Sir Ken Robinson
- Children's Issues
- Personal Growth and Achievement
Audience & Industry
- Colleges and Universities
- Lecture Series
The most-watched and discussed speaker in the history of the prestigious TED Conference, Sir Ken Robinson pushes people to rethink outdated assumptions about intelligence and creativity—and to unleash the real potential of people and organizations.
The very embodiment of the prestigious TED Conference and its commitment to spreading new ideas, Sir Ken Robinson’s famous TED Talks are brilliant examples of his extraordinary speaking style; a perfect balance of content, anecdotes and humor. The most watched in TED history, his 2006 talk has been viewed online 40 million times and seen by an estimated 350 million people in 150 countries. Named as one of "the world's elite thinkers on creativity and innovation” by Fast Company magazine and featured in the 2011 Thinkers50 list of the world’s top business thinkers, Sir Ken works with governments, education systems, international agencies, global corporations and some of the world’s leading cultural organizations to jump-start innovation by unlocking the creative energy of people and organizations. He led a national commission on creativity, education and the economy for the U.K. government called All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education, also known as The Robinson Report. He was the central figure in the groundbreaking "Unlocking Creativity" initiative as part of the peace process in Northern Ireland and one of four international advisors to the Singapore government for its strategy to become the creative hub of Southeast Asia.
A former professor of education, Robinson knows how the academic and organizational culture of education can stifle creativity and fundamentally disregard people’s natural talents and passions. The resulting disengagement represents an enormous opportunity lost. Robinson urges leaders, managers and educators to upend the status quo and launch a creative revolution to reap the rewards. His book The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything (Penguin/Viking, 2009) is a New York Times best seller and has been translated into 21 languages. Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life (Viking, 2013) is also a New York Times best seller and the long-awaited companion Finding Your Element, which provides readers with a practical guide to finding—and developing—talent and skills. His latest book, Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education (Viking, 2015), written with Robinson’s trademark wit and engaging style, tackles the critical issue of how to transform the world's troubled educational systems.
Innovation Summit - Genius 100
TED: Bring on the Learning Revolution
TED: How to Escape Education’s Death Valley
Watches, College Obsession & Kindergarten Inverviews
The Power of Saying "I Don't Know"
"Reimagine Learning that Can Change the World"
Life is Your Talents Discovered
The Power of Being Creative
How creative are you? How creative are the people you work with? How about your friends - or your children? Ask them. You may be surprised by what they say. Many adults think they are not creative: most children think they are. Young children are buzzing with ideas. What happens as we grow up to make us think we are not creative? This is a bigger issue than it may seem. As the world spins faster, to thrive and survive, organizations and individuals everywhere need to become more creative than ever before. In this groundbreaking and fascinating presentation Sir Ken addresses five fundamental questions: What is creativity? Why is it essential in our own lives? Is everyone creative or just a select few? Can creativity be developed and if so how? With vivid and entertaining examples from many walks life, he explains why creativity matters so much, why you may think you lack it, and what you can do to develop your own natural powers of creativity – starting today.
Key takeaways include:
- The vital importance of being creative in life and in work.
- The three myths about creativity.
- How creativity really works in practice.
- Two types of creativity and how to develop your powers in both.
The Human Advantage
More than ever it's essential to understand and develop our unique capabilities as human beings. We are deep in the throes of the fourth industrial revolution. Intelligent machines are set to sweep away countless jobs that until now could only be done by people. The casualties will include many professional roles in medicine, finance, social care, business and the service sector. As this new wave of innovation churns over our lives and work, what will be left for human beings to do? What can we do that machines cannot? What is the human advantage? In this provocative and far-sighted presentation, Sir Ken Robinson takes a searching look at the emerging powers of artificial intelligence and their likely impact on our lives and work. He then identifies our unique powers as human beings: the powers that machine intelligence may complement but cannot replace; and he shows why and how we must develop our human advantage at work, in education and in our rapidly changing communities.
Key takeaways include:
- The rise and nature of artificial intelligence.
- Their unpredictable impact on life, work and business.
- The four unique capabilities of human beings.
- The practical steps we must to take to develop them now and in future.
