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First lineup of speakers announced for GESS Leaders Edtech Summit Dubai

Preparations for the GESS Leaders Edtech Summit are well underway and we are thrilled to announce the first lineup of exciting confirmed speakers. The two day event will be hosted by the Middle East School Leadership Conference at the Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre on 24 - 25 November 2020 and is exclusive for leading educators who directly influence purchasing, owners of schools and influencers who direct school strategy and training in the Edtech sphere.

Meet Our Speakers


Paul Crossley, Education Director & Founder, Learn IT Academy (Google Education Partner)

Paul Crossley is the Education Director and founder of Learn IT Academy (Google Education Partner). Paul works with over 200 schools across the Middle East to help them to deploy Google apps for education and Google Chromebooks. Learn IT Academy specialises in providing schools with the support and training needed to deploy 1:1 devices. The training is designed to educate, inspire and motivate all teachers to use technology to its fullest educational potential.

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.
George Stokes, Head of Education Technology, The Arbor School
George wants to live in a world where education is perfect, climate change is under control and Plymouth Argyle have just won the Premier League. Okay, he might not ever get to see all three, but one would be nice. Having performed a range of roles such as Head of Mathematics, Head of Innovation and now Head of Education Technology, George is passionate about pedagogy. In 2018, George was honoured to receive a GESS Award for his impact on education in Dubai and was also a finalist in the Middle East Education Influencer of the Year Award. As a teacher of 10 years, George has continuously added to his philosophy on education by reading, speaking and writing regularly for publications such as the TES and Teach Middle East about teaching and learning. He is particularly interested in the relationship between curriculum, assessment and cognitive science’s influence on classroom practice.
Olly Lewis, Assistant Headteacher Teaching & Learning, Nord Anglia British International School Abu Dhabi
Olly is Assistant Head of Digital Learning at The British International School Abu Dhabi, he's passionate about raising pupil outcomes, pedagogy, learning and teaching. He's also founder of #LearnLiveUAE, the 2020 GESS Award Winner for Best Use of Digital Learning in the Classroom and blogs at ollylewislearning.com
Eman Hamshari, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lead, Taaleem

An Educator, innovation and entrepreneurship teacher and lead, and was a member of GEMS-X the future-focused R&D arm of GEMS EDUCATION. She hasparticipated in events speaking and giving breakout sessions / workshops, master classes about smart designs and Art , boot camps about future careers, future of education, innovation impact on education and similar topics applying methods of Design Thinking at the core. Eman was a member of the organizing team of Global Innovation Challenge 2019. Also part of the Expo2020 school programme for students to promote innovative learning. She has a Master’s in Education with a major in International Management and Policy of Education. With over 13 years of experience, she has covered the full education spectrum from teaching, curriculum advising and building, and adopting innovation in schools creatively dealing with challenging cases using design thinking approaches.

Anju De Alwis, Managing Director, Ultimate Access
A high performance senior C suite executive with international experience in large multinational corporations I have 20 + years of both finance and Information technology experience in various industry sectors. The industry experience in audit, consulting, manufacturing, telecommunication, media, oil/gas, airline and education. An Australian, living and working in the UAE. Currently leading Ultimate Access an innovative Education company via technology & agility to become one of the leaders in Corporate & Higher Education. Presenter at various conferences such as Edutech, Accounting & Finance Show across Middle East, Africa and Europe.
Navin Valrani, CEO, Arcadia Education

Navin Valrani is the CEO of Arcadia Education, the school operator of the innovative Arcadia School, an Apple Distinguished School that opened its doors in Dubai in 2016. He also is a member of the Board of Directors at the Al Shirawi Group and serves on the Board of Overseers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. Raised in the city of Dubai, Navin on to graduate with honours from the Wharton School of Business and then backed it up with an MBA (Distinction) at London Business School and an MS Ed. at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2014, Navin and his wife Monica initiated a commitment to empower female students through education scholarships by creating the Monica and Navin Valrani scholarship fund at various educational institutions. Navin was also an integral part of the Campaign Committee at London Business School to successfully raise over £100 million in the school’s first-ever fundraising campaign. Navin’s greatest passion lies in teaching. He teaches the renowned Junior MBA program, a primary school business curriculum that he founded at Arcadia School. His dedication to teaching and service led to him being awarded the William B. Castetter Alumni Award of Merit by the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education in 2019. Navin has recently completed a Career and College Counseling certificate at UCLA and is now planning on pursuing his doctorate in the field of learning while training to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

Michael Henderson, Director of Digital Learning, Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Boys

My name is Michael Henderson. I am a qualified Primary and Secondary school teacher with computer technology specialism. I have spent the last 10 years working in schools in the UK and internationally, both in Spain and the UAE. During this time, I have participated in numerous workshops, conferences and exhibitions, focusing my time on how technology can enhance learning. I am a certified Apple Distinguished Educator, Apple Professional Learning Specialist and LEGO Education Academy Teacher Trainer. I currently work for Al Ain Educational Investments (AAEI) and based at their school, The Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Boys, Abu Dhabi as the Director of Digital Learning and also work for AAEI’s training company delivering workshops to schools across the Middle East.