Adam Barton

Faculty of Education

Adam Barton is an implementation and change scientist studying how to make education innovations work in practice. As a strategy and research consultant, Adam regularly advises global organizations and policymakers on designing, aligning, and implementing sustainable policies and programs. He most recently served as a lead researcher at the Brookings Institution, where he directed projects on community beliefs, family engagement, and global education reform. Other recent work includes advising the Delhi and São Paulo ministries on reform implementation; designing systems change strategies for global organizations, including the LEGO Foundation and OECD; and researching co-creative innovation as a Luce Scholar at API Tokyo. He is a Cambridge International Scholar completing his PhD at the Faculty of Education.

Adam’s research explores the complex social, cognitive, and emotional dynamics of educational change. He investigates barriers to and enablers of innovation – human processes such as aligning values, shifting mindsets, and building buy-in. His work began with a co-authored book, Leapfrogging Inequality, which assessed the potential of 3,000 international innovations to empower today’s learners. He built on this work to study the mindsets of diverse communities involved in educational reform, producing reports and articles using data from nearly 5,000 parents, 3,000 teachers, 40 funders, and 20 ministers. His doctoral work specifically studies the shifting beliefs and behaviors of 5,000 students, teachers, and administrators implementing reform in Brazilian public schools.

Other 2023 award winners

Mohammed Ibraheem Ahmed

Stephen Ajadi

Maria Donde

David Hardman

Rosana-Bristena Ionescu

Akaash Kumar

Serena MacMillan

Ismail Sami

Yuqi Sun

Yizhou Yu

Caroline Zellmer

Previous award winners

Find out about the winners awarded in previous years: