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You can look forward to keynotes and welcome speeches in the fields of science, business, and politics. They will provide insights on the changing role of EU and what this means for MOOCs. The impact of MOOCs in the health sector, MOOCs and HEI, and the future of MOOCs and similar formats are a selection of other topics which we want to discuss.

The confirmed speakers so far:

Dr. Georgi Dimitrov is responsible for the newly created unit Digital Education in the European Commission, Directorate General for Education and Culture. He joined the European Commission in 2008 and was first involved in various roles in setting up the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). He then helped to develop and launch HEInnovate,  an initiative by the European Commission and the OECD aimed at supporting universities to become more entrepreneurial. He led the development of the first Digital Education Action Plan adopted in January 2018, and also of the new Digital Education Action Plan 2021-2027, which was adopted in September 2020. Before joining the Commission, Georgi worked for a leading multinational telecommunication company and in a software start-up in Germany. Georgi studied at the University of Bonn (M.A.), the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (PhD) and the Open University UK (MBA in Technology Management).

Dr. Gaya Gamhewage is a medical doctor and public health expert with three decades of experience in the public health sector. She has worked with the World Health Organization for 19 years, mostly leading capacity building initiatives for health emergencies, including those for COVID19 trainings. She is currently Head of Learning & Capacity development for WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme and is leads development of the first-ever global strategy to frame the contribution of education and learning to achieve Health For All.
Dr. Gamhewage also holds Masters Degrees in International Health and in International Policy-Making and Negotiation. She is skilled in supporting countries to build up their own capacity to protect the health of their populations. She is a passionate advocate for and creating fair and sustainable environments and ecosystems where women and men grow and thrive in the service to other. Her areas of expertise include education & learning for health; public health programming; negotiation & advocacy; knowledge networks & ecosystems management; and community engagement and risk communications. She is also an experienced trainer, facilitator and certified coach. 

Jeff Maggioncalda joined Coursera as CEO in June 2017 and since then helped the company grow to over 77 million learners and 6,000+ institutions, served by high-quality learning content from 200+ of the world’s top universities and industry educators. He previously served for 18 years as the founding CEO at Financial Engines Inc, a company co-founded by economist and Nobel Prize winner William Sharpe. Financial Engines grew rapidly under Jeff’s leadership, providing high-quality online investment advice that has helped millions of people save and prepare for retirement. Jeff has also worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company and Cornerstone Research and continues to serve as a Director of Silicon Valley Bank, Inc. He holds an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and English from Stanford University. In his free time, Jeff is a lifelong learner and proud dad, and enjoys studying music theory and spending time with his wife and three daughters.

Prof. Geoffrey West is the Shannan Distinguished Professor and former President of the Santa Fe Institute and an Associate Senior Fellow of Oxford University’s Green-Templeton College. West is a theoretical physicist whose primary interests have been in fundamental questions ranging across physics, biology and the social sciences. His research includes metabolism, growth, aging & death, sleep, cancer, innovation, cities, companies, the accelerating pace of life and global sustainability. West has lectured at many high profile events including TED and Davos. He has received many awards and his work featured in numerous publications, podcasts and TV productions worldwide. He is the author of the best-selling book Scale; The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies and was named to Time magazine’s list of “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2007.

Dr. Michael Meister was born on 9 June 1961. He holds a doctorate in mathematics and has been a member of the German parliament, the Bundestag, since 1994. From 2002 to 2004 he was chairman of the finance working group of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag. Subsequently, until the end of 2013, he served as deputy chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, where his responsibilities included fiscal and budgetary policy. From December 2013 to March 2018 he was Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Finance. Since March 2018, Meister has held the position of Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Sanna Järvelä is a professor in learning sciences and head of the Learning and Educational Technology Research Unit (LET) in the University of Oulu, Finland. Her research interests deal with self-regulated learning, computer supported collaborative learning and on-line learning processes. Järvelä and her research group is internationally recognized in theoretical and methodological advancement of social aspects of self-regulated learning (socially shared regulation in learning) and processes oriented and multimodal research methods. She has published more than 170 scientific papers in international refereed journals and about 50 book chapters and three edited books, her Google Scholar h-index is 60. She is the Chief Editor in the International Journal of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning. Järvelä is the member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, the past EARLI (European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction) president and a member of the PISA 2025 ‘Learning in the Digital World’ expert team.

Motahhare Eslami is an assistant professor at the School of Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII), and Institute for Software Research (ISR), at Carnegie Mellon University.  She earned her Ph.D. at the Computer Science Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Motahhare’s research develops new communication techniques between users and opaque algorithmic socio-technical systems to provide users a more informed, satisfying, and engaging interaction. Her work has been recognized with a Google Ph.D. Fellowship, Best Paper Award at ACM CHI, and has been covered in mainstream media such as TimeThe Washington PostHuffington Postthe BBCFortune, and Quartz. Motahhare is also a Facebook and Adobe Ph.D. fellowship finalist, and a recipient of ICWSM Best Reviewer Award. Motahhare’s research is supported by NSF, Amazon, Facebook, and Cisco. 

