Dr. Fred Mednick

Founder -Teachers Without Borders

Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Education

After more than 20 years as a teacher and principal, Dr. Fred Mednick founded Teachers Without Borders (TWB) in 2000. Dr. Mednick has advocated for the direct connection between teacher professional development and global change. Along with his role as head of TWB, he is also a professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Education, where he teaches 4 online global courses for teachers.

Dr. Mednick received his B.A. at the University of California, his M.A. from Claremont Graduate School; and his doctoral degree from Seattle University. His dissertation, “The Qualities of an Educated Teen for the 21st Century,” was inspired by colleagues in Udaipur, and extends a UNESCO report into a model of education change. His research led to the founding of Teachers Without Borders so that teachers could connect to information and each other in order to advance education.

Prior to founding TWB, Fred served as the head of two prominent schools in the United States. He is the author of Rebel Without A Car: A Principal’s Guide to Adolescence, which has been published throughout the United States and Europe.

Teachers Without Borders has worked with the Clinton Global Initiative and received Ashoka’s Champion of African Education award. Fred has been a delegate at the prestigious Global Creative Leadership Summit four times, was Cisco Systems' guest at the Nobel Prize summit, and has consulted for the Commonwealth Ministers of Education as an advocate for the teacher’s voice.

Pirjo Koivula

Counselor of Education Finnish National Board of Education,

Pirjo Koivula is M.A. in Educational Administration, Research and Planning. She is qualified Primary School and Special Needs Teacher. She has postgraduate studies in Education and Specialist Qualification in Leadership and Management for Educational Administrative Personnel.

She is currently Counsellor of Education in The Finnish National Board of Education in the Curriculum Development Unit. She has the main responsibility of developing the achievement of all learners, special needs and inclusive education on national level. She has worked in cooperation with the Ministry of Education to draft national legislation and has been responsible of drafting the changes in the national core curriculum in the area of pupil support and inclusive education. After that her work was to support the implementation and to continue the Curriculum work in the area of the learning concept and pedagogical methods. Now she is chairing two work groups in new Core Curriculum reform.

She has cooperated with the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs in different development projects in South-Africa, Tanzania and Russia. She is a National Coordinator for Finland of European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education. She is also a Member of Common Board of State owned Approved Schools and a Vice chair of Board of Celia, National Library for the Visually Impaired. She is responsible for developing the state owned resource centres. She has also acted as a country representative in the projects of OECD´s Center for Educational Research and Innovation, CERI and UNESCO IBE.

Pirjo Koivula has also served as Department Head and Director of Education and Social Services in three different cities and before that as a principal.

She has contributed to the elaboration of several publications and strategies on the topic of inclusive education in pre-primary, basic and upper-secondary education. During past years she has had several presentations and keynote speeches in international scientific and professional conferences and seminars.

Dr. Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury

Dr Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury is two Guinness World Records Holder on Mind and Body. He has Authored more than 25 books on mind and body. His biography is included in Who's Who in the World -2013 edition, He has Specialization in The China Study from Cornell University USA and Certification in Raw Nutrition from Mint Culinary School Vietnam.

Dr Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury is an internationally acclaimed memory trainer . He has conducted more than 2000 memory seminars and workshops nationally and internationally and addressed more than 10 lakh audience. He is a prodigy in memory enhancement techniques. His techniques are well appreciated by the students, teachers, corporate decision-makers, housewives and professionals alike.

Besides being an internationally acclaimed memory trainer, he is specialized in curing life threatening diseases specially associated with life style (Diabetes, Heart Diseases, High Cholesterol, Obesity, Arthritis, High/Low Blood pressure, Ulcer) using the power of mind & the nature science. He believes: “No one has the power to heal you, neither doctors, nor drugs have that power. It is within you, and in the nature around you”.

Simi Srivastava

Founder & Master Story Teller

Simi is a master storyteller and founder Kathashala and has put together her knowledge, skills and experience in Kathashala – a story telling institute for adults.She is also a soft skill, life skill trainer and a performing artist. She is professionally trained in theatre, creative music, movement and miming, puppetry, and uses all these skills to narrate stories. Apart from promoting storytelling as a profession she is also promoting it as a therapy, an educational and parenting tool. Simi is the architect of numerous engaging and insightful storytelling workshops across the country for teachers as well as parents.

