Makelearn 2022 Kaunas

First keynote speach: Rethinking Education Systems in the Context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

First keynote speaker at Makelearn & TIIM 2022 conference will be Prof. Dr. Panagiotis (Takis) Damaskopoulos who is the Industry 4.0 ERA Chair at the School of Economics and Business at Kaunas Technical University, Lithuania, and the Executive Director and Head of Research of the European Institute of Interdisciplinary Research (EIIR) in Paris, France. His keynote speech will be entitled “Rethinking Education Systems in the Context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution” and held on Thursday, 19 May 2022 at 14.15.

Prof. Dr. Panagiotis (Takis) Damaskopoulos

Keynote speech abstract

We live in a world in crisis fueled by dynamic interdependencies of systemic transformations, ranging from massive and pervasive technological changes, profound economic and employment changes, climate change, demographic imbalances, and geo-political and geo-economic shifts. The systemic nature of this multi-faceted crisis presents complex challenges for the sustainability and protection of the prosperity, well-being, and democratic forms of governance across Europe. The kind of responses Europe generates to these challenges will be of critical importance for its future position in the world. Historically, such responses have been elaborated by institutions of higher learning and have involved the formation of skills and social visions articulating new models of production and consumption, new industries, infrastructures, and patterns of leadership leading to the broad social acceptance of new techno-economic and socio-technical systems.

However, the accelerated pace of historical change associated with the current crisis presents significant challenges for institutions of higher learning and systems of education. On the one hand, the multi-faceted process of change has ushered in a process re-composition of skillsets, i.e., accelerated rates of obsolescence of existing pools of skills, and exposed gaps in the capacity of educational institutions to form new skills (e.g., data science, algorithmic modelling expertise) perceived to be crucial for the process of advanced research, continuing learning, and adaptation. Apart from intensifying the need for interdisciplinary approaches, coupled now to the necessity of introducing artificial intelligence into educational programs `(the ‘what’ should be taught) this has also raised thorny issues regarding the preparation and upskilling of educators in new techniques and novel forms of teaching and training (the ‘how’ should be taught).

On the other hand, the technological intensification of the process of skills formation and the conduct of advanced research means increasing need for access to the largest datasets (not controlled by institutions of higher learning) and the attraction and retainment of top talent. This has translated into heightened pressure on institutions of higher learning to establish systematic relations with non-academic institutions and organizations of civil society in order to form new educational ecosystems to engage collaboratively not only with other universities, but also with private enterprise and government in order to get access to more data and compete to be at the cutting edge of research and discovery. Such ecosystems are increasingly considered critical to ensure continuing ‘relevance’ and ability to address the ‘grand societal challenges’ of our time.

Taking the broader context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution as its frame of reference this keynote will explore critical issues in skills formation and the challenges/gaps in forming novel educational ecosystems.

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