WORLD-CLASS TITANS

ALL THE PARADIGM SHIFTERS IN ONE SINGLE EVENT

Known to many as "America's Educator," Ron Clark is the 2000 Disney American Teacher of the Year, a two-time New York Times Bestselling author, the subject of a television movie and the founder of The Ron Clark Academy. Ron is regularly featured on network and cable television (The Today Show, CNN and Oprah,) and was dubbed by Ms. Winfrey as her first "Phenomenal Man."

Ron Clark brings charisma, energy and devotion to the education profession. Ron pioneered innovative projects in rural North Carolina working with minority students in a low wealth area. His highly effective programs garnered national attention and led to a White House invitation to be honored by the President of the United States.

Ron Clark's personality is marked by a sense of challenge and adventure. Upon watching a television piece chronicling low test scores and the lack of teachers in inner-city New York, Ron packed his car and moved to Harlem. After being warned by the principal that his class was the least disciplined group she had seen in years, Ron prepared himself by visiting the home of each student before the first day of school. Ron Clark involved his students in projects in the city and state, and his "low achievers" soon began to excel; and by the end of the year, their scores were higher than the “gifted” classes in his district.

In 2003, Ron Clark released the New York Times Bestselling book "The Essential 55" which includes his 55 expectations of students - as well as all individuals - young and old. Ron's second book, "The Excellent 11," was released in August 2004 and further captured the attention of parents, educators and students alike.

Obviously Ron Clark did not stop there. In 2006, Ron Clark founded The Ron Clark Academy, an inner-city school serving students from across metro Atlanta. The privately-funded institution is unique for its innovative teaching methods and curriculum based on worldwide travel. Each year the students, grades 5 through 8, apply their in-class lessons to international adventures. And, by the time of graduation, each child will have visited six of the seven continents. Teachers from around the world visit the Academy to observe the innovative and "out-of-the-box" methods for achieving student success.

Ron's most anticipated book came in 2011, "The End of Molasses Classes: Getting Our Kids Unstuck--101 Extraordinary Solutions for Parents and Teachers." This New York Times Best Seller brought to light 101 innovative and classroom-tested ways for improving America’s schools and leading our children to greatness. A must read for every teacher and parent.

In addition to his many duties as an educator, Ron Clark is a much sought after keynote speaker. He shares the uncanny adventures he has had in the classroom and speaks of his experiences teaching in Harlem. Within his humorous and heartwarming stories, he delivers a message relevant to each of us. It is a message of hope, dedication and the never-say-never attitude required to achieve goals and dreams.

CONGRESS SPEECHES

Creating World-class classrooms for world-class learning (via video link)

CREATING WORLD-CLASS CLASSROOMS FOR WORLD-CLASS LEARNING (via video link)

Ron Clark will share his journey from teaching in a low-wealth rural area in North Carolina to the inner-city streets of Harlem in New York City. Along the way, Mr. Clark will share inspirational stories of how his students made outstanding growth in test scores, conducted projects that garnered worldwide attention, and were invited to the White House three separate years to be honoured by the President. Mr. Clark was the 2000 Disney American Teacher of the Year, and he has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show where Oprah dubbed him her first "Phenomenal Man.”

In 2006, Mr. Clark was the subject of a television movie “The Ron Clark Story” featuring actor Matthew Perry (as Mr. Clark), who was Nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for his Outstanding Lead Actor role. This movie is regularly featured on the TNT Network.

From the success of his first book and the movie, Mr. Clark invested royalties and earnings to purchase, renovate, and open a one of a kind school. The Ron Clark Academy (RCA) was created to be model school where the goal was to extend RCA reach beyond our student body by having an impact upon students everywhere. Each year, thousands of educators-- teachers, administrators, and superintendents (42,000+ total to date) participate in educator training programs to learn how to replicate RCA's style, philosophy and success in their own schools. Those educators return to their classrooms, impacting the lives of 10 million students around the world.

