Dr. Karen Edge

University College London, UK 

Title: The 5 most powerful leadership lessons from 2020: Communication, transparency, inclusivity, pacing and wellbeing

Across political, corporate and educational organizations, the COVID19 pandemic has tested leaders and followers in unprecedented ways. While there is a healthy body of evidence examining crisis leadership, the pandemic has evolved alongside growing global advocacy movements to prioritize gender and racial equity. In this context, 2020 provides an opportunity to reflect on leadership lessons to carry forward into 2021 and beyond. Drawing from the academic and corporate research and personal observation, this interactive talk will frame five leadership lessons to support leaders, researchers and educators as they continue to build productive, caring and purposeful organizations.


Dr. Karen Edge is currently a Reader in Educational Leadership at UCL Institute of Education and recently served as Pro-Vice Provost (International) at University College London, UK. Karen has conducted research in over 30 countries and has recently completed a 6 jurisdiction study of teacher motivation and retention. Karen’s Global City Leaders Project worked with Generation X (under 40-year-old) school leaders in London, New York City and Toronto to understand more about their work, lives and ambitions. Karen is also preparing two books on Generation X leaders (Routledge) and City-based education policy contexts and the influence on school leaders (Bloomsbury). She sits on ESRC (UK), Danish and Swiss National Research Review Panels and the Advisory Panel for International School Leadership Principals [http://internationalschoolleadership.com/] in Ontario. She is Past Editor-in-Chief of Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability (EAEA) and a current Editorial Board Member for EAEASchool Leadership and Management and Leadership and Policy in Schools. She completed her Ph.D. in knowledge management and educational reform at the Ontario Institute of the Education/University of Toronto. Karen is a highly sought-after keynote speaker. She is known for being able to blend theory and practice with insight and humour.