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.
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.
Always one of the highlights of OEB, the debate is an opportunity for participants to discuss one of the most important issues of the day with our expert speakers. The parliamentary-style format encourages a lively exchange of views and allows plenty of time for audience participation. The motion for debate this year is: “As the internet and social media are profoundly affecting both thinking and learning in ways that are not always beneficial, education institutions should take steps to encourage students to reduce their reliance on them”.
Our panel of expert speakers will open this fascinating and important debate about the effects of the internet and social media on students' capacity to think and learn. With such a controversial subject up for discussion, this year's debate promises to be as explosive as ever!
Global Future Education Foundation and Institute, USA
Marc Prensky, coiner of the term “Digital Native,” is an internationally acclaimed speaker, author, consultant and “practical visionary,” promoting civilization-level change in global education. Marc has spoken in over 40 countries, authored seven books, and published over 100 essays; his writing has been translated into 11 languages. He is currently the founder and Executive Director of the Global Future Education Foundation and Institute. Marc’s latest book, Education to Better Their World: Unleashing the Power of 21st Century Kids (Columbia TC Press, 2016), is a finalist for the 2016 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards in Education.
The World's First Professor of Networking and Author on How to Manage Knowledge, Networks and Time, UK
Julia Hobsbawm founded the 'knowledge networking' business www.editorialintelligence.com and consults, writes, teaches, talks and blogs on a number of topics including entrepreneurship, the role of behavioural networks in politics and society, business productivity and the subject she has defined on modern knowledge networking - Social Health. She is the world's first professor of Networking, having been made Honorary Visiting Professor by London's Cass Business School and at the University of Suffolk. She is the author of several books and articles covering communication, business, the media and the future of the workplace. She has written and presented the 5 part BBC Radio 4 series "Networking Nation".
Hobsbawm's new book, 'Fully Connected' was published by Bloomsbury in Spring 2017 and was made Book of the Week by The Times Higher Education Supplement. It was praised by INSEAD and London Business School's Professor Herminia Ibarra as 'stella...a must-read for individuals and policymakers alike' and by Andrew Keen as 'the most profound book about connectivity published this century".
Professor Hobsbawm was awarded an OBE for Services to Business in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in June 2015.
Director of the Institute of Ideas, Writer and TV and BBC Radio Panelist, UK
Claire Fox is the director of the Institute of Ideas, which she established to create a public space where ideas can be contested without constraint. She convenes the yearly Battle of Ideas festival and initiated The Institute of Ideas Debating Matters Competition for sixth-formers. She also co-founded the IoI’s residential summer school The Academy, with the aim to demonstrate ‘university as it should be’.
She is a panelist on BBC Radio 4’s The Moral Maze and is regularly invited to comment on developments in culture, education, media and free speech issues on TV and radio programmes in the UK such as Newsnight and Any Questions? Claire is a columnist for TES (Times Educational Supplement) and MJ (Municipal Journal). She is author of a recent book on free speech, I Find That Offensive (Biteback, 2016), and No Strings Attached! Why arts funding should say no to instrumentalism (Arts&Business, 2007).
Claire is a fellow of Wellington College, an executive board member of the Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR), UCL and is involved at a board level in the international debate network, Time To Talk.
I’m a social scientist, but my experiments take the form of games, participatory performances, and software. So I don’t just do science—I design games and group activities, create performances, and publish code.
I study how social environments shape our agency and our relationships, and how our worldviews and values limit what we can design. I've created a little nonprofit that supports this work.
The fields I work in are the theory of reasons for action, the field of human computer interaction, and real world game design as a kind of experimental sociology. One of my abiding research questions: Why does the market fail to address people's deepest desires? How can we re-orient the economy towards what we really want?
My strongest influences are David Velleman, Ruth Chang, Amartya Sen, Augusto Boal, and Bret Victor. My closest collaborators include Albert Kong, Rob Ochshorn, and Tristan Harris.
Workplace Learning Starts Here
Date Friday, Dec 8 Time
Workplace Learning Starts Here
How can organisations align training, learning and development with business goals? How can higher education and the TVET sector interact more effectively with the workplace? How can workplaces remain human-centered and use new technologies to keep the momentum to implement continuous change? What are the best ways to encourage dynamic cooperation? Join us for talks and a lively discussion on making workplace learning fit for the future.
Insights Lead, Learning Solutions at LinkedIn, USA
I have held a wide range of data-oriented roles in tech, media and finance. Most of this work has been focused on building data products for non-technical users (external and internal). Currently, I lead our insights team for Learning Solutions at LinkedIn, working across sales, marketing, engineering, product and analytics to understand how we can use LinkedIn's unique dataset to provide value to our customers in the e-learning space.