Mr. Clark has written four books about his teaching practices, "The 55 Essentials - Life Lessons for Teachers, Parents, Students and the Rest of Us", “The Excellent Eleven” which outlines qualities and characteristics parents and teachers should have to instill success in their children and students, and "The End of Molasses Classes: Getting Kids Unstuck, 101 Extraordinary Solutions for Parents and Teachers." This book offers the Ron Clark Academy's 101 Innovative and Classroom-Tested Ways for Improving America's Schools and Leading our Children to Greatness. 

Everything can be taught in more than one way – and everyone has multiple ways of thinking and learning. This theory of multiple intelligences, which Howard Gardner first introduced more than 30 years ago, has revolutionized the fields of education and psychology.

The John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Gardner is a world-renowned psychologist. His 1983 book, “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences,” detailed a new model of human intelligence that went beyond the traditional view that there was a single kind that could be measured by standardized tests.

He continues to build on his studies of intelligence, and has since authored several hundred articles and nearly 30 books, including “Leading Minds” (Basic Books, 2011), “Five Minds for the Future” (Harvard Business Review Press, 2009), “Changing Minds” (Harvard Business Review Press, 2006), “The Disciplined Mind” (Penguin, 2000), and his most recent, “The App Generation: How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World” (Yale University Press, 2013).

Repeatedly recognized as one of 100 most influential public intellectuals in the world by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines, Professor Gardner has earned numerous honors, including a MacArthur Prize Fellowship and John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, the Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences, and he was the first American to receive the University of Louisville’s Grawemeyer Award in Education. Most recently, Professor Gardner was named to the American Management Association’s Top 30 Leaders in Business of 2014 list. He has received honorary degrees from 29 colleges and universities, including institutions in Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, South Korea, and Spain. Professor Gardner has also been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Philosophical Society, National Academy of Education, and the London-based Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. He serves on a number of boards, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

For more than two decades, Professor Gardner has collaborated to direct the GoodWork Project, now a component of the larger Good Project, a large-scale, non-profit effort to identify and study individuals and institutions that exemplify good work – work that is excellent in quality, socially and ethically. More recently, he has conducted reflection sessions designed to enhance the understanding and incidence of good work among young people, and is now also investigating ethical dimensions entailed in the use of the new digital media. Among Professor Gardner’s other new research undertakings are a study of effective collaboration among non-profit institutions in education; a study of conceptions of quality nationally and internationally in the contemporary era; and a major study of liberal arts and sciences in the 21st century.

CONGRESS SPEECH

Creativity: Big C, Little C, and the Affordances of Digital Media (via video link)

Creativity: Big C, Little C, and the Affordances of Digital Media (via video link)

In a world where almost everything that can be done by machine will be, the human capacity to think 'out of the box' and to create new products, findings, and ideas becomes crucial. Drawing on decades of research, Howard Gardner will describe the factors that lead to major "Big" creativity; modest "little C" creativity; and the potential of digital media either to create unimportant 'mini C' creativity and also to encourage "Middle C" creative collaboration in various media. The groundwork for creativity should be laid early in education, and sustained in different ways across the lifespan. Gardner's pathbreaking research – scientifically sound and imminently practical – should be of interest to principals and vice principals, district leaders, practitioners and education policy makers.

With 30 years spent as a teacher, staff development instructor, and university professor, Debbie Silver doesn’t just know her way around the classroom – she is familiar with the challenges educators face at every level, from kindergarten to college. The former Louisiana Teacher of the Year has given presentations around the world (including 49 states, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia), helping audiences to interact with students on a deeper level.

Debbie’s best-selling book, Drumming to the Beat of Different Marchers: Finding the Rhythm for Differentiated Learning, has been recognized for its insights into research-based models, teaching strategies, management tips, and inspirational “from-the-heart” lessons for addressing individual differences. It is her humor, her practicality, and her ability to connect with students, teachers,parents, and administrators, however, that has made her a popular choice for keynotes, workshops, and breakout sessions.

Her newest release, Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8: Teaching Kids to Succeed, is being heralded by parents, teachers, and administrators as a “fresh approach to getting kids to work smarter and better.” In it she explains motivational theory and provides down-to-earth examples of concrete, applicable guidelines for helping students overcome setbacks and failure to foster lifelong success.

