Worlddidac Association hosted its first hybrid conference “Future Talk 2020” from 4 – 6 November 2020 online and in Bern, Switzerland. Speakers and attendees from all over the world joined the Future Talk community to discuss the numerous challenges of education during a pandemic, the impact of new technologies on the way we learn and teach, and the global demand for equal access to sustainable education.
“Future Talk 2020” focused on “STEAM 4 Education”, “Green Education”, and “Artificial Intelligence” under the overall theme of “Impact by Education in the Era of the New Normal”. Each conference day hosted numerous speakers and stakeholders from various fields of interest and backgrounds to generate collective intelligence and support the conversation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Whilst the primary intent was to create a platform for SDG 17 “Partnerships for the Goals”, SDG 4 “Quality Education” was highlighted: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. The support of this specific goal and many other objectives were summarized in the Worlddidac “Declaration on the Future of Education” – a working document expressing specific intent, action, and dedication. Future Talk’s claim repeats this statement: “We are future talk. We are future action.”
Although the current circumstances in Switzerland and around the world restricted the number of on-site attendees at “Future Talk 2020”, the association was able to hold an international hybrid event with a global reach in a COVID-19-safe environment. Strict guidelines, social distancing, and a mask mandate made this possible. The urge to move forward with the event symbolizes the importance of the matters discussed. “We meet at a critical moment in the process of establishing a global sustainable development agenda”, was just one of many statements made regarding the significance of the event. The successful execution of the three-day live-streamed conference during a pandemic, furthermore, makes a statement about the importance of learning to adapt and the importance of life-long learning.
“Future Talk 2020” invited participants around the globe to think about innovation, STEAM, green education, artificial intelligence, inclusion, digital learning, and much more. Under the patronage of the Swiss Government and in cooperation with UN Agencies, embassies, and city host, as well as with the support from various industry leaders, the “Future Talk 2020” conference marks the beginning of a series of Worlddidac education conferences. “Future Talk 2021” will take place on 22 – 24 November 2021 during the Worlddidac & Swissdidac exhibition in Bern and online.