On Wednesday 5 July, almost 200 representatives of our member companies joined us in London for a fabulous day. Packed with interesting discussions and debates, it was a beautiful, hot summer day – perfect to enjoy a delicious barbecue in the company of flamingos.

With excellent speakers on the agenda, everybody was very much looking forward to the day.

And so, BESA members showed up en masse to listen to the fascinating talks.

Caroline Wright, Director General at BESA, kicked off the day reflecting on the past year and giving the directions for the year to come. She took that opportunity to announce that BESA is now a partner on the EDUCATE project, with UCL, Nesta and F6S.

Following Caroline, Rt Hon. David Laws, former Schools Minister and Executive Chair of the Education Policy Institute, delivered an insightful keynote address.

Next was the “Provocation Lecture”: Claire Fox, Director of the Institute of Ideas, took the stage to discuss the argument from her latest book, “I Find That Offending!” about a potential “Generation Snowflake”.

Obviously, the delegates could not help but discuss Claire’s controversial ideas during the following break.

While this topic stayed on the participants’ mind throughout the day and into the night, they then listened to two panels of experts: the first one on education budgets – such a topical issue! For the second one, the panelists shared their vision of the future of learning, exploring the potential of EdTech and AI to change things.

During the panel, Rose Luckin, Professor of Learner centred design, UCL Knowledge Lab at the UCL Institute of Education, explained the new EDUCATE project of which BESA is now a delivery partner.

To close the thought-provoking day, the brilliant comedian Timandra Harkness discussed Big Data, on which she recently wrote a book.

All the speakers gave a lot of food for thought, and the delegates could not stop tweeting. So much so that #BESAInsight ended up trending at #3!

Then, finally, the time for BBQ and wine had come…

The BESA team was really pleased to read and hear so many positive comments and feedback!

Thanks again to everyone who came and made this day unforgettable. We can’t wait to do even better for next year!