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Look who's talking at Inspiring Leadership 2017

11 April 2017

Inspiring Leadership is the conference for school leaders that brings energising keynote speakers from education, business, sport and the arts. Each speaker has their own style and story, but all will leave you buzzing with ideas to share with your peer group at the conference, and to take back to implement in the workplace in the new school year.

Each year, we, along with our co-hosts ASCL and NAHT, bring together an intriguing mix of keynote speakers, workshop and masterclass presenters. The latest speakers have now been confirmed, all of whom bring between them a wealth of stories – from those who have found their lives under fire and yet flourished, to those who have successfully challenged the status quo against all odds and others have changed lives through the smallest of actions:

Sir Michael Barber is a leading authority on education systems and education reform. He is the co-founder of the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund and chair of its Investment Committee. He joined Pearson as chief education adviser in 2011 and launched PALF in 2012.

Fadumo Dayib has a remarkable story to tell. Her determination, courage and triumph in the face of adversity has inspired thousands. As a teenager with less than 5 years of primary and secondary school education, Fadumo persuaded her way onto one of the last planes leaving Mogadishu, Somalia, when civil war erupted in the early 90s. She led her siblings to settle in Finland and has never looked back. In September 2014, she declared her ambitions to run for the presidency of Somalia in the country's first democratically-held election since 1967. While she calls herself a dreamer, history has shown that important political and social change often begins with a dream and a vision for change.

Margaret Heffernan is an entrepreneur, chief executive and author. She writes books and blogs, teaches and mentors senior and chief executives, and has built and led organisations of all sizes. Born in Texas, raised in Holland and educated at Cambridge, Margaret started her career at the BBC working on radio documentaries and dramas and producing films for Timewatch, Arena, and Newsnight.

Frank Gardner OBE is the BBC's fulltime security correspondent reporting for TV and radio on issues of both domestic and international security, notably on Al Qaeda-related terrorism. He was awarded an OBE in June 2005 for services to journalism and released his first book Blood and Sand in May 2006 which reached number three in The Sunday Times bestseller list.

James Kerr, bestselling author, speaker and business consultant specialising in defining, designing and delivering change for leaders of world-class teams and organisations.

Pasi Sahlberg is a Finnish educator, author and scholar. He has worked as schoolteacher, teacher educator, researcher and policy adviser in Finland and has examined education systems around the world.

Steve Munby is CEO of Education Development Trust, an international organisation that transforms lives by improving education around the world.

Will Gompertz is a world expert on modern art and was voted one of the world's top 50 creative thinkers by New York's Creativity Magazine. He is currently BBC arts editor.

To view the full programme and to get your tickets, visit (opens in a new window).