Valerie Hannon was a founding director of the Innovation Unit when it was initially established within government, and subsequently became its first Managing Partner when IU became an independent not-for-profit. She serves now as a Board Director and consultant.
Valerie Hannon began her career as a secondary school teacher in London, and has subsequently been a senior researcher (University of Sheffield) and a Director of Education (Derbyshire UK). In her independent career she has designed and developed next practice programs for systems, schools and districts. She has been consultant in support of change programs in numerous systems, including in Victoria (Australia), British Columbia, N. Ireland and in Europe; and is regularly engaged as consultant adviser by overseas strategic agencies (the Canadian Education Association, ANZSOG, The Asian Education Foundation, Centre for Strategic Education, Melbourne Valerie is a founder faculty member of our Global Education Leaders Program, within which she is consultant adviser to the system leaders of the Finnish jurisdiction and to the Chief Officers of 7 States in the USA. As consultant adviser to the Department for Culture and Media in England, Valerie participated in setting up the Creative Partnerships program, which sought to systematize the engagement of the creative sector with schools to improve learning. She has developed programs on futures thinking for education practitioners, including FutureSight for the National College for School Leadership. She was also consultant adviser to the Department of Education and Skills (now DCSF) on creative and cultural learning, following her membership of the National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education, which produced the seminal report All Our Futures (1999).
Valerie is senior consultant for the OECD on the Schooling for Tomorrow, and Innovative Learning Environments projects. She is also a speaker at, and advisor to, the World Innovation Summit on Education (WISE) now held annually in Qatar. Valerie is a regular keynote speaker and facilitator at international conferences and workshops. She specialises in innovation policy and practice; supporting strategic thinking within organisations and policy agencies; leadership development and capacity building; and in creativity and culture in learning. She is the lead author (with IU colleagues) of Learning a Living: radical innovation in education for work (Bloomsbury 2013)