Keynote Speakers

Cliff Schmidt (Literacy Bridge, USA)

Cliff Schmidt

Audio Learning in Remote Villages.

Try to imagine being an illiterate farmer living in extreme poverty in a remote rural village, without electricity and with very few visits from anyone outside your village.  How could you learn to keep your family healthy or grow enough food to feed them?

In 2007, Literacy Bridge was formed to understand this problem and to develop a solution. They designed a simple, durable, and battery-operated audio device called the Talking Book to provide on-demand access to locally relevant knowledge.

After selling Talking Books to governments and organizations trying to reach underserved villages, Literacy Bridge also saw a need to produce engaging audio content based on learning principles and behavior change communication, which it now does with UNICEF and other partners to impact hundreds of thousands of people each month.

Learn about this approach to delivering education in extreme situations by combining locally created content with technology designed specifically for the learning needs of oral cultures.

About Cliff Schmidt

Cliff Schmidt founded Literacy Bridge to make agriculture and health knowledge accessible to people without literacy skills in remote rural areas. He created an audio-based mobile device called the "Talking Book", which led to a fellowship award presented by Bill Gates and a Clinton Global Initiative membership from President Clinton. Prior to founding Literacy Bridge, Cliff was a software developer for Microsoft and a nuclear engineer for the US Navy Submarine Force.  He has degrees from MIT and University of Washington.

Anne-Marie Imafidon (Stemettes, UK)

Anne-Marie Imafidon

The Role of Education in an Inclusive Innovative Economy.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths industries, collectively known as STEM (or MINT auf Deutsch) are driving a big economic boom in countries like the UK. Making up increasing proportions of GDP, and with ever higher levels of tech investment these companies are becoming more and more ubiquitous. Technology is used by many governments and public services and citizens also now need to be more digitally literate to contribute to society. In what is seen by many as a particularly forward looking and forward thinking sector, STEM still suffers from a diversity problem. Imafidon will talk about why it's important to have a representative force, steps to take and the role of educators as well as wider society in increasing participation.

About Anne-Marie Imafidon

Anne-Marie has always been interested in business, Maths and technology. Her rather unique set of achievements include passing two GCSEs aged ten (Mathematics & ICT), holding the current world record for the youngest girl ever to pass A-level computing (aged 11), a Guardian ‘Top 10 women in tech you need to know’ and being one of the youngest to be awarded a Masters’ degree in Mathematics and Computer Science by the University of Oxford, aged 20. She was also named the UK IT Industry & British Computer Society’s Young IT Professional of the Year in 2013, Red Magazine’s ‘Woman to Watch’ 2014, won a Points of Light award from the UK Prime Minister in October 2014 and was named the 29th Most Influential woman in IT in 2015. Anne-Marie has also been listed as one of Management Today’s 35 Under 35 and was on the Timewise List of 50 Power Part Timers.
Anne-Marie is Head Stemette and cofounder of Stemettes – an award-winning social enterprise inspiring the next generation of females into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics roles via a series of events and opportunities. In 3 years 7,000 girls across the UK, Ireland and Europe have had attended Stemette experiences. As part of the initiative she has also co-founded Outbox Incubator: the worlds first tech incubator for teenage girls. She sits on the boards of Redfield Asset Management, Urban Development Music Foundation and Inspirational YOU.