EMINENT 2019 Conference: Towards a whole school innovation culture
Keynote Speakers

Ronald J. Canuel

Education Strategist

Ron is considered one of the leading Canadian experts in the design and implementation of successful system-wide change strategies, actively supporting the teaching profession, advisor for numerous ministries, school districts and related education stakeholders. Ron was recently cited in an editorial as one of Canada’s visionaries in education, noted for his emphasis on research-based decisions and no-nonsense approaches. Since 2017, Ron continues to be a keynote speaker and workshop presenter at a number of conferences in education, including locations across Asia, Australia, Africa, North-South America and Europe. He also continues his work as a strategist in assisting education organisations to avoid the traditional paths for improvement and seek out innovative thinking to resolve old challenges and issues.

Thierry Karsenti

Canada Research Chair on Technologies in Education

Thierry Karsenti, M.A., M.Ed., Ph.D. is a Full Professor at the University of Montreal (Canada). A member of the Academy of Science (The Royal Society of Canada), Pr. Karsenti has received many national and international awards for his work in the field of education technology. He has published numerous books and scientific articles on the use of technologies in education. Through his participation in international projects (e.g., UNESCO), Pr. Karsenti plays a key role in a vast international network dedicated to advancing the technologies destined to become vital to education.


Anna Canato

Head of Education and Public Research, European Investment Bank

Dr. Anna Canato, Ph.D. works since 2017 as Head of Division for Education and Public Research, in the Projects Directorate of the European Investment Bank, in Luxembourg. In the academic domain, her interests focus on organisational change and identity, focusing on how organisational culture facilitates or hinders transformation initiatives, and how leaders navigate change opportunities. Before moving to Luxembourg, Anna was Full Professor and Research Director at IÉSEG School of Management, where she had been previously Head of the Management Department and responsible for a number of academic programmes focused on Organisation, Strategy, and Management.

Antonello Giannelli

President of ANP, Italian Association of School Heads

Antonello is currently appointed as President of the Italian Association of School Heads (ANP, Associazione Nazionale Dirigenti Pubblici e Alte Professionalità della Scuola), an organisation which is both a Principals’ labour union and a professional association. ANP’s main fields of interest are pedagogical innovations, school management, school head performance evaluation, reformation of school system. ANP follows government’s education policy and makes proposals concerning school innovation, school organisation, management and leadership. It is also entitled to subscribe school heads’ national contract and provides strong professional support to the enrolled colleagues.
He previously worked as a school inspector, a principal and a teacher (math and physics) in a secondary high school in Rome. During the early 90s, he was involved in a national programme for introducing computer science issues in the national curriculum of mathematics and physics.

Gábor Halász

Professor of Education, Eötvös Loránd University

Gábor Halász is doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He is Professor of Education at the Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology of the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest where he is leading a Centre for Higher Educational Management. His research fields are education policy and governance, comparative and international education, and theory of education systems. As an education policy expert, he took an active part in Hungary’s education change process in the 1990s. Professor Halász has worked as an expert consultant for a number of international organisations, particularly the OECD, the European Commission, the World Bank, and the Council of Europe. Since 1996 he has been representing Hungary in the Governing Board of CERI (OECD), and between 2004 and 2007 he also served as president of this Board.

Valerie Hannon

Board Director, Innovation Unit

Valerie Hannon is a global education thought leader, inspiring systems to re-think what ‘success’ will mean in the C 21st. The co-founder of Innovation Unit, Valerie is a radical voice for change, whilst grounded in a deep understanding of how education systems actually work. Formerly a Director of Education and then an adviser in the UK Department for Education (DfE) she now works to release and harness the agency and creativity of both learners and educators. She has been engaged by many systems and foundations across the world to support change programs. Currently, she is Senior Adviser to the OECD in its Education 2030 project. Valerie is a regular keynote speaker and facilitator at international conferences, drawing upon her substantial research and publications, including: Learning A Living: radical innovation in education for work (2013); Redesigning Education: shaping learning systems around the globe (2013); Creative Public Leadership (2016) (with RSA). Her latest book is THRIVE: schools reinvented for the real challenges we face (2017, second edition 2020).

Stefaan Hermans

Director for Policy Strategy and Evaluation, DG EAC - European Commission

Stefaan Hermans is Director of Policy Strategy and Evaluation in the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture at the European Commission. Before joining DG RTD in 2008 as Head of the 'Universities and Researchers' Unit, he was Secretary of the European Employment Committee following several other functions in DG Employment, Social Affairs, Industrial Relations and Equal Opportunities. He also worked as project officer in Education and Training at the European Commission.

Dariusz Piontkowski

Polish Minister of Education

In 1988, Dariusz Piontkowski graduated in history from the Faculty of Humanities of the Białystok branch of the University of Warsaw. He also graduated from postgraduate managerial studies at the University of Finance and Management in Białystok, from human resources management in public administration at the College of Public Administration in Białystok (2001) as well as from education management at the University of Białystok. He was a teacher at the 1st Adam Mickiewicz High School in Białystok. In 1994–2007, he was a member of the Białystok City Council. In 2007, he was elected a councilor in the Regional Assembly of Podlaskie Voivodeship. In 2015, he became the Deputy Chairman of the Education, Science and Youth Committee at the Sejm. On 4 June 2019, he was appointed by the President of the Republic of Poland as the Minister of National Education.

Paweł Poszytek

General Director of the Foundation for the Development of the Education System
Paweł has been with the Foundation for the Development of the Education System since 1998, first as a coordinator of the SOCRATES-LINGUA programme and European Language Label competition, then as member of the managing board and the director of the Lifelong Learning programme. In 2010 he co-founded the Institute for Quality in Education, which serves as the National Institute for Languages in Poland. He has also been a member of several advisory boards for languages giving support to the European Commission, and was the Polish national coordinator of the Council of Europe’s ‘Language Policy Profile’ for Poland. He is a former member of the national committee for the European Language Portfolio, and was also a member of the executive committee of the European Association of Language Testing and Assessment. He is an author of a book on language testing and a number of a rticles on language and education-related issues.

Andreas Schleicher

Director for the Directorate of Education and Skills, OECD

As a key member of the OECD Senior Management team, Mr. Schleicher supports the Secretary-General’s strategy to produce analysis and policy advice that advances economic growth and social progress. He promotes the work of the Directorate for Education and Skills on a global stage and fosters co-operation both within and outside the OECD. Before joining the OECD, Mr. Schleicher was Director for Analysis at the International Association for Educational Achievement (IEA). He studied Physics in Germany and received a degree in Mathematics and Statistics in Australia. He is the recipient of numerous honours and awards, including the “Theodor Heuss” prize, awarded in the name of the first president of the Federal Republic of Germany for “exemplary democratic engagement”. He holds an honorary Professorship at the University of Heidelberg.

Xavier Prats Monné

Special Advisor, Teach For All

Xavier Prats Monné is the Special Advisor of Teach For All, a global non-profit organisation whose mission is to expand educational opportunity around the world; he is also Senior Advisor for Strategic Initiatives of the Open University of Catalonia (UOC). Until 2018 he worked at the European Commission, where he served as Director-General for Health and Food Safety, Director-General for Education and Culture, Director for employment and social policies, and as Deputy Chief of Staff of the Vice-President for Foreign Affairs.