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The Education Exchange is a series that has been created by UnLtd, Ashoka and Hogan Lovells to bring together the most pioneering educators and creators from both inside and outside the classroom.

The Education Exchange is a series that has been created by UnLtd, Ashoka and Hogan Lovells to bring together the most pioneering educators and creators from both inside and outside the classroom. We wanted to move away from the transactional relationships that often typify the early stages of interaction between social ventures and the schools they sell into and jump straight to the next level where the interesting discussions and collaborations happen – a stage that, from experience, is often not reached until the social ventures and schools have been working together for a sustained period. Not only does this allow the social entrepreneurs to tweak their models to better suit the needs of their customer base, but also allow forward thinking education practitioners to help mould both the content and way in which subjects are taught to their pupils.

This first event was, if we are being totally honest, an experiment. Ashoka have scanned the land for the best Changemaker Schools and have found five of the best – schools who are doing far more than just teaching the basics or using enterprise and the values of social entrepreneurship as an "add on" or "nice to have", but building empathy, entrepreneurship and much more into their curriculums. UnLtd, with the support of Hogan Lovells, have been working intensively with some of the most exciting innovations in the youth and education space to scale learning and personal development technology, tools and interventions that should have a tangible impact on young people’s lives into the future. We didn’t really know what would happen on the 26th November when we put everyone in a lovely room at Hogan Lovells with some canapés, a now>press>play demo, a presentation from Dragon School and some very broad discussion topics. However, we are really glad we did; if for no other reason than to see a room full of entrepreneurs, education experts, law firm partners and teachers crawl around on the floor, worshipping the sun god Rah! Click here to see what happened! Seriously though, the quality of the discussion was extremely high – key areas for collaboration were identified, including measuring and monitoring empathy, the relationship between empathy and autocracy and discipline, embedding social entrepreneurial ideals into the curriculum and how alternative learning methods and experiences can be utilized to help pupils to reach their potential both inside and outside the classroom.

The ambition and appetite of educators and entrepreneurs to work collaboratively as influencers to other schools, organizations and at a policy level to improve education was inspiring. We asked for feedback from the event – which ranged from ‘I love it!” to the more reflective:

‘This was my first EdExchange and to be honest, I didn't have a clue what to expect. I thought it would just be a fun, networking event with some interesting conversation over yummy canapés. I couldn't have been more wrong!  EdExchange brought together social entrepreneurs, funders, teachers for an evening of passionate debate and insightful enquiry. I learnt so much from the discussion and took away a number of tips that I will use to ensure that EduKit, the social enterprise I run, has maximum long-term impact on schools and students alike. EdExchange was an invaluable opportunity to take a step back and truly think outside the box with the individuals who will no doubt help shape the education of the future. I can't wait for the next one!’ –Nathalie Richards, founder Edukit

‘For me, it was about hearing directly from schools who are doing way more than meeting the OFSTED criteria. That is what we have found with the schools we work with at Talentino! - they go way beyond what they are there to do on behalf of their pupils.’ Jenny Connick, Founder, Talentino!

"An inspiring event - changing the educators and educating the change makers - something we believe in" Adrian Walker, partner, Hogan Lovells

And that is really what this is about. If all the people that are taking practical steps to push education and learning for pupils from all walks of like to new heights are all talking to each other and working together, we are going to have the opportunity to really start defining a new set of standards and criteria that go way beyond what OFSTED asks for.  A set of ideals, it was suggested on the night, that might even transcend party politics too, and that has to be a good thing for young people.

The Education Exchange is a platform for discussion, innovation and collaboration, UnLtd, Ashoka and Hogan Lovells hope that by bringing all of these elements together we can all play a part in shaping the future of education for the better. If you would like to become part of the exchange email; or