Winning the Uncertain Future

Attending the OEB (ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN) conference was an avenue to broaden my horizon, and to prove once more that learning is about people – be it offline or online. Technology is there to support people’s interactions and learning, and not to replace it. There are only a few simple questions: are we ready for this, do we allow it to happen, and how?

OEB is the global cross-sector conference on technology supported learning and training, happening at the end of every year in Berlin. This time it took place on 6 to 8 December, 2017. It was attended by 2000 participants. The theme of this year’s conference was Learning Uncertainty. As stated by the organizer, we live in the era which is defined by technology, globalization, information and, above all, uncertainty.

The question is whether we can learn to live with the uncertainty. Can we accept it, manage it and even thrive on it? The conference was charged with words such as change, agility, passion to learning, new economy, new skills, new missions, artificial intelligence, disruptive technology, change agents, value creator, front-runner, and more. Participants echoed back their expectations, questions and thoughts, including critical observations, which were also beneficial to hear.

Source: Photo and Video Gallery, OEB Global

OEB Global is a conference to attend if you want to meet new people who share the same vision and energy to achieve something greater. This is all about learning, and for me, a professional adult educator, who always strives to learn something new, it was an incredible networking and memory gain. I learned a lot from people with experience in learning and development, and digital learning, who practice different methodologies; those who dare to make a difference within their still very traditional organization, company or school system.

The conference offered a lot of questions, especially whys and hows, not only from the participants but also key speakers. Technology is disrupting the world we live in today. Our lives are much more complex than they were in the past. And it will affect the lives of our children even more when they enter their working age.

Heather McGowan, 2017 LinkedIn Top Voice (Work to Learn) and one of the top keynote speakers explained the New Economy paradigm, and how important it is to be engaged in learning through the entire life span, which will be affected by the digital tsunami in the next 10+ years. “We must work now in order to continuously learn,” she stated.

How does this apply to the CEF practice? As a knowledge hub, we focus on participatory approach to learning. We encourage each learner to take ownership over the learning process, and to collaborate with others. We want to offer the best learning experience to public officials, so that they can exchange knowledge and good practices in the best possible way; this includes physical and online learning space. Understanding the trends on the market and the future that the technology is bringing helps us better prepare the annual CEF learning program and deliver it in the best possible way, while also understanding the uncertainty within the institutions that we serve, when they have to make new decisions. Knowing this can only help us learn, unlearn and relearn, which are the skills that we all need for the uncertain future. And through this we can than ideate new prototypes of learning solutions and test them with those who trust our efforts.

The future will bring more collaboration, chance for our creativity to be displayed, and better business results. But we will be able to achieve this only if we accept all the opportunities that technology is bringing, and adopt new ways of learning and working together. Playing an isolated island is a passé which has proven to be the case also this month in Berlin. So many voices were heard, and many smartphones were used; all twitting the questions and sharing key take-aways and slides. If competition had been the case, for sure, this wouldn’t have happened. Now, it is on us to decide to open up and let it happen.

Want to learn more? Open the events page or just search for it in your favorite social media channel – #OEB17.



About Ajda Turk

Ajda's passion is to explore how people learn, and why they think and act the way they do. She sees the whole learning process as a metaphor of cooking. For a tasty meal you need to get the ingredients and also the right kitchen accessories. But for the best results the attitude of the cook is vital. She works on the CEF online learning initiatives, and is highly motivated to explore and use online learning tools, which can help learners get the best learning experience with a transformative value.

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