Dr Rick van der Zwan


Extol Analytics

Dr Rick van der Zwan spent more than 20 years as a behavioural neuroscientist investigating the neural processes underpinning social behaviours. He key research focus was on understanding how people interact, and particularly how they perceive each other. In 2014 Rick left the university sector and set up his own strategic analytics business. Rick has provided services to a range of organisations including universities, NGOs, NFPs, international schools, and to Government. His work has taken him around the world, including projects in Switzerland, Norway, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Canada, and the USA. The impact of his work has influenced government policy and strategy not just in Australia, but also in Europe. Most recently, Rick has been working to help schools and businesses leverage their human capital. Rick believes it is time to stop wondering about what the future-of-education might look like. He’d rather build it. His goal? To help young humans rise with the machines! Rick is an experienced presenter and writer. He has spoken at more than 100 conferences and workshops. He presented on Australia’s ABC radio for more than 10 years. He has more than 100 scientific publications across all types of media, and is an expert at unpacking difficult ideas. Rick holds an Honours Degree in Psychology and a PhD, both from the University of Sydney.


Education in action

27 February 2020 | 15:00 - 15:30 | Tools for building and measuring successful global citizens

The speeds at which globalisation and technological development are occurring have never been faster, and they are accelerating The challenge for schools is to build environments that prepare students for the challenges and opportunities they will face in what the OECD has described as an “uncertain” future. Students always will need to acquire knowledge (maths, languages, science, and so on). But, now, other skills are as important. The future of work will require of successful students skills in flexible thinking, in innovation and creation, in communication and collaboration, problem solving, and in cultural awareness. Successful students will need also optimism, humility, gratitude, integrity, and tenacity. We describe tools that allow schools to measure and report on the development of those behaviours and traits in the same way scores in maths and language and science are reported now. Importantly, reports allow schools to develop learning plans tailored to their students.