On behalf of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, it is a privilege to welcome delegates and scholars from across the globe to this, the 17th Biennial World Conference.
The overarching theme for this conference is the way different cultures create different conceptions of giftedness and talent, which in turn feed into differing policies and practices. To explore this theme we have invited lead speakers from Africa, Canada, China, Finland, The United Kingdom and the United States of America. We already know that there will be delegates from up to 50 countries at the conference, offering an unrivalled opportunity for us all to learn from each other's policy, practice and research.
We are particularly pleased to be able to welcome as a lead speaker Professor Loyiso Nongxa, Vice Chancellor of Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg. Professor Nongxa was South Africa’s first black Rhodes scholar and first black Vice Chancellor and has developed an important programme to improve access to university for children in the South African townships.
We are also delighted to welcome Nancy Green who is the Executive Director of The National Association for Gifted Children, America; Dr Chris Yapp, Head of Public Sector Innovation at Microsoft UK - well known for his thinking about learning in the future and Dr Elena Grigorenko, Associate Professor of Child Studies and Psychology at Yale University and Associate Professor of Psychology at Moscow State University.
The conference is being generously supported by the UK Government through its Department for Education and Skills. The conference programme has a strong emphasis on policy frameworks and I hope that this will give us an opportunity to share our learning on this particular aspect of gifted education.
My hope is that all the key stakeholders in the field of gifted and talented education across the globe - be they parents, teachers, policy makers, researchers or academics - will join us in the spirit of collaboration and willingness to learn from each other and help us to continue to develop the worlds of giftedness and talent!
Professor Deborah Eyre
Director, The National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth