Grainne Hamilton


Grainne Hamilton is a strategist, author and designer who advises leaders on digital innovation and transformation. She has developed conceptual blueprints for emerging technology, including city-wide skills pathways for the award-winning Cities of Learning UK; contributed authorship to the open skills standard that seeded the digital credentials movement; and defined best practices for leading remote teams and open education, with Russell Group universities. She is creator of the Mesh human-centric organisational design approach, and written about it in the book Mesh, influenced skills policy in the UK and EU, and delivered courses, including Future-Ready Government and Workplace of the Future masterclasses, to leaders from governments, global NGOs and Fortune 100 companies including Red Hat/IBM, Greenpeace and the European Commission.

Selected Work


A human-centric organisational design

  • Mesh model (2021)
  • Mesh method (2022)
  • Mesh: A Human-Centric Organisational Design for a Decentralised World (Book. 2022)

Open Badges

The original, global open recognition standard

Cities of Learning UK

Award-winning, place-based approach to enhancing lifelong learning and access to enrichment opportunities



  • Hamilton, G. & Kelchner, J. (2022) Mesh: A Human-Centric Organisational Design for a Decentralised World. Interchange Publications
  • Hamilton, G. & Kelchner, J. (2022). What Blocks Open Culture? Proceedings of: Red Hat Summit 2022. Boston, USA. May 2022
  • Hamilton, G. & Kelchner, J. (2022). Open Culture & Open Leadership. Proceedings of: Red Hat Leadership Community of Practice. Online. February 2022


  • Hamilton, G. (2021). Open Collaboration, Opening Sustainability. Proceedings of: OpenUK Technology for Sustainability Day. COP26, United Nations Climate Change Conference, Glasgow, Scotland, November 2021
  • Hamilton, G. & Kelchner, J. (2021). Future-Ready Government. Proceedings of: Future-Ready Government Interchange Conference. Latin American Public Sector. Online. November 2021
  • Hamilton, G. & Kelchner, J. (2021). Workplace of the Future. Proceedings of: Workplace of the Future Interchange Masterclass. European Commission. Online. June 2021





  • Konert, J., Buchem, I., Lewis, L., Hamilton, G., & Riches, T. (2017). Competency Alignment of Open Badges. In Emerging Technologies for Education and C. M. Stracke, M. Shanks, O. Tveiten (Eds.) Smart Universities Education’s Digital Future. Official Proceedings of the International World Learning Summit and LINQ Conference. Kristiansand, Norway, 2017
  • Hamilton, G. (2017). Can Open Badges Enhance Employability? Proceedings of: Employability Week, The Open University, Milton Keynes, England, November 2017
  • Hamilton, G. (2017). Keynote: Where are we with Open Badges? Proceedings of: Open Badges in HE, University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland, June 2017
  • Hamilton, G. (2017). Digital Credentials. Proceedings of: Cities of Learning Stakeholder Event, Plymouth, England, June 2017


  • Hamilton, G. (2016). Are you sure you want to use Open Badges? An Open Badges Quality Hack Session! Proceedings of the ALT-C Winter Conference, online, December 2016
  • Hamilton, G. (2016). Open Badges are Quality! Proceedings of MozFest 2016, London, England, November 2016
  • Hamilton, G. (2016). Open Badges and Quality Management. Open Badge Network Project Report. (Open Badge Network, Erasmus+) October 2016
  • Hamilton, G., & Foley, V. (2016). Exploring employer perceptions of open badges 
in supporting young unemployed people into 
employment, education or training. Proceedings of the ALT conference, University of Warwick, England, September 2016
  • Hamilton, G. (2016). Sharing achievements across the web with Open Badges – How to design a badge of value. Proceedings of the 25th European Distance and E-Learning Network Conference, EDEN 2016, Budapest, Hungary, June 2016.
  • Hamilton, G. (2016). Guidelines for Open Badges in Territories. Open Badge Network Project Report. (Open Badge Network, Erasmus+) June 2016
  • Devedzic, V., Nowakowski, M., Hamilton, G., Lewis, L. (2016). Open Badges in Education. Proceedings of the Open Education Global Conference 2016. Krakow, Poland, April 2016


