Each LEGO® Idea Conference features some of the most inspiring and influential speakers on topics related to learning and education and early childhood development. From young protagonists trying to change the system to established voices who are part of a deep-rooted way of thinking about learning and education. We invite thought leaders, practitioners, researchers and social innovators to share their insights on new ways of learning that will equip and empower children to become creative, engaged, lifelong learners.

We will be adding speakers for the 2018 conference to this page as they are confirmed.

Jaime Saavedra
Senior Director, Education Global Practice, the World Bank
Rebecca Winthrop
Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution
Sir Fazle Hasan Abed
Founder and Chairperson, BRAC
Chernor Bah
Co-Founder/Executive Director, Purposeful Productions & Youth Advocate, Global Partnership for Education
Kiran Bir Sethi
Founder/Director of the The Riverside School, Riverside Education Foundation & Founder of Design for Change
Sharath Jeevan
Founder and CEO, STIR Education
Saku Tuominen
Founder and Creative Director, HundrED
Lucy Lake
Chief Executive Officer, Camfed International
Arvind Gupta
Toys from Trash

Dr. Jaime Saavedra Chanduvi leads the Education Global Practice at the World Bank Group. He rejoined the World Bank Group from the Government of Peru, where he served as Minister of Education from 2013 through 2016. During his tenure, the performance of Peru’s education system improved substantially as measured by international learning assessments.  Throughout his career, Dr. Saavedra, a Peruvian national, has led groundbreaking work in the areas of poverty and inequality, employment and labor markets, the economics of education, and monitoring and evaluation systems. He has held positions at a number of international organizations and think-tanks, among them the Inter-American Development Bank, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, International Labour Organization, Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo and the National Council of Labor in Peru.  He has also held teaching and research positions in academia and has published extensively. Prior to assuming his role as Minister for Education of Peru, he had a ten-year career at the World Bank where, most recently, he served as Director for Poverty Reduction and Equity as well as Acting Vice President, Poverty Reduction & Economic Management Network. Dr. Saavedra holds a Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree in economics from the Catholic University of Peru.

Rebecca Winthrop’s research focuses on education in the developing world, with special attention paid to improving quality learning for the most marginalised children and young people. She was the former head of education for the International Rescue Committee and has worked on the UN Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative, Michelle Obama’s Let Girls Learn initiative and the Clinton Global Initiative. She received a BA from Swarthmore College, an MA from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs and a PhD from Columbia University, Teachers College.





Featured videos about Rebecca Winthrop

Teach for all talks

What works in girls’ education

So many children miss out on an education

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed KCMG is the Founder and Chairperson of BRAC, ranked by Geneva-based ‘NGO Advisor’ in 2016 and 2017 as the number one NGO in the world on the basis of innovation, impact and governance. Established in 1972, BRAC’s primary objectives are alleviating poverty and empowering the poor.

Sir Fazle has been honoured with numerous national and international awards for his achievements in leading BRAC, including theThomas Francis, Jr. Medal in Global Public Health, World Food Prize, Spanish Order of Civil Merit, Leo Tolstoy International Gold Medal, CEU Open Society Prize, Inaugural WISE Prize for Education, Inaugural Clinton Global Citizen Award, UNDP Mahbubul Haq Award for Outstanding Contribution to Human Development, and Gates Award for Global Health.

In 2009, Sir Fazle was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George by the British Crown in recognition of his services to reducing poverty in Bangladesh and internationally.



Featured videos about Sir Fazle Hasan Abed

Thinking big and scaling up

Achieving the Millenium Development Goals

Chernor Bah is a champion and advocate for girls and for global education. He’s the co-founder and Executive Director of Purposeful Productions, a movement building hub seeking to “create a new power paradigm for girls” in the global south.
As a teenager, he founded and led Sierra Leone’s children’s parliament and was influential in promoting children’s voices in his country’s peace building process. Bah was co-founder of A World at School where he started and led the Global Youth Ambassador initiative with over 500 young leaders campaigning for education around the world. Chernor has twice been appointed by the United Nations Secretary General to high-level committees on global education, and on youth, peace and security. He was recently at the Population Council, where he led a collaborative initiative to develop solutions for adolescent girls affected by the Ebola Outbreak.








