Opening plenary

Monday 01 June 2015 -
11:00 to 12:15
PL1. Queen Elizabeth II Centre, London.

Join the opening plenary to hear a video address from Aung San Suu Kyi on the role of higher education institutes in developing democracies and building just societies, followed by Jim O'Neill on Boom or bust: bridging the skills gap. Jim O’Neill – the global economist who coined the terms BRICs and MINTs – will deliver the first keynote address, exploring the world’s emerging economies and the need to quickly, but sustainably educate a large, young and flourishing population.

  • Collaboration versus competition – how do the world’s booming economies ensure they can compete long term?
  • What are the key infrastructure challenges that need to be met to ensure that the world’s wealth of raw talent is developed effectively?
  • What effect will the growth spurt of these emerging economic giants have on global emerged economies?

This will be followed by Mind the gap, delivered by Mark Stevenson. "It has become appalling obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity" said Einstein. Education is one of the tools to narrow that gap, but can it when technologies leap forward exponentially while education moves at the speed of institutions?

Ciarán Devane
Chief Executive, British Council, UK

Ciarán Devane took up the role of Chief Executive of the British Council in January 2015. He started his career as an engineer and manager with Imperial Chemical Industries. He later joined Gemini Consulting where he led multi-country change programmes. Ciarán joined Macmillan Cancer Support as Chief Executive in 2007. During his time at Macmillan, the charity doubled in size not only in terms of income, but also in terms of reach and impact. Opening Plenary

Jim O'Neill
Chair, Formal Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, UK

Jim is currently chairing a formal Review into Antimicrobial Resistance. Until 2014, he chaired the Cities Growth Commission in the UK. He is Honorary Chair of Economics at the University of Manchester, and is on the economic advisory board to the International Finance Corporation. Jim worked for Goldman Sachs spending most of his time there as Chief Economist. Jim recently made a documentary series for the BBC entitled "MINT:The Next Economic Giants". Opening Plenary

Jim O’Neill

Mark Stevenson
Co-founder, Flow Associates, UK

Mark Stevenson is a writer, ideas generator and futurist. He is author of the bestselling book ‘An Optimist’s Tour of the Future’. Mark is co-founder of Flow Associates, a learning agency which develops optimum environments for creative innovation tied to critical thinking.  Mark is futurologist-in-residence at Primary Energy Research and sits on the advisory boards of Virgin Earth Challenge and Every1Mobile. He is founder of The League of Pragmatic Optimists. Opening Plenary

Mark Stevenson