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Keynote speaker line-up for CAN 2019

Guest blog post from Liz Ellis, Senior Product Development Manager at The Open University and organiser of Change Agents’ Network Conference 2019

The Open University CAN Conference team are excited to share with you our keynote speaker line up. We were determined to deliver our delegates a fresh, interesting perspective that will hopefully spark some great conversations about how we engage with each other as staff and students, and the successful future of partnerships.

Ruby Granger, our opening keynote for Day 1, is a prolific vlogger and active member of the ‘studytuber’ community. Ruby is a first-year student at the University of Exeter, and describes herself a bookworm with a passion for productivity. Using social media in an engaging way, Ruby encourages a generation of students to become the best they can be. Her YouTube channel documents her enviable study habits, including a host of study tips and ‘study-with-mes’, and how her love of learning goes beyond the classroom. Ruby is a vocal anti-bullying advocate, speaking openly about her experience with it and how others can overcome it, and has taken part in several digital wellness campaigns.
Social media links: YouTube Instagram

Julian Stodd, our closing keynote for Day 1, is a writer and consultant on the Social Age. He specialises in exploring learning design, the role of communities, social collaborative technology and social leadership. Author of 10 books and over 1700 articles and blog posts, Julian works on strategy and delivery with many global organisations. You can find his latest writing at
Social media links: Twitter LinkedIn

Scott Hayden, our opening keynote for Day 2, is based at Basingstoke College of Technology where he is a lecturer and manager of a team that supports and trains staff and students in using digital, creative, innovative approaches to learning.

In 2014 he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award for Innovative use of Social Media and EdTech after receiving praise and recognition for work developing new approaches to teaching and learning. He was shortlisted for the 2015 TES FE Teacher of the Year Award and then created and led a team to win the ‘Outstanding use of Technology for Improving Teaching, Learning and Assessment 2018’ award, being named in the EdTech50, and becoming a Google Certified Innovator. You can find him at
Social media links: Twitter

Closing the conference on Day 2 will be Dr Liz Marr, the Interim Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Students) at The Open University. She has responsibility for all student facing development and enhancement, including student retention, progression, achievement and satisfaction, widening access and success, employability, quality monitoring and enhancement and the Teaching Excellence Framework.

Liz has over twenty years’ experience in UK higher education and is co-author of ‘Identity Crisis: Working in Higher Education in the 21st Century’. She is managing editor of the journal ‘Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning’, an editorial board member of Learning and Teaching in the International Social Sciences (LATTISS) and a regular reviewer for Open Learning and EURODL. Liz is President of The European Association of Distance Teaching Universities and an executive member of the Universities Association of Lifelong Learning.

The keynote speakers promise to set a great tone for the jam-packed programme of presentations, workshops, posters and demonstrations. The draft programme for the conference is due to be published imminently.

Buy your tickets for CAN 2019 now, 29-30 May, hosted by The Open University at our campus in Milton Keynes.  Just follow the link to Eventbrite.

For more information on accommodation and travel visit

If you have any questions about CAN 2019, you can drop us a line using our details below:
You can contact us by email at
Or find us on Twitter @CANagogy #CAN19

By Clare Killen

Senior consultant, Jisc data analytics

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