Global, cross-sector conference on technology, OEB conference, Berlin from the 6 -8 December – Irish Tech News

Where and when does it take place?  Berlin’s Hotel Intercontinental on December 6 – 8, 2017

How many years has it been going?

Since 1995 – 23 years

What was the inspiration to start the conference series?

It was a combination of many factors, but it’s clear that event’s co-founder, the late Karl Badde, was a man of considerable vision. He seems to have had a crystal ball in which he was able to see what was about to happen in regard to the link between technology and education.

The very first event, called at the time “Online Educa”, focused on the deployment of video conferencing in education using satellite technologies. Back then, of course, widespread use of the internet was in its infancy, and connections were via dial-up and quite slow. As a result, CBL and CBT [computer-based learning and training] were also high on the agenda.

What opportunities are on offer for those attending?

Under the banner ‘Learning Uncertainty’, this year’s conference will help participants get to grips with the ever-changing landscape of technology and learning.

Among other things, we’ll be looking at data usage in the context of adaptive learning, in which the environment adapts to learner needs; data in the classroom; and cloud-based environments. Mobile is also very central, so much so that it is no longer a “trend”, but rather a ubiquitous.

In contrast, wearable technology is still in the “trend” stage; it’s not mainstream yet – but it looks like it will be huge! One group of early adapters will be teachers who experiment and inspire others. Immersive learning and gamification of content are also emerging as excellent tools for creating memorable experiences.

In terms of statistics, the conference is attended by 2,300+ participants from 90+ countries and comprises 100+ interactive sessions.

You will find more information about the themes, audience and agenda on http://www.oeb.global

What exciting things can people look forward to?

Educators are being bombarded with new technologies and new methods – often with scarce evidence for their efficacy – and the question is, who decides what is put in place and where. Attendees at OEB Global will be immersed in a platform for open dialogue and receive constructive guidance about these and other topical, and thorny, issues.

Who will be speaking?

Some of our confimed speakers include

, who works at the intersection of the’ Future of Work’ and the’ Future of Learning’, an emerging field that integrates design strategy, management consulting, and education. It supports managers in rethinking their business models, teams and organizational structures. In higher education, she advises presidents of institutions on how to develop learning movements in order to prepare graduates for jobs that do not yet exist. You will find an article by Thomas Friedman that’s related to the subject in the New York Times and at OEB Insights, our newsportal.

is an author of three books on aging and its consequences and is regarded as one of the foremost experts on the subject of longevity as an opportunity to grow. She wishes to break the boundaries of education and learning by re-imagining work life as an open-ended process. With an estimated 1.4 billion older people in the world by 2030, Trafford seeks to overturn preconceived notions of mental and physical decline to forge new frontiers in education. As well, she is also engaged in reforming the workplace to incorporate people and machines. A former health editor of the Washington Post and an award-winning journalist, she has covered stories ranging from the landings on the moon and the emergence of AIDS to the rise of genetics and the political battles over health care. Furthermore, Trafford has been a Journalism Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health and a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s Center on Longevity.

is a teacher, educator, researcher and policy advisor in Finland, and has studied education systems and reforms around the world. He’s a clear communicator of Finland’s unique way of melding wellbeing, funding and pedagogy to create a superior school environment for learning. It’s all detailed in his book “Finnish Lessons 2.0: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland”, which garnered the 2013 Grawemeyer Award for an idea that has potential to change the world.  His recent books are “Hard Questions on Global Educational Change” and “FinnishED Leadership: Four Big, Inexpensive Ideas to Transform Education”.  A former director general at Finland’s Ministry of Education, he’s a visiting Professor of Practice at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and a member of the Governing Board of the University of Oulu and the International Council of Education Advisors (ICEA) for the Scottish Government.

Sanjay Sarma is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT and Vice President for Open Learning at the Institute. He overseas OpenCourseWare, MITx, MicroMasters, the new MIT Integrated Learning Initiative and the World Education Lab at MIT. As a researcher, he founded the Auto-ID Center at MIT and developed many of the key technologies behind the EPC suite of RFID standards now used worldwide. He was also the the founder and CTO of OATSystems, which was acquired by Checkpoint Systems (NYSE: CKP) in 2008. He several on the boards of edX, GS1, EPCglobal, Hochschild Mining and several startup companies. Dr. Sarma received his Bachelors from the Indian Institute of Technology, his Masters from Carnegie Mellon University and his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. Sarma also worked at Schlumberger Oilfield Services in Aberdeen, UK, and at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories in Berkeley, California. His current research interests are Internet of Things, street scanning, sensing, RFID, logistics and manufacturing.

Many other speakers are renowned experts and innovators from different organisations from all over the world, as well as thought leaders on the future of learning. Among them are Andrew Keen, one of the world’s best known and controversial commentators on the digital revolution. Marc Prensky, who coined the term “digital native“ and psychologist and tech journalist Aleks Krotoski. There are also workplace learning & development practitioners from ??bank, Repsol, Lidl, The Home Depot, Bayer, E.ON, Oracle, IBM, SAP and many more. These are people who have extensive hands-on experience, experience they will share with other participants.

How can people book tickets?

You can register directly here: https://oeb.global/participation


If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at or on Twitter: @SimonCocking