Mark West

Mark West works in UNESCO’s Education Sector where he examines how technology can improve the quality, equity, and accessibility of learning, especially in developing countries.

He leads work on UNESCO’s Global Declaration on Connectivity for Education, a set of principles and commitments to establish new and more human-centered trajectories for the digital transformation of education.

He has spent the past two years analysing lessons learned from country attempts to shift education from schools to connected technologies as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This work will culminate in the publication of a book, entitled An Ed-Tech Tragedy, scheduled for publication in April 2022.

Mr West is also active outlining strategies to make digital solutions more inclusive for people with low literacy skills, helping governments enact policies and practices to ensure that women and girls develop strong digital skills, and advising governments about the educational uses and misuses of new technologies. 

Working as part of a small team that considers how knowledge and learning can help shape just and sustainable futures, he has authored numerous publications about technology and education. His 2019 report, I’d Blush if I Could, led Apple and other technology firms to make major changes to the way Siri and other AI assistants project gender. The work received international media attention and was positively reviewed in The New York Times, Le Monde, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, and Time Magazine, among others. His 2014 publication, Reading in the Mobile Era, brought international attention to the many ways governments, schools and families can leverage inexpensive mobile technologies to advance literacy. 

Prior to joining UNESCO, Mr West researched education in Azerbaijan as a Fulbright Fellow and worked as a teacher and teacher trainer in the United States. He is a graduate of Stanford University.