Founder and Partner, Collaborative Impact

Former Senior Director for Global Education Strategic Partnerships, Microsoft Corporation
Greg Butler has extensive experience at every level of education, having worked as a teacher, school principal, and educational researcher, as well as working for the education department of New South Wales, Australia, and heading Microsoft’s Partners in Learning initiative.

Through the innovation-brokering enterprise he founded, Collaborative Impact, Greg is involved in organizing a global partnership called New Pedagogies for Deep Learning. This project draws support from academia, governments, NGOs such as the Gates Foundation, and corporations such as Intel, Microsoft, Promethean, and Pearson. The project’s goal is to radically transform 1000 schools in 10 countries around the world to take account of new learning technologies and the new environment that education finds itself in.

Greg wants to take the best of what we know and tranform education into something far better. “It’s not a matter of making a better mousetrap, refining the system,” he says. Today’s model of education was created when information was scarce and centralised—but the Internet has changed all that. In fact, many students now do their best learning out of school through their electronic devices, while school becomes a place of boredom and disengagement. Teachers feel it, too—their job satisfaction has plummeted to levels rarely, if ever, seen before.

By 2030, Greg hopes that education won’t look anything like it does today. “I hope that learning isn’t about schooling,” he says. “It’s something we do all the time, and we have smart tools and processes to support that.” Greg also hopes to see schools shift their focus toward preparing students to cultivate and use “modern” or “future” technologies, like robotics and renewable energy sources such as solar cells.

When he’s not working to reform education, Greg loves to be out on the roads on his motorbike. “That’s my adrenaline rush,” he says.