Thriving through a new story of school: A conversation with Valerie Hannon | Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

July 8, 2022

In this podcast, I speak with Valerie Hannon, a global thought leader, who is inspiring school systems to re-think what educational ‘success’ will mean in the 21st century. The co-founder of both Innovation Unit and of the Global Education Leaders Partnership, Valerie is a radical voice for change, whilst grounded in a deep understanding of how education systems currently work. A former Director of Education for Derbyshire and then an adviser in the U.K. Department for Education, she now works to release and harness the agency and creativity of both learners and educators. Currently, she is Senior Adviser to the OECD in its Education 2030 project. In this episode, we discuss:

  • Thinking about learning in terms of “what for?” before moving onto “how?”
  • Learning to thrive in a transforming world (ecologically and through biotech and infotech)
  • How we need to re-write the story in order to build the public will for change.

Please leave us your thoughts and comments.

You may also be interested in listening to more Coconut Thinking podcasts on Intrepid Ed News.

Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

Benjamin Freud, Ph.D. is the co-founder of Coconut Thinking, which creates learning and action experiences where all learners have a common purpose; positive impact on the welfare of the bio-collective — any living thing, sentient or plant, that has an interest in the healthfulness of the planet. Benjamin also works as the Whole School Leader of Learning and Teaching at an International School in Thailand. He was the Academic Coordinator at Misk Schools, which, as the school of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is the most prestigious and high profile school in the kingdom. In 2018-2019, he was also the Head of Upper Primary and Middle School at Misk. Prior to this, he was Vice Principal of the Middle School and High School at the Harbour School in Hong Kong. He holds a Ph.D. in History, an MSc in Education, an MBA, an MA in International Relations, and a BA in International Affairs. Benjamin was born and grew up in Paris, France. He moved to the U.S. when he was 15 and spent 11 years there in different cities, before living in the U.K., Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, and now Thailand. He started his career in consulting for Internet start-ups in Silicon Valley in the late 1990s, working with people whose ambitions were no less than to change the world. This experience had a profound effect on Benjamin’s outlook on education, innovation, and entrepreneurialism.

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