As educators, one of the most common calls to action heard is “schools must change” and “we can’t continue to deliver education using the same old model”. But change and innovation in schools is not an easy process. If it were then everyone would have already changed.

Starting in 2017 we started a unique leadership conference called the Global Leadership Summit (GELS) where innovative schools from around the world shared their stories of change – including the challenges, mistakes, surprises, and rewards they have encountered along the way – with educators who are interested in the idea of change.The conference equipped them with ideas & strategies that they could implement to lead innovation initiatives at their institutions.

Along with inspiring short talks, incisive panel presentations participants have the opportunity to attend workshops focussing on network leadership, applied learning, experiential learning, schools-within-school programs and entrepreneurship education.

Now this conference is integrated into the 21CL Conference. 

What is an innovative school?

A school with a clear mission to redesign how students learn and to prepare them for an uncertain and ever changing future.

An innovative school breaks from familiar, traditional education practices and structures to deliver novel, replicable and scalable education that improves student learning

Innovative Schools Sub Themes

Apply to Be An Innovative School

Are you interested in sharing your school profile? 

Complete the presentation submission from and we’ll be in touch. Be sure to select “Innovative School Profile”. Those coming to the face to face conference will generally be expected to do a short 7m keynote and then a longer 1 hour presentation.

For the online conference a shorter presentation and then Q&A.

  • Research in Action

    How do we implement research design effectively into our schools?

    • Examples of good practices being employed today
    • Structures and policies for conducting and implementing research amongst our school communities
    • Social (and not social) Entrepreneurship
  • Transformation in the Classroom

    How do the visions of school leaders translate into classroom practice?

    • Transformation of assessment & curriculum
    • Role of school mission, professional identity & school culture
    • Teachers as designers
  • Leadership

    How is leadership distributed, mentored and implemented?

    • Shared leadership models and leadership opportunities within a school community
    • Mentorship & Coaching
    • Women in Leadership: How are women being empowered to lead in education?
  • Technology

    How is technology meaningfully impacting learning?

    • Knowledge creation and sharing
    • Location and time
    • Impact of data on student learning
  • Diversity & Equity

    How do we support and develop diversity & equity within schools?

    • Classroom
    • Mentorship
    • Leadership
  • Innovative Educators

    How do we best recruit, support and retain innovative teachers & leaders?

    • Professional development
    • How are innovative schools recruiting and retaining quality faculty?
    • Support, development & retention
  • Communication

    Sharing within and beyond your school community?

    • Models that work and methods to adoption schoolwide
    • Research and publications
    • Reaching the bigger community through social media
  • Structure

    Time & Spaces for learning

    • Impact of design on learning
    • Successful models to utilize space
    • Alternative approaches to scheduling