David Harkin



David Harkin is an entrepreneur, a proud TEDx speaker (with 100,000+views of his talk) and author, who dedicates his life to connecting people with their own ideas. He does this via his ideas’ company 7billionideas,which was founded in 2012 and has two arms-Education and Corporate. He was a finalist at the UK Business Awards 2018 in the category of ‘Entrepreneur of the Year'. David is proudly the Entrepreneur in Residence at Surbiton High School in London and Arcadia Preparatory School in Dubai. He has recently been appointed the Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Harrow Hong Kong and British School of Jakarta. His company has worked with over 75,000 students across the world delivering world-class enterprise and entrepreneurial services in and outside of the classroom.


GESS Talks Arena

27 February 2020 | 11:00 - 11:20 | Creating a generation that will change the world

In these uncertain times, David will make the case for how we, as educators of the next generation, can help them become world-changers. This begins by influencing the next generation’s mindset and providing them with the skills and knowledge to act on improving the world. Education is then key, but changes in educational and attitudinal approaches are needed. David will inspire the audience to consider the inclusion of entrepreneurship in education as a catalyst to help develop character, resilience, creativity and self-reliance, so that a can-do attitude becomes an intrinsic modus operandi for the next generation. But also needed is a holistic approach from the educational entity, which needs to adopt and practice a relentless innovation mindset. David will draw from his vast experience in the education sector to show the audience how to achieve these changes and help create a generation that will change the world.


Leadership stream

26 February 2020 | 10:30 - 11:00 | Embracing a world class mentality - What schools can learn from the theory of marginal gains

How to build a world-class mentality in schools? A world-class mindset is needed and to appreciate the theory of marginal gains in every aspect of a school’s life. David will draw on his experiences of building an award-winning organisation and his background from corporate. He will inspire the audience to innovate from within their schools and to build a world-class school. He will introduce the concept of marginal gains and show fascinating examples from the world of business and sports He will talk about the theory of compound interest and how, in successful or in failing schools respectively, they are either building an environment of compound success or of compound failure. It is never one reason why a school becomes world-class, but often thousands, all adding up and having a profound impact. Every school in the world can aspire to be world-class with the right mindset in place and appreciating the theory of marginal gains.


26 February 2020 | 13:30 - 13:40 | Can a 4 year old change the world?

David will be tackling the question of whether or not a 4-year-old can come up with an idea that could change the world? He will bring his unique expertise to this question and will discuss how he feels we should explore the uninhibited insight into the world that a 4-year old has. David is an entrepreneur who dedicates his life to connecting people with their own ideas.