The Founders

The Geneva Learning Foundation is a registered Swiss non-profit incorporated on 14 March 2016.

Patricia Charlton

Co-founder of Creative Digital Solutions and Senior Lecturer in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence at the Open University, Patricia is a knowledge engineer and a researcher who has designed and researched learning in both industry and education. Her teaching and learning practice span the lifelong learning spectrum from K-12 to higher education and continuing professional development. She is an award-winning computer science and education researcher who, in addition to published papers, holds over a dozen patents from her research at Motorola. Her current research interests include artificial intelligence (intelligent context-aware designs), ubiquitous computing, learning analytics, and technology-enhanced learning to foster creativity and resilience in students. A successful fund-raiser and grant writer (30M funding), Patricia has experience managing large, distributed teams in European and global industry, research, and education projects. She has also been a leader for events convening broad, diverse, and international coalitions of partners around key thematic areas in innovative areas of teaching and learning (Maker communities, hackathons, Internet of Things), women in STEM, and technology to empower humanitarian, development and global health work.

Bill Cope

Bill Cope is Professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois. He is Principal Investigator in a series of projects funded by the Institute of Educational Sciences in the US Department of Education and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation researching and developing multimodal writing and assessment spaces. Recent books include (with Mary Kalantzis) New Learning: Elements of a Science of Education, Cambridge University Press, 2008/2nd edition 2012; Literacies, Cambridge University Press, 2012/2nd edition 2016; and Making Sense: A Grammar of Multimodality, Cambridge University Press (forthcoming). He was chair of AERA Journal Publication Committee from 2010 to 2013.

Mike Hanley

Mike was Head of Digital Communications and a Member of the Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum for eight years until the end of 2018. Before that he was a writer, publisher, editor and digital content consultant in London and Sydney, Australia. He’s written three books: Crunch Time: How everyday life is killing the future and Can You Trust the Media in collaboration with Adrian Monck, and What Matters: Success and work-life balance, in collaboration with Daniel Petre.

Khurram Hassan

Khurram Hassan is a public health, social impact and evaluation specialist. Originally from Pakistan, Mr Hassan has lived in seven different countries and holds a Masters in Public Health from the Emory School of Public Health. He has managed and advised on evaluation, research, strategic planning, facilitation, and program design services for nonprofit organizations for over two decades, holding senior positions in the United Way organization in the United States, coordinating planning, funding, and evaluation of social work projects.

Shanthi Mendis

Shanthi Mendis is an expert in Global Health and was former Senior Adviser/Director, Prevention and Management of Noncommunicable Diseases in the World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva, Switzerland. For nearly two decades she led WHO’s  technical support  and innovative training initiatives in low and middle income countries and contributed to moving  the global agenda forward in noncommunicable diseases. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London and Edinburgh and of the American College of Cardiology. She started her medical career in the UK and prior to joining WHO, practiced  Medicine in the UK and USA and was engaged in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education as Professor of Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine,  Sri Lanka. Her areas of expertise are global public health, medical education, internal medicine, cardiology, research and  health policy development and capacity strengthening in developing countries. 

Reda Sadki

Reda is an educational innovator and social entrepreneur. After two decades in the United Nations and at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), he founded Learning Strategies International ( in 2014 and the Geneva Learning Foundation in 2016.

George Siemens

George Siemens is a Professor and the Executive Director at the Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge (LINK) Research Lab, University of Austin (Texas). He is a writer, theorist, speaker, and researcher on learning, networks, technology, analytics and visualization, openness, and organizational effectiveness in digital environments. In 2008, Siemens and others designed and taught the first massive, open online course (MOOC).

Karen E. Watkins

Karen Watkins is Professor and Coordinator of the Program in Learning Leadership and Organization Development at The University of Georgia. Formerly on the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin, she helped design and build two programs in Human Resource and Organization Development. With Victoria Marsick, Teacher’s College, Columbia University, she co-developed a model of informal and incidental learning as well as of the Dimensions of the Learning Organization Questionnaire as well as the learning organization model from which it was derived. She is a writer, theorist, speaker, and researcher on informal learning and creating a learning culture.