Rob Houben


Rob Houben is an educational leader, change-maker / creator. He started teaching in the year 2000. Specialized in using technology within education. In 2010, he took the initiative to transition the school where he was teaching from a school with 200 pc’s into a school with Wi-Fi and Chromebooks for everybody. One of the first schools in The Netherlands who started working with Chromebooks. Meanwhile, he was involved in building new courses for the Dutch National Curriculum. He specialized in personalizing education using the best parts of regular education. He believes learning should start with building motivation, self-esteem, and becoming a social networker. In 2015, he got involved with Agora. With 5 colleagues and 60 students, they started working at this government-funded secondary school without using timetables, courses, or age groups. They learn students to manage their own learning process, starting with a simple question: What do you want to make, do or learn? And whatever the answer is, they go from there. At the moment there are 20 Agora schools in The Netherlands, Belgium by their example. Rob has experience as a teacher, policymaker, project leader, team leader, manager, coach and facilitator.With his strong analytical skills, practical approach, open mind, and infectious enthusiasm he’s able to observe, give feedback, give you new ideas and solutions, and help you to deploy them. That's why organizations and schools like Agora & Green School SA hire him.


Leaders in Education Conference

16 November 2022 | 10:30 - 10:55 | English | Everybody deserves to be treated unequally

If our educational system wants to live up to what the zeitgeist asks of us now and in the future, we have to learn to respectfully treat people unequally. Our commendable quest for equality in education has taken us too far. Students, staff members and everybody involved deserves to be treated unequally, because they are. That’s what makes them happy and unique. That’s what makes them special! Rob Houben believes all the elements and knowledge are there to achieve a form of education that makes everyone excel. Now we have to dare to rearrange our organisations to make this happen. And that’s what Rob and his colleagues are doing since Agora started in 2014. Agora is a government-funded public secondary school in Roermond, The Netherlands. A school where students learn to manage their own learning process, without predefined courses, classes, timetables, or age groups.


Future Transformation Zone

16 November 2022 | 11:30 - 12:00 | English | An armchair chat with Rob Houben with questions from Stephen Cox


16 November, 2022 | 15:50 to 16:40
So … what IS the future of work?

This forward-thinking panel session, chaired by Dr Helen Wright, will challenge the participants to think about what the world of work could and should look like, and how schools need to prepare their students to respond – and shape – this vision. Areas covered will include:

·      What do children and young people really want out of work and life?

·       What are we doing in schools to lead the way?

·       How can we plan in schools for the future of the world of work?