Invited Panelists of the EMOOCs Future Track

Peter Scott is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) at the University of Technology Sydney in Australia. Before UTS, he worked at the UK’s Open University for nearly 20 years, after 9 years researching and teaching in the field of Psychology at the University of Sheffield. As a leader in research, his lifetime research grants in teaching, learning technology and knowledge media sum to around €56.5M EUR; as a scholar, he was the founding President of the European Association of Technology Enhanced Learning (EATEL); as an academic entrepreneur, he launched a technology spin-out company in interactive telepresence; and as learning innovator, he was closely involved in the European launch of Apple’s iTunesU and iBooks. Also relevant to this symposium, Peter is the Strategic Initiative Coordinator for UTS’ Lifetime of learning stream. Part of this strategy was the 2019 launch of ‘Open’, as a platform to bring together a new range of educational fee and free products supporting the stacking of microcredentials to new degrees.

Chris Dede is the Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education (HGSE).  His fields of scholarship include emerging technologies, policy, and leadership. In 2011 he was named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association.  From 2014-2015, he was a Visiting Expert at NSF, Directorate of Education and Human Resources. Chris has served as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Foundations of Educational and Psychological Assessment, a member of the U.S. Department of Education’s Expert Panel on Technology, and a member of the 2010 National Educational Technology Plan Technical Working Group. Chris also was an International Steering Committee member for the Second International Technology in Education Study, and he has participated in technology-based learning initiatives for various Global South countries. Between 2009 and 2013, he co-hosted a pioneering series of Wireless Edtech mobile learning conferences sponsored by Qualcomm. He is currently a Member of the OECD 2030 Scientific Committee and an Advisor to the Alliance for the Future of Digital Learning, sponsored by the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Initiative (MBRGI). His four most recent co-edited books are: Teacher Learning in the Digital Age: Online Professional Development in STEM Education; Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Realities in Education; Learning engineering for online education: Theoretical contexts and design-based examples; andThe 60-Year Curriculum: New Models for Lifelong Learning in the Digital Economy.

A former teacher in elementary school, Pierre Dillenbourg graduated in educational science (University of Mons, Belgium). He started his research on learning technologies in 1984. In 1986, he has been on of the first in the world to apply machine learning to develop a self-improving teaching system.  He obtained a PhD in computer science from the University of Lancaster (UK), in the domain of artificial intelligence applications for education. He has been assistant professor at the University of Geneva. He joined EPFL in 2002. He has been the director of Center for Research and Support on Learning and its Technologies, then academic director of Center for Digital Education, which implements the MOOC strategy of EPFL (over 2 million registrations). He is full professor in learning technologies in the School of Computer & Communication Sciences, where he is the head of the CHILI Lab: “Computer-Human Interaction for Learning & Instruction ». He is the director of the leading house DUAL-T, which develops technologies for dual vocational education systems (carpenters, florists,…). With EPFL colleagues, he launched in 2017 the Swiss EdTech Collider, an incubator with 80 start-ups in learning technologies. He (co-)-founded 4 start-ups, does consulting missions in the corporate world and joined the board of several companies or institutions. In 2018, he co-founded LEARN, the EPFL Center of Learning Sciences that brings together the local initiatives in educational innovation. He is a fellow of the International Society for Learning Sciences. He currently is the Associate Vice-President for Education at EPFL.

Mark Brown is Ireland’s first Full Professor of Digital Learning and Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) at Dublin City University (DCU). He is an EDEN Fellow and current Treasurer of the European Distance and eLearning Network (EDEN). Professor Brown also serves on the Supervisory Board of the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia (ODLAA). In 2017, the Commonwealth of Learning recognised Mark as a world leader in the area and he was Chair of the 2019 ICDE World Conference on Online Learning in Dublin. In response to COVID-19 crisis, in 2020 Mark led a DCU team that developed “A Digital Edge: Essentials for the Online Learner” as a MOOC attracting over 7,500 learners. He was also part of the team that developed “How to Teach Online” on the FutureLearn platform that attracted over 90,000 educators. This year Mark co-designed with NIDL colleagues, “Higher Education 4.0: Certifying Your Future”, a new MOOC exploring the future of universities in the post-pandemic world.