The Pulse of Innovation
We are living in times of tumultuous change. While individuals are living longer, the lives of companies are getting shorter. In order to thrive – even survive – organizations these days have to be constantly innovative. Most companies occasionally have a good idea. That’s no longer enough. They now need to innovate on demand.. In this groundbreaking presentation, Sir Ken explores four vital questions: Why is constant innovation essential to corporate survival and success? What is innovation and how does it really work? What can leaders do to facilitate a vibrant culture of innovation? What does that mean for their usual roles as leaders? He identifies the major myths about innovation that hold many organizations back and describes some of the core practices the drive the most innovative organizations forward. With powerful examples from a range of businesses, he shows what happens to companies that fail to innovate and the surprising dividends for those that do and he presents a three-tiered strategy to generate a systemic culture of innovation.
Key takeaways include:
- The common causes of corporate mortality.
- Why all organizations need a systemic culture of innovation.
- How all organizations have deep creative resources to draw from.
- The three core roles of leaders in sustaining a culture of innovation.
Finding Your Element
What does it take to achieve personal success by doing what you feel you were meant to do in your life? In this inspiring and thought-provoking presentation, Sir Ken shows that it is not through natural talent alone that people achieve their highest levels of success. It involves leading a life of meaning and purpose and that takes a delicate interplay of talent, passion, attitude and opportunity. Based on his highly acclaimed books The Element and Finding Your Element, he takes audiences on a compelling tour of what can happen in all our lives when passion and talent meet. With his characteristically wry sense of humor, he draws on the personal stories of high achievers in many fields, including Sir Paul McCartney, Serena Williams, Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, renowned mathematician Terence Tao and Olympic gymnast Bart Connor. He helps audiences understand what it really means to be “in your Element”; how they can find the Element in their own lives and can help others to do the same.
Key takeaways include:
- What the "The Element" is and why finding it matters in all our lives.
- Why age and occupation are no barrier.
- The four elements of The Element and how they connect.
- Three steps to finding your element in education, work and life.
Revolutionizing Education - From the Ground Up
Education systems everywhere are being reformed to meet the urgent challenges of the 21st century. Sir Ken argues that the dominant strategy of standardization and testing is stifling the very capabilities that our children, communities and economies need most. While the testing companies are raking in huge profits, there are mounting problems of underachievement by students and tumbling morale among educators. Even those who do well in education often find themselves out of work and outpaced by the rapid pace of technological and social change. Urging schools, colleges and politicians to rethink their basic assumptions about intelligence and achievement, he proposes a highly personalized approach to education that draws on today’s unprecedented technological and professional resources to engage the talents of all students. Filled with inspiring anecdotes, insights and practical examples from around the globe, this uniquely authoritative presentation will inspire teachers, educators, policy makers and business leaders to rethink the real nature and purpose of education, and the practical steps they can to make the urgent changes that are now needed.
Key takeaways include:
- How standardized education wastes more talent than it saves.
- The four core purposes of 21st century education.
- Why and how to move from an industrial to a personalized system of education.
- How educators, parents and employers can transform the system and how policy makers can help.