Simi is has designed curriculum based on stories to make learning interesting and applicable for the pre- primary level and story sessions using traditional Indian story telling techniques to teach history among senior students. She is working on stories for children with special needs.

Simi has designed and delivered "Story Lab" a reading club programme at the British Council Library. Simi writes columns on Storytelling as a parenting tool for leading parenting magazine

Bob Baratta Lorton

President, Center for Innovation in Education, USA

Bob Baratta-Lorton and his wife Mary are the co-founders of and chief curriculum developers for the Center for Innovation in Education, a not-for-prot organization whose purpose is to create curriculum in reading and mathematics for elementary school children of all socioeconomic backgrounds. The Center’s core belief, around which its curriculum is created, is that all children can learn and that every child matters. The curriculum developed by Bob and Mary’s Center aims at achieving learning success for every child in every classroom, with no exceptions.

The Center’s curriculum in mathematics, authored by Bob and Mary, is contained in the books Mathematics Their Way (for primary grade children) and Mathematics a Way of Thinking (for intermediate grade children). Both books are published by Pearson Education, and both are also available as free downloads from the Center’s website at www.center.edu. The Center’s curriculum in beginning reading, which is named after its Baratta-Lorton authors, but was given the name “Dekodiphukan” by the many teachers using it, is also available as a free download from the Center’s website. It is also now available as a set of 14 completely free, no strings attached, apps for the iPad.

The Center has a staff of over 300 instructors, all of whom are classroom teachers who have used Bob and Mary’s curriculum with their own students. Center instructors have provided curriculum training to over 500,000 teachers worldwide, including all fty of the United States, countries from Australia to Iceland, Chile to Canada, England to Turkey, Qatar to Hong Kong, and, of course, India.

Prof Geeta Gandhi Kingdon

Chair, Education Economics & Int. Development, Institute Of Education, London University, UK

Geeta Kingdon is Professor of Education and International Development at the Institute of Education, London University, and was until recently a Research Fellow at the Department of Economics, University of Oxford. She lectures in Development Economics and her research interests include Economics of Education, Labour Economics and the Economics of Happiness, mostly in countries of South Asia and Africa. Her work is based on micro-econometric analysis of survey data and has resulted in more than 25 papers in peer reviewed Economics and Development Economics journals. She is on the Editorial Board of three academic journals and does extensive academic refereeing as well as advisory work for governments and donor agencies.

Dr. Sunita Gandhi

Convenor, EDWW Co-Founder, Council for Global Education, USA

Dr Sunita Gandhi is Founder, Council for Global Education, USA, Dignity, Education Vision International, India, and the Education Society of Iceland (Islensku menntasamtokin ses). She has travelled to some 38 countries and studied their education systems. Her research-based work on education has been piloted in the UK, Iceland and India. She came back to India recently after 26 years overseas with a Ph.D. in Physics from Cambridge University, UK, where she received three merit-based scholarships, a ten-year tenure as an Economist at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., USA, where she was selected as a Young Professional, and after having established Iceland’s first two charter schools and an experimental school in the Czech Republic.

In India, Dr Gandhi has been fine-tuning and implementing a transformative education curriculum and assessments based on the principle of compete with yourself, which over 200 schools have adopted across India. With this large scale pilot, she is incubating an education more suited to the needs of children in the 21st century. The edifice of her efforts are constructed on the foundation of the Four Building Blocks of Education: Universal Values, Global Understanding, Excellence in All Things and Service to Humanity. In India, Dr Gandhi also serves as Honorary Chief Academic Advisor of her parents-run City Montessori School, Lucknow, the world’s largest school, a Guinness World Record Holder, and recipient of the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education.

Her latest project, Global Dream, is aimed at providing functional literacy to the illiterate masses. The results from the pilot are startling: Nearly 60,000 students from 150 schools of her city have taken up the campaign to teach at least one person. The unique and innovative Global Dream curriculum allows a person to become reading capable with just 10-15 hours of time investment over a month (with 15-20 minute sessions per day). Within a month, the curriculum has been taken up pan India and requests have come in from South Africa and China. The initial goal is 10 million new literates in India by the end of 2015.