GELC2018 Speakers
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About the Speaker

Mr Lim Siong Guan

Professor in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy & Advisor, GIC, Singapore

Mr Lim Siong Guan, 70, is a professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, a Senior Fellow of the Singapore Civil Service College, and Advisor to the Group Executive Committee of GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.  He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Singapore University of Technology and Design, and a member of the Board of Directors of Wilmar International Ltd.  He is also a member of the SwissRe Advisory Panel and the International Board of the stars, a Swiss not-for-profit organisation that promotes development of next generation leaders. He chairs the Board of Directors of Honour (Singapore), a charity that seeks to promote a culture of honour and honouring. He also chairs the Board of Directors of Swiss Re Asia Pte. Ltd.

In September 2017, Mr Lim was named the Institute of Policy Studies’ fourth SR Nathan Fellow for the Study of Singapore. Mr Lim was the Group President of GIC from 2007 to 2016 and a former Head of the Singapore Civil Service from 1999 to 2005. He was the first Principal Private Secretary to Singapore’s founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, and has also been the Permanent Secretary variously in the Ministries of Defence, Education, Finance, and the Prime Minister’s Office. He has also chaired the Singapore Economic Development Board, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority and, the Central Provident Fund Board. Mr Lim graduated with First Class Honours in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Adelaide and has a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration from the National University of Singapore.

Dr Richard Churches

Lead Adviser for Education Reform & Evidence Based Practice, Education Development Trust, United Kingdom

Dr Richard Churches is Lead Adviser for Education Reform and Evidence Based Practice at Education Development Trust, where he is a member of the Research and Consultancy Group Leadership Team. As a government adviser, he has had a lead role in numerous large-scale reform programmes across the world. He was recently based in Brunei where he reported directly to the permanent secretary while leading the setting up of the national Literacy and Numeracy Coaching Programme across all schools in the country. Richard led Closing the Gap: Test and Learn for the Department for Education in England which involved 800 schools in the implementation of large-scale randomised controlled trials (assessing the potential of a number of approaches to the improvement of literacy and numeracy attainment). He is currently Programme Director for the DfE’s new post-graduate route into teaching, Future Teaching Scholars. Richard is co-author with Eleanor Dommett of Teacher-Led Research: How to design and implement randomised controlled trials and other forms of experimental research and of Neuroscience for Teachers: applying brain science in the classroom (with Eleanor Dommett and Ian Devonshire).

Mr Dylan Wilk

Chairman & Co Founder, Human Nature (Gandang Kalikasan Inc.), Philippines

Dylan Wilk was born to a poor family in England. At the age of 20, he was granted an interest-free loan of £2,500 by the Prince’s Trust and started Gameplay, a business selling computer games. After five years, he had built Europe’s largest direct selling computer games business.

When Dylan was 25, Gameplay was listed on the London Stock Exchange, the first .com business on the LSE, making him the youngest director of a public company in the UK at that time and the 9th richest man in the UK under the age of 30 (according to The Guardian newspaper). He bought himself a Ferrari, a Porsche, several BMWs and travelled to work by helicopter. But despite his high flying life, he wasn’t happy.

Dylan decided to seek something more meaningful and so he traveled the world in search of adventure and purpose. It was a Filipino friend who finally led him to what he was searching for. After hearing about Gawad Kalinga, a slum redevelopment program, he flew to the Philippines in January 2003 for a closer look and was astonished by what he saw.

In April 2003, Dylan returned to the Philippines planning to stay for 6 weeks, yet he is still there. He spent 5 years coordinating Gawad Kalinga’s international partnership efforts, then in November 2008, he started Human Nature, a social enterprise, with his wife Anna and sister-in-law Camille Meloto.

Human Nature produces natural, Philippine-made personal care products and aims to provide livelihood for hundreds of poor communities. As of November 8 2017, Human Nature has 33 branches in the Philippines, 460 employees as well as distribution in the USA, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and the UAE and has sold more than 16 million products in the last eight years.

Dr. Katie McKnight

Author, Educator and Consultant, United States

Dr. Katherine McKnight is a dynamic presenter, dedicated teacher, and award-winning author. In addition to speaking at professional development conferences, she is a regular consultant in schools and classrooms in the United States and Europe.