Her mission is to remind teachers of how important they are in the lives of children, highlighting both learning theory as well as tools for communication. She makes important points while sharing poignant stories and lots of laughs. She firmly believes that teachers need to be having fun, and staying in touch with their passion, to make their biggest impact in the classroom.

When she’s not working as an educational speaker and motivator, Debbie enjoys spending time in Texas with her husband, Dr. Lawrence Silver, and with their five sons and their families in five different states.

CONGRESS SPEECH

Drumming to the Beat of Different Marchers

Drumming to the Beat of Different Marchers
 
Based on her best-selling book, Drumming to the Beat of Different Marchers – Finding the Rhythm for Differentiating Learning, Debbie Silver offers her wisdom and humor to answer the question, "How do we engage students from all backgrounds and experiences?" She demonstrates how to capitalize on student strengths and elicit greater achievement gains and higher motivation among students. Dr. Silver shares her views on what she considers a non-negotiable in education – that every student deserves a reasonable chance at success. Participants leave with new ideas for creative instructional and assessment strategies as well as ideas for preparing 21st century learners.

MASTERCLASS

Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8 For School Leaders

The Art and Heart of Teaching

Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8 For School Leaders

Dr. Debbie Silver is one of the most sought-after keynoters and professional development presenters in education. Audiences everywhere respond to Debbie's use of humor, candor, and common sense. Her insights into human behavior are as undeniable as they are funny. In this presentation, she discusses how to help teachers get students work smarter and better. Based on her best-selling book, Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8: Teaching Kids to Succeed, she explains motivational theory and provides down-to-earth examples of concrete, applicable guidelines for helping teachers help students overcome setbacks and failure to foster lifelong success. Come learn more about self-efficacy, zone of proximal development, deliberate practice, growth mindset and more.

The Art And Heart Of Teaching

For teachers and students to thrive in their frenzied, high-speed, hyper-connected environments, it is imperative for them to learn important competencies that go beyond academic standards. In this lively presentation, Dr. Debbie Silver addresses how educators can help students develop their intrapersonal and interpersonal skills to find success both now and in the future. Based on her new book, Teaching Kids to Thrive: Essential Skills for success, Debbie conveys meaningful points about the importance of Thrive skills with significant data, poignant stories, and her trademark humor. Additionally, she follows up with information from her book, Deliberate Optimism: Reclaiming the Joy in Education, to discuss how educators can maintain a positive sense of self through proactive principles of working and living. Through her research and understanding of human behavior, Debbie provides insights into how to maintain one’s sanity while providing every student the safe, encouraging environment they deserve. Using her well-known candor and wit, Debbie offers participants an entertaining and thought-provoking look at how teachers can take their power back as well as help both themselves and students flourish. 

Ian is an award-winning author and editor, a leading educational speaker and entrepreneur and a man who the IB magazine named as one of its top 15 educational ‘visionaries’. He established Independent Thinking in 1994 as a platform for leading practitioners to share their work in bringing the best out of all children. Currently based in Hong Kong, he has lived and worked in the UK, South America and the Middle East and so has a special perspective on classrooms and systems, what works and what definitely doesn’t.

In 2016, Ian was one of the select few (by royal appointment) to present at the prestigious FPdGi conference where the King of Spain and many important officials in education were amongst the audience.

He is the author of several best-selling books including Essential Motivation in the Classroom and Why Do I Need a Teacher When I’ve Got Google? (spoiler alert – you need good teachers now more than ever), is the man behind the Thunks phenomenon, and has also edited many books for the Independent Thinking Press.

CONGRESS SPEECH

‘You’re Not Thinking, You're Just Being Logical’

What Have the Venezuelans Ever Done For Us?

