London, 08/01/2020: The Global Education Council is a new initiative by Bett, the leading global education events series. A driving force of visionaries from some of the world’s biggest global brands and educational institutions, the GEC will take part in a live debate at Bett on Friday 24 January in The Arena at ExCeL London where council members will share their thoughts about the perils and opportunities for the class of 2030.

The Global Education Council aims to set the tone of education globally. Together with Bett Chairman, Jose Papa (former MD, Cannes Lions), the Council will lead global education innovation transformation while shaping the world’s education ecosystem.

The Global Education Council members are:

Jose Papa, Chairman, Bett Global Education Council & Co-founder of Trace Academia

Ilse Howling, Chairman, Education Development Trust

Mary Apea Ashun, Principal, Ghana International School; Board Member, Association of International Schools in Africa

Rt Hon Jim Knight, Former Minister for Schools for the United Kingdom, Chair of Whole Education and Chief Education Officer, TES

Eric C Ambras, Chief Inclusion Officer, Stanford University Graduate School of Education

Julia Moffat, Founder, Future Learning Fund

Raya Bidshari, Serial Entrepreneur, Writer, Educator, Futurist, Awecademy

Vikas Pota, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Varkey Foundation

Claudia Costin, Centre for Excellence and Innovation in Educational Policies and former Secretary of Education, Rio de Janeiro

Mark Sparvell, Education Thought Leader, Microsoft

Dr Ger Graus, Global Director of Education, KidZania


The Bett subsidiary group held their first virtual meeting in 2019, hosted by Bett, and shared and compared their experiences of education in their own region and setting. They agreed that, globally, we are only just beginning to unlock the transformative potential of technology in education. The Council agreed that their aim will be to drive challenging and progressive conversation and spread proprietary information to help drive continued progress.

As the formal organisational anchor of The Global Education Council, Bett has a natural synergy with it. Both are communities of thinkers about the future of education and the impact that technology can have in the field. The Bett show, therefore, is the ideal place in which to bring the Council together to debate and trigger true intellectual capital that can influence education practice, research and policy around the world.

Jose Papa commented: “As the Bett Global Education Chairman, I am delighted to be continuing the debate about the future of education at Bett 2020. Though it is still a fairly young organisation, the Global Education Council has in its short life span brought together thought leaders and pioneers from across the education sector to kick-start crucial, global debates about education and where it is headed. My fellow councillors boast a wealth of knowledge and expertise and I am excited to see where these fruitful discussions will take us this year.”

Ilse Howling, Chairman of Education Development Trust, added: “It is a true honour to sit on the Global Education Council.  As Chairman of Education Development Trust I’ve seen how education can transform lives and an informed, creative global dialogue on education is integral to that.  I’m confident that bringing together thought leaders in this way will progress forward thinking and revolutionary work in education. I look forward to being part of the discussion at Bett 2020.”

Dr Mary Ashun, Principal of Ghana International School, said: “It is initiatives like the Global Education Council that truly elevate Bett to a status above that of just events. It has never been more important to carry out global discussions on education as we stand on the cusp of what could be a generational transformation for education. At the heart of everything the Council does is our focus on learners, and making sure we are having these debates for their futures.”

View the members of the Global Education Council here
Sign up to the Bett MEA newsletter to keep up to date with our event and hear the very latest and most important announcements over the coming months