Educated at the universities of Oxford and Paris, Sir John Daniel is a 50-year veteran of open, distance and online learning. Now Chancellor of the Acsenda School of Management, he previously held the posts of vice-chancellor of the UK Open University, Assistant Director-General for Education at UNESCO and president of the Commonwealth of Learning. His 400+ publications include the books: ‘Mega-universities and Knowledge Media: Technology Strategies for Higher Education’ and ‘Mega-Schools, Technology and Teachers: Achieving Education for All’ as well as frequently cited papers on MOOCs and the educational impact of COVID-19. Knighted in the UK 1994 for services to higher education, he was made Officer of the Order of Canada in 2013 for his contribution to the development of open and distance learning. He is a Symons Medallist of the Association of Commonwealth Universities and has received 32 honorary doctorates from universities in 17 countries.

Phil Long is a lapsed behavioral ecologist. He studied the evolution of avian mating systems because he thought humans were too complicated. He was wrong. Phil applied his training to study workplace transformation induced by new technologies in the mid-1980’s. Pivoting he joined a health science center as the Assoc. Dir. for SUNY Downstate Medical Research Library of Brooklyn and later an NLM Medical Informatics Fellowship. The rise of ubiquitous computing drew him to Seton Hall University, one of the first 1:1 laptop learning programs. There he built a student technology consulting practice, first piloted at WPUNJ, and replicated across 200+ institutions with help from the TLT Group. MIT called in 2000. The power of “open” was a powerful lesson. OCW, OKI and the MIT/Microsoft iCampus Alliance showed open content, open APIs and open software foster inclusion and innovation. MIT, University of Queensland and Northwestern co-developed remote labs and assessed their learning efficacy. ‘Down under’ he started a center for emerging technology at UQ and introduced edX to the campus and Australia. He helped found the Society of Learning Analytics and Research before grandchildren brought him north to UT Austin as AVP for Learning Sciences. There blockchains captured his attention as means of giving learners agency. Working with colleagues at ASU and Salesforce they developed the Trusted Learner Network. He guides the Learning and Employment Record (LER) Network for the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation. With the Open Skills Network (OSN) and Open Software Fellow at Concentricsky he is contributing to the W3C Verified Credential-EDU modeling, key infrastructure for new learning/earning cycle. His academic home is the Center for New Designs and Learning at Georgetown University. 

Dr. Stefanie A. Lindquist serves as Foundation Professor of Law and Political Science, and Senior Vice President for Global Academic Initiatives, at Arizona State University. She is recognized as an expert on the U.S. Supreme Court, judicial decision making, state courts, constitutional law and administrative law, and she has taught courses in American politics, voting rights, legislation, and election law. Lindquist has co-authored three books and has published dozens of articles and book chapters focusing on the rule of law, constitutional law, judicial behavior, and decision making in the federal and state courts. Prior to her appointment at ASU, Dr. Lindquist served as Dean and Arch Professor at UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs from 2013 to 2016, after serving as the Charles Alan Wright Chair in Federal Courts at the University of Texas School of Law from 2008 to 2013. Earlier in her career, she taught law and political science at Vanderbilt University from 2004 to 2008, and served as a visiting faculty member at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law in 2013. Dr. Lindquist was recognized for her exceptional teaching skills at both Vanderbilt University, where she was awarded where she was awarded the Robert Birkby Award for Excellence in Teaching Political Science, and at the University of Georgia, where she was named Professor of the Year and where she earned its University-Wide Teaching Award. She has also made numerous radio and television appearances over the course of her career. Lindquist graduated from Temple University School of Law in 1988, where she oversaw the Temple University Law Review as Editor in Chief. After graduating from law school, she clerked for the Honorable Anthony J. Scirica at the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, and later practiced law at Latham and Watkins in Washington, D.C. Lindquist also served as a research associate at the Federal Judicial Center in Washington D.C. assisting committees of the Federal Judicial Conference in addressing questions of federal judicial administration. In addition to her law degree, Lindquist holds the Ph.D. in Political Science, which she earned in 1996 from the University of South Carolina.

Martin Wirsing is a former vice president for teaching and studies of LMU Munich and full professor (em.) for Informatics. In 2016 he was awarded a degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) by Royal Holloway, University of London. He is co-author and editor of more than 20 books and has published more than 225 scientific papers in Computer Science. His current research interests comprise digitalization of universities, software engineering and its formal foundations, and autonomous self-aware systems. In the past he was coordinating several European IP projects including SENSORIA on software engineering for service-oriented systems and ASCENS on engineering collective autonomic systems; he was also serving as chairman of the Scientific Board of INRIA and of the Board of Trustees of the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry. Currently, he is a member of the scientific committees of IMDEA Software Madrid, LRZ München, and the excellence initiatives of the University of Bordeaux and the University of Lorraine.  He is member of the editorial board of several scientific journals and book series including Theoretical Computer Science, Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science.