‘You're Not Thinking, You're Just Being Logical’ 
 
Sometimes, getting children to learn things means it’s best if they don’t think. Yet, without having thinkers leaving our schools, we risk committing the same follies that got us into this mess in the first place. In this entertaining and interactive session, Ian will take this quote from the great Danish physicist Neils Bohr as a starting point to share ideas, insights and strategies about:
• The importance of thinking for yourself
• Why learning isn’t thinking
• How to get children’s brains to hurt
• Thinking and doing the right thing
• The link between thinking, creativity and self-esteem

What Have the Venezuelans Ever Done For Us?

We can vastly underestimate what children are capable of by helping them succeed in a system that is by definition, limiting. But when we change the focus of what education is for, then everything changes. Drawing on his work in education around the world, Ian will challenge delegates to consider:
• What is education for?
• Who sets the limits?
• The surprising things we can learn about education when we look outside of the world of education
• The links between community, poverty, challenge and opportunity that we can all benefit from
• What happens when inclusion really does mean inclusion

MASTERCLASS

Why Do I Need a Teacher When I’ve Got Google?

Practical Strategies for Motivation, Learning and Independent Thinking

Why Do I Need a Teacher When I’ve Got Google?

Drawing on over two decades working with young people, teachers and school leaders across the globe, Ian will take delegates through a challenging revaluation of what great teaching and learning is all about. Full of practical and workable strategies to take into the classroom or the staffroom, this engaging and entertaining workshop will cover areas including:
• Why the first 15 seconds will determine what happens next
• What neuroscience tells us about enabling effective learning
• Strategies to ensure they are thinking for deeply, widely, creatively and for themselves
• Employability in the 21st century vs Unemployability in the 21st Century
• The things that get in the way of their learning that are nothing to do with your teaching
• And why we desperately need great teachers in the Google age.

Practical Strategies for Motivation, Learning and Independent Thinking

An interactive and reflective day designed to get to the bottom of the perennial question - what are they learning while you’re teaching them? Full of classroom-based strategies to bring the best out of children and young people of all ages and abilities, it is an opportunity for delegates to consider the fundamental differences between teaching, learning, remembering and thinking and how to ensure all four are taking place:
• The importance of ‘state’ and other insights from neuroscience
• The seven keys for essential motivation
• Avoiding the many ways to fail a test
• 8 Way Thinking and other question-based techniques
• The four-letter word that changes everything

Sylvia Martinez is co-author of Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering the Classroom, a book that has been called the “bible of the classroom maker movement”.

For the previous ten years, Sylvia was President of Generation YES, a non-profit organization evangelizing student leadership through modern technology. Prior to this, Sylvia oversaw product development, design and programming for consumer software, video games, and educational games at several software publishing companies. She advocates globally for authentic learning using real world design principles and hands-on experiences.

A popular international keynote, workshop leader, and consultant, Sylvia speaks on topics of design thinking and making, the lessons for schools from the global Maker Movement, student empowerment, STEM, gender issues in technology, games and learning, and digital citizenship. Sylvia weaves examples from present day schools that use technology in authentic ways with her own experiences from the real world of work in video game development and aerospace engineering.

Martinez started her career designing high frequency receiver systems and navigation software for GPS satellites. She holds a Master’s in Educational Technology from Pepperdine, and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from UCLA.

CONGRESS SPEECH

A Global Revolution Goes to School: The Maker Movement

A Global Revolution Goes to School: The Maker Movement

The Maker Movement is a revolutionary global collaboration of people learning to solve problems with modern tools and technology. Adults and children are combining new technologies and timeless craft traditions to create exciting projects and control their world. The implications are profound for schools and districts concerned with engaging students, maintaining relevance, and preparing children to solve problems unanticipated by the curriculum. The technological game-changers of 3D printing, physical computing and computer science require and fuel transformations in the learning environment. Educators can adapt the powerful technology and “can do” maker ethos to revitalize learner-centered teaching and learning in all subject areas.

MASTERCLASS

Agile Education - Schools of the Future Today

Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom

Agile Education - Schools Of The Future Today

The world is changing at an astonishing pace. Today’s students will have careers we can barely guess at using tools and technology that have yet to be invented. Global collaboration networks and rapid prototyping are disrupting traditional business and industry. Yet we see little of this future in schools. The maker movement, design thinking, and agile development offer a transformative vision for what school could be – rapidly evolving, radically individualized, and relevant.
This workshop will explore these new movements and how school leaders can use them to inform the design of new schools, from buildings and learning spaces to program development and curriculum.

Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, And Engineering In The Classroom

This workshop offers a day of hard fun and problem solving — where computing meets tinkering and design. The workshop begins with the case for project-based learning, making, tinkering, and engineering. Participants will have the opportunity to tinker with a range of exciting new low- and high-tech construction materials that can really amplify the potential of your students. Next, we will discuss strategies for effective lessons and assessment. You will view examples of children engaged in complex problem solving with new game-changing technologies and identify lessons for your own classroom practice. Powerful ideas from the Reggio Emilia Approach, breakthroughs in science education, and the global maker movement combine to create rich learning experiences.

Dr. Douglas Reeves is the founder of Creative Leadership Solutions. He has addressed audiences around the globe on educational leadership and effective teaching. Dr. Douglas Reeves is the author of more than 30 books and 90 articles on education, leadership, and student achievement. He was named the Brock International Laureate for his contributions to education and was recognized by the Australian Council of Educational Leaders with the William Walker award. Twice named to the Harvard University Distinguished Authors Series, Doug has worked on six continents and more than 30 countries. His work has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, French, Arabic, Spanish, and Hebrew. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

CONGRESS SPEECH

Great to Greater: How The World’s Best Schools Keep Getting Better

Great To Greater: How The World’s Best Schools Keep Getting Better 
 
Why do most schools make progress “from good to great,” but then become complacent and stop improving? This interactive keynote, based on a new study of schools around the world, explores the common characteristics of schools that avoid complacency and make the journey from “Great to Greater.” The presentation includes practical examples of next generation accountability systems that help so that high-performing schools can challenge themselves to improve performance by students, faculty, and leaders.

MASTERCLASS

The 100-day Leader: Planning for Short-Term Wins, Long Term Success

Why Change Initiatives Fail: How Cultural Shifts Require a Revolution in Change Leadership

The 100-day Leader: Planning for Short-Term Wins, Long Term Success

Why do more than 70% of strategic plans fail? Because they depend upon the illusion that schools can engage in multi-year planning in an educational environment that changes every season. This interactive keynote provides a practical alternative to traditional planning processes. The 100 day plan provides the essential short-term wins that can then contribute to long-term success. While faculties and staff members may think that five year plans are remote from their personal reality, the 100-day plan provides immediate importance and urgency for everyone in the system.

Why Change Initiatives Fail: How Cultural Shifts Require a Revolution in Change Leadership

Change Leadership has been the subject of a great deal of speculative writing for decades. Now it is time to compare the speculation to the results. In this interactive presentation, Dr. Reeves challenges some of the prevailing mythology of change leadership and suggests new and practical alternatives to accelerate the pace of change in schools and large and complex educational systems. The new evidence on educational change suggests that the pervasive tradition of “buy-in” should be replaced with a system of rigorous hypothesis testing, followed by an assessment of claims, evidence, and results.


In 2017, Will Richardson 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 spent the last dozen years developing an international reputation as a leading thinker and writer about the intersection of social online learning networks, education, and systemic change. He was one of a handful of original education bloggers (willrichardson.com), and his work has appeared in numerous journals, newspapers, and magazines such as Ed Leadership, District Administration, Education Week, The New York Times and English Journal. He is an outspoken advocate for change in schools and classrooms in the context of the diverse new learning opportunities that the Web and other technologies now offer, and has spoken to and worked with educators in over 20 countries to understand the opportunities and challenges of learning in the modern world.

Will has authored six books, most recently From Master Teacher to Master Learner (2015, Solution Tree Press). In total, his books have sold over 250,000 copies worldwide.

A former public school educator of 22 years, Will is a co-founder of Modern Learner Media and co-publisher of ModernLearners.com 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 ChangeLeaders.Community, two online destinations for educational leaders interested in creating relevant, sustainable change in schools using a coaching, curation, and community approach.

