Equipping pupils to steer the road of adolescence



We are delighted to announce that the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival STEER Educational Leaders Conference will be held on 30th March 2020:

Ascent or decline? Educating the Western mind in an Age of China, Tech and AI

“A truly impressive day, the presenters were excellent and delivered very thought-provoking talks.” UK Head “A rare opportunity to take a step back and look at the big picture.” UK Head

The West has enjoyed a privileged educational reputation for the past century across the world. However, by 2030 China and India will have educated 50% of the world’s graduates.

  • What models of education are such economies already evolving to meet their emerging employability needs?
  • How is Chinese development of educational technology tipping the balance of educational power in an AI age?
  • In a future labour market, will the Western educational model succeed in producing graduates well equipped for an automated age?
  • If so, what are the critical Western graduate skills which will be most in demand?

The Conference brings together experts to examine these vital questions.

Keynote speakers:

Ting Zhang One of the leading China business experts in the UK. Since 2018 Ting has been advising leading British education solutions and Edutech firms on achieving their goals for China.

Garrod Musto A Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching to consult on national STEM teacher training standards in China. 25 years experience as Maths teacher and international curriculum design.

Professor Rose Luckin Professor of Learner Centred Design at the UCL Knowledge Lab in London. An expert in the design and evaluation of Ed Tech using theories of learning science and Artificial Intelligence.

Josie Cluer Leader of EY’s education practice, specialising in helping universities transform to meet the needs of students and employers. A former Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for Innovation Universities and Skills.

Dr Simon Walker Co-Founder of STEER a leading organisation helping schools develop employability skills for an age of AI and automation. A UNESCO advisor in AI and Education and consultant to global businesses including Accenture, KPMG and PWC.

Event information and bookings

2019 FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival STEER Educational Leaders Conference

Educating the Human Mind in a Robotic Age

April 1st 2019

Oxford Literary Festival

The day was designed for educational leaders and policy makers and addressed the changes that are required to educate the human mind in a robotic age.

  • The morning session focused on the effects of social media & digital technologies on the human mind, ability to learn and our mental health.
  • The afternoon session focused on the unique cognitive capabilities required by graduates to succeed in an economy of machine learning and AI.
  • Videos of the keynote presentations can be watched here


Professor John Bargh, Director of the Automaticity in Cognition, Motivation, and Evaluation Lab at Yale University. John has led global research into cognitive priming for the past three decades. John is uniquely positioned to explain the unconscious impacts of the real and digital environments on the minds of young people.

Professor Stephen Roberts, Professor of Machine Learning in Information Engineering at the University of Oxford. Stephen has pioneered the development of intelligent algorithms to analyse big datasets. Stephen will clarify both the power and limits of machine learning, identifying the uniquely human cognitive capacities which will remain critical to educate in a robotic age.

Dr Simon Walker, Co-founder of STEER. Simon has led STEER’s pioneering work in reducing mental health risks, signposting learning-to-learn skills and improving employability in students across more than 100 schools and is an reviewer for UNESCO on AI in Education.