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Sir Ken Robinson
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Sir Ken Robinson

Challenging conventional beliefs about intelligence, talent, and achievement.

Internationally Acclaimed Expert on Creativity and Innovation, Author

Expertise In:

  • Creativity
  • Innovation
  • Children's Issues
  • Personal Growth and Achievement

Audience & Industry

  • Associations
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Lecture Series
  • Corporations

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and discussed speaker in the history of the prestigious TED Conference, Sir Ken Robinson pushes people to rethink outdated assumptions about intelligence and creativity—and to unleash the real potential of people and organizations.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.

Featured Videos

Featured Experiences

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.

Works