I am passionate about coaching and empowering analysts to use data to inform decision-making and measure impact to ensure the right problems are being addressed. In this role and my past, I have used a variety of technical tools including: distributed file systems (Hadoop), Relational Databases (SQL), Python, unix/bash, web development and whatever else was needed to get the job done. I pride myself on being able to not only think "big picture" but also my ability to "get in the weeds".
Internationally Recognized Expert on the Future of Work and the Future of Learning, USA
Heather McGowan works at the intersection of the future of work and the future of learning advising education and business leaders to most effectively prepare for rapid and disruptive changes in learning, work, and society.
Accelerating disruptive cycles in industry, with rising automation and rapid adoption and scaling of technology, are making traditional jobs frameworks obsolete and demanding new and adaptive skill sets of workers.
In higher education, McGowan advises presidents and senior leaders to develop students’ agile learning mindset in order to prepare graduates for jobs that do not yet exist. McGowan also guides corporate executives to re-think and re-frame their business models, and their understanding of team and organizational structures, to be resilient and successful in changing markets.
Her corporate clients range from start-ups like publicly traded, Fortune 500 companies, including Autodesk and BD Medical. She is the co-author of the book Disrupt Together: How Teams Consistently Innovate (Pearson) and is writing a book on the future of work due out in 2018.
McGowan speaks internationally on the future of work and the future of learning. For more information visit www.heathermcgowan.com.
Getting Ready for More Agency
Date Friday, Dec 8 Time
Getting Ready for More Agency
Business, education and society all need to be ready for action in a new world. And being ready for action means being ready to adapt – quickly, fundamentally and often. How should a school, an institution or a learner change to keep pace with new technologies and economic turbulence? How will schools, colleges and universities redefine their “service delivery” for tomorrow’s “consumers” or “customers” of education? Are schools, colleges and universities agile enough? Is the flexibility of education more relevant to the needs of the future than the discipline of training? Are today’s education systems flexible enough? Do current policies offer adequate guidelines to implement change? Are today’s virtual platforms, physical establishments and educators ready to adapt for the demands of tomorrow? Join this panel for different views on how learning can and must change.
Author, Entrepreneur and Controversial Commentator on the Digital Revolution, USA
Andrew Keen is one of the world’s best known and controversial commentators on the digital revolution.He is the author of three books: Cult of the Amateur, Digital Vertigo and his current international hit The Internet Is Not The Answer which the London Sunday Times acclaimed as a "powerful, frightening read" and the Washington Post called "an enormously useful primer for those of us concerned that online life isn't as shiny as our digital avatars would like us to believe". He is executive director of the Silicon Valley innovation salonFutureCast and a much acclaimed public speaker around the world. In 2015, he was named by GQ magazine in their list of the "100 Most Connected Men”. His next book, How To Fix The Future, will be published worldwide in January 2018.
Anthropologist Specialising in Faculty Culture and the Use of Technology at Carnegie Mellon University, USA
The Paces of Change
Lauren Herckis is an anthropologist at Carnegie Mellon University with appointments in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Human-Computer Interaction Institute in the School of Computer science. She specializes in faculty culture and the use of technology in higher education, and her field research applies anthropological and archaeological methods and theory to analyze human engagement with the material world. Dr. Herckis is interested in learning science, human diversity (especially in urban contexts), the pedagogical training of future faculty, the politics of praxis in fieldwork, chaîne opératoire, and political economy in urban growth. Her research in Latin America interrogates assumptions about cultural heterogeneity in the context of long-term urban growth, and highlights the ways that social networks dynamically impact technical choices and the development of informal economies. Under the aegis of Carnegie Mellon's Simon Initiative, Dr. Herckis' current projects explore the intersection of campus culture, technological change, and effective teaching at the college level. Her research informs policymaking, shapes the development of learning technologies, and illuminates aspects of organizational culture and policy which affect teaching practice.
Dr. Herckis has spent her career working in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research design and execution, in public, private, and non-profit contexts, and across a variety of disciplinary domains. A former Fulbright fellow, Dr. Herckis worked with the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Instructional Development and Distance Education before joining the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University.
Vice President for Open Learning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
The New Age of Learning
Sanjay Sarma is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT and Vice President for Open Learning at the Institute. He overseas OpenCourseWare, MITx, MicroMasters, the new MIT Integrated Learning Initiative and the World Education Lab at MIT. As a researcher, he founded the Auto-ID Center at MIT and developed many of the key technologies behind the EPC suite of RFID standards now used worldwide. He was also the the founder and CTO of OATSystems, which was acquired by Checkpoint Systems (NYSE: CKP) in 2008. He several on the boards of edX, GS1, EPCglobal, Hochschild Mining and several startup companies. Dr. Sarma received his Bachelors from the Indian Institute of Technology, his Masters from Carnegie Mellon University and his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. Sarma also worked at Schlumberger Oilfield Services in Aberdeen, UK, and at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories in Berkeley, California. His current research interests are Internet of Things, street scanning, sensing, RFID, logistics and manufacturing.