Gratnells secures Sir Ken Robinson as keynote speaker for major US education event

by Fellowship Agency September 14, 2017

British manufacturer, marketing organisation and education environment influencer Gratnells has brokered an appearance by Sir Ken Robinson, acknowledged as one of the world’s leading educationalists, for the EDspaces event in Kansas City, USA in October.

A native of Liverpool, Sir Ken Robinson has established a unique position as an author, speaker and international advisor on education, with strong views on creative approaches to learning and a largely critical view of uniformity and standardisation.

He is among many renowned figures quoted in a book entitled “Enhancing the Learning Environment” published by Gratnells as part of its Learning Rooms philosophy, which puts classroom design and the learning environment at the heart of children’s education. In securing Sir Ken’s appearance as a keynote speaker at EDspaces, Murray Hudson, the company’s Managing Director and Chairman, says

“We know that the learning environment has to meet the needs of all children whatever their interests, skills and abilities. We understand too that this will require changes to the current system and Sir Ken Robinson’s radical approach to the learning environment is one that we readily endorse. When we were offered the opportunity to sponsor a keynote speaker for EDspaces, he was without hesitation our first choice.”

Evidence from the sector suggests that Sir Ken’s views are increasingly influential. His most popular presentation, a TED talk entitled “Do Schools Kill Creativity” has accumulated a staggering 41 million views to date and delegates to EDspaces can expect a similarly thought-provoking presentation in Kansas later this year.

International Marketing Director at Gratnells, Richard Picking, says that the company’s expanding global presence has provided further evidence to support the proposition that a creative learning environment has universal value for children, whatever system they grow up with.

“We export to 68 countries around the globe and we are now active as a business with projects in the USA, the Middle East and Japan and in a series of collaborations with major organisations such as Dulux and Fischertechnik. Along with specialists in outdoor learning, colour research, designers and architects we are helping to create spaces that achieve the optimum balance between good order and stimulating, creative surroundings.”

There is ample empirical evidence available to support the proposition that the learning environment has a measurable positive effect on a child’s progress. Academics have conducted influential studies and one such, chaired by Professor Peter Barrett, concluded that

“There is clear evidence that physical characteristics of primary schools do impact on pupils’ learning progress in reading, writing and mathematics.”

Anyone not planning to attend the EDspaces event but keen to hear Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk can find it at More details about the Learning Rooms approach to classroom design can be obtained from Gratnells.

Richard Picking concludes “We’d like to thank EDspaces for accepting our offer to sponsor Sir Ken Robinson’s presentation, which will add an exciting and stimulating element to what is already a compelling event. We look forward to meeting as many delegates there as possible.”