When machines take your jobs, we’ll go back to learning

The world is changing fast and, as machines take over traditional jobs, learning is set to become a central part of human existence. That’s the message experts will deliver at Europe’s top conference on learning and technology, which will be held in Berlin on 5 – 7 December 2018

Some of the biggest names in global education, training and technology are scheduled to take part in discussions at OEB Global 2018.

In a thrilling opening plenary session, two of the world’s leading innovators and a top economist will discuss how the development of artificial intelligence and other new technologies will change the way we learn and work forever. Anita Schjøll Brede, CEO of Iris.ai, one of the most exciting companies in the world in the field of AI, and Faculty at SingularityU Nordic, will join Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, and Bryan Caplan, author and Professor of Economics at George Mason University, to examine how employment will change and learning will become a central part of human existence.

“The theme of change in life, learning and employment runs through the conference programme,” says conference chair Rebecca Stromeyer. “There will be sessions on a whole range of themes, reflecting the fact that change is going to happen very fast now, particularly in the workplace, and this is bound to increase the importance of learning and give it a much more central role in all our lives. Companies, organisations and individuals need to understand what is about to happen and plan for it.”

With sessions on themes including: the use of artificial intelligence in learning; skills for the fourth industrial revolution; transformed learning spaces; virtual exchange and collaboration; personalisation and data-driven education; tricks for better learning design; L&D’s role in supporting workplace performance; social learning and employee engagement; bots for education; and spreading innovation in technology-driven societies, it is clear that OEB’s focus this year is firmly on the future.

The overall theme of the conference is ‘learning to love learning’ and it will highlight the increasing effect of digital transformation and the central role learning is likely to play in everyone’s life in the future. It will also focus on how education itself will have to change to cope with the demands of the future and of tomorrow’s workplace.

The theme of change in life, learning and employment runs through the conference programme.
– Rebecca Stromeyer, Conference Chair

“Education and training will have to change radically and very soon,” says Ms Stromeyer. “There are some big questions facing anyone involved in education. How should education change, so that it can play the leading role the future demands? How can companies, institutions and organisations adapt themselves to the challenge? How will further education keep up with what is likely to be an unceasing demand for new skills? What will happen to higher education? Will there be a new golden age for our universities? These are big questions for us all and I hope that the experts at OEB, who are some of the biggest names in global edtech, will start to provide answers. They’ll certainly launch a really important discussion.”

Professor Anders Flödstrom of EIT Digital and KTH Sweden, IT and OER consultant Esther Wojcicki, and Ben Williamson of the University of Stirling will try to make out the shape of things to come in a plenary on the future of education. In other major sessions, speakers will include Ulrich Boser, founder of The Learning Agency; Martin Dougiamas, the founder of Moodle; Miguel Exposito-Verdejo of the European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development; Charles Fadel of the Center for Curriculum Redesign; Will Thalheimer, workplace learning consultant; Corrine Vigreux, cofounder of Codam and TomTom; Cathy Moore, training designer, and Karoline Tellum-Djarraya, Head of Section for Edtech and Innovation at Skills Norway.

For the first time, Learning Technologies Germany will be fully integrated into the event, ensuring a major focus on employment, skills and workplace learning.

This will also be reflected in the accompanying exhibition which will be bigger this year than ever before. The organisers have revealed that more than 100 companies and organisations have already booked space at the exhibition and will be showcasing a range of products, services, courses and solutions.

“OEB Global is a unique event, not least because it covers all sectors and encourages a dialogue between them,” says Ms Stromeyer. “This means that you get a really exciting cross-fertilisation of ideas and experience between representatives of the different sectors. And this year, with such a strong focus on change, innovation and the future, it’s likely to be really inspiring.”