Often coined ‘the Davos of education’, the Global Education & Skills Forum continues to address the challenges of education, equity and employment for all.


Each year the Global Education & Skills Forum brings together world leaders from the public, private and social sectors seeking solutions to achieving education, equity and employment for all.

Over two days, 1,600 delegates at the Global Education & Skills Forum share, debate and shape new ways for education to transform our world.

An initiative of the Varkey Foundation, the Global Education & Skills Forum is an essential platform for collaboration and problem solving - taking ‘how it should be’ forward into innovative, multi-stakeholder ‘how do we get there?’


  • 20+ serving and former Heads of State and Prime Ministers
  • 60+ Ministers of Education
  • Senior representatives from the United Nations including UNESCO and UN Global Compact; as well as other public and social policy leaders
  • Hundreds of CEOs & business leaders from organisations such as Huawei, Allen & Overy, PwC, Barclays, Lego, Microsoft, WPP plc.
  • Education leaders from the OECD, global children’s charities, world renowned universities and private schools and the International Baccalaureate Organisation.
  • Thousands teachers and school leaders, including the Top Ten Finalists of the Global Teacher Prize
  • Media influencers from CNN, the BBC and The Economist, as well as hundreds of publications & media outlets worldwide including The Times, Washington Post, The New York Times, Forbes Magazine, TES and the Huffington Post.


The Global Education & Skills Forum is an initiative of the Varkey Foundation. By bringing together leaders from the public, private and social sectors we demonstrate that education is key to solving many global issues.

We believe nothing is more important to achieving this than motivated and high-quality teachers who can inspire children in our schools. Through our programmes and initiatives the Varkey Foundation supports global teaching capacity and seeds excellence and innovation in the next generation of educators.

Simply, a quality education for every child requires a quality teacher for every child, and in turn a fairer, more open and tolerant society for us all.



Convened annually at the Global Education & Skills Forum, GESF Alliances are a network of invitation-only groups that convene and collaborate around key education related subjects with the central purpose of stimulating new dialogue, shaping agendas and driving initiatives.

Each alliance is made up of 8 – 12 experts, who come together to promote innovative thinking, incubating projects, campaigns and events for the public good.

2017 Alliances

2017 Alliances

  1. Alternative models for university
  2. New financing models for schools
  3. Post-Conflict and Peace Education
  4. Global citizenship
  5. Climate change education
  6. Creativity and Arts in Education
  7. Assessment & impact in development