Will lives in rural New Jersey with his wife Wendy and, depending on the day, his children Tess and Tucker.

CONGRESS SPEECHES

Education Disrupted: The New Contexts for Learning in a Globally Connected World

From Old School to Bold School: Nine New Realities for Reimagining Education

Education Disrupted: The New Contexts for Learning in a Globally Connected World 

The last 15 years have seen an explosion of devices and connections that are changing the landscape of education and learning. We now carry massive storehouses of information and knowledge as well as billions of potential teachers in our pockets and backpacks. As a result, a new world of connected, networked, self-directed learning and creating is upon us, with huge implications for schools. What constitutes an education now that we can learn deeply in informal spaces outside the school walls? What are the new roles of teachers when content knowledge is ubiquitous? And how do we best prepare our students for the modern learning worlds in which they will live and work? We’ll tackle these and other questions as we explore the important and complex changes and shifts that come with ubiquitous access to the Web.

From Old School To Bold School: Nine New Realities For Reimagining Education

Current systems of schooling were built for a world of scarcity, one where if we needed to learn something, we had to be in a particular place, at a particular time, with a particular group of people to study a particular curriculum, with a particular teacher. But today, the world is abundant with information, knowledge, teachers, and technologies. Learning, for all intents, has left the building, and the learner is now solely in charge of the what, when, where, how, and with whom of learning. At this moment of huge shift, what are the new lenses through which we must contextualize our work as educators and change leaders? This session details nine challenging yet exciting new contexts that must now frame our work with students.

MASTERCLASS

Reimagining Classrooms for the Modern World: The Opportunities for Learners in the Networked Era  

Change Leadership: Implementing High Bar Change Initiatives To Move Schools Into The Future

Reimagining Classrooms for the Modern World: The Opportunities for Learners in the Networked Era

The age of continuous, ubiquitous learning is upon us, and the implications for schools and teachers are enormous. Knowledge and information are no longer siloed in a place-based curriculum. Expert teachers who share our passions are now everywhere and increasingly easy to access. And instead of tests and grades and diplomas to show our “expertise,” mastery is transparent and shared through online portfolios of ideas and creations that are easily found through a Google search. How do we prepare our students for this new world where being a deep and powerful learner is now way more valuable than being learned and book smart?

That’s the question we’ll explore in this demanding yet inspiring full-day workshop on Reimagining Classrooms for the Modern World. It’s a highly interactive and hands-on experience that will help you reexamine your personal and professional practice. We’ll challenge traditional narratives of classrooms and create new stories that are founded in old truths about learning and the new realities of change. We’ll build our own capacity to learn using technology, and we’ll consider new ways of thinking about teaching, about literacy, and about flourishing in a world of “perpetual beta.” And more.

Change Leadership: Implementing High Bar Change Initiatives To Move Schools Into The Future

Change is constant, yet in schools, change is rarely embraced at a systems level. More often, "change" is manifested in technology deployments, tweaks to existing policies, or the addition of new and improved curricular resources. Rarely does "change" rise to the level of belief systems, norms, or long term mission and vision work. That's because creating the conditions for serious, relevant, and sustainable change is complex and difficult work.

Yet, as many engaged in it will report, it's also some of the most important work leaders at every level can do right now. And while there is no set recipe for change, the ingredients are clear. This full-day workshop focuses on clarifying the whys and, even more, the hows of change that schools must now engage in to fully serve the modern learners now in their classrooms. Participants will walk away with the outlines of a long-term, comprehensive process for changing their schools that go beyond increasing efficiencies and, instead, focus on shifting the fundamental premises upon which schools now rest. 

Dr. Peter Gamwell is the author of The Wonder Wall, presenter, and an award-winning leader in education who has worked in both central and eastern Canada and abroad. He retired from the role of Superintendent, responsible for District Leadership Development with the 75,000-student Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB), where he also served as the Board lead for Aboriginal education from 2006 until 2012.

