Meet the team
The EDUCATE Ventures Research team consists of educational researchers, entrepreneurs, technology experts and academics in the fields of education and EdTech. We envision an EdTech ecosystem populated by research-minded enterprises, building excellent, evidence-informed learning tools that empower human intelligence.
Professor Rose Luckin, Founder
Rosemary (Rose) Luckin is Professor of Learner Centred Design at UCL Knowledge Lab. She was named one of the 20 most influential people in education in the Seldon List, 2017.
Rose is Founder of EDUCATE Ventures Research Ltd., a London hub for start-ups, researchers and educators developing evidence-based educational technology. She is past president and current treasurer of the International Society for AI in Education and co-founder of the Institute for Ethical AI in Education. Rose’s 2018 book, Machine Learning and Human Intelligence: The Future of Education for the 21st Century, describes how AI supports teaching and learning. Prior to joining the UCL Knowledge Lab in 2006, Rose was Pro-Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Learning at the University of Sussex.
Laurie Forcier, Chief of Staff and Director of Partnerships
Laurie Forcier’s interests lie in helping to change our education systems so they better surface and support the massive potential found within each learner. She has over 20 years of experience in the education sector, and is currently Chief of Staff and Director of Partnerships for EDUCATE Ventures, a research and development company created to help the EdTech ecosystem ethically research, design and apply ways for technologies to empower human intelligence. She was previously chief global content officer for Learnit, a 70K-strong education leaders' network focused on change, and director of Pearson's programme of global thought leadership, publishing on the future of education, skills and work, and how technology can augment learning and teaching. She has also been a senior advisor and aide to the dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and an evaluation and policy researcher at the Urban Institute, a Washington, DC-based think tank. She is currently mentoring a cybersecurity education start up for the European Commission-supported IMPACT EdTech Accelerator programme.
Dr Ekaterina Cooper, Director of Research & Evaluation
Ekaterina is Director of Research & Evalusation at EDUCATE Ventures Research. She has worked with EdTech companies since 2018 helping them cultivate a research mindset and integrating evidence-based processes into product and business development. She has a PhD in Developmental Psychology and MSc in Public Health. Her area of expertise is research methods and psychometrics, developed over the last 15 years through her involvement in a wide range of research, including randomise-control trials and international research.
Ibrahim Bashir, Technical Projects Manager
Ibrahim Bashir is a Software Developer currently working as a Data Engineer. Ibrahim is a Fulbright fellow and has a Masters in Computer Science from Louisiana State University. His work in the last 9 years has focused on the intersection of Big Data, Machine Learning and IoT. Once a passionate hobby roboticist, he hasn’t gone near one in years after 9 of the 12 machines he built from scratch for a swarm robotics project wouldn’t play nice and fried their circuit boards.
Morgan Dee, Director of AI & Data Science
Morgan is Director of AI and Data Science at EDUCATE Ventures Research. She leads the Growth Project which is responsible for developing EVR’s ontology. The ontology aims to leverage the data and knowledge held by EVR to extract meaningful insights about the EdTech ecosystem. Morgan holds a Master’s in Data Science with AI from The University of Exeter (with Distinction and Dean's Commendation for academic excellence). Previously she trained as a secondary school Physics teacher at the Institute of Education after completing her Master’s in Astrophysics at The University of Manchester. She has 10 years of experience teaching in the UK, Nepal, Malawi, Hong Kong and Japan. Morgan is particularly passionate about the ethical use of AI within education to maximise the potential of all learners.
Dr Becky Sage, Acceleration Advisor
Dr Becky Sage, EVR's Acceleration Advisor, knows firsthand what it is to create a business in EdTech, having spent the last 6 years as the CEO of Interactive Scientific. She has spent over 15 years working in science, technology, education and entrepreneurship, and holds a PhD in chemistry. She is interested is in creating effective and sustainable businesses which can make an impact in the education space. Becky is a 3 x British Adult Gymnastics Champion.
Dr Anissa Moeini, Advisor
Anissa is an EdTech entrepreneur, social scientist, and expert in the field of enterprise impact measurement. With a background in media and telecoms, Anissa identified the need to build research capacity in enterprises that is both agile for their pace of change and adaptable to the rhythm of SMEs. Through her doctoral research, she developed the Evidence-informed Learning Technology Enterprise (ELTE) Framework as a practical tool for companies and other non-academic stakeholders to support the evaluation of the efficacy of EdTech enterprises, and to build internal capacity to be evidence-informed.
Karine George, Chief Education Advisor
An award-winning, future reimagining educationalist, Karine spent more than 20 years as headteacher in an 'Outstanding' Oftsed-rated school, She is an active research practitioner and ties research, business and education together to transform leadership and pedagogy. An advocate for technology's support of 21st century teaching and learning, she has reported on its use to the DfE, penned numerous articles on educational issues and was a contributing author for 'Sustainable School Transformation: an inside-out school-led approach'.
Associate Professor Mutlu Cukurova, Research Advisor
Mutlu is an academic faculty member at University College London and has a particular interest in researching the potential of emerging Educational Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Learning Analytics to continuously evaluate and support human development. Mutlu supervises PhD projects and teaches the MA in Education and Technology programme at the IOE.
Professor Ben Du Boulay, Research Advisor
Ben is an Emeritus Professor of Artificial Intelligence in the School of Engineering and Informatics at the University of Sussex, UK, and Visiting Professor at University College London. He has two main research areas: the first is the Psychology of Programming where his main work has been in the area of novices learning programming and the development of tools to assist that process, and the second is the application of Artificial Intelligence in Education. Here he is particularly interested in issues around modelling and developing students’ metacognition and motivation.
