I wish to strengthen schools in the idea that the space and freedom between the poles is much greater than they think. I want to ‘liberate’ schools, together with the school team and school leadership.
Bert obtained his master in Pedagogical Sciences with a specialization in Social Pedagogy at the KU Leuven and is passionate about learning- and change processes. He worked as a lector and teacher in Higher Education Institutes and is chairman of Mystery of Education a platform for innovation in education. It is a network of educational leaders in Flanders, Belgium that boosted already more than 80 innovative educational projects.
Bert Smits is co-founder, CEO and director of Schoolmakers, a cooperation supporting schools from nursery to adult education in learning and change management. Schoolmakers works closely with boards of directors, school management teams, teachers, students, parent committees, pedagogical counselors, ….Bert is also chairman of the board of directors of ‘De Kraal’ a group of schools situated in Herent, nearby Leuven.
Bert is a frequently asked keynote speaker and author of various books, published articles and columns in educational journals and newspapers (https://www.bertsmits.be/wordpress/). His newest book ‘Everybody Schoolmaker: investing in learning together’ was released in march 2020 (in dutch)
Besides his expertise in the educational field, Bert worked for many years as an internal and since 2007 as an external organization consultant. He is co-founder and director of Tweeperenboom, a cooperative with 11 associates, located at the border of Leuven city. Tweeperenboom designs and facilitates complex multistakeholder breakthrough projects in the field of societal transition.
Above all, he’s a social entrepreneur helping governments, companies, schools and other organizations by building and facing complex transition processes. Fascinated by environments where multiple stakeholder interests play, he creates contexts aiming to develop the organization in his broader social context. Learning, future exploration and vision building, participation and interaction are they key elements in these processes.