As I think back on our pre-conference conversation, our team gave you some steep and diverse expectations. You hit all of our expectations that we set and inspired very rich conversations. There is great pressure now for action at both the state, local and school levels. Our business leaders in the room want to be a part of the action planning and the energy is very positive. And if that wasn't enough, we then had the powerful lunch conversation. You use such great reflective questions so that people really have to search for the rationale to continue on the accountability/testing path... even when the data shows the testing plan isn't developing the potential in our youth. School leaders are ready to lead the changes and they are looking for guidance for where to start.Stark Education Partnership
All that I had heard about Sir Ken turned out to be true, and then some! He is insightful, funny, thought-provoking, intelligent, and really tuned in to his audience.Georgia School Superintendents Association
The feedback on Sir Ken was so wonderful; our global leadership team was inspired, stimulated and excited. The results exceeded my greatest hopes and of all the speakers, Sir Ken's discussion created the most enthusiastic debate through the evening. Sir Ken's encouragement of the leaders to personally seek stronger levels of creativity in themselves, as we all as creating stronger cultures of creativity and innovation was extremely successful.Universal McCann
Sir Ken Robinson personalized his presentation and was fabulous. He received a standing ovation.NYS Council of School Superintendents
It was a fantastic session in Los Angeles [with Sir Ken], which really helped set the tone for thinking differently about our business going forward.President & CEO, GS1US
His opening session created a spark that set the tone for the entire conference. Wherever people were gathered, they were commenting on his remarks and using them as a touchstone for sessions they attended later.2013 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference
Sir Ken Robinson's message is so poignant and inspirational -- he made an indelible mark upon all attendees.Australian Human Resources Institute
This was our 19th annual Fall CIO Forum and based on the program evaluations, this will be marked as one of the most successful events in our history! Sir Ken's closing keynote was very well received (95% of evaluations were rated as Excellent or Very Good!), and our group greatly appreciated the entertaining style with which Sir Ken delivered his message.College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME)
Sir Ken Robinson did a fabulous job, all the feedback we have received has been very positive. Our attendees thought he was humorous, engaging and thought provoking. I appreciated how accommodating he was at the event and he took his time to connect with people after, willing to take photographs and sign books. He was an excellent choice for the event.O.C. Tanner Recognition Company
Sir Ken was absolutely one of the best speakers I think we've ever had! He was so personable, funny and genuine!University of Miami
Sir Ken Robinson's presentations were magnificent and have been the talk of the organization ever since!Sharp HealthCare
Food For Thought celebrates the intersection of creative thinking, entrepreneurialism and social responsibility, so we felt that Sir Ken Robinson was the perfect fit for our audience - and Ken did not disappoint. Ken has an uncanny ability to keep the audience laughing with his dry wit, while also imparting nuggets of wisdom that resonate with the audience. As our final speaker of the three-day conference, Sir Ken tied everything neatly together when he challenged us to apply our creative energies to very complex issues.Food For Thought
That was about the most amazing way to hear about the importance of art that I have ever heard… Thank you!The Art of Education 305
Sir Ken was amazing. He was funny and engaging and shared some great insights. At times he had the audience in stitches.HealthAchieve (product of the Ontario Hospital Association)
Sir Robinson was fabulous!! He was witty and entertaining and did a great job providing data-driven and relevant examples of how creativity can be nourished to drive innovation in a corporate setting. He was relevant, to the point, and had the full attention of our audience for well over an hour. We were very pleased to have him as part of this year's CEO Conference.GSC Group
Having Sir Ken was phenomenal. Perhaps the most powerful thing about his keynote address was the fact that he gave credence and even permission to the ideas that are almost universally held among educators at this point. He was a perfect fit.Charles Sosnik, 2018 Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC)
Sir Ken Robinson’s talk was a smashing success and certainly kicked off our lecture series in fine fashion. He has set the bar very high, and I greatly appreciated how warm he was with our students while signing the books they bought. A number of people have commented on the talk—the humor, message and delivery were super.Texas Christian University
Sir Ken was simply brilliant. He absolutely wowed my audience. I personally worked with him prior to his talk and I found him personable, charming and absolutely hilarious.Performics
We are still getting compliments on Sir Ken Robinson’s presentation. He hit all the right marks! It made it very special that an internationally known speaker took the time to tailor his remarks for our community. That touch was appreciated.Foundation for the Carolinas
I want to tell you that Ken Robinson was awesome!! Great message delivered with humor...most importantly he connected so well with the 1900 folks in attendance. He got a standing ovation at the end and they meant it.National Council for Community and Education Partnerships
We were very pleased with Sir Ken Robinson's keynote. Many of our attendees and Board members commented that he was one of the best keynote speakers CEC has ever had. His speech was engaging, humorous, on point, and connected with the work of special educators. Following the general session, he was gracious enough to stay for quite a while, talk to our attendees (and listen intently to what they were saying!), sign programs, and smile for many photos. Sir Ken Robinson was a true delight.Anmarie Kallas, Council for Exceptional Children
The event with Sir Ken was absolutely marvelous! I have to tell you that Ken was a delightful person to work with. He stayed for most of the first day of the Summit, and he met with several of the attendees on an individual or small-group basis. I very much enjoyed meeting him and working with him as well.Microsoft
Sir Ken Robinson
Finding Your Element (opens in a new tab)
Sir Ken Robinson
Creative Schools (opens in a new tab)
Sir Ken Robinson
Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative (opens in a new tab)
Sir Ken Robinson