Bett 2017 Keynote speakers

Wednesday 25 January

2.30-3.15: Teachers Maarit Rossi and Kazaya Takahashi will host a panel discussion made up of Global Teacher Prize winners and finalists, discussing what makes a world-class teacher.

3.30-4.00: Saku Tuominen, founder of HundrED, and Kate Robinson, editor in chief at HundrED, will explore why it is that change struggles to spread, and share insights on how to successfully embed new practices and approaches.

4.30-5.15: Karen Blackett, chair at Mediacom, and Elspeth Finch, founder at Indigo&, will lead a panel of prominent women from across the creative sector, gathering to discuss the issues faced and explore potential solutions to some of the biggest challenges in the industry.

5.30-6.15: David Faulkner, founder at Education Changemakers, will host a session in which six start-ups from the Bett Futures 2017 cohort face some of the greatest names in education and technology. Which of them will survive the encounter and which one will receive, based on the audience vote, the title of Bett 2017’s ‘One to Watch’?

Thursday 26 January

11.30-12.15: Ed Stafford, renowned adventurer, explorer and broadcaster, will share his views on why the spirit of exploration is so important in today’s world, underlining the importance of technology in encouraging children’s natural curiosity and desire to learn.

1.30-2.15: Professor Stephen Heppell, renowned educationalist and CEO of, will share stories of some transformational bottom-up projects making an impact in today’s educational landscape.

3.30-4.15: Dr Ger Graus, education director at Kidzania, will examine facts, thoughts and aspirations about a careers curriculum fit for the 21st Century and its children.

5.30-6.15: Sir Tony Robinson, actor, presenter and historian, will share stories from his stellar career, explaining how a fascination for history and sense of adventure have inspired his own quest for learning.

Friday 27 January

10.30-11.15: Eric Sheninger, senior fellow at International Centre for Leadership in Education, will reveal innovative research-based practices that you can implement to bring back a sense of awe to learning, and explain why awe is so important in the classroom.

1.30-2.15: Heston Blumenthal, celebrity chef, will argue that creativity offers us the opportunity to explore and discover, and children – even teachers – should not be afraid to ask questions, or to fail. If you question nothing you lose the essence of what it is to be human, because ultimately, we are imaginative beings.

Saturday 28 January

10.30-11.15: Professor Stephen Heppell will explain why, if technology is to keep on making learning better in the way we have seen throughout the life of Bett, it needs to be happening from the bottom up. Luckily, there is much that can be done in families, by parents and guardians, and children, to bring learning alive. This talk will explore what is possible, and happening, today.

2.30-3.15: Zach Shelby, CEO at micro:bit foundation, will talk about micro:bit a year since its launch to one million young people in the UK, where the diminutive device has had a scale of impact beyond imagination. Now, micro:bit is being launched around the globe, and Zach will share his vision for the future of micro:bit and why it’s important for generations of young people to come.

Full list of speakers: Speakers