TOK Talkers

Welcome to our new service for schools looking to make the theory of knowledge course more relevant to the real world, and inspire their students: TOK Talkers.

 
Our TOK Talkers are all ‘expert knowers’ (and ‘doers’) who are able to speak on a range of topics relevant to the course, and who will help you to achieve the three key aims of TOK – encouraging open-mindedness, honing critical thinking, and demonstrating to students how to ‘think differently’.
 
As we indicate below, the topics offered by our TOK Talkers are very closely aligned to the 8 Big Questions, although these can be modified according to the needs of individual schools. Use the contact form at the bottom of the page to indicate what you’d like these brilliant people to explore with your students.
 

THE FILM DIRECTOR: Barney Elliott

 

Barney completed his postgraduate degree at the London Film School (2003). In 2006, he wrote and directed his short film True Colours, which premiered at the Premier Plans Festival in Agers, France, where it was merited with two Jury Prizes.
 
Due to True Colours exhibiting at nearly 100 international festivals and winning many awards, Barney was then selected to be one of the six writer-directors at The Cannes Film Foundation’s La Residence. There he lived in Paris, and wrote the first two drafts of his first feature film project The Debt. The Debt was released in 2016, and starred Stephen Dorff, David Strathairn, Carlos Bardem, Alberto Ammann.

Executive-produced by Christine Vachon, it had a 10-city US theatrical release and is currently on demand as well as Netflix. The film tells the gripping story of a moral dilemma for a hedge-fund manager, who stands to make a huge amount of money at the expense of an entire country. What gives it particular power is that it is based on real events.
 
Barney can talk about anything related to the film-making and writing business, in particular – given the central role of moral questions at the heart of his movies – the relationship between the arts and ethics. He can also provide a great insight into where the line is between truth and fiction, and how that question shapes the role of both the creator of a film, and its actors. This makes him a fantastic resource for BQ3: Connections and BQ5: Representing Reality.
 
Barney has resided in Lima, Peru, with his wife and daughter since 2009, but he also spends several months of the year in New York. For more details about Barney, consult his website.
 
 

THE JOURNALIST: Paul Keller

 

After graduating with an MA in Literature from Cambridge University, Paul worked as a foreign news correspondent for Reuters (based in Paris), the Financial Times (Peru and Bolivia) and the BBC (Miami), during the period 1990-2010.
 
He is now a regular European affairs columnist for El Comercio in Peru, a freelance contributer to the Times, and the FT Weekend, and is currently writing a novel/film treatment loosely based on the fall of Berlin in 1945.

He is also a Film and TOK teacher at an international school in Lima, so not only does he have a great deal of knowledge and experience of life outside the classroom, he is also able to incorporate it inside as well.
Because of his background and his skills, Paul is a perfect speaker for BQ5: Representing Reality, BQ6: Perspectives, and BQ8: Authority figures, but he’d be happy to apply his amazing experience to any topic that you’d like to explore in TOK.
 
 

TOK Talk Enquiry

 
To book any of our TOK Talkers, use the form below to contact us, outlining who you are interested in inviting to your school, when you’d like to program it, and what topic you’d like them to explore. We’ll get back to you very quickly, and put the details in place.
 
We’re also looking for more TOK Talkers to join our team. If you’ve led a ‘life less ordinary’, have a special skill or experience that lends itself well to TOK, and are interested in travelling around the world and talking in schools in amazing locations, then drop us a line – we’d love you to join us!