Speakers for Conference 2019

Keynote speakers (confirmed) and major themes


Professor Mark Van Vugt from University of Amsterdam

Professor van Vugt is interested in how evolutionary theory can be applied to understand group dynamics, organisational behaviour, leadership, status, power, conflict and cooperation, and intergroup relations. This is his latest book, written with Ronald Giphart. They show that humans have changed their environment so drastically that the chances for mismatch have significantly increased, and these conflicts can have profound consequences. Reviewed through mismatch glasses, social, societal, and technological trends can be better understood, ranging from the popularity of Facebook and internet porn, to the desire for cosmetic surgery, to our attitudes towards refugees. Mismatches can also affect our physical and psychological well-being, in terms of our attitudes to happiness, physical exercise, choosing good leaders, or finding ways to feel better at home or work. Finally, Mismatch gives us an insight into politics and policy which could enable governments, institutions and businesses to create an environment better suited to human nature, its potential and its constraints. This book is about converting mismatches into matches. The better your life is matched to how your mind operates, the greater your chances of leading a happy, healthy and productive life.


Dr Anne Bamford

More than ever before, the arts are shaping and influencing our daily lives through the media and the creative industries. The arts are no longer confined to museums and theatres, but are adding value to our national economies and improving the quality of education. This has implications for arts education. However, unlike other subjects taught at schools, the arts have rarely made their purpose clear: Why are they taught? What is good arts education? And what are the benefits of teaching creative subjects or using creative ways to teach?

In 2004 Professor Anne Bamford conducted the first international analysis of arts education research for UNESCO, in partnership with IFACCA and the Australia Council. Comparing data and case studies from more than 60 countries, her book, The Wow Factor, analyses the differences between ‘education in the arts’ and ‘education through the arts’. While appreciating that arts programmes are embedded in their unique social and cultural contexts, Professor Bamford develops internationally comparable standards for quality arts education. In addition, she identifies a number of concrete educational, cultural, and social benefits of arts education. This definitive work is of major interest to policy-makers, educators and artists.

Professor Anne Bamford is Director of the Engine Room at the University of the Arts London and has an international reputation for her research in arts education, emerging literacies and visual communication. Through her research as a World Scholar for UNESCO, she has pursued issues of innovation, social impact and equity and diversity. She has conducted major national impact and evaluation studies for the governments of Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium and Australia.


Deirdre Hodson and Panagiotis Kampylis [European Commission] from the SELFIE Project

Is your school making the most of digital technologies for teaching and learning? SELFIE is a free, easy-to-use, customisable tool to help schools assess where they stand with learning in the digital age. The first SELFIE Forum took place on 4-5 April 2019 in Madrid, organised by the European Commission, with over 180 participants from across Europe – including ministry representatives, national SELFIE coordinators, school leaders, teachers, students, policymakers and researchers who discussed their experiences of using the tool.

The Forum served to gather feedback on SELFIE, to share examples on how the tool is being used in different countries, to facilitate discussion on how schools can be supported in following up the results of their self-evaluation and on how SELFIE can contribute in the context of digital change, to air recommendations for school policy at the EU level in the six areas of SELFIE [leadership, infrastructure, teacher continuous professional development, teaching and learning, assessment and student digital competence].


Eilis Noonan, Data Protection Executive at the Data Protection Commission


  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • Further Education
  • Wellbeing
  • Leadership
  • Gaelcholaistí
  • Coaching
  • Leadership development