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The global, cross-sector conference and exhibition on
technology supported learning and training

Berlin, December 2 - 4, 2020

Spotlight Stage SPL226

Thinking the Unthinkable – With Nik Gowing

Date Friday, Nov 29  Time   –    Room Potsdam III

Why leaders in education and technology must adapt faster than they realise to new unthinkable realities and disruption.

On multiple fronts the stability, certainty and assumption of personal self-improvement which we have all taken for granted for years and decades is at risk. The next generation of learners have never known adversity or the scale of disruption that today’s leaders are facing and wrestling with.

The ‘New Normal’ is not a blip. It is a new and irreversible direction of travel. There are even more testing and probably sinister new realities coming down the track. This is not pessimism. It is realism.

Nik Gowing shares latest concerning findings from the “Thinking the Unthinkable” project. Why do leaders struggle with unthinkables, or more accurately the unpalatables?

He argues that instability is what the next generation and those educating them must be trained and prepared for. This is even if it includes new levels of adversity. Most make easy assumptions about – on balance – how great life is and will be filled with new opportunities. But in this new era of unthinkables that is a dangerously flawed assumption. All involved must be prepared for the opposite.

We need to focus and prepare education for this new reality at all levels. The evidence for what is coming is not unthinkable. It is unpalatable.


OEB speaker Harold Elletson

Harold Elletson

International communications consultant and editor of the eLearning Africa Report, UK


OEB speaker Nik Gowing

Nik Gowing

Author, former BBC World News presenter and visiting professor at Kings College and Nanyang University, UK