Mr Salman Khan

Founder and CEO, Khan Academy


Lifelong Learning System, Literacy for All, Teachers, Women and Girls education, ICT in Education

Focus by region

Asia, Europe, North America, South America

Pioneer of using technology to humanize education

“The luminaries represent a unique range of talent and perspectives. They have the potential to shape the field of education. There are many opportunities to devise and experiment with new approaches by working together. ”

Mr Salman Khan

Salman Khan – better known as Sal – reaches millions of learners around the world with a project he started in his bedroom. The videos he made to help his cousin improve in math have inspired a free, world-class online learning platform.

Mr Khan holds three degrees from MIT, and an MBA from Harvard. He’s known for big ideas like ‘Flipping the Classroom’, which have inspired other founders of massive open online courses (MOOCs). Fellow luminary and Yidan Prize laureate Professor Anant Agarwal even coined the acronym KSV – for ‘Khan Style Video’ – when talking about best-in-class online teaching.

In 2014, Mr Khan founded the not-for-profit Khan Lab School in Mountain View, California, to demonstrate how his alternative model of education works for face-to-face learning. The school’s curriculum is based on his principle of ‘Mastery Learning’: students learn in mixed-age groups, and move on from one topic to the next based on their grasp of it – not the timetable of the school.

The only non-profit leader to feature on the cover of Forbes, Mr Khan’s philosophy of teaching and learning keeps students firmly at the center: creating an environment to let them learn on their terms, and at their pace.


Employing technology to dissolve the conventional model between students and teachers

Founded in 2008, Khan Academy is a non-profit organization with a mission of providing free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere through a set of online tools. To date, it has over 73 million registered users from all over the world. Resources have been translated to over 36 languages.

The Academy produces short lessons in the form of videos across a wide range of subjects and grades. Mr Khan believes that students should learn at their own pace – an important feature of Khan Academy.

The Academy also provides free tools for parents and teachers to better coach their children. For many students, Khan Academy acts as the world-class tutor that their family could not otherwise afford. 

There are multiple, high quality efficacy studies that have shown that not only does Khan Academy have surprising reach, but it also is extremely effective at improving student outcomes. 

Mr Khan aspires to re-architect the very nature of the education system over time, in a way that drives better outcomes and humanizes the experience for students and teachers alike.

Mr Khan’s book The One World Schoolhouse was considered by new school founders as the blueprint for what the future of schooling should become. He was recognized as one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.