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You can look forward to keynotes and welcome speeches in the fields of science, business, and politics. They will provide insights on the changing role of EU and what this means for MOOCs. The impact of MOOCs in the health sector, MOOCs and HEI, and the future of MOOCs and similar formats are a selection of other topics which we want to discuss.

The confirmed speakers so far:

Dr. Georgi Dimitrov is responsible for the newly created unit Digital Education in the European Commission, Directorate General for Education and Culture. He joined the European Commission in 2008 and was first involved in various roles in setting up the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). He then helped to develop and launch HEInnovate,  an initiative by the European Commission and the OECD aimed at supporting universities to become more entrepreneurial. He led the development of the first Digital Education Action Plan adopted in January 2018, and also of the new Digital Education Action Plan 2021-2027, which was adopted in September 2020. Before joining the Commission, Georgi worked for a leading multinational telecommunication company and in a software start-up in Germany. Georgi studied at the University of Bonn (M.A.), the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (PhD) and the Open University UK (MBA in Technology Management).

Dr. Gaya Gamhewage is a medical doctor and public health expert with three decades of experience in the public health sector. She has worked with the World Health Organization for 19 years, mostly leading capacity building initiatives for health emergencies, including those for COVID19 trainings. She is currently Head of Learning & Capacity development for WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme and is leads development of the first-ever global strategy to frame the contribution of education and learning to achieve Health For All.
Dr. Gamhewage also holds Masters Degrees in International Health and in International Policy-Making and Negotiation. She is skilled in supporting countries to build up their own capacity to protect the health of their populations. She is a passionate advocate for and creating fair and sustainable environments and ecosystems where women and men grow and thrive in the service to other. Her areas of expertise include education & learning for health; public health programming; negotiation & advocacy; knowledge networks & ecosystems management; and community engagement and risk communications. She is also an experienced trainer, facilitator and certified coach. 

Jeff Maggioncalda joined Coursera as CEO in June 2017 and since then helped the company grow to over 77 million learners and 6,000+ institutions, served by high-quality learning content from 200+ of the world’s top universities and industry educators. He previously served for 18 years as the founding CEO at Financial Engines Inc, a company co-founded by economist and Nobel Prize winner William Sharpe. Financial Engines grew rapidly under Jeff’s leadership, providing high-quality online investment advice that has helped millions of people save and prepare for retirement. Jeff has also worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company and Cornerstone Research and continues to serve as a Director of Silicon Valley Bank, Inc. He holds an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and English from Stanford University. In his free time, Jeff is a lifelong learner and proud dad, and enjoys studying music theory and spending time with his wife and three daughters.

Prof. Geoffrey West is the Shannan Distinguished Professor and former President of the Santa Fe Institute and an Associate Senior Fellow of Oxford University’s Green-Templeton College. West is a theoretical physicist whose primary interests have been in fundamental questions ranging across physics, biology and the social sciences. His research includes metabolism, growth, aging & death, sleep, cancer, innovation, cities, companies, the accelerating pace of life and global sustainability. West has lectured at many high profile events including TED and Davos. He has received many awards and his work featured in numerous publications, podcasts and TV productions worldwide. He is the author of the best-selling book Scale; The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies and was named to Time magazine’s list of “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2007.

Dr. Michael Meister was born on 9 June 1961. He holds a doctorate in mathematics and has been a member of the German parliament, the Bundestag, since 1994. From 2002 to 2004 he was chairman of the finance working group of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag. Subsequently, until the end of 2013, he served as deputy chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, where his responsibilities included fiscal and budgetary policy. From December 2013 to March 2018 he was Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Finance. Since March 2018, Meister has held the position of Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Invited Panelists of the Future Track

Peter Scott is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) at the University of Technology Sydney in Australia. Before UTS, he worked at the UK’s Open University for nearly 20 years, after 9 years researching and teaching in the field of Psychology at the University of Sheffield. As a leader in research, his lifetime research grants in teaching, learning technology and knowledge media sum to around €56.5M EUR; as a scholar, he was the founding President of the European Association of Technology Enhanced Learning (EATEL); as an academic entrepreneur, he launched a technology spin-out company in interactive telepresence; and as learning innovator, he was closely involved in the European launch of Apple’s iTunesU and iBooks. Also relevant to this symposium, Peter is the Strategic Initiative Coordinator for UTS’ Lifetime of learning stream. Part of this strategy was the 2019 launch of ‘Open’, as a platform to bring together a new range of educational fee and free products supporting the stacking of microcredentials to new degrees.

