Director of Education Strategy, Ashoka
BACKGROUND / Academic and professional background
Ross’ passion lies in transforming the way young people grow up so that everyone is empowered to manage their own wellbeing – and to live for the common good.
Ross is currently directing Ashoka’s education strategy for catalysing ecosystems in which every young person is enabled to become a changemaker and to practice changemaking. And he is a Board Director of Whole Education – a rapidly growing network of schools committed to providing holistic education.
Over recent years, Ross researched and architected a ground-breaking programme that aims to equip and incline young people to be well and to do well. The first implementation of the Better World programme is with 500,000 children in rural communities across Zimbabwe and Tanzania, and it is now being extended in Ghana, the UK and Mexico.
The Better World programme extends an earlier project that Ross conceived and led for Pearson PLC (called Effective Education for Employment), which he used with ministries, employers and educators around the world to evaluate the effectiveness of education systems and institutions.
Ross joined Pearson in December 2006 to head up their international qualifications and quality assurance business, where he spearheaded the development of several innovative services (including a consultancy service, a Quality Assurance service, and a suite of new employability qualifications that embrace 21st century skills).
Before joining Pearson, Ross spent 15 years in corporate venturing and incubation, establishing and growing more than 20 businesses around the world and in a wide range of sectors, including education, human resources, logistics, media and healthcare. Ross continues to advise organisations and entrepreneurs on innovation for growth.
ACHIEVEMENT/ What is your project, initiative, start-up, company all about?
Ashoka’s education strategy follows their strategy for pioneering the field of social entrepreneurship. This involves connecting pioneers from across educational ecosystems, organising and coordinating their efforts in order to catalyse critical changes in education provision so that every young person is equipped with changemaking skills such as empathy, creativity, thoughtfulness, leadership and collaboration.
LOCATION / In which city, country, part of the world do you conduct your activities?
Ashoka’s educational work is currently live in 26 countries in North America, Latin America, Africa, Europe and India.
IMPACT/ What is the positive economic, social, political, environmental…of your activity, project, initiative, start-up, company?
Ashoka’s aim is to equip every young person with the ‘changemaker’ skills that are essential to empowering individuals to take charge of their lives – to thrive in the modern world – to help others thrive – and to change the world for the good of all.
QUOTE/ A saying, quote or reference phrase that tells something about you
Ross has been described as “an organised idealist”.