2020 Digital

We are all living through an extraordinary time, the Corona pandemic defining much of what we do and representing a new level of uncertainty. Considering the situation WLS 2020 will be entirely devoted to sharing experiences and reflections on the meaning of  this new and unexpected reality.  Please joins us to chart this unknown territory. 

World Learning Summit is a small, well established  international conference offering scholars, PhD students, entrepreneurs and policymakers a space in which to present and discuss ongoing projects and ideas relating to higher education in the context of globalization and digital transformation. WLS 2020 is our tenth conference. Sign up below to join our global network. 

Beyond Corona:

Digital learning: Policy, theory and practice for the future


October 21st and 22nd

October 21st 14:00 -- 18:00

Opening adresses

14:00 –– 14:15: WLS 2020 digital –– our 10th year anniversary –– is opened by the President of the University of Agder. Brief appeals from former keynote speakers to the conference. 
Oddgeir Tveiten, WLS Chair • Sunniva Whittaker, President, UiA •
Keith Devlin, Emeritus Director HStar Institute, Stanford University • Donna Kidwell, CTO at Arizona State University


WLS 2020 Keynote: Open Access in a post-Corona time

14:15 –– 14:35: Inviting back from previous keynote speakers, the 2020 Keynote is given by Cathy Casserly reflecting on the Corona pandemic, as seen from her perspective as an international education strategist and councellor. 

Keynote responses –– Q/A

14:35 –– 15:15: Hosted by Donna Kidwell, the panelists will discuss the eynote theme and answer questions from registered summit attendees.

Panel: TBA

Featured panel: After Corona -- a better student experience

15:15 –– 16:00: The session is introduced and chaired by associate professor Aasmund Hermansen, Oslo Metropolitan University
How is the Corona pandemic changing the way we think about digital learning and social engagement? The first of January 2020 Oslo Metropolitan University launched a four-year program called “A better student experience” which will facilitate and develop measures that contribute to a significant boost in students´ well-being, learning outcomes, and academic performance. Digitization in education is a cornerstone of the program

Panel: TBA

BREAKOUT SESSIONS 16:00 -- 17:30

SESSION 1: Nordic Ed Tech: How is the Corona pandemic changing the way we think about digital learning technology and what challenges are ahead? The questino of Edducaiton Technology has been featured in all our conferences. WLS 2020 offers chance to look back, looking forward. Session moderator is Eilif Trondsen

Panel: TBA

SESSION 2: Digital learning designs: How does the post-Corona setting open up for fresh ways of thinking about education innovation? Arizona State University is a forward-leaning US institution of higher learning with upwards of 40000 students learning online. WLS co-chair Donna Kidwell (CTO of ASU) presents key insights from ASU. 

Panel: TBA

SESSION 3: Innovating learning for sustainable societies: The Corona pandemic is changing the way we think about digital learning and global networking. Might we see an awakening to a new awareness concerning sustainable development, North South challenges and the roles of learning within that challenge? WLS chair Oddgeir Tveiten heads up a discussion on the challenge of rethinking education´s digital future in the context of global networking. 

Panel: TBA

October 22nd: 14:00 -- 18:00

2nd day opening

14:00 –– 14:15: What have we learned form the Covid-19 lock-down? Round-up of yesterday´s discussions. Session host is June Breivik and Eilif Trondsen.

14:15 –– 15:00: Higher Education and the challenge of inclusiveness in a post-Corona era. Session host is Anjum Malik.  

15:10 –– 16:00: What happened to MOOCs? Keith Devlin has spoken about MOOCs at our conferences several times, the first time in 2013. What global eco system is there for MOOCs in the post-Corona era? Keith Devlin sums up in 15 minutes.  Session and discussion host is Phil Komarny

16:00 –– 17:00: “The new mobilities”: Envisioning student mobility in the post-COVID-19 era. What are the long-term implications of less student mobility? How would it make sense to explore virtual mobility? Session host is Phil Long.

17:00 –– 18:00: What is “The new normal”: How will COVID-19 impact on future learning? And what are the main take-aways from WLS 2020?

WLS 2020 closes with our virtual fireside chat – guests and hosts Donna Kidwell, Keith Devlin, Judith  Molka-Danielsen, Cathy Casserly and Oddgeir Tveiten

Ways to participate


Sign up below to follow WLS 2020 open webinars for free. The limit is 500 participants. You will have access to the entire program. The program will continue to develop until summit commencement.


Sign up as an active participant in discussions to interact with keynote speakers and other discussants. Paid sign-up gives access to downloadable WLS proceedings, email group lists and WLS badge of participation.


Register to our Global Future Learning Network and receive access to all joint resources, forums, planning of future events, open access publication and future project planning as well as future WLS planning.

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