From education to employment

Hurtling Towards Massive Change Without a Plan

The global education and training sector has been warned that it is “hurtling towards massive change without a plan.”

Astrid Jaeger, Managing Director of OEB Learning Technologies Europe GmbH, which organises OEB Global, Europe’s leading conference on technology assisted learning and training, said that the education sector will have to change “fundamentally and quickly” to cope with new demands created by rapid technological change.

“Technology is changing society. The way we live now, and the jobs we do, will never be the same again. Artificial intelligence is already allowing machines to replace workers on an unprecedented scale. Education must shape our response to the immense challenge of this new age. But education and training will have to change too. So will the nature of employment. To date, both educators and employers have been slow to come to terms with the implications of a new world in which the old jobs no longer exist. We need to think this through urgently and start planning for a radically different future. At the moment, we are hurtling towards massive change without a plan.”

Ms Jaeger was speaking at the launch of OEB Global’s new website, which provides details of this year’s conference, including a full list of themes for discussion. The overall theme of the event is ‘Learning to Love Learning’ and Ms Jaeger explained that it will encourage us to change our understanding of the role and importance of learning in our lives.

“Learning will no longer be a brief phase in life,” she said. “It will become a central part of our existence. In an era of constant and increasing change, we will discover a new appreciation of learning and an understanding of its place in the future. We will have to learn to love learning.”

Ms Jaeger’s concern, which is widely shared by many leading experts, is that the education sector has so far failed to come to terms with the fundamental shifts that are beginning to take place across society.

“What’s happening is going to mean that millions of people have more time on their hands. The world of work will change dramatically during the course of the next two decades. How will we cope with it? How will we enable people to live lives which are both meaningful and fulfilled? How will we equip them for jobs that require totally new skills, in a world with a completely different pattern of employment?

Participants in OEB Global will be asked to consider how institutions, organisations and employers should prepare themselves to meet the challenge of change. They will also ask how governments can create flexible, equitable education systems that are capable of adapting quickly to meet new demands. And they will look at how vocational training and further education can keep up with an ever-growing demand for new skills.

This year’s OEB Global, which will incorporate Learning Technologies Germany into the event for the first time, and which will be strengthening its focus on learning and development in the workplace, is likely to be “a highly significant event,” according to Ms Jaeger.

“It will be taking place at a moment of profound change in society, when every country is considering the implications of rapid technological change. We have to change our whole approach to learning and put it right at the heart of life in the future. We have to change the nature of education and inspire a new generation. How we do it is the subject of this year’s conference. It’s a very exciting subject and I think this year’s conference will be our most important ever.”

By incorporating the leading workplace learning event brand, Learning Technologies, which has two market leading events in Paris and London, a global digital community and the industry’s leading awards programme for corporate learning and development professionals, OEB Global will strengthen its position in this increasingly important sector.

OEB Global has launched a new website with full details of this year’s conference and exhibition. The website contains a guide to the conference and a full list of the topics to be discussed at it. The OEB programme includes a mix of plenary sessions, discussions, debates, learning labs and many other formats designed to encourage the exchange of knowledge and ideas.

The event organisers have issued a call for papers on the main conference themes, which include ‘instilling curiosity,’ dynamic learning and training, nascent technologies, skills development and data collection. A full list is available on the conference website. Anyone wanting to submit a paper for presentation at the conference should send a short abstract to the conference organisers, using the form available on the website. The call for papers will close on April 30th, 2018.

OEB Global is accompanied by a major international exhibition showcasing the latest technology-based solutions for learning and training, and the organisers are delighted that exhibition space and sponsorship has been booked at a record breaking high.

About OEB 2018 incorporating Learning Technologies: This event in Germany is the 24th global cross-sector conference and exhibition on technology-supported learning and training. OEB, is the largest event of its kind and the only event in the industry which attracts more than 2000 key players from over 80 countries and across all sectors – education and research, business, government and the public sector. The event is taking place at Berlin’s Hotel Intercontinental from December 5 – 7, 2018.

Sponsors: Gold – Gutenberg Technology | Silver – Proctorio | Conference – Speexx, Mediasite – Sonic Foundry, Cambridge Assessment English, Presentations 2Go | Conference Partner – EFMD – Global network

For more information about OEB Global 2018, please email the conference organisers.

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