OEB 2017 Opening Plenary: Learning Uncertainty
Uncertainty is the defining characteristic of our age. Are workplaces, governments and societies prepared for our uncertain future? How should universities, colleges, schools and workplaces adapt? What should employers do now to plan for the flexible workforce they will need in the future? OEB's Opening Plenary session is about acknowledging uncertainty and preparing for it. It shows how transformative education, training and learning can equip businesses, organisations and individuals with the skills to survive and prosper.
Broadcast Journalist, UK
In 2016 Nik Gowing co-authored interim findings of the “Thinking the Unthinkable” study. The work is currently scaling up because of global anxieties about the new pressures on leaderships. It is based on hundreds of top level confidential interviews and conversations with corporate and public service leaders, plus hundreds more conversations with the new generation of millennials. Findings so far reveal candidly why so many leaders face new difficulties identifying what looms in the disruptions of the “new normal” that have emerged since 2014. New vulnerabilioties are confirmed. The findings are scary.
Nik Gowing was a main news presenter for the BBC’s international 24-hour news channel BBC World News 1996-2014. He presented The Hub with Nik Gowing, BBC World Debates, Dateline London , plus location coverage of major global stories.
For 18 years he worked at ITN where he was bureau chief in Rome and Warsaw, and Diplomatic Editor for Channel Four News (1988-1996). He has been a member of the councils of Chatham House (1998–2004), the Royal United Services Institute (2005–present), and the Overseas Development Institute (2007-2014), the board of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy including vice chair (1996-2005), and the advisory council at Wilton Park (1998-2012 ). In 1994 he was a fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Barone Center in the J. F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He is a board member for the Hay Literature Festival.
His peer-reviewed study at Oxford University “Skyful of Lies and Black Swans” predicted and identified the new vulnerability, fragility and brittleness of institutional power in the new all-pervasive public information space. The work builds on his work initiated at Harvard.
In 2014 Nik was appointed a Visiting Professor at Kings College, London in the School of Social Science and Public Policy. Since 2016 he has been a Visiting Professor at Nanyang University (NTU), Singapore focussing on deepening and widening the “Thinking the Unthinkable” research. From 2014 he was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Geo-Economics.
He was awarded Honorary Doctorates by Exeter University in 2012 and Bristol University in 2015. They recognise his ongoing cutting edge analyses and distinguished career in international journalism.
Social Psychologist and Broadcaster at the Guardian, UK
The Tales, They Are a’Changing
Dr Aleks Krotoski is an award-winning international broadcaster, author and academic.
For the BBC and Channel 4, she has topped the ratings, won Emmy, BAFTA, Radio Academy, and Royal Society awards, and written and presented the landmark technology and social-science series for both radio – with BBC Radio 4’s The Digital Human – and international television – with BBC World’s The Virtual Revolution.
For The Guardian, she has consistently led the iTunes charts with the Tech Weekly podcast (2007-2015), pioneered environmental and business reporting with The Biggest Story In The World (2015), and taken her hit weekly column from newspaper to acclaimed book (Guardian Faber, 2013). Her award-winning video series for The Guardian, “The Power of Privacy”, was produced in 2015 in 5 countries.
Aleks’ BBC Radio 4 series Codes That Changed The World is the most requested radio series on BBC iPlayer, while Hidden Histories of the Information Age, and Last Bus To Serendip were both critically acclaimed. That led to a prestigious Public Engagement Grant from the British Psychological Society, and thereby the production of The N of Us, the first from Aleks’ independent studio, Pillowfort Productions. Also from Pillowfort Productions: The Resilient, an intimate interview series that eavesdrops on people's toughest times (for Flower) and BlackHatWhiteHat, a cybersecurity series about crime and security in the digital age.
As host, writer, and producer, Aleks Krotoski’s broadcasting success, has mirrored her academic credentials. Dr Krotoski holds fellowships at University of Oxford, and the London School of Economics. Her PhD broke new ground, studying information flow and the spread of ideas across digital spaces. She enjoys an international speaking career, to both corporate and general audiences. She is based in London and Los Angeles.
Author and Leader in the Movement to Fight Ageism, USA
Abigail Trafford, an award-winning journalist and bestselling author, focusses on longevity and the impact of longer—healthier—lives on society and politics. A former columnist and health editor at The Washington Post, she was a journalism fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health and the International Longevity Center in New York, and a visiting scholar at the Center on Longevity at Stanford University. The author of Crazy Time, My Time and As Time Goes By, she lives in Boston, MA.
Educator, Author and Changemaker, Finland
Who’ll Stop the Rain: Myths And Facts About the Future of Schooling
He has worked as schoolteacher, teacher educator, researcher, and policy advisor in Finland and has studied education systems and reforms around the world. He has published and spoken widely about these topics, his book “Finnish Lessons 2.0: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland” won the 2013 Grawemeyer Award for an idea that has potential to change the world. He is also a recipient of the 2012 Education Award in Finland, the 2014 Robert Owen Award in Scotland, the 2016 Lego Prize, and Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Resident Fellowship in 2017. He is a former director general at the Finland’s Ministry of Education and a visiting Professor of Practice at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. He chairs the Open Society Foundations’ Education Board and is a member of the Governing Board of the University of Oulu and the International Council of Education Advisors (ICEA) for the Scottish Government. His recent books are “Hard Questions on Global Educational Change”, “Empowered Educators in Finland” and “FinnishED Leadership: Four Big, Inexpensive Ideas to Transform Education”.