  • Hamilton, G. (2015). Badge-based Pathways to Employment. Proceedings of MozFest 2015, London, England, November 2015
  • Hamilton, G. (2015). Open Badges as Bridges: Design, Create, Connect. Proceedings of MozFest 2015 Fringe Event, Glasgow, Scotland, October 2015
  • Hamilton, G., & Buchem, I. (2015). Open Badges as part of the Open Education ecosystem. Proceedings of EduCamp 2015. Berlin, Germany, September 2015.
  • Hamilton, G. (2015). Creating a new learning currency which recognises people’s skills and achievements. Proceedings of Scot-BUG event, Perth Scotland, September 2015


  • Hamilton, G. (2014). The role of badging for recognising skills, abilities and learning. Proceedings of the Open University Symposium, Glasgow, Scotland, June 2014
  • Hamilton, G. (2014). Open Badges. Proceedings of Crossover Edinburgh, Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, Scotland, June 2014
  • Hamilton, G. (2014). Open Thinking, Open Learning. Proceedings of the D14 Summit, SECC, Glasgow, Scotland, June 2014
  • Hamilton, G., & Casilli, C. (2014). Discover Open Badges. Proceedings of: MoodleMoot 2014. Edinburgh, Scotland, April 2014
  • Hamilton, G. (2014). Open Badges. Live talk for RSCtv. Online, February 2014


  • Hamilton, G., & Scott, S. (2013). Meeting the needs of digital learners and improving employability through open accreditation. Proceedings of: Association of Colleges (AoC) Annual Conference 2013. Birmingham, England, November 2013
  • Hamiltoh, G. (2013). Open Badges. What? How? Why? Proceedings of the Open Knowledge Foundation meetup. Glasgow, Scotland, November 2013
  • Hamilton, G. (2013). Developing an Open Badge Eco-system. Proceedings of The Mozilla Summit 2013, Brussels, Belgium, October 2013
  • Hamilton, G. (2013). Enhancing Assessment Practices. Proceedings of The Assessment Summit. Stirling, Scotland, March 2013


  • Hamilton, G. (2011). Learning Online – A Guide to Empowering and Facilitating Online Communications. Ardcairn


  • Hamilton, G. (2007). eLearning – it’s not just about the technology. Proceedings of LNSE Conference 2007: Towards a Learning Culture. Glasgow, Scotland. March 2007


  • Hamilton, G. & Blair, J. (2006). Learning to Learn in Scottish Social Work Education. Proceedings of PICTAL 2006, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland


  • Hamilton, G. & Blair, J. (2005). Online Collaborative Learning in Social Work Education. Ardcairn

IMS Global

Joint Research Centre, European Commission


Board Membership

  • Equate Scotland. Representing the Scottish tech sector. (2016-2017)
  • Open Badge Network. EU Erasmus+ funded project. (2015-2017)
  • e-Assessment Association. (2011-2013)
  • The Scottish Colleges e-Assessment Group (2010-2014)
  • Scottish Social Services Sector Knowledge Management Board. (2008-2010)

Founder & Chair

  • Women in Tech, Scotland. (2014-2018)
  • Open Badges in Scottish Education Group (OBSEG). (2013-2014)
  • Scottish MOOC forum. (2013-2014)
  • Scottish Open Badges Forum. (2012-2014)
  • Scottish e-Assessment Forum. (2011-2014)


  • Scottish Moodle User Group (2010-2014)

HundrED award (2019).

  • Cities of Learning UK recognised as one of the top 100 global education initiatives.

Listed on the Mozilla Monument, San Francisco (2013)

  • “Doing good is part of our code. These are the educators, technologists, thinkers and builders, past and present, who help us keep the Internet alive and freely accessible – a global community working to empower people to be informed contributors and creators of the Web.”

Honourary Mozillian (2013)

  • For contribution to the development of the original global open recognition standard, Open Badges.