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Meet the FutureLearn Inspiration Awards judging panel

Nominations are now closed for the inaugural FutureLearn Inspiration Awards. In this post, we introduce you to the five education experts who’ll be judging them.

FutureLearn Inspiration Awards: Meet the judges

Thanks to everyone who’s nominated a learning hero – we’ve received nearly 3,000 submissions over the last few weeks!

The FutureLearn team will now be shortlisting five nominations in each of our four categories, before an expert judging panel pick a winner in each category, plus the overall winner.

Meet the judges

Here are the five education experts, who have the difficult task of picking the winners:

Dhawal Shah Dhawal Shah

For most of his life, Dhawal was a victim of mediocre education. But his life changed when he got accepted into the MS Computer Science program at Georgia Tech. But two years weren’t enough to overcome two decades of bad education.

So when free online courses from top universites started popping up, Dhawal got excited and built a one-page site to aggregate all these courses. The site was called Class Central and it is now the leading destination for finding MOOCs.

Ian Fordham Ian Fordham

Ian is the Co-founder of The Education Foundation and CEO of Edtech UK – a new strategic body, to help accelerate the growth of the UK’s education and learning technology sector in Britain and globally.

Ian is recognised as one of the UK’s leading education entrepreneurs and an expert in education and learning technology. He has 20 years experience in the education, technology and policy world.

Lord Jim Knight Lord Jim Knight

Jim is the Chief Education Adviser at TES Global, a member of the House of Lords and a visiting Professor at the London Knowledge Lab of the Institute of Education. Jim’s main policy interests are education, employment, skills and digital technology.

He was the longest serving Schools minister in the UK government led by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and, as a consultant, he has worked with Apple and Smart Technologies.

lucy-blackwell Lucy Blackwell

Lucy is the Creative Director at FutureLearn and is passionate about making education more accessible, having focused her UX and design skills over the years on projects to this end.

She previously headed up design teams at the BBC and TES, following eight years running her own studio in New York for clients such as Smithsonian, PBS and Sesame Street. She is inspired by people who use creative problem-solving to solve global issues in a unique and effective way.

Ra'Fat Khalaf Ra’Fat Khalaf

Ra’Fat is the Founder of LookinMENA – the popular website that announces courses, workshops, events and scholarships in the Middle East and North Africa.

Before building and leading LookinMENA’s 23-strong team, Ra’Fat graduated from the Faculty of Economics at Damascus University, where he was the Winner of Best Business Plan Competition Award 2010. His interests include business modeling, digital marketing, reading, travelling and electric guitar.

We’ll be announcing the FutureLearn Inspiration Award winners in mid-December via this blog and the FutureLearn newsletter. Stay tuned!

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