Future of Learning Themes - key

Business Transition
Strategic Foresight & Futures
Humanisation, Diversity & Equity

Please note that as session planning is still underway, speakers and session details are subject to change. 

Keynote: The workforce of tomorrow demands a new mindset

Jan Owen

Transitions between training or study and work are not as cut and dry as they used to be. The world of work is in a massive transition to an ever more global, technology driven, flexible economy in which whole progressions are being altered, and every single job across the economy will be transformed in the next decade. To prepare young people for this future we must rethink education and ensure that our schools become incubators of thinking and experimentation. We need to empower our young people to drive our economy and nation forward, navigate ongoing change and ensure they are equipped with the skills required in the age of the smart machine.

The change of the career path

Kendall Flutey and Sam Johnson

Both Young New Zealanders of the Year, Kendall Flutey and Sam Johnson will address the issue of young people adapting their career paths with the pace of technology change.

Morning Tea

Small Bets: 20 Years Later

John Balash

The Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is currently celebrating two decades of creating transformational experiences.  Since its inception, the ETC has collaborated with giants ranging from Disney to D.A.R.P.A. – and local K-12 in-and-out of school learning environments.  In this session, we will flash through 20 years of Small Bets in educationally focused collaborations that have landed the Pittsburgh in the international spotlight.  Along the way,  we’ll be discussing the best practices towards developing innovative educational ecosystems, the key partnerships, past and current projects, how to fail forward, and other details about the process at CMU ETC.

Project Pitch

Boma NZ Educational Fellows

The Boma NZ Educational Fellows will summarise their hands-on projects in progress. The projects will ultimately be rolled out in Canterbury secondary schools, resulting in tangible outcomes that can be scaled to others in the wider education community.


Why emotionally intelligent conversational Artificial Intelligence is a game changer for learning

Jody Boshoff

UneeQ is a New Zealand success story, winning the Virgin Business Challenge, and mentoring by Richard Branson. Uneeq’s recent projects include implementing Digital Humans for some of the world’s biggest brands, including Vodafone and UBS bank. This session will focus on:

  • The application of this technology to surprise and delight customers, staff and students
  • What ROI looks like

Panel: Converting projects into the real world

John Balash & Kendall Flutey

A panel led by John and Kendall, representing multiple view points, to discuss the viability of the Boma NZ Educational Fellow’s projects that were pitched in the Auditorium presentation prior to this workshop.

Learning a living: future skills and the evolution of learning

David Glover
David Glover

Drawing on his research for the book “Don’t worry about the Robots: how to survive and thrive in the new world of work”  David explores how the future skill needs of the workforce are driving change in the education sector. His presentation will look at global and NZ forecasts and examples and the insights of leading New Zealanders to provide practical and actionable advice on how learning needs to adapt successfully to the new environment.

Re-Designing the Future of Learning

Hamish Duff
Hamish Duff

“Make no little plans, for they have no magic to move hearts and minds” If we want to inspire and unite actions towards a better future for everyone, we need a vision to collectively aim for. We invite you to participate in a design exercise, to put aside the status quo, the systems and constraints we are currently subject to, and to create a bold vision of the Future of Learning. This will begin an ongoing conversation throughout the event.

How Immersive-Tech Storytelling changes the way we learn

Sakthi Priya Balaji Ranganathan
Sakthi Priya Balaji Ranganathan

This session will include an introduction to XR technology via real-world use cases and their impact. Attendees will hear about a toolkit to integrate technology at educational institutions and organisations to enhance learning. 

Followed by an interactive XR hands-on demonstration. 

Afternoon Tea

Future trends - embracing new technologies, adapting to changing workforces and workplaces

Shailan Patel
Shailan Patel

Trajectory Based Planning – Are you ready for the future? What will your business, career look like in 10 years?

This session will help you consider the impact future trends, new technologies, changing workforces, workplaces and environments will have on you and what’s important to know now as a result.

Are you curious about the Future of Education in 2030?

Nick Burnett
Nick Burnett

This interactive workshop will share some possible scenarios of education in 2030 and explore a possible framework to help students be future ready. Participants will be expected to work with others on their table and interact with some of the content through a phone, tablet or laptop.

Recontextualising Learning for our Asia-Pacific Future

Chris Henderson
Chris Henderson

An overview of work underway to lift New Zealand teachers’ knowledge of, connections with, and capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region. Facilitated thinking on how leaders of learning can best support global and intercultural competency development using recently developed tools, online resources, and experiential opportunities.

This session will be of value to employers and educators who recognise NZ’s comparative isolation and traditional orientation to Europe and the USA, and are actively considering ways of better connecting our future learning enterprises to the dynamic, diverse, and increasingly influential Asia-Pacific region.

Choose your own adventure...

Carl Pavletich

A chance to have some meeting time to catch-up with co-conspirators and hatch plans for world domination, or just some quiet time to reflect on the inspirational speakers of the day so far! 

Future flows: transforming our education system for an equitable future

Dr Eruera Tarena

This session will explore how iwi have used big data to map current education outcomes for Maori to identify key actions for us to take together to bring an equitable future closer.


Cheryl Doig & Hamish Duff

Cheryl and Hamish will cast your mind back to Day 1 and provoke your thinking in preparation for Day 2

The impact of Artificial Intelligence on education

Dr Mahsa Mohaghegh

The impact AI is having on multiple industries is growing exponentially, and the education sector is no exception. As a senior lecturer at one of New Zealand’s leading universities, and also an AI subject matter expert, the effects of AI on education are something Mahsa is passionate about. In this presentation Mahsa intends to provide an overview of how AI is currently reshaping the education scene, discussing current AI applications which are being explored at secondary and tertiary education levels, and highlighting the potential futures changes AI can bring to traditional characteristics of the education system.

