| RSA Edge Lecture: Changing Paradigms| 316
June 2008 Page 2
This is thefinal RSA Edge lecture in a series whichhas focussed in raising standards ineducation. Each of the debates hasidentified areas for change. The RSAitself has been at the forefront of innovation and change in the educationsector for many years.We are continuing with thesuccess of ‘Opening Minds’, a three-year pilot in schools using acompetence-based curriculum, basedon individual’s needs. The projectcontinues to change the way thatlearning is organised in schools in orderto make it more relevant to thedemands placed on it by life in the 21
century. As part of our commitment tochanging education, we are sponsoringan academy in Tipton in the WestMidlands.I think ‘Opening Minds’ is nowbeing taken up by around 200 schoolsacross England and one of the greatestthings about ‘Opening Minds’ is that if you go to a school that is using it, theywill often, usually won’t describe it asRSA ‘Opening Minds’, they will give ittheir own name. It has been adapted byschools to their own purposes as aframework.But the real point of tonight isto introduce you to our marvellousspeaker, Sir Ken Robinson. Sir Ken isan internationally renowned expert inthe field of creativity and innovation inbusiness and education. He led theBritish Government’s 1998 AdvisoryCommittee on Education and wasknighted in 2003 for his achievements.You may have seen, and if youhave, you are amongst the hundreds of thousands of people around the worldwho have seen, his inspirational TEDtalk on ‘Creativity’. Sir Ken’s 2001book,
‘Out of our Minds: Learning to beCreative’,
explains why it is essential topromote creativity and copies areavailable to purchase outside theauditorium.This evening Sir Ken will givethe final RSA Edge lecture on‘Changing Paradigms’, how weimplement sustainable change ineducation.But tonight’s event is also theRSA Benjamin Franklin Medal Lecture.The Benjamin Franklin Medal was firstawarded in 1956 to commemoratethe 250
anniversary of Franklin’sbirth and the 200
anniversary of hismembership of the RSA. Today themedal is awarded to a global bigthinker; someone who has shiftedpublic debate in an innovative way andwho has contributed to furtheringpublic discourse about humanprogress.I am delighted now to formallyannounce the award of the 2008Benjamin Franklin Medal to Sir KenRobinson and please join me inwelcoming RSA Chairman, GerryAcher, who will present the medal.Gerry.
One of themost pleasurable jobs of the RSA ispresenting the Benjamin FranklinMedal and I am thrilled to be able topresent it to you for everything youhave done and everything that I knowyou are doing and will continue to do.You follow in the footsteps of DavidPuttnam, Marjorie Scardino, JonathanIve and you are a really worthwhileand exciting recipient of this awardand to have the pleasure of listeningto you shortly makes it absolutelythrilling. Thank you very much indeed.
Sir Ken Robinson:
Thank you very much. Were you surprisedwhen it was actually me that got themedal? Were you? You could feel thetension building, couldn’t you? Whowill it be? Thank you. I am genuinelyhumbled to have this award.