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Kirsty Chadwick

Group CEO


New Zealand-born Kirsty Chadwick was first cast in the role of educator at the age of 15, tutoring violin and piano at her school. That passion has followed her all her life. While on the path to becoming a concert pianist, Kirsty suffered an injury to her hand; it was an easy choice that she transition to a teaching college and earn her diploma. She went on to become an entrepreneur, starting mortgage and financial services companies in the UK, but even in that Kirsty’s love of education shone through as she illuminated council tenants of their rights in buying property and set up training programmes for financial advisors.

When she moved to Cape Town in 2005, Kirsty was struck by the number of high school graduates struggling to enter the job market due to underdeveloped skills. This set her to pondering the potential for technology-enabled and accessible learning in South Africa, and her entrepreneurial spirit manifested once more when she founded The Training Room Online in 2008.

Over the past 13 years, TTRO has embarked on a journey of global ambitions under Kirsty’s leadership. The company has partnered with Anglo American and its subsidiaries to deliver training and learning solutions to thousands of miners globally; worked with the Innovation Centre for Industry 4.0 in Saudi Arabia to help the kingdom realise a new, diversified economic model less dependant on oil and gas; and launched a graduate development programme for unemployed workers to fill gaps in the EdTech skills market in both South Africa and Saudi Arabia; among others.

Through it all, Kirsty has been driven by a singular vision: using technology to provide easy, universal access to quality education in emerging and developing nations. And as far as she’s concerned, this vision is still in its infancy; there’s no reason to rest on her laurels just yet! With an eye ever on the future, she pictures TTRO partnering with the highest levels of intergovernmental organisations, coordinating efforts to democratise education worldwide and solving problems too large for any single entity to tackle. She aims to be at the forefront of thought leadership and to build a diversified company that can transform education into a lifelong, ever-evolving adventure for millions of learners.

Kirsty is quick to point out that she does not labour alone in her endeavours, graciously acknowledging the passion, hard work and creative insanity brought to the table by her TTRO family – “together, we believe anything is possible”. Kirsty has assembled a team that will weave, duck and dive to meet any challenge and that is deeply devoted to TTRO’s goals. In addition to her TTRO family, Kirsty is a proud mom to a teenage son who offers constant encouragement and support and who serves as a source of endless inspiration.