Keynote speakers

Confirmed keynote speakers

The Prime Minister in Norway Erna Solberg will in her keynote be focusing on learning throughout life, and the vital role that lifelong learning plays for the competitiveness of the individual and society. Her government has started to implement a lifelong learning competence reform, aiming for an inclusive work life where more employees will be able to work longer.

Iarla Flynn is the Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs for Google in Northern Europe. Prior to joining Google in 2007 he spent 12 years in senior government and industry roles including in Ireland’s telecommunications sector, where he was a leading advocate for the benefits of competition and digitisation. Flynn will talk about how new tech – machine learning, robotics and virtual reality – are re-shaping how we work and live. What will the future world of work look like? Read more>>

Haldis Holst is Deputy General Secretary of Education International (EI) which represents organisations of teachers and other education employees across the globe and is the world’s largest federation of unions. Ms Holst is also currently Chair of the Governing Board of The European Wergeland Centre (EWC). The EWC is a resource centre based in Oslo for education professionals, researchers, civil society, policymakers, parents and students across Europe. In addition Ms Holst serves on the Board of Directors of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and on the Board of the Global Campaign Against child Labour. Read more>>

President and CEO of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) Asha Singh Kanwar is one of the world’s leading advocates of learning for development. Before joining COL, Professor Kanwar was a consultant in open and distance learning at UNESCO’s Regional Office for Education in Africa. In her keynote, she will address lifelong learning and strategies for quality education world-wide in the light of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Read more>>

Bo Dahlbom is a professor of information systems at the University of Gothenburg and research director at Sustainable Innovation. In his opening keynote, he will address the future of work and lifelong learning. More rapid evolution and diffusion of technology will change job tasks and increase the need for lifelong learning. The digital revolution will take us from factories to platforms, from well-defined, closed organizations to open networking. After having spent a century learning from the automotive industry (Ford and Toyota), the digital giants will now become role models for how to organize work. Digital platforms will provide new work tasks and all competence will include digital competence. With digital platforms learning will become like music, a dimension of everyday life and work. Read more>>

Glenn Ruud is Global Learning and Development Director at Wilhelmsen. He has spent most of his career in education and competence development in the private sector, first with educational projects in NGOs and the United Nations, followed by more than a decade in the business education industry. Before joining Wilhelmsen he spent more than 5 years in DNV GL as the Global Head of Competence and Learning. His main interests are 70:20:10 competence implementation for enhanced business impact, exploration of new technologies to engage employees, building a culture of lifelong learning and enhancing return on investment in learning and development.

Diana Laurillard is Professor of Learning with Digital Technologies at the London Knowledge Lab, UCL Institute of Education. Her research includes large-scale online communities of teacher-designers, and the use of specialised digital course design tools to enable teachers to create and share new pedagogies for using learning technology. She is currently running two MOOCs on teacher development in digital course design.


Audrey Azoulay is the Director-General of UNESCO, and will held the closing keynote at the conference, addressing the way forward to achieving lifelong learning for all. Azoulay is a graduate of France’s Ecole Nationale d’Administration and of the Paris Institut d’Etudes Politiques, she holds a diploma in Business Administration from the University of Lancaster (UK). Having worked in the sector of culture since the start of her professional career, Audrey Azoulay has notably focused on the funding of French public broadcasting and on the reform and modernization of France’s film support system. She has also served the European Commission providing her expertise on issues concerning culture and communication. Read more>>

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