Arthur Fisher, Company Secretary
The EDUCATE Company Secretary, Arthur has over 5 years’ experience in compliance, corporate liaison and assistance. Proficient in a comprehensive suite of information governance systems, he has a keen eye for specifics. With an academic grounding in politics and history, he demonstrates first-class stakeholder relationship management with his excellent communication skills.
Rowland Wells, Creative Producer
A good story might write itself, but not without organisation. Running events, relationship managing your community, penning Tweets, SOPs, agendas, and coordinating projects is what Rowland does best, and they have been doing it since 2003. An occasional welfare officer, waterer and potter of office flora, AV technician, note-taker and EdTech crackerjack, Rowland also specialises in recruitment, quality management, pitch decks, graphic design, marcomms, and storytelling. Outside EDUCATE their activities include the hunt for early 90s techno, singing and music production, the rescue of tired bumblebees, and they are the artist and writer for an upcoming space opera webcomic.
Ali Chaudhry, Research Mentor
Ali is a doctoral researcher at UCL with a research focus on Transparency of AI development pipelines for ed-tech products. His love for education as a profession started 11 years ago when he opened his first charity school for Afghan refugees in the suburbs of Islamabad in Pakistan. His charity currently runs three private schools for disadvantaged communities in Pakistan and has empowered more than two thousand students with basic literacy and arithmetic skills . He is also a founder of an ed-tech startup that supercharges operational management of schools with data driven decisions and an agri-tech startup that is disrupting livestock farming and trading.
Abayomi Akanji, AI & Data Science Team
Abayomi is an EdTech researcher and a creative Software Developer. He is a Queen Elizabeth Young Leader and has a Masters in Education and Technology from UCL. When he was a teenager, he co-founded one of Nigeria's foremost e-testing platforms, PassNG - which has helped over 500K students to achieve success in their college-entrance exams. Abayomi, who holds a Bachelor of Technology Degree in Computer Science (with First-class Honours), is a winner of the Future Award Africa Prize for Education.
Noa Sher, Research Mentor
Noa’s career has progressed along the lines of both applied and academic research. She has over ten years' experience of working with the public and third sectors in the social domain, mainly in the fields of social services and education, and has vast experience in multi-methods evaluative research. Her current work includes guiding management in organisations within the social domain in programme-planning using logic models and in building measurement and evaluation strategies as well as designing outcomes-oriented case management systems. Noa holds an MA in Social and Organisational Psychology and is working towards her PhD on network analysis of collaborative knowledge construction.
Dina Foster, Research Associate
Dina is an experienced, former secondary school Deputy Head teacher and is currently a doctoral candidate at UCL with a research focus on how AI could shape assessment practices and impact upon teaching and learning. She gained her MA in Education and Technology and also holds a Master’s in Teaching, both from the Institute of Education. Dina is particularly interested in supporting school leaders with the development and implementation of successful EdTech strategy to address school priorities.
Dave Turnbull, Teacher-in-Residence
Dave’s seven years’ experience in primary classrooms, including 5 years as his school’s Computing Curriculum Lead, has given him a front-row view to the challenges schools face in developing coherent digital strategies. As Teacher-in-Residence at EDUCATE Ventures, he’s helping to build next generation CPD for leaders and teachers in this space. Dave has a BA in Media Arts from Royal Holloway University of London and worked in film and television prior to completing a PGCE at Goldsmiths, specialising in Early Years. He planned, developed, and implemented his school's digital strategy, enabling him to guide the staff through remote teaching during the pandemic. He recently left teaching to become the primary caretaker for his son, and is excited to apply his experience to system-level digital capacity building in education.
Lulah Strathearn Brady, Accelerator Programme Coordinator
Former elected Undergraduate Education Officer at the University of Sussex, Lulah has first hand experience of the HE sector -representing the educational needs of students and learners, with a particular focus on Equality, Inclusion and Access. Combining a background in Schools Outreach for Edtech, a number of roles in the broader Education sector, Lulah draws on diverse experience to provide first class coordination, administration, and community management for the EDUCATE Accelerator Programme. Lulah's passion for inclusive, evidence-based education policy and practice originates in her role as a familial carer, and her work with students with additional needs in schools and university.
Yarden Toiber Kent, Accelerator Programme Coordinator
A medical student at Imperial, Yarden works in the newly relaunched EDUCATE Accelerator Programme, coordinating business and research support with the user experience, and managing the bustling alumni community. Hoping to complement her experience in medical education, Yarden is researching how teaching and learning propagates in Higher Education, and how students might benefit from close study of this crucial domain. She rows for the Imperial medic's team, and in her spare time, reads, and plays music.
Orli Weiser, AI & Data Science Team
Orli is a doctoral candidate at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and Computer Science from Bar-Ilan University and a M.A. with summa cum laude in Learning Technologies and Networks from The Open University of Israel. Her primary research interests are Technological innovations in learning and teaching and Data Analytics Competencies. Orli works as database administrator and volunteers in the "Ma'avarim" project, a supportive environment for research students.
Dr Varshita Sher, AI & Data Science Team
Varshita received her PhD in Learning Analytics from Simon Fraser University. Her research focused on analysing student learning behaviour within technology-enhanced learning environments, using machine learning and data science techniques. Prior to this, she earned her Master’s degree in Computer Science from University of Oxford and was awarded a Distinction for her dissertation in HCI and visual analytics. Passionate about applying state-of-the-art ML and DS technology to problems within the Ed-tech sector, she has published and presented several research papers in reputed journals and conferences. She is a certified Data Carpentry Instructor with pan-global teaching experience, including Canada, South Africa and the U.K, and continues to conduct AI/ML workshops for early-career researchers in myriad sectors including health, finance, and education-technology.