Keynote speakers

Notice: The keynote presentations recordings are available in the videos section.

Philipp Schmidt

Philipp Schmidt

"MOOCs and other recent innovations in online learning - is the sky the limit, or falling on our heads?"

Jan Philipp Schmidt is an open education activist and researcher based at the MIT Media Lab where he works with Joi Ito and Mitch Resnick. He is executive director and co-founder of the Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU), the grassroots community for social learning online. He has extensive experience in the application of information and communication technology (ICT) for social and economic development. He is a Shuttleworth, Ashoka, and MIT Media Lab Director's fellow. 

In June 2009, he received a Shuttleworth Foundation fellowship to launch Peer 2 Peer University. Through Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU), peer learners from around the world connect around topics they care about and skills they wish to master, harnessing the vast wealth of high-quality openly-licensed education materials currently available over the internet. Students act as both teacher and learner, and are thus able to collaborate throughout the entire course development process, beginning with design, and extending through co-teaching and peer evaluation. The team designed a system of badges, which participants earn through both technical mastery and the demonstration of critical social and organizational abilities. Over 60,000 people have created user accounts at P2PU.

Philipp was a founding board member of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, a network of over 200 institutions that publish OCW. He has implemented OpenCourseWare projects at the United Nations University MERIT and at the University of the Western Cape, and is a co-author of the Cape Town Open Education Declaration. Previously Philipp worked for the Accenture Technology Lab (Sophia-Antipolis, France), including as a consultant to the World Economic Forum, and founded an online retailer of IT-Security products.


Mohammed Rezwan

Mohammed Rezwan

"With Solar-powered Floating School, Comes Education and New Learning Technologies at Doorsteps: Hope Floats in Waterside Community "

Architect Mohammed Rezwan is the founding Executive Director of Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha, a not-for-profit development organization in Bangladesh.

He introduced floating education system to ensure access to year round and quality education in flood-prone regions. He developed, expanded, and sustained the solar-powered floating schools over 10 years. Drawing on his architectural expertise, he designs spaces on boats that successfully accommodate the needs of schools, libraries, and training and healthcare centers.

He is also the inventor of the “solar water farming” technique, as well as the “bamboo, bottle and siren” flood warning system and the SuryaHurricane solar lantern. His floating schools and SuryaHurricane solar lantern designs were exhibited at the “Design with the Other 90%: CITIES” exhibition, organized by Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York. He is featured in Erlesene Welten (Hungry Minds), a documentary film about three mobile libraries in the world, as well as in the documentary film Easy Like Water supported by the Sundance Documentary Institute. His work, including schoolbooks for children, articles, and research reports have been published both nationally and internationally.

Rezwan is a regular speaker at international conferences in Asia, Europe, Middle East and North America. He has received both national and international honors including, but not limited to, the Sotokoto Green Fighter 2010, Cordes Fellowship 2010, Hero of the Great Bengal 2006, Social Entrepreneur of Global Philanthropy Forum 2006 and Global Social Benefit Incubator 2005/2006, and Ashoka CBI Award 2003. The international awards that Rezwan received on behalf of his work are: UN Prize for Inspiring Environmental Action 2012, WISE Awards 2012, UNEP Seed Gold Awards 2009, Tech Museum Awards 2009 and 2004, GFC Presidential Award 2010 and Sustainability Award 2008, UNEP Sasakawa Prize 2007, Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy 2007, UNDP's Equator Prize 2006, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Access to Learning Award 2005, and Municipality of Rome Global Junior Challenge Award 2004. He was 'highly commended' at the Energy Institute Awards 2010, and became the ‘Everyday Hero’ of BBC Buzz in 2010. He served as a Member of Advisory Committee at international organizations. Rezwan has been featured in international newspapers and magazines including Bergens Tidende, Politiken, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Independent UK, and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. His work has also received coverage on Euro news, CNN International, Al Jazeera English, the National Geographic Channel, Smithsonian Channel HD, and NewsHour with Jim Lehrer/PBS.