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Webinar 22

GESS Talks Webinar 22 : How to develop sustainable schools practically

During this insightful webinar, we will hear from a diverse panel of speakers who will share their perspectives on COP28, reflect on their experiences with sustainable practices in their respective schools, and provide valuable observations. The session will not only offer practical tips but also delve into overarching strategies for shaping the sustainable schools of the future. Join us as we explore the intersection of COP28 insights, individual school journeys, and collective strategies for a greener and more sustainable educational landscape.






 Anthony Dixon – Founder & Chairman, The Alliance for Sustainable Schools

Anthony Dixon is the founder and Chairman of The Alliance for Sustainable Schools (TASS), a non-profit network of schools working together for a sustainable future. He is also the CEO of Metanoia, a sustainability consultancy focused on schools, and Helios Renewable Energy Ltd., a solar energy company. During his diverse career in sustainability, he has worked in low-carbon housing in the UK, built and managed a biodiesel factory in Hong Kong, designed and installed solar projects for schools, and served on several boards including a solar company in Vietnam and India, a NYSE-listed hydroelectric power company in China, and a renewable energy and resources company in Bougainville, PNG. He was also previously a Managing Director of Citigroup Global Markets. He holds undergraduate degrees in physics and philosophy, a master's in renewable energy engineering (Sustainable Energy Futures) from Imperial College, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Anthony has four children, one of whom is a teacher and the other three are attending international schools in Hong Kong. He is a passionate advocate of the important role of schools in the transition to our sustainable future.



Ana Romero – Head of Sustainability, Wellington College

Ana Romero is Head of Sustainability at Wellington and the lead representative for the Berkshire Schools Eco-Network.  Ana is regularly invited to attend COP Summits and uses her vast expertise to inspire students and faculty by embedding sustainability and global education across school life. Her work as Educator and Senior Advisor in climate matters for the UN’s Capacity-Building and Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) has motivated her to lead a series of initiatives – locally, nationally, and internationally – to empower young people and faculty in and beyond schools. Before joining Wellington, Ana worked as an advisor to local governments in Latin America, as well as an environmental expert for international NGOs in the fields of environment, climate change, and global citizenship.


 Edward Pearce – Principal, Fairgreen International School, Dubai

Mr Edward Pearce joined Fairgreen as a School Director in August 2021. He has held various leadership positions within a diverse portfolio of high-performing international schools for over 20 years. These spanned over six countries in four continents including Australia, United Kingdom, UAE, Malaysia, China, and the USA. Mr Pearce is originally from Australia and is currently completing a Master of Business Administration with the University of Cumbria (UK), in conjunction with Robert Kennedy College, Switzerland. He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Education and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental Management from the University of Western Sydney. He is also a fully accredited school inspector under the British Schools Overseas inspection framework.


Ahmed Ameen Ashour - Chief Sustainability Commercial Officer, Microsoft Middle East & Africa

Ahmed Ameen Ashour is a forward-thinking, and results-driven leader who has dedicated his career to driving innovation and positive change in the areas of Ed-Tech and Sustainability. As of 2023, Ahmed has assumed the pivotal role of Chief Sustainability Commercial Officer at Microsoft, bringing his extensive leadership expertise to the forefront of the company's sustainability initiatives. In this new role, Ahmed's primary responsibility is to help enable organizations both in the public and private sectors on their ESG journey through leveraging Microsoft's Sustainability Cloud Solutions. His focus is on developing and implementing scalable business and go-to-market strategies for Microsoft's Cloud for Sustainability platform, empowering organizations to make a significant impact through sustainable innovation, digital transformation, and growth. Before this transition,

Ahmed served as the Education Industry Director for Microsoft UAE & GCC, where he was instrumental in leading the company's engagement within the education sector. He established key alliances and catalyzed an education transformation through the use of technology. His impact can be seen in numerous UAE education initiatives, including the Mohammed Bin Rashid Smart Learning Program (MBRSLP), One Million Arab Coders,, Mohammed Bin Rashid Virtual Schools (MBRVS), and the UAE's transition to remote learning during the COVID pandemic. A thought leader in sustainability, Ahmed is committed to engaging with partners and startups to develop innovative sustainability solutions that can quickly go-to-market. His passion for making a positive impact on the future of our planet is evident in his commitment to building a better future for generations to come. Ahmed began his journey at Microsoft in 2008 as an Industry Solutions Lead for Education, following a decade-long career in education consultancy across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa region. He holds a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Louisville (US) and a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Ain Shams University (EG). Ahmed's blend of deep technical expertise, leadership, and dedication to sustainability make him a driving force in Microsoft's mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more through sustainable practices.



Matthew Burfield - Executive Principal/CEO/Senior Vice President - Education GEMS Founders School, Dubai

Matthew began his career in teaching History and Citizenship in a Secondary School in South London over 20 years ago. Since then he spent time advising Headteachers in the UK whilst working for Essex County Council and then moved into international schooling in Athens, Greece 11 years ago. His first headship there was transforming an established school into the best British International School in the area. He is now the very proud Executive Principal/CEO of the most successful school opening in GEMS history at GEMS Founders School (GFS) in Dubai where he was the Founding Principal in September 2016. It is a vibrant and wonderful learning environment with over 6200 children currently enrolled and a diverse community of over 100 nationalities. Most importantly to him, the children at GFS are mindful and happy learners who love coming to school every day. In 2019, He also became the Founders Brand and School Group Leader overseeing GEMS Metropole School, Motor City, and GEMS Founders School, Al Mizhar. He was appointed as a Vice President of Education in January 2021 and then was promoted to Senior Vice President – Education so is now leading 7 schools in the UAE with over 21000 children in total. Matthew has completed the full training for Penta International as a BSO Accreditor and has been a part of several BSO teams around the world, including Kuwait and the UAE. He is now also a fully trained Lead Inspector for BSO inspections working with schools across the world including currently with a school in Bosnia Herzegovina. In addition to this work with Penta and the BSO framework, he works with COBIS as a Lead Improvement Partner for their Patron's Accreditation and Compliance visits here in the Middle East. He feels honoured and privileged to represent BSME schools as a member of the Executive Committee and was recently been co-opted onto the AoBSO Board. Matthew is a great believer in lifelong learning recently completing his NPQEL and starting an MA in Education with the University of Buckingham.