Working closely with such renowned creativity experts as Sir Ken Robinson and Sir John Jones, Peter has become recognized internationally as a leader and catalyst for creative change district-wide initiatives that inspire and advance education; student, faculty, community and business engagement; and strength-based models and creative thinking. He has developed numerous presentations and papers on these topics, and is regularly invited to speak both nationally and internationally.

A critical component of Peter’s work was the publication of a system and community action research study guided by the question, “What are the conditions under which creative and healthy individuals and organisations flourish?” In 2013, Peter’s work was recognized when he was given the Distinguished Leadership Award by the Ontario Public Supervisory Officers’ Association, representing one of the most successful education jurisdictions in the world.

With a reputation for engaging, compelling and practical ideas, Peter has advised academia, the business community and government departments at all levels on how to develop strategy to imbue creativity throughout an organization, as well as to create environments for optimal learning and engagement. Peter has been invited to sit on the Global Distinguished Leadership Panel at the Canadian Principals’ Association conference, Banff, Alberta; on the creativity expert panel at the World Creativity Forum in Oklahoma; and was appointed to the Board of Directors for the US-based National Creativity Network.

More recently, Peter’s book, The Wonder Wall, co-written with Jane Daly, outlines three imperatives and four conditions for leading creative organizations. The book includes powerful and poignant real life stories from individuals and organizations around the world, and has received outstanding reviews among learning, leadership and creativity leaders such as Sir Ken Robinson, (who wrote the Foreword), Richard Gerver, Pasi Sahlberg, and Sir John Jones.

Peter plays in a blues/rock band, and has been featured as an entertainer on provincial and national radio and television. He uses these talents to ensure his presentations balance imperative information with humour, hilarity and plenty of inspirational audience participation. 

CONGRESS SPEECH

The Wonder Wall: Leading Creative Schools and Organizations in an Age of Complexity

The Wonder Wall: Leading Creative Schools And Organizations In An Age Of Complexity

Peter challenges us to consider why it is imperative, in this age of complexity, to foster learning cultures that encourage and spark the unique abilities, curiosity and interests that lie within our students, our teachers, our employees, and our broader learning community.  Through this presentation Peter describes three imperatives and four conditions that he considers pivotal in unleashing cultures of possibility and creativity. He interacts with the audience throughout, and poses questions to help further thinking in the areas of learning, leadership and creativity:

• How do you set the stage to foster imaginative, creative and innovative organizational cultures? What barriers can you expect to encounter?
• What strategies can you use to move forward successfully? Peter challenges some common assumptions pertaining to leadership and learning, and provides suggestions and practical ideas to foster truly innovative and vibrant organizational cultures.
• What are the conditions for optimal learning and creativity to flourish? Peter will show you how to think through this crucial question—and suggests ways to move forward when the inevitable pushback occurs to organizational change.
• Learn about classrooms, schools and organizations that have successfully fostered creative learning cultures and find out we can learn from them.

He then challenges the audience to formulate their own questions and ideas – and draws on these throughout the session. And has a lot of fun doing it!

MASTERCLASS

Making the Extraordinary Happen: Fostering Creative learning in classrooms and schools

Making The Extraordinary Happen: Fostering Creative Learning In Classrooms And Schools

Through this full day, highly interactive workshop, Peter uses a series of questions, stories from his own experiences, and anecdotes from multiple sectors of society to provide practical strategies to foster creative learning in your school, classroom and organization.

What is creativity?
How do we define it and why does this matter?
Why do we consider some children (and adults) creative and not others?
What is the role of imagination and creativity in our classrooms and organizations?
How can we best inspire the curiosity and natural wonder in our children?
What can we learn from other sectors to help inform what our schools should look like?
What are the critical imperatives upon which to found our learning cultures?
What conditions need to be in place to inspire joy and creativity in our learning?

These questions, and a host of others, create an experience through which Peter reveals his own beliefs about what works in classrooms, schools and organizations, what doesn't work, and how we can foster remarkable learning environments for our children – and throughout our organizations. Come prepared for a day of serious learning touched by joy, music, and lots of humour!

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