Learning Sciences Exchange Fellow

Bethany Koby

Bethany Koby is a social entrepreneur, educator, creative director, designer and mother on a mission to create new models and experiences that are good for people and the planet. She is the former CEO and co-founder of award winning STEAM experience business Tech Will Save Us; she is on the board of trustees at the Institute of Imagination (iOi), Part of the advisory board for the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), a founding professor at the Vermont College of Art and now the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of Fam, the family inventions studio.

An alumni of Rhode Island School of Design, and having done an MsC in responsibility and business practice at Bath University, Koby started out helping brands and businesses imagine a more collaborative and socially impactful future. In 2012, Koby founded Tech Will Save Us (TWSU) with her husband, Daniel Hirschmann, after they found a discarded, yet working, laptop in a skip. The discovery sparked a desire to address society’s flawed relationship with technology and help impact the next generation in a positive way. From their kitchen table origins, Tech Will Save Us has grown their STEAM play universe and in 2016, they partnered with the BBC to design the micro:bit, the most ambitious education product the BBC has created in over 30 years. A pocket-sized computer used to teach young people to make and code, the micro:bit was given to 1 million kids for free and there are now more than 4 million of them across the world. TWSU sold in over 97 countries and in over 4000 retailers globally including Target, Best Buy, John Lewis, Hamley’s and MoMA design stores. In 2021 Tech Will Save Us was sold to MEL Science, a science based subscription business.

Koby has been named as one of the Sunday Times Maserati 100 and was a nominee for Best High Growth Woman Founder in the UKBAA awards. Koby was awarded Innovator of the Year at the 2018 Technology Playmaker Awards, was the Seven Hills’ Change Maker of the Year. She has been named one of the Designers that Matter by Wired Magazine, one of the Top 50 Creative Leaders by Creative Review, Barclay’s Entrepreneur of the Year, an influential woman in tech by Computer Weekly, and named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET).

She is now leading a social innovation studio called Fam. They are a co-creation partner dedicated to experimenting, prototyping, inventing and monetising kid-friendly, family-centric experiences that inspire learning and are good for the planet. She is also a fellow at the Bio-leadership institute focusing her research and work on how we can think and design more like nature. Originally from Los Angeles, Koby now lives in London with her husband and their 2 sons.