The best way to predict the future is to invent it

So, is it true, as American computer scientist Alan Kay once wrote, that “the best way to predict the future is to invent it”?

We at Community Colleges Australia (CCA) believe so.

That’s why we have used Alan Kay’s often-quoted statement as the “tag-line” for our 2016 Annual Conference, which has the title “Innovation: What next for community education?”

This conference will empower participants to:

Visualise a future society and economy, where our sector operates in an increasingly fluid environment, where we can build the skills of both our young and our mature learners, and where learners learn not only the skills of now but how to learn the skills of the future;

Create new, entrepreneurial and innovative business models, partnerships and collaborations with government, community, business and individuals, based on bold thinking, cognisant of the new world of work and leisure, supported by flexible systems of teaching and learning; and

Deliver both quality education and market success, set in community education environments that are exciting places in which to learn, work and grow, and that support their communities.

How are we going to do this?

By featuring speakers bringing the latest future thinking, including:

  • Jodi Schmidt, CEO of TAFE Queensland, speaking on her latest commissioned CSIRO research, “the VET era: equipping Australia’s workforce for the future digital economy”;
  • Murray Bunton, Executive Director, The Agency – a not-for-profit strategy, communications, design, digital and media company, speaking on “Innovating and communicating in a digital age”;
  • Wendy Perry, renowned innovator, international speaker and thought leader in entrepreneurship, innovation, VET, and workforce planning – as well as being the 2015 VET “Edupreneur of the Year”; and
  • Monica Laurence, Silicon Valley entrepreneur, former head of strategic planning for Lucasfilm and founder of Turtle Talks.

And by supporting the first-ever Community Education Innovation Prize, to be awarded at our Gala Dinner on Wednesday evening 19th October 2016.

Innovation – contrary to widely-held beliefs – is not just about the digital world. Sure, digital is both important and disruptive, but digital changes are a complex set of technical, economic, social and behavioural activities. Learning – education – that we in the Australian community education sector do, focuses on the needs of people and not technology.

Join us in October in Sydney to work through these questions. Mark your calendar now for October 18th, 19th and 20th.

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