STEM Campaign Launches: The Future of Innovation, Connectivity & Discovery Series

25 September 2014

Professor Brian Cox speaking live as part of Future of Innovation, Connectivity and Discovery SeriesSpeakers for Schools launches national ‘STEM’ campaign and talk series with Professor Brian Cox, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Google CEO Eileen Naughton and many more.

This week The Future of Innovation, Discovery and Connectivity Series from charity Speakers for Schools will be launched in a London school by Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia founder and internet entrepreneur. Mr Wales’ talk on 1st October will be streamed live across the UK as his first talk with UK school students. Students will be able to watch from their classrooms in partnership with Google UK, the Times Educational Supplement (TES) and Founders Forum For Good.

Speakers for Schools, a charity set up by BBC’s Robert Peston to organise free talks from leading professionals and eminent academics at state secondary schools, hosts a national series each autumn to kick-start the academic year. This year’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) series is being headlined by Mr Wales and 15 other well-known speakers including:

  • Kate Bellingham, BBC presenter and engineer
  • Eileen Naughton, MD Google UK and Ireland
  • Professor Brian Cox OBE, Physicist
  • Dr Mike Lynch OBE, Autonomy co-founder
  • Dervilla Mitchell, Director at Arup and Heathrow Terminal 5 lead engineer
  • Sir John Parker, Chairman of Anglo American
  • Dame Barbara Stocking DBE, Former head of Oxfam
  • Dr Matt Perkins, CEO of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd

The series aims to help students embrace STEM subjects in school and beyond. The speakers will talk about how they see the future of their respective industries and how STEM disciplines help us to think creatively and solve the issues facing society today.

Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia founder and internet entrepreneur said: “I’m excited to be involved in The Future of Innovation, Discovery and Connectivity Series. It’s very important that we get students interested in STEM subjects. I studied maths and finance, which gave me a strong platform to move into technology and start Wikipedia. Through my work at Wikipedia and the social digital entrepreneurship foundation Founders Forum For Good, I see investing in the next generation as an essential.”

Matt Brittin, President, Northern and Central Europe Operations at Google said: “Google is thrilled to be supporting the work of Speakers for Schools and this special series of talks, as I am personally. Enhancing education and access through technology is a top priority for Google. We hope that by opening up these unique talks, sharing them online through our platforms, it will allow classrooms across the UK join the conversation with industry leaders about STEM and leave students inspired.”

Andrew E. Law, CEO and Chairman of Caxton Associates and Chairman of Speakers for Schools, said: “With visible need for the next generation of STEM leaders, we hope the series will spark the imagination of young people and give them a glimpse into just how vast the possibilities are. My own love of numbers and maths is what drove my ambitions forward, so helping young people equally see the opportunity behind STEM subjects is a topic close to my heart. It’s fantastic to help state schools access speakers like these to aid in this endeavour, and we are proud Speakers for Schools can be a part of that.”

Robert Peston, BBC Economics Editor and founder of Speakers for Schools has said: “I will be turning into the live streams. It is not just young people who will be inspired by these brilliant speakers sharing knowledge vital to all of us.”

Jimmy Wales’s talk marks just one of talks that will be live-streamed out to schools and colleges, with further events to be promoted onGoogle+ and TES as the series continues.

Watch the launch event live with Jimmy Wales


Jimmy Wales

Notes to Editors

For more information on the series or Speakers for Schools please contact: 

The Future of Innovation, Connectivity and Discovery Series runs October-November 2014.

The full list of participating speakers includes:

  • Kate Bellingham, Engineer and BBC science presenter
  • Matt Brittin, President, Northern and Central Europe Operations, Google
  • Professor Brian Cox OBE, Physicist
  • Ian Cumming OBE, CEO, Health Education England
  • Sir Peter Gershon KBE, Chairman, Tate & Lyle
  • Andy Green, CEO, Logica
  • Professor Dame Julia Higgins DBE, FRS, FREng, Polymer Scientist, Imperial College London
  • Dame Tessa Jowell DBE MP, Former Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport, and Board Member for Founders Forum For Good
  • Dr Mike Lynch OBE, Co-founder of Autonomy, Founder Invoke Capital, and Board Member for Founders Forum For Good
  • Dervilla Mitchell, Director, Arup Group, lead engineer for T5
  • Eileen Naughton, MD Google UK and Ireland
  • Sir John Parker GBE Kt. FREng, Chairman, Anglo American
  • Noel Penzer, MD, AOL UK
  • Dame Barbara Stocking DBE, Former head of Oxfam, current President of
  • Murray Edwards College Cambridge
  • Jimmy Wales, digital entrepreneur, Board Member for Founders Forum For Good, and co-founder, Wikipedia

About Speakers for Schools

Speakers for Schools is an independent charity that provides young people in state schools across the UK with access to inspirational speakers – free of charge.

The scheme was established in 2011 with the ambition of organising free talks in state schools with distinguished and eminent figures from all walks of life, including leaders in business, the arts, sciences, sport, politics and the media. Since launching the charity has attracted a network of over 900 speakers and 2000 state secondary schools and colleges, arranging more than 1000 talks to date. The initiative was founded by BBC Economics Editor Robert Peston and is wholly funded through the Law Family Charitable Foundation and Caxton Associates.

Find out more about the programme and the speakers

About Founders Forum For Good

Founders Forum For Good (FFFG) is a non-for-profit foundation, committed to supporting digital innovation for social impact across all sectors.

Founded by Baroness Lane-Fox and Dafna Bonas in June 2013, FFFG bring together some of the world’s most dynamic digital entrepreneurs with leaders of social and environmental organisations, in order to support and accelerate new ways to tackle major social issues and inequalities at scale.

Since its launch FFFG has enabled multiple projects, partnerships, and social impact investments. Serving as both a concept leader and catalyst, the foundation has forged valuable links between social enterprise (NGOs, charities, social-purpose businesses) and the Founders Forum community to amplify impact and maximise the benefits to both.

The FFFG board comprises Baroness Lane-Fox (, Dafna Bonas (Co-founder), Mike Lynch (Autonomy, Invoke), Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), Tom Hunter (West Coast Capital, Hunter Foundation), John Hunt (Syzygy, Archimedia), Tessa Jowell (Member of Parliament), Charles Mindenhall (Blenheim Chalcot), Brent Hoberman (,, ProFounders) and Jonathan Goodwin (Lepe Partners, Longacre).

More information about Founders Forum For Good

About Google Inc.

Google is a global technology leader focused on improving the ways people connect with information. Google’s innovations in web search and advertising have made its website a top Internet property and its brand one of the most recognized in the world.

About TES

The TES digital community is one of the fastest growing of any profession globally, and it boasts a 100-year heritage at the centre of teaching and the education community as publishers of the TES magazine, with an average of 349,000 readers each week. Today, with more than 3.6 million registered online users in 279 countries and territories, TES is the world’s largest online network of teachers.

More information about TES