I was really sad to hear today that Sir Ken Robinson has died, at 70, of cancer. A working class lad from Liverpool who done good, Robinson was a hugely influential academic on education policy, teaching and advising governments around the world. He was revered in the arts world for his insistence that creative and cultural education was as important as maths and science.
If that makes him sound like a po-faced liberal lefty, well he was probably guilty of two of those. But he was also one of the funniest performers I have ever seen on any stage. He was a keynote speaker at a conference I was at once. When he came on he was faced with a thousand jaundiced delegates wondering when they could get out to their first pint of the evening. 45 minutes later he had a standing ovation.
If he is known at all outside the world of cultural and educational policy it’s probably for his Ted Talk, which was – and remains – the most viewed ever. Here it is. If you haven’t seen it it’s worth quarter of an hour of your time.