← Techstars Blog

Professor Lizbeth Goodman (BA, MA, MLitt, PhD), will be one of the judges at Startup Weekend Art London.


Lizbeth’ activities:

  • Professor of Inclusive Design for Education
  • Chair of Creative Technology Innovation at University College Dublin, where she directs SMARTlab and the Inclusive Design Research Centre of Ireland
  • Executive Board member of the Innovation Academy
  • Elected Chair of the Social Sciences Committee of the Royal Irish Academy.

SMARTlab’s European main base is currently located in bespoke sensory studios at UCD, with a new SMARTsolutionsLAB in development off campus, whilst new sister site studios and projects are underway in Seattle at the Digital Futures Lab of the University of Washington, in Toronto at the Ontario College of Art and Design University, in London at Ravensbourne College of Art & Design (in TechCity), and in collaboration with other high level research sites due to come on stream soon.

Lizbeth founded the SMARTlab in its first iteration at the BBC-Open University in 1992 and has developed the world-renowned practice-based PhD Programme through the institute. She founded the associated MAGIC Multimedia and Games Innovation Centre and Gamelab at UEL with industry collaborators, as a prime knowledge transfer space for the Creative Industries and Education, in the London Docklands in 2005.  She has supervised over 36 PhDs to successful completion and has examined another 30 in the UK, Ireland and globally.

She has written and edited 13 books and many peer-reviewed articles and broadcasts. She supervises and mentors PhD and industry/research council projects in the areas of: Inclusive Design for Education and Creative Technology Innovation, Digital Media, ICT4d, Assistive Technologies for People with Disabilities and the Elderly, Technology Futures, Wearables and SMART Textiles, Performance Technologies, Assistive Tech and Innovations, Technology Enhanced Learning for Health and Well Being, Connected Health, Personalised Electronic Health Systems, Digital Materialisation, Virtual Worlds for Digital Inclusion, Haptic and HCI integrated studies, and what Lizbeth calls ‘Meaningful Games’ or Mobile Games for Learning.

Lizbeth and her teams specialise in developing ground-up technology solutions for people of all levels of cognitive and physical ability, from mainstream learners of all ages to ‘special’ and ‘gifted’ learners and lifelong learners in the developed and developing worlds. In all her work, she applies a universal design method to practice-based innovation to transform lives through providing unlimited access to education and tools for creative expression.  She is a lifelong advocate of lifelong learning, and has co-designed some of the most valued and utilised learning technology platforms of the past few decades.

Prior to joining UCD, Lizbeth was Director of Research for Futurelab Education, working with David Puttnam’s team to establish innovative platforms for the future of education in a context of global change.

She is known as an expert in Digital Inclusion, including learning models for communities at risk. She is an award-winning advocate of community-based ethical learning and teaching models using interactive tools and games to inspire and engage learners of all ages. She specialises in working with people who do not have physical voices (whether due to disability, injury, illiteracy, or other social/political factors), enabling the use of new creative technologies for expression vocally, in writing, and with movement and music. She sees the potential for inclusive learning tools and ethnically diverse university sectoral representation to change the landscape of university education, globally. Yet she is an advocate of ‘connected learning’ rather than ‘blended’ or ‘distance’ learning, as she sees the vital role of the personal and embodied learning dynamics as key to success.


Originally trained in Literature, Drama and Philosophy, and active for many years as a professional performer and broadcast (TV-radio-convergent media) researcher/presenter with BBC Interactive Media/Education and the Open University, she has published widely in the areas of digital inclusion, performance technologies, e-learning, connected learning, embodied learning, social networking for community engagement, social entrepreneurship models in ICT, and games for learning. In this regard, she co-developed several groundbreaking teaching and learning tools and games with significant take up worldwide, which have led to the foundation of several successful charities for women and children at risk.

For eight years, Lizbeth worked closely with Microsoft Community Affairs as Senior Researcher on the large scale Club Tech project in the USA- which has reached nearly 7 million of the most disadvantaged children and young people worldwide; that project is now being reconceptualised for roll out in a new format in Europe and the EMEA regions. She is also Honourary International Research Advisor for RITSEC in Cairo and Dubai, and has acted as special advisor to the developing Assistive Technology Centre of ITC Qatar in Doha.

She has won and directed many large international research projects. Current projects include the Doctrid AssistID project which launched in June 2014, supporting 40 full time post-doctoral researchers studying inclusive design for education and the role of assistive technologies in the learning landscape; the Healthbook Project which creates virtual worlds and virtual medical clinics to address major world health challenges such as obesity, whilst providing personalised mobile secure patient data platforms; the Learnovate Centre for which she is one of  UCD’s two co-PIS of the all-Ireland centre for development of new learning technologies; and the E-Access Project for the EC’s Marie Curie Leonardo Programme, which is developing and testing new personalised learning tools for international use.

In the academic sector, she has led departments, schools and institutes to successful outcomes in times of change, and has chaired many validation and exam panels, admissions and assessment committees, as well as dozens of PhD vivas. She has served as the external assessor for numerous MA and PhD programmes internationally. She is currently an active member of the UCD Academic Council, AC Committee on Internationalisation, AC Committee on Research Strategy, AC Committee on Degree Titles and Awards, University Graduate Studies Programme Board, AC Committee on Research Centres and Institutes, as well as Chairing the School of Education’s Graduate Studies Committee and serving on the Executive of the School, and the School Research and Ethics Committees.

In the not-for-profit sector, she is founder and President of the Safespaces.net (SafetyNET): a charity active internationally in the fight to help stop violence against women and children, and of the Trust and Interfaces organisations to make games for children in hospital and persistent care, and for people with severe physical disabilities but unlimited imaginations. She is also an active board member of SpecialEffect: an Oxford-based charity making learning games for young people with special needs.


She sits on many national and international task forces and judging/assessment panels for local and international governments, for the UK Government, the European Commission, the Canadian Innovation Fund, the Wellcome Trust, the British Council, The World Summit for Education, The Humanities in the European Research Area/EC Awards, The World Summit for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Creative Capital, Unesco, et al. She holds industry collaboration projects as PI and has held similar roles previously with the BBC, Microsoft, Nokia, et al. She is currently working closely with JISC and the EPSRC on the ITAAU+ network, exploring the role of IT as a Utility in education and technology development. She is also developing the Roadmap to Open Responsible Innovation in the context of the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Commission.


She won the Lifetime Achievement Award for Volunteer Service to Women and Children in 2003, and has had her technology-performance work for inclusion featured as Best Practice showcase winners at several World Summits since 2003.

In 2008, while leading SMARTlab and the MAGIClab at UEL, she was awarded the top prizes for Best Woman in the Academic and Public Sectors, and Outstanding Woman in Technology, by Blackberry RIM and their international industry judging panels.

Elise Korolev