Geographic Lotteries of Learning

Access and Inclusion September 09, 2019

Note: This article has been lightly edited and was originally published in the Edtech Podcast on August 28, 2019 [link]

What’s in this episode?

This week we throwback to a second recording from this year’s WISE@Paris. In this episode you’ll hear from two speakers on the topic of the future of learning, Heidi Harju-Luukkainen, Professor, Nord University and Angel Investor, Khaled Helioui. We look at the impact of genetic disposition and geographic lotteries on learning, on the double edged sword of international rankings, and the problem with coercion as the basis of learning. We explore how to measure impact without creating norms and exclusivity. 


  • Sophie Bailey is the Founder and Presenter of The Edtech Podcast | Twitter: @podcastedtech
  • Prof. Heidi Harju-Luukkainen holds a Ph.D. in education, a special education teacher qualification and a qualification in leadership and management from Finland.

  • Khaled Helioui is an active angel investor having backed mission driven startups such as Uber (first European investor), Deliveroo,, Werlabs, Soldo, Upgraded, Yumi or Bolt

Quotes from this episode

  • “More than enough right now is just chasing growth at all costs.”
  • “Coercion is the best way to hinder learning.”
  • “We forget that some of the most necessary innovation is not a technology innovation…it is an innovation of a business model, it is an innovation of incentives.” 
  • “We need to stop feeding information into students in blocks. It needs to be connected.” 
  • “Students with an immigrant background are lagging two years behind students without an immigrant background.