4th speaker lineup

A new lineup of speakers announced for GESS Education Global Leadership Summit

We are delighted to announce eight new speakers for the GESS Education Global Leadership Summit.

The two day virtual conference, running on 23 - 24 March 2021, will feature live and pre-recorded sessions, with internationally renowned keynotes and leading educational practitioners talking on a range of essential topics for leaders. The event is free to attend for members of GESS Leaders in Education who directly influence purchasing, owners of schools and those who direct school strategy and training. For other registrants, a nominal fee of USD $95 to attend will apply.

Dr. Abigail Gewirtz - Leading Child Psychologist and Author, University of Minnesota

Dr. Abigail Gewirtz is a mother of four, child psychologist, leading expert on families under stress, and the author of When the World Feels Like a Scary Place, (2020, Workman). She is Lindahl Leadership Faculty Chair in the Department of Family Social Science and the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota, where she has devoted her career to developing and testing award-winning, skills-based parenting programs that promote children’s resilience. Dr. Gewirtz is the author of more than 100 publications and has presented widely around the world.

Dr. Gilda Scarfe - CEO and Founder, Positive Ed

Dr. Gilda Scarfe is the CEO and Founder of Positive Ed a global and innovative educational consultancy using research to develop, implement and evaluate mental toughness, wellbeing and 21st-century skills in schools through programme design and pedagogical approaches. She has worked with teams across the private and state-funded schools to promote and embed positive psychology interventions as a whole school approach. Her work has included strategic planning for designing, delivering, and implementing wellbeing and mental toughness programmes in schools, framework redesign for primary and secondary schools, as well as strengths-based coaching using the VIA instrument. She has been responsible for the organisation and implementation of the Positive Psychology/Education strategy at several grammar schools in the UK, Singapore, UAE, Nigeria and Thailand and has supported the strategic direction and implementation of Illuminate Education a non-profit organisation promoting Positive Education initiatives. She is the Chair of Trustees for Yagazie Foundation in Nigeria, an NGO focused on the provision of enhanced education, clean environmental sanitation and quality health care program for Children in Plateau State, Nigeria.

Dr. Lesley Hunter - Strategic Consultant, Government Advisor and Leadership Coach

Lesley Hunter is an internationally recognised expert in authentic leader behaviour and effective leader development. With a specialism in educational leadership and school self-evaluation, she has achieved a rare balance of practical experience and academic credibility for her work. Lesley’s early career in schools, colleges, local authority and school inspection in the UK crystallised her understanding of the impact of effective leaders on the capacity for improvement and sustainability of performance at all levels in an organisation. She has since worked extensively as a school inspector, strategic consultant, government advisor and leadership coach across the UK, Europe and Middle East. Lesley has engaged with over 4,000 schools during her career and has established a reputation for supportive challenge and constructive dialogue that drives effectiveness and accelerates school improvement. Recently, she has developed a new behavioural model for school leaders that supports authentic school self-evaluation and improvement, based on research with over 600 school leaders.

Elena Lehtimaki - Environmental Education Specialist, Helsinki Metropolitan Area Reuse Centre

Elena Lehtimäki, MSc, has almost 20 years of experience in environmental education. Her expertise is in the circular economy, sustainable consumption and water issues. She has worked with children of all ages and taught hundreds of lessons from kindergarten groups to young adults. Elena has also trained early childhood educators and teachers on sustainable development topics. She has an environmental background, and through her work she has developed strong pedagogical skills and has also been trained as a teacher. As a sustainability education pioneer she has produced a wide range of teaching materials. In recent years, she has focused on designing and implementing online teaching and learning games with her team.

Dr. Mette Ledertoug - Educational Psychologist, Danish School of Education

Mette Marie Ledertoug, PhD, postdoc in Positive Education at Aarhus University, Denmark. She is MA in Educational Psychology and Positive Psychology and has twenty years of experience within the field of education. She is currently part of the UPRIGHT-researchproject (EU) -a resilience and well-being program for teenagers in schools. Mette’s research is focusing on positive education: strength-based learning, engaging education and battling boredom in schools, well-being and resilience for students and teachers. She has published a series of books and articles (Danish and English) in positive education most recently a contribution to the Handbook on Positive Education (Palgrave, in Press) and The Battle against Boredom in Schools (Strength Academy, 2019). Mette is a community lead within the Danish Positive Psychology Network PIV and part of the organising committee IPPAEd.

Dr. Patricia Perez - Professor, Chicago School of Psychology

Patricia H. A. Perez, PhD is an Associate Professor in the International Psychology (IP) Department at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) and has been core faculty in the IP Department since 2014.

Dr. Perez received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Northwestern University, Master of Education degree in Child Development and Infant Studies from the Erikson Institute and her Doctorate degree (minor in Multicultural Counseling) in Counseling Psychology from Loyola University Chicago. Dr. Perez has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in child development and psychology on-ground and online across five higher education institutions for the past 20 years. Dr. Perez has over 25 years of experience working with young children and families in community-based settings, early intervention, hospitals, family support programs, and in private practice.  Her areas of research and practice expertise include children and families, children with special needs, diversity/equity/inclusion/justice, parenting, cultural competence, lifespan development, infant mental health, child abuse and neglect, global trauma, third culture kids/adults, and acculturation psychology. Dr. Perez is a diversity psychotherapist, mixed methods researcher, developmental specialist, cultural expert, and international psychology consultant. Dr. Perez provides consultation nationally and internationally (US, United Kingdom, Ghana, Kuwait, Philippines, Indonesia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates).

Dr. Perez is a member of Division 52 (International Psychology) of the American Psychological Association (APA) and has been appointed as the division representative for APA’s Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education. Since 2016, Dr. Perez serves as the chair of the scientific committee for the Middle East Psychological Association’s annual Conference. She was a Board of Directors’ member for both the Illinois Association for Infant Mental Health and SKILS’KIN, a nonprofit organization that provides employment, representative payee, and supported living services for adults with disabilities in Spokane, Washington. She is a recipient of a 2018 Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award for inspiring students to establish a concept, procedure, movement and/or organization that makes a difference in their communities.

Simona Baciu - Founder, Transylvania College, Romania

Founder at The Teacher Within and Happy Teachers for Romania, President and Founder at Transylvania College, International educator, consultant for the improvement of global education, author of The Teacher Within Simona Baciu is a trailblazer in education, the founder and president of Transylvania College. An audacious believer in the role of emotions in education, she developed a framework and co-authored, with Susan Shapiro, "The Teacher Within: A Mindful Journey Toward Well-Being For Teachers In The 21St Century" an instrumental book for teaching with kindness and care. She has briefed Heads of State, CEOs and international decision makers in education and speaks on the impact of emotional and behavioral health, to cause viral goodness around the world.

Steve Bambury - Director, Digital Inception Consulting

Steve Bambury has worked in education for 18 years, ultimately taking on the role of Head of Digital Learning and Innovation across the JESS Dubai school group. Steve now works as an independent technology consultant, supporting schools and other organisations to integrate technology effectively. Steve is an Apple Distinguished Educator, a Microsoft Master Trainer, a two-time winner of the GESS Award for Best Use of ICT, winner of the 2018 BETT MEA Innovation Award and was named as the 2018 Education Trendsetter by EdTech Digest.  In 2017, he became the first educator to host professional development sessions inside virtual reality and in 2018 he co-hosted the world’s first global lesson inside VR alongside Pixar co-founder Loren Carpenter.

For more information on GESS Education Global Leadership Summit

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