Nurjahan Begum

Managing Director at Grameen Shiksha (Education)

Nurjahan begum is currently the Managing Director at Grameen Shiksha (Education). Mrs Begum served as Acting Managing Director of Grameen Bank following the departure of Dr Muhammad Yunus from the post. She was also the First Principal of Grameen Bank Training Institute. She was one of the earliest associates of Professor Muhammad Yunus, when the latter started the Grameen Bank Project in 1976, in the village Jobra in Chittagong district of Bangladesh. She participated in the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit held in Los Angeles in 2007 and was also the President of the Foundation for Justice prize-giving ceremony held in Valencia, Spain in 2007. She was awarded the Susan M. Davis Lifetime Achievement Award 2008 by Grameen Foundation. She was also awarded World Summit Millennium Development Goals Award 2009 and the Vision Award 2009. Mrs. Begum studied Bangla Literature and Culture at Chittagong University.

Kiran Bedi

Indian social activist and a retired Indian Police Service(IPS) officer

Kiran Bedi is an Indian social activist and a retired Indian Police Service(IPS) officer. She joined the police service in 1972 and became the first woman officer in the IPS. Her expertise includes more than 35 years of creative & reformative policing & prison management. She worked with the United Nations in New York as the Police Advisor to the Secretary General in the Department of Peace Keeping Operations. She represented India in International forums on crime prevention, drug abuse, police and prison reforms and women’s issues. She is a recipient of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award. She is the founder of two NGOs, Navjyoti and India Vision Foundation, which reach out to thousands of understanding children ,women and men in the areas of education, vocational skills, environment, counseling, and health care to the urban and rural poor, including prisoners and policemen’s children.

Pirjo Koivula

Counsellor of Education Curriculum Development Unit Finnish National Board of Education, Helsinki,

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.

Shaun Hawthorne

Factors that Create a Visible Change

Shaun Hawthorne joined the Visible Learning educational consultancy team in February 2014. Shaun has over 20 years experience in working in the secondary schooling sector in New Zealand, most recently as a deputy principal in a co-educational Y9- 13 school in Auckland. Previously, Shaun has been the Head of two English departments and a member of the national executive of the New Zealand Association for Teachers of English (NZATE). Shaun holds a Doctor of Education degree specialising in effective practices in teaching writing.

Dr Manu Kapur

Head of Learning Sciences Lab (LSL)

Dr Manu Kapur is Head of Learning Sciences Lab (LSL) at the National Institute of Education (NIE) of Singapore and an Associate Professor in the Curriculum, Teaching and Learning (CTL) Academic Group.

He received his doctorate in instructional technology and media from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York where he also completed a Master of Science in Applied Statistics. He also has a Master of Education from the NIE and a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Honours) from the National University of

Singapore. He conceptualized the notion of Productive Failure and used it to explore the hidden efficacies in the seemingly failed effort of small groups solving ill-structured problems collaboratively in an online environment. His current research extends this line of work across the modalities of classroom settings in Singapore

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.


MA (Psychology), postgraduate student (Special Education)
Project manager
Centre for Educational Assessment
University of Helsinki, Finland

The goals of basic education have expanded from developing students’ competences in the curricular subjects to enhancing their cross-curricular or transversal skills which are needed for all learning later in life. The Centre for Educational Assessment at the University of Helsinki was established in 1996 to develop an instrument for measuring learning to learn as the foundation for lifelong learning. Today, the Centre works in collaboration with schools and municipalities in the fields of educational assessment, research and development.

As the project manager of the Centre I am committed to the further development of methods for assessing educational equity in Finnish schools and for ensuring that assessment results and research can be utilized in developing practices at school-level. I also work as the vice-NPM of Finland in PISA 2015, coordinating the assessment of collaborative problem-solving.

I am particulary interested in the development of learning to learn skills - cognitive compentences and learning-related attitudes - in primary school, and the role of group processes in explaining differences in the development of pupils' learning-related attitudes. I am also interested in the implementation of the new three-tiered support model in Finnish schools - after all the Finnish way of supporting the weakest pupils can be seen as one of the key factors explaining the country's success in international comparisons such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

Dr. Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury

Memory Trainer

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”.

Bob Barata 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 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.

Louka Parry

Principal-Mimili Anangu School

Louka is principal of Mimili Anangu School in the Far Northwest of South Australia.Louka arrived at Mimili in 2009 as a new graduate teacher and through commitment and determination became the Principal in 2013. With a huge focus on integrating the demands of the Australian education system with the realities of life for his students, Louka has led an incredible team in Mimili that is seeing improved results for students living in very challenging conditions. In 2012 Louka was awarded the South Australian Inspirational Secondary Teacher of the Year and in 2013 was a keynote speaker at the Social Ventures Australia Great Teachers in Tough Schools Conference and the NARIS Leaders' Conference for the National Alliance for Remote Indigenous Schools.

Louka holds a Bachelor of Education/Arts, a Diploma in Language, a Master in Applied Linguistics and is currently on leave completing a Master of Instructional Leadership at the University of Melbourne. He is passionate about equality, community engagement and two-way schooling. He is an emerging leader hoping to contribute to a better system of education that inspires children and young people to find and follow their passions”


Reader in Higher Education at the Institute of Education, London

Gwyneth Hughes is Reader in Higher Education at the Institute of Education, London where she teachers on Masters programmes in Education and supervises doctoral students. She is leading a 3 year research project: Assessment Careers: learning pathways through assessment ( She is on the editorial board for the journal London Review of Education. She has published widely on learning and teaching in Higher Education. Her book Ipsative Assessment: Motivation through marking progress is recently published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Alok Ranjan


Alok Ranjan has over 30 years of experience in administrative services. A Delhi University student and a alumnus of IIM(A), Alok Ranjan belongs to the 1978 batch of the IAS. Having started his career as the District Magistrate and collector of Ghazipur, he went on to occupy managerial positions at the UP Spinning Mills. This was followed by stints in sectors as varied as Municipality, Education, Finance, Agriculture and Technical and Vocational Education. Alok Ranjan served as Secretary to Chief Minister from 1998 to 2002. Currently working as the Principal Secretary, Urban Development and Environment, Uttar Pradesh,he has also authored books such as ‘The Collector today’ and ‘Towards Adult Literacy in 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.

Ms Susmita Basu

Head, Quality Assurance and Innovations Department,

CMS Ms Susmita Basu is the Head, City Montessori School Innovations Department, vested with the responsibility of academic improvement at all the 20 branches of City Montessori group of schools in Lucknow. With a staff of over 40 teachers, Susmita has managed supervision and quality assurance, trained teachers, created curriculum guidelines, finalized each academic year syllabus and booklists and implemented the learning programmes at CMS