Professor Stephen Heppell (UK)

Professor Stephen Heppell


Leading the change in Learning Innovation: Can policy keep up with practice? (2.15pm – 4pm, Wednesday November 9th)

Plus participation in Gala Dinner Disruptive Debate and HOT SPOT program

Professor at Bournemouth University and Universidad Camilo José Cela, Madrid; One of the most influential academics in the field of technology and education globally; “Europe’s leading online education and learning spaces expert”

Stephen is Chair in New Media Environments at Bournemouth University, and Professor of Learning Innovation at Universidad Camilo José Cela, Madrid. He draws on a unique €250m portfolio of large scale, effective research projects, over 30 years. His eclectic research focus ranges from the design of schools and school fitments, through the implementation of ICT in learning, to addressing the new pedagogic needs of everyone from elite Olympic coaches to pre-school children.

He is described as “the most influential academic of recent years in the field of technology and education” by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) UK and “Europe’s leading online education expert” by Microsoft.

After secondary school teaching, Stephen founded and ran Ultralab for a quarter of a century, building it into one of the most respected research centres in e-learning in the world.

An early pioneer of educational multimedia, Stephen went on to pilot, and be the guiding “father” of early social networking in Learning, with seminal projects including the pre-internet Teletext and email social networking project, the pioneering Schools on Line, Tesco Schoolnet,, Talking Heads linking every UK headteacher into an online community of practice,, the online, work-placed, research based, undergraduate degree ultraversity and EU funded eTui robotic project for 4 year olds.

Stephen’s learning design work extends beyond the virtual and he is in considerable demand to transform physical learning spaces with a string of major new school transformation projects worldwide from UTS in NSW to the Caribbean and Scandinavia.

In recognition of all this work, along with just 51 others including Damien Hirst, Jarvis Cocker, Harrison Ford, Lauren Bacall, Muhammad Ali, Stephen became an Apple Master in the 1990s and was awarded the Royal Television Society’s Judges’ Award for lifetime contribution to educational broadcasting. Stephen is a member of BAFTA’s Board of Trustees and Council having formerly chaired its Technical Innovation Jury. He was awarded the prestigious BETT Award for Outstanding Achievement in ICT Education and UK’s NAACE Award for Lifetime Achievement in educational technology.

Twitter: @stephenheppell