Drawing upon an extensive research evidence base, this keynote will provide school leaders with an insight into routes for them to address one of the most significant safeguarding risks faced by young people within educational settings around the world.



Will Richardson


A former public school educator of 22 years, Will has spent the last 15 years developing an international reputation as a leading thinker and writer about the intersection of social online learning networks, education, and systemic change. Will is a co-founder of Modern Learner Media and co-publisher of which is a site dedicated to helping educational leaders and policy makers develop new contexts for new conversations around education. Most recently, Will co-founded Change School and, in addition, the Modern Learners Community, two online destinations for educational leaders interested in creating relevant, sustainable change in schools using a coaching, curation, and community approach.

In 2017, Will was named one of 100 global "Changemakers in Education" by the Finnish site HundrED, and was named one of the Top 5 "Edupreneurs to Follow" by Forbes. He has given keynote speeches, lead breakout sessions, and provided coaching services in over 30 countries on 6 continents. (Come on Antartica!) Will has two adult children, Tess and Tucker, and lives in rural New Jersey with his wife Wendy


Keynote Title: This Is Personal: Learning in the Modern World

Description: The modern, networked world increasingly values and rewards those who are self-determined, voracious learners, those who are literally able to learn their way through problems and projects on a daily basis. Developing the skills, literacies, and dispositions to become that type of a learner must now become the focus of every school experience and environment. That all starts with honoring and expanding the freedom and agency of our students to learn what they want, when they want, with whomever they want, in whatever ways make most sense to them. Today more than ever, learners will inherit the earth. That starts with us.