Vale, Sir Ken Robinson: A visionary who inspired educators the world over

Vale, Sir Ken Robinson: A visionary who inspired educators the world over

by Freya Lucas

August 26, 2020

Sir Ken Robinson, PhD, passed away 21 August 2020, following a short battle with cancer. 


A New York Times bestselling author, Sir Ken led national and international projects on creative and cultural education across the world, unlocking and igniting the creative energy of people and organisations. 


The most watched speaker in TED history, Sir Ken’s 2006 TED talk “Do schools kill creativity?” has been viewed over 60 million times, by an estimated 380 million people in over 150 countries. 


His TED talk called for a radical rethink of schooling, describing the existing model as one which was built to service the needs of the industrial revolution. Instead, he argued, educators should be preparing children for a world of unpredictability, placing stronger focus on creativity and learning through failure, rather than shying from it. 


“If you’re not prepared to be wrong” he said “you will never come up with something original. By the time children get to be adults, they have lost that capacity. They have become frightened of being wrong.” 


Such a system educates people out of their creative capacity, he noted, adding “I believe passionately that we don’t grow into creativity – we grow out of it, or rather, we are educated out of it.” 


Named as one of Time/Fortune/CNN’s ‘Principal Voices’; acclaimed by Fast Company magazine as one of ‘the world’s elite thinkers on creativity and innovation’ and ranked in the Thinkers50 list of the world’s top business thinkers, Sir Ken was knighted in 2003 by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to the arts.


Having spent his life residing between Los Angeles, California and London, England, Sir Ken is survived by his wife Lady Thérèse Robinson, their two children, James and Kate, son-in-law Anthony and a granddaughter.