Valerie Hannon

Valerie Hannon is a Managing Partner of the Innovation Unit, a not-for-profit agency  based in London which works in partnership with organisations from the public, private and third sectors to create better outcomes from public services at lower cost.  A former  county Director of Education, teacher, and university researcher, Valerie has worked in a wide range of Local Authorities and has been an adviser to the Department for Children, Schools and Families, the Local Government Association, and Creative Partnerships.  Her interests include the contribution of other sectors (particularly the creative, cultural and third sectors) to the transformation of public services in the 21st century through social innovation; the role of leadership; and building creative capacity amongst practitioners.

Professor Sugata Mitra


Professor Allan Walker

Allan is Chair Professor of International Educational Leadership, Head of The Department of Education Policy and Leadership and Co-Director of The Asia Pacific Centre for Leadership and Change at The Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Allan has lived in Hong Kong since 1994. Before joining the HKIEd, he was Chair Professor of Educational Administration and Policy and Chair of The Department of Educational Administration and Policy at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Allan has experience as a teacher, school principal, university teacher and administrator, and consultant in a range of local and international settings. He has worked full time in universities in Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong.  He has and conducted leader development courses and/or research in countries such as China, Taiwan, Norway, Finland, Vietnam, Malaysia, Netherland, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Canada, the US, UK, New Zealand and Australia.

Allan spends most of his time working with teams of principals and middle leaders to develop, write and co-ordinate innovative programmes designed purposefully around contextual sensitivity and energizing leader learning networks.  He works with leaders across a wide spectrum, including aspiring, beginning and very experienced Hong Kong principals and middle leaders and principals in international schools.

Allan's research interests include principal preparation and leader learning, leader recruitment and selection, leadership of international schools, cultural influences on school leadership, leadership ethics and the principalship in and across Chinese societies. He has completed a number of large scale funded research projects.  His work has been published in journals such as Educational Administration Quarterly, Journal of Educational Administration, Educational Management, Administration and Leadership, Journal of Educational Policy, School Effectiveness and School Improvement, School Leadership and Policy, School Leadership and Management, The Australian Journal of Education and British Educational Research Journal


Simon Breakspear

After successfully completing a year of Medicine at UNSW, Simon left to pursue a career engaging and investing in young people through education. He went on to complete a first class honours degree in Psychology at UNSW, whilst speaking to over 20,000 students across Australia on the areas of leadership, independent learning and success in the global labour market. Simon taught at a leading independent school in Sydney, and at 24 held the position of Year 12 Coordinator.
In 2008 he was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to complete a MSc. in Comparative and International Education at the University of Oxford and most recently has taken up a prestigious Gates Scholarship to conduct a PhD in Educational Leadership at the University of Cambridge.

From his academic and professional platforms Simon writes and speaks on the topic of re-branding education as a career of choice for the best and brightest in our nation. He has worked extensively to help educational leaders understand the need to create innovative, collaborative, inspiring and challenging school cultures in order to attract and retain talented teachers and train future leaders. He challenges educational policy-makers to put teacher and leader quality at the heart of the 21st century education reform agenda.

Dr Carolyn Shields


Professor Andy Hargreaves

Why do some schools perform outstandingly well when others of the same size and serving the same kind of community do not? How do some schools sustain their record of exceeding expectations when others can only maintain it for short periods of time or under particular leaders? Can schools reverse a worrying record of decline with existing staff and leadership, or do they always need new brooms to sweep them clean? And how do you get performance that exceeds expectations not just in one or two exceptional schools but in entire groups of them within one community or local authority?

This presentation from Professor Andy Hargreaves will outline the findings from a unique project that has explored how organizations can perform remarkably beyond expectations not only in education but also in business and sport.

It will look at the ways in which the highest performing schools, districts/LAs and school systems achieve and sustain excellence in ways that parallel the very best sporting teams and business organizations that perform above expectations, especially with challenging communities or after years of poor performance and decline.

Andy Hargreaves

Professor Louise Stoll

Louise's research and development activity focuses on how groups, organisations and systems collaborate to create capacity for learning and the creative leadership supporting this. She also explores ways to make stronger links between research, practice and policy, developing resource materials for English government agencies, a toolkit for the OECD's Improving School Leadership activity, and a research-based simulation, Networking for Learning, being introduced into several countries. Author of many publications, translated into several languages, Louise presents and consults in many countries and was ACEL's Travelling Scholar in 2004. She also presented a series of Hot Research on Teachers' TV in England.

Professor Brian Caldwell