Featured videos about Chernor Bah

Kiran Bir Sethi is the Founder/Director of The Riverside School in Ahmedabad, India.  She is also the founder of ‘aProCh’ – an initiative to make our cities more child friendly, for which she was awarded the Ashoka Fellow in 2008. In 2009, she founded ‘Design for Change’ (DFC) – the world’s largest movement of change – of and by children.  DFC is now in 65 countries—impacting over 2.2 million children and 65,000 Teachers.  In March 2015, she was amongst the Top 10 Educators, nominated for the Global Teacher Prize – instituted by the Varkey GEMS Foundation.  In October, 2015, she was conferred the Asia Game Changer 2015 Award by Asia Society.  In 2017, she has been appointed as Ambassador, Vital Voices, and a member of VVLead Fellowship, a partnership between Pond’s and Vital Voices.  In June, 2017, she met the Pope in the Vatican to sign an Agreement whereby D.F.C. is being introduced in over 460,000 Catholic Schools across the Globe.





Featured videos about Kiran Bir Sethi

Design for Change – a champion of learning through play

Kids, take charge (TED talk)

Teacher as a Designer

Global Teacher Prize – top 10 finalists

Sharath Jeevan is the Founder & CEO of STIR Education. STIR partners with governments to reignite the intrinsic motivation of teachers and local officials within education systems, in order to sustainably improve children’s learning and create self-improving systems. STIR is currently impacting 75,000 teachers and 2.6 million children in over 20,000 schools in India and Uganda, within six years of inception.

Sharath is a graduate of Cambridge, Oxford and INSEAD, and received a honorary doctorate from Roehampton University for his contribution to global education. He is a Member of the Education Commission’s high level steering group on workforce issues, and is a frequent speaker at major education forums such as WISE and the Education World Forum.









From “Lean Start-up” to “Lean Collaboration”

Forging a New Deal in Education

Saku Tuominen is a Finnish entrepreneur, education innovation specialist and the CEO of HundrED. HundrED helps schools change by seeking and sharing scalable innovations in K12 education globally. He has written 10 books, consulted various companies and been teaching innovation at the Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland.







Featured videos about Saku Tuominen

HundrED – the Big Vision

Lucy Lake joined Camfed in 1994 as a volunteer and then as its first employee. She has led Camfed’s development as a transformative model for girls’ education through which its clients – as a new cadre of educated young women – rise up and join forces with local authorities to lead change for the younger generation of children. Camfed’s model has been acclaimed internationally, including by the OECD which recognized Camfed for best practice in taking development innovation to scale. Over the recent period, Lucy has led Camfed’s major growth; last year alone, more than 2.5 million children directly benefited from its programs. Lucy has pioneered strategies to improve education provision for marginalized children, which have led to an unprecedented uplift in learning. She is a founding member and former Co-Chair of the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative, and is on the High Level Steering Group of the Education Commission’s Workforce Initiative.


Website: www.camfed.org


Twitter: @LucyLake



Featured videos about Lucy Lake

Build girls’ sense of entitlement to school

Gloria Steinem stresses education

Girl’s education is starting point for social change

Arvind Gupta left a corporate job early on to pursue his passion – making science fun for children. He has written 30 books on science activities, translated 380 books into Hindi and presented 125 films on science activities on the National Television – Doordarshan. His first book Matchstick Models and other Science Experiments was translated into 12 Indian languages and sold over half a million copies. He has received several national and international honors for making science interesting for children. Arvind has worked in 25 countries and conducted workshops in over 3000 schools. He shares his passion for books and toys through his popular website. He has produced 6800 short (2-minute) videos on Simple Science Experiments and Toys from Trash in 20 different languages. The videos have been viewed by over 63-million children worldwide.




Featured videos about Arvind Gupta

Turning trash into toys for learning

How children learn

Children’s Science Center, Pune, India

Sasol Science Fair, South Africa