She currently serves as a Distinguished Professor of Research at National Louis University. She is the founder of Engaging Learners, an educational company built around her successful Literacy and Learning Center model. Her work in educational leadership, literacy and student skill development has resulted in unprecedented academic achievement in many struggling schools.

Dr. McKnight has received several awards for her publications and teaching at the university level. She has authored 17 books that support educational strategies to engage all learners. Her titles include the best-selling The Teacher’s Big Book of Graphic Organizers, winner of the 2013 Teachers’ Choice Award. She’s also written The Second City Guide to Improv in the Classroom, Teaching Writing in the Inclusive Classroom, and the twin volumes: Common Core Literacy for Math, Science, and Technical Subjects, and Common Core Literacy for ELA, History/Social Studies, and the Humanities: Strategies to Deepen Content Knowledge (Grades 6-12).

Ms Meg Ormiston

Author and Presenter, Changing Teaching and Learning with Digital Tools, United States

Meg Ormiston, in her role as a consultant, partners with school systems that have committed to 21st century learning experiences for everyone. Meg creates a unique partnership in each district, reflecting the mission, vision, and direction that local leaders identify. Her districtwide projects include guiding teams through the visioning process, designing and delivering professional development, facilitating classroom modeling, developing student leaders in technology, and educating parents.

Meg is a teacher, a keynote speaker, and an author of seven books, including Creating a Digital-Rich Classroom, which received an honorable mention in the education category for the 2010 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards. After twelve years teaching and coaching in the classroom, Meg volunteered on her local school board, facilitated grant projects, and continued researching and writing about best practices.

Ms Valerie Hannon

Board Director, Innovation Unit, United Kingdom

Valerie co-founded Innovation Unit and leads Innovation Unit’s international education work. She has supported education change programmes in numerous systems, including the UK, Europe, USA, Australia and Africa, and is a founding member and Co-Chair of the Global Education Leaders Partnership (GELP).

Valerie Hannon’s career spans leadership of education systems, research, teaching, and capacity building. She was Director of Education for Derbyshire, and an advisor on creativity in the Department for Education. She has led many Innovation Unit education programmes, including Next Practice projects, Learning Futures (in the UK), and Learning Frontiers (in Australia). She has been consultant adviser to Finland, British Columbia in South Africa (KZA) and is an established thought leader in the field of education innovation.

Valerie is an expert adviser on education to the OECD, and a frequent contributor to the World Summit on Innovation in Education (WISE). She is a regular keynote speaker and facilitator at international conferences and workshops. Valerie’s new book is called THRIVE: schools reinvented for the real challenges we face, and is available now on Amazon.

Professor David V. Day

Academic Director, Kravis Leadership Institute, Claremont McKenna College, United States

David Day is Professor of Psychology, Academic Director of the Kravis Leadership Institute, Steven L. Eggert ‘82 P’15 Professor of Leadership and George R. Roberts Fellow at Claremont McKenna College (USA). Previously he was Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Woodside Chair in Leadership and Management at The University of Western Australia Business School. He has also held faculty positions at Singapore Management University and Penn State University.

David is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Association for Psychological Science, International Association of Applied Psychology, and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and has core research interests in the areas of leadership, identity processes in organizations, and leadership development. He is the Editor of the Leadership Quarterly Yearly Review and holds several other editorial board appointments. In 2010 he was awarded the Walter F. Ulmer Research Award from the Center for Creative Leadership (USA) for outstanding, career-long contributions to applied leadership research.

Dr Maureen Carroll

Founder, Lime Design & Lecturer, Stanford University Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, United States

Maureen Carroll, Ph.D., is a Founder of Lime Design and a lecturer at Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design ( where she co-teaches Creativity & Innovation, works with the Fellows program participants to develop leadership skills, and leads the quarterly K12Lab Network introductory design thinking workshops. She is also a lecturer in Stanford’s Graduate School of Education, where she co-teaches Educating Young STEM Thinkers - a course that integrates design thinking and STEM. She is the director of Stanford University’s REDlab, which conducts research on the intersection of design thinking and learning. She facilitated design thinking workshops for educators in Singapore in both 2015 and 2016.