As the world around us changes, is your learning community discussing what the future of learning could be like? I recently had the opportunity to return to Christchurch, New Zealand, for that community’s second annual Future of Learning conference. The conference is unique in that it focuses solely on the future of learning. Instead of relegating the discussion of the future to a conference track or a theme for the year, the entire conference is dedicated to surfacing possibilities in Christchurch and beyond.
The conference, started in 2018 by futurists Cheryl Doig and Hamish Duff, is rooted in the idea that the impacts of technological changes will have far-reaching implications for work, business and education. Together, Cheryl and Hamish roped in their spouses, colleagues and networks and created a stunning and fascinating conference that gets better every year and serves as a true cross-sector conversation on the future of learning.
I had the honor of sharing information from our most recent forecast, Navigating the Future of Learning, in a session presentation, two workshops on futures thinking and a panel with fellow Pittsburghers John Balash from Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center and Jess Trybus from Simcoach Games. I was also able to enjoy many sessions as an audience member, taking in and being inspired by the speakers on the program. Highlights included:
- A talk on the future of work and readiness by Jan Owen, CEO for the Foundation for Young Australians
- Project updates from the Boma Education Fellows, a group of educators engaged in a year-long program designed to help them explore ways of bringing exponential thinking into their schools through some outstanding prototypes
- A fascinating talk on AI in education from Mahsa Mohaghegh, PhD, a computer engineer with a background in artificial intelligence and natural language processing
- A moving keynote by Dr. Eruera Tarena, the executive director of Tokona te Raki: Māori Futures Collective, who explored systemic inequities for Māori learners and the need to look ahead and reclaim the future
While all the talks were inspiring, each speaker really drove home the need not only to create the future, but to ensure that those futures we pursue are equitable. As accelerating technologies and other forces of change continue to change the world, careful attention must be paid to making sure the future works for each of us. Conversations such as those happening at the Future of Learning conference are excellent starting points.
Interested in holding discussions on the future of learning in your community? Our forecasts can help spark discussions in your learning community around strategies to shape the future of learning. Interested in going deeper with custom workshops, training and talks?