Cool Technology, Solving Real Problems and 21st Century Skills

Jessica Trybus

Video games are powerful communication tools because they are really about empowerment. And we’ve found out it’s not only about playing a game – much learning and empowerment comes through MAKING and SHARING games. The head fake is to use the cool factor of games/VR as the medium – but the outcomes are really about critical skills applicable well beyond designing and developing these experiences.

This talk will share examples of how video games have changed lives, both through play and engaging youth in their development – as well as a current vision for scale.

Morning Tea

Panel: How can we personalise learning to meet diverse needs?

Shailan Patel, Margaret Pickering & David Glover

What role does technology play in the way we personalise learning for diverse needs? The panel will answer questions submitted by conference attendees and offer their perspective, supported by their experience and expertise.

Navigating the future of learning: Forecast 5.0

Jason Swanson

Jason will address  the main points of each element of the KnowledgeWorks Forecast 5.0 and make links to the NZ context, covering schools, tertiary education, business and community environments.


Changing the baby in the bath

James Hayes

James will talk about how different methodologies and paradigms need to be explored in education.

The workforce is changing and if we want our best and brightest to be ready it’s our responsibility to ensure we give them the right tools. You will hear about how technology is shaping the workforce and is likely to increase exponentially from other speakers – how can we possibly think that preparing learners in the same way as we always have done will be suitable?

Engaging a national workforce to accommodate for a changing work landscape

Brianne Fick
Brianne Fick

Citycare Ideas Suite © is a combination of online platforms and offline research and design workflows. The programme is designed to surface new ideas from our national employee base and to coach idea owners to reorganise their ideas into actionable, research-based initiatives. Find out how Citycare has gone about engaging our national workforce to become champions committed to discovery

Strategic foresight: Part 1

Jason Swanson & Cheryl Doig

What is it and how does it work? This workshop will cover the key elements of strategic foresight. Jason will share the approach that globally acknowledged educational leaders Knowledgeworks use to undertake their futures work and lessons learnt in practice. Attendees are encouraged to proceed to Strategic foresight: Part 2 in the next breakout session, as a continuation of this topic.

Look to the Past to Embrace the Future

Piripi Prendergast
Piripi Prendergast

As our waka races towards the future, we must be mindful of where we are now and how we got here. Titiro whakamuri ki anga whakamua – Look to the past in order to move forward. With an aging Pākehā population, New Zealand needs the increasing and youthful Māori population to be highly educated, highly skilled and well paid. This time, we have to get it right. How do we make this vision a reality? What do we need on board our waka, what do we need to throw overboard and what course shall we chart? In this workshop, Tokona Te Raki – Māori Futures Collective will share what we have learnt, ask your thoughts and how we can be part of this journey together.

Deep dive into AI

Raphael Nolden

In this session, we will explore the impact that AI specifically and Tech, in general, will have on the future of learning. This is a nontechnical workshop and no understanding of programming is required. We will look at how AI will be able to shift our fundamental assumptions about education for the last 200 years and how AI will allow us to finally do what most teachers have dreamed about since the invention of schools. We will look at how this will impact schools here in NZ and other developed countries but more importantly what this will mean for the democratisation of education globally. The session will consist of an introduction with case studies looking at leading tech from NZ and around the world including and, this will be followed by a Q&A and discussion.

Afternoon Tea


Michael Simmons
Michael Simmons & Ray O'Brien

The Future is here! Micro-credentials have quickly emerged as a global innovation in education both solving age old problems of workplace learning and development as well as meeting the needs of modern learners for focused, flexible and self-directed learning. In this session we will discuss the what, why and how of micro-credentials with case studies of how they are being used in New Zealand along with key lessons from early developments.

This session is particularly relevant for those seeking to find innovative ways to take workplace learning and development to a new level and meet the needs of new and emerging skills areas.

Strategic foresight: Part 2

Jason Swanson & Cheryl Doig

This session will provide some simple tools and strategies in strategic foresight that you could take away and implement in your organisation. While it is ideal for participants to have attended Strategic Foresight: Part 1, both are stand alone workshops.

How computational thinking helps create a better society

Kirsty Owen
Tim Bell

This workshop covers the importance of a people-centred approach in Digital Technologies education. Based on the idea that “we don’t write programs for computers, but we write programs for people”, we will explore the more human-centred skills that students need to be able to create excellent digital apps, and how these appear in the new and revised Digital Technologies curriculum area for the NZ school curriculum (years 1 to 13), which all NZ schools are expected to deliver by 2020.

Unlock your game ideas!

Margaret Pickering & Jessica Trybus

Have ideas to bring games into your classroom to support learning? Or ideas that apply games to learning outside the classroom? Not sure where to start or stuck somewhere along the line – whether that’s the game design, the process, the overall justification, how to think about measuring, what technology to consider, etc? Maybe you’d like feedback on what you’ve done so far?
All welcome – This session is an opportunity to ask experts!
The conversation will be facilitated by two very experienced solutions-oriented game developers who have proposed, developed or otherwise driven the delivery of 100s of video games for learning, training or otherwise solve problems.

The J Team
Panel: Reflections on the conference and "where now?"

The J Team: John Balash, Jason Swanson & Jessica Trybus

At the end of the conference, our international speakers will form a panel to take us through their reflections on the content of the two days and explore future scenarios. This interactive session will conclude the conference with some ideas for practical steps forward.