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Who are the FutureLearn team inspired by?

We recently asked you to tell us about the person who’s inspired you to learn this year, by nominating them for a FutureLearn Inspiration Award. It could be a supportive colleague, amazing teacher, generous friend or relative, or someone you’ve met learning online. In this post, the FutureLearn team reveal their learning heroes.

Who are the FutureLearn team inspired by?

Moya Green, FutureLearner

This year at FutureLearn, every member of the team has been encouraged to speak to one of our learners, and write a profile about them for our Meet the FutureLearners blog. I interviewed Moya Green – an amateur fiction writer, who’d recently had a short story published thanks to a new technique she’d learnt on a FutureLearn course.

It was so encouraging to hear that, despite writing for nearly 70 years, Moya was still managing to inject new ideas into her writing and find interesting material in the everyday. She’s a true inspiration to any budding writer.

– Luke Nava, Copywriter


Cristina Ramos, friend and former manager at CV&A

I met Cristina a few years ago. She was my manager and we worked together for nearly four years. We became good friends and she’s always inspired me with her entrepreneurial attitude and positive approach to problem solving.

This year, she’s taken on a few more challenges and I’m sure there will be plenty more to come. She’s successfully grown her wedding dress company, she’s about to be a mom for the second time and she’s just moved with her family to Dubai. Change doesn’t intimidate her. Cristina is not afraid to try, fail, learn and start again if necessary, in order to succeed.

– Rita Fevereiro, Marketing Manager


Mark Guglielmetti and Jon McCormack, lead educators on Creative Coding

This year, I’ve been inspired by two educators, Mark Guglielmetti and Jon McCormack, on the “Creative Coding” course I took on FutureLearn. They both worked really hard to include everyone in the discussions, made learning on the course fun, and helped us understand by explaining their examples clearly and simply (as well as entertaining with excellent T-shirt choices).

– Nicky Thompson, Front-end Developer


Emma Wiggs, teacher and Paralympian

Emma was a teacher at my school. Both on and off the playing field, she was always pushing us to be the best we could be – not putting in effort just wasn’t an option. She truly has gone on to live this mantra to the full!

In 2010, she was offered the chance to train and compete for Great Britain (GB) in five Paralympic sports. She chose Sitting Volleyball, and went on to be captain for the World Championships – they won Bronze – before making her Paralympic debut in 2012. In March 2013, she was selected for the GB Paracanoe team, and this year, she won gold in the 200m at the Sprint World Championships, earning GB a spot at the Rio Games.

Why she inspires me is fairly self-explanatory. The virus that restricted her mobility at age 18 has not had a chance to stop her; unbelievable amounts of hard work and resilience have produced a stunning career. The special thing about Emma though, over and above her success, is that she takes other people with her. She’s a true team player, and I wasn’t surprised at all to find out that she has also been appointed as an Athlete Mentor for Sky Sports Living for Sport.

– Holly Edwards, Business Manager


Charlotte Spencer, software engineer

I’ve known Charlotte for a couple of years now, having met them through the meetups and conferences they’ve organised for the tech community. In the past year, they started learning how to code, found an internship and recently accepted a full-time position as a software engineer at Marks & Spencer. Throughout it all, Charlotte’s been blogging and tweeting, sharing their experiences about how and what they’ve been learning.

Two things I particularly liked is their noquestionisstupid github repo, collecting all the questions they have about web development, and the Twitter account @yourfirstpr, to encourage people to make contributions to open source. It’s made me want to share more about how I’ve learnt how to code and how I learn new things, since hearing different perspectives and experiences can be super valuable for people.

– Melinda Seckington, Developer


Ria Bartlett and Alex Whitfield, colleagues at the British Library Learning Team

As a new starter at FutureLearn, it seems only fitting that I pay tribute to my colleagues, present and past, who have encouraged my learning over the years. I wouldn’t be here at FutureLearn without them. I’ve joined FutureLearn after spending a number of years in the Learning Team at the British Library and I would like to thank the entire team for their support and for creating a culture that embeds learning as part of everyday work.

In particular, Alex Whitfield and Ria Bartlett are truly inspirational learning heroes, who work tirelessly to ensure that the collections of the British Library are accessible and understandable to everyone regardless of their age, background or location. I feel incredibly lucky to have worked for two institutions who share common values and to work with people who recognise that learning never stops, even for experts.

– David Avery, Partnership Manager


Elizabeth Candy, headteacher

Miss Candy was the headmistress of my old school. Not only was she the epitome of a kind, caring and professional headteacher, she inspired and encouraged all the pupils at my girls’ school to work hard, reach their potential and to believe that no glass ceiling should ever stand in our way. She also had a notoriously brilliant dry sense of humour. Miss Candy had a key impact in my life, granting me an “assisted place” at her private school, which otherwise would have been beyond reach. She encouraged me to believe in myself and has given me the confidence to be ambitious.

Like so many things in life, you often simply assume you’ll get a chance to thank someone “later” – in this case inevitably at a school reunion long in the future. Except last week I found out that Miss Candy died of cancer. I will be eternally grateful to her and for the lessons she has indirectly taught me – not only about believing in myself, but also now a new one, relevant to us all – to always thank and appreciate those people who make an impact in your life, while you still get the chance.

– Amy Irvine, Content Marketing Executive


Want to know more about what inspires us at FutureLearn? Read our regular “Things we love” posts. Want to tell us about your own learning hero? Nominate them for a FutureLearn Inspiration AwardThe deadline for all nominations is 23:59 GMT on Sunday 22 November 2015.

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