Global Perspectives

Exciting Keynotes at World Learning Summit

Brussels (BE), April 2017 - As the keynote and speaker list steadily expands, WLS 2017 offers an event of the highest order to meet and discuss the latest learning innovations. The World Learning Summit will highlight the challenge of open educational resources in an age of accelerated development of new learning technologies. WLS 2017 is organized in collaboration among the University of Agder (Norway), the Norwegian Business School, the Open University of the Netherlands, and the Stanford University HStar Institute. 

Speakers will address the future of higher education in a digital age, challenges in North-South cooperation, media-rich pedagogy, as well as organizational and societal transformations as schools and higher education poise themselves to meet the digital future. WLS 2017 is excited to announce these top-ranking keynote speakers:

  • The opening keynote speaker is Cathy Casserly, a pioneer in this area and formerly the CEO of Creative Commons.
  • The afternoon keynote on the first conference day will be given by Sir John Daniel and Stamenka Uvalic-Trumbic, both of whom have a long-standing role in UNESCO’s work with global education. Sir Daniel has been a MOOC pioneer for a long time. As world-known innovators, Sir Daniel and Ms. Stamenka Uvalic-Trumbic have influenced the development of high-quality and equitable open education for all worldwide.

The latest speaker to be confirmed for our plenary program is Joseph Press, CEO of the Center for Creative Leadership in Switzerland. Mr. Press is also an adviser to the President of Switzerland. His keynote will address the future challenges of learning in a digitalized work life. This event will take place 08 June, the second conference day, followed by a high-level roundtable panel to discuss educational factors relating to it. Professor Donna Kidwell from the University of Texas will curate the session. Professor Kidwell is one of our returning participants. She is also heavily involved in the education sessions at the annual South by Southwest festival, in Austin, Texas.

In addition, WLS 2017 is pleased to announce Brian Magerko as a speaker at several events during the summit. Professor Magerko will demonstrate a number of learning innovations being explored in his research lab at Georgia Tech, the leading institute of technology in Atlanta, USA.

Among the companies to host workshops, WLS now announces WeVideo, a company headquartered in Silicon Valley but with a start-up history from Oslo, Norway. Currently, their collaborative video tools engage about 14 million users worldwide.

And as usual, the event will be co-hosted by the Hstar Institute at Stanford University, courtesy of Executive Director Keith Devlin. Mr. Devlin has been a returning host to these conferences since 2013. He was also the Stanford host at our 2015 event on the beautiful Stanford campus, which drew 200 participants from across the world. Mr. Devlin will host several events during the summit.

WLS 2017 is also happy to announce the presence and plenary presentation of the emergent Nordic EdTech Alliance by Jannie Jeppeson, CEO of EdTech Sweden. Stakeholders in the Nordic region have presented updates in the Nordic EdTech industry since 2013, shaping software and services for education at all levels.

Several of these stakeholder groups are now moving towards the establishment of a Nordic EdTech alliance, to be presented at the World Learning Summit in June. Blair Stephenson from the University of Oulu (Finland) will participate in this segment together with Eilif Trondsen, who has been one of the principal architects behind the Nordic EdTech Alliance.

A feature during our WLS 2017 program will be the highlighting of future learning technologies emerging in the Nordic Region. In 2016, WLS staged about 40 EdTech companies as part of an ongoing project. This year, WLS 2017 is inviting established EdTech companies and start-ups to set up stands and posters. The World Learning Summit website will feature virtual stands for those interested. This will be curated by Professor Derek Woodgate, a well-known futurist, artist and curator.

In regard to the event, Cathy Casserly, associate researcher at the Institute for the Future in California commented, "I was part of this summit in 2016 and look forward to coming back". Ms. Casserly is slated to give the opening keynote 07 June, in which she will address the past and present of open education resources. Her keynote will be commented upon by Professor Ola Erstad from the University of Oslo.

"The organizers have succeeded in shaping a community of returning scholars from a range of countries. The event was great in 2016, and it looks even better this year", Ms. Casserly underlines. Ms. Casserly was one of the principal organizers of our 2015 event, labeled "Future Learning 2020", which was co-hosted by the online-education provider EdCast, based in Silicon Valley. "I think the Nordic region has a lot to offer in terms of developments and insights into future learning technology", Ms. Casserly says.