Wednesday, November 10
9:00 AM-10:00 AM
Room 1

Future Skills for Future Higher Education – The day when we started to rethink learning…

Keynote ID: 59736
  1. Ulf-Daniel Ehlers
    Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University

Abstract: The keynote will discuss the new emerging star-concept of future skills in a world of global and digitally transformed societies and present examples of transformative approaches to higher education. It is a matter of felt truth and percveived reality that higher education institutions all around the world have to find an answer to the burning question: How do we contribute to the future transformation of societies visibly expressed in the transformative change of the systems under which we live: planetary and personal health, economy, democracy, and more. While higher education is traditionally set-up for working with well-elaborated curricula, more and more providing approaches to solving life-challenges will become the focus. The emerging concept of Future Skills is providing answers. It has meanwhile globally contributed to a decisive change of the public discussion about higher education. The starting point for the enormous career of the Future Skills concept is the insight that current concepts of higher education do not meet the urgent needs of our societies with convincing future concepts. Neither they are fit to help sustain our environment nor associated social or economic challenges. While social challenges are exacerbated by an accelerating process of globalization and digital advancement, at the same time these are the very forces that enable a multitude of new options for human development. In this situation of digital acceleration, the characteristic feature is that of uncertainty and the inevitable necessity is that of creative responsibility. It is a platitude that the future is unpredictable, however we must be prepared to shape it. In ten to twelve years’ time, children who attend primary school next year will be entering vocational training or higher education, and in fifteen years’ time they will be the new professionals who as young citizens take over the responsibility in our society. We know little about this future. In the year 2060-2065 they are likely to retire, end their employment and/ or cease working. About this future we do not know anything. Our schools must prepare them for jobs that do not yet exist, for technologies and applications that have not yet been invented, for living in a society whose social structures we cannot foresee today, and for dealing with challenges that are not yet discernible. It is our shared responsibility to make the most of the opportunities and find ways to deal with this uncertain future. It is about nothing more and nothing less than the preservation of our planet and our livelihoods. Bio: Ulf-Daniel Ehlers has been appointed Professor for Educational Management and Lifelong Learning at the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University in Karlsruhe in 2011. From 2011-2016 he held the position of Vice president at the same university and has been responsible for Quality and Academic Affairs. He is the elected Vice-president of the European Association for Institutes of Higher Education in his second term (2017-today) and director and member of the executive committee of the European Distance and E-Learning Network (2018-2021). Ulf is founding member and past President of the European Foundation for Quality in E-Learning (2011-2014). He has served as elected President of the largest Association for E-Learning in German speaking countries, The Society for Media in Science (GMW e.V.) (2008-2010).


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