Chris Dede is the Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education (HGSE).  His fields of scholarship include emerging technologies, policy, and leadership. In 2011 he was named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association.  From 2014-2015, he was a Visiting Expert at NSF, Directorate of Education and Human Resources. Chris has served as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Foundations of Educational and Psychological Assessment, a member of the U.S. Department of Education’s Expert Panel on Technology, and a member of the 2010 National Educational Technology Plan Technical Working Group. Chris also was an International Steering Committee member for the Second International Technology in Education Study, and he has participated in technology-based learning initiatives for various Global South countries. Between 2009 and 2013, he co-hosted a pioneering series of Wireless Edtech mobile learning conferences sponsored by Qualcomm. He is currently a Member of the OECD 2030 Scientific Committee and an Advisor to the Alliance for the Future of Digital Learning, sponsored by the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Initiative (MBRGI). His four most recent co-edited books are: Teacher Learning in the Digital Age: Online Professional Development in STEM Education; Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Realities in Education; Learning engineering for online education: Theoretical contexts and design-based examples; andThe 60-Year Curriculum: New Models for Lifelong Learning in the Digital Economy.

A former teacher in elementary school, Pierre Dillenbourg graduated in educational science (University of Mons, Belgium). He started his research on learning technologies in 1984. In 1986, he has been on of the first in the world to apply machine learning to develop a self-improving teaching system.  He obtained a PhD in computer science from the University of Lancaster (UK), in the domain of artificial intelligence applications for education. He has been assistant professor at the University of Geneva. He joined EPFL in 2002. He has been the director of Center for Research and Support on Learning and its Technologies, then academic director of Center for Digital Education, which implements the MOOC strategy of EPFL (over 2 million registrations). He is full professor in learning technologies in the School of Computer & Communication Sciences, where he is the head of the CHILI Lab: “Computer-Human Interaction for Learning & Instruction ». He is the director of the leading house DUAL-T, which develops technologies for dual vocational education systems (carpenters, florists,…). With EPFL colleagues, he launched in 2017 the Swiss EdTech Collider, an incubator with 80 start-ups in learning technologies. He (co-)-founded 4 start-ups, does consulting missions in the corporate world and joined the board of several companies or institutions. In 2018, he co-founded LEARN, the EPFL Center of Learning Sciences that brings together the local initiatives in educational innovation. He is a fellow of the International Society for Learning Sciences. He currently is the Associate Vice-President for Education at EPFL.

Mark Brown is Ireland’s first Full Professor of Digital Learning and Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) at Dublin City University (DCU). He is an EDEN Fellow and current Treasurer of the European Distance and eLearning Network (EDEN). Professor Brown also serves on the Supervisory Board of the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia (ODLAA). In 2017, the Commonwealth of Learning recognised Mark as a world leader in the area and he was Chair of the 2019 ICDE World Conference on Online Learning in Dublin. In response to COVID-19 crisis, in 2020 Mark led a DCU team that developed “A Digital Edge: Essentials for the Online Learner” as a MOOC attracting over 7,500 learners. He was also part of the team that developed “How to Teach Online” on the FutureLearn platform that attracted over 90,000 educators. This year Mark co-designed with NIDL colleagues, “Higher Education 4.0: Certifying Your Future”, a new MOOC exploring the future of universities in the post-pandemic world.

Educated at the universities of Oxford and Paris, Sir John Daniel is a 50-year veteran of open, distance and online learning. Now Chancellor of the Acsenda School of Management, he previously held the posts of vice-chancellor of the UK Open University, Assistant Director-General for Education at UNESCO and president of the Commonwealth of Learning. His 400+ publications include the books: ‘Mega-universities and Knowledge Media: Technology Strategies for Higher Education’ and ‘Mega-Schools, Technology and Teachers: Achieving Education for All’ as well as frequently cited papers on MOOCs and the educational impact of COVID-19. Knighted in the UK 1994 for services to higher education, he was made Officer of the Order of Canada in 2013 for his contribution to the development of open and distance learning. He is a Symons Medallist of the Association of Commonwealth Universities and has received 32 honorary doctorates from universities in 17 countries.

Phil Long is a lapsed behavioral ecologist. He studied the evolution of avian mating systems because he thought humans were too complicated. He was wrong. Phil applied his training to study workplace transformation induced by new technologies in the mid-1980’s. Pivoting he joined a health science center as the Assoc. Dir. for SUNY Downstate Medical Research Library of Brooklyn and later an NLM Medical Informatics Fellowship. The rise of ubiquitous computing drew him to Seton Hall University, one of the first 1:1 laptop learning programs. There he built a student technology consulting practice, first piloted at WPUNJ, and replicated across 200+ institutions with help from the TLT Group. MIT called in 2000. The power of “open” was a powerful lesson. OCW, OKI and the MIT/Microsoft iCampus Alliance showed open content, open APIs and open software foster inclusion and innovation. MIT, University of Queensland and Northwestern co-developed remote labs and assessed their learning efficacy. ‘Down under’ he started a center for emerging technology at UQ and introduced edX to the campus and Australia. He helped found the Society of Learning Analytics and Research before grandchildren brought him north to UT Austin as AVP for Learning Sciences. There blockchains captured his attention as means of giving learners agency. Working with colleagues at ASU and Salesforce they developed the Trusted Learner Network. He guides the Learning and Employment Record (LER) Network for the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation. With the Open Skills Network (OSN) and Open Software Fellow at Concentricsky he is contributing to the W3C Verified Credential-EDU modeling, key infrastructure for new learning/earning cycle. His academic home is the Center for New Designs and Learning at Georgetown University.