Narayana Murthy at IIMB’s Future of Learning Conference 2020

Bengaluru: The third edition of the Annual Future of Learning Conference 2020 (FoL 2020) was hosted by IIM Bangalore from January 3 to 4, 2020, with this year’s theme being ‘Learning to Learn, Unlearn and Relearn: Flourishing in the Age of Disruptions and Innovation’.

The event brought together academic leaders, policymakers, industry experts and technologists for brainstorming sessions, showcasing innovation and sharing knowledge along three paradigms of the future of learning: to learn, unlearn and relearn.

Massive technology-led disruptions in the educational sector have compelled both individuals and institutions to respond, adaptively. These, in turn, have facilitated the emergence of new pedagogies using adaptive learning, personalized learning as well as a host of new pedagogical approaches.

The conference saw speakers from tech companies and premier education institutions like Infosys, Capgemini, TCS, NASSCOM, edX, Fidelity Investments, Mercer Mettl, IIT Bombay, IIT Madras, and more, addressing questions around learnability in the context of Industry 4.0.

“Education is learning to learn,” remarked N R Narayana Murthy, Chairman Emeritus and Co-founder of Infosys, at the FoL 2020 conference. “Learning broadens one’s horizon, improves judgements, instils critical learning, enhances curiosity, and helps them walk the path, reach the unattained goals, and solve the future problems of the society,” he said.

One of the complexities at the time of information overload is to identify ways to channelize information and take up the right approach to learn. “Experts in education should realize that youngsters must be equipped with fundamental learnings and be able to apply them to understand and solve problems around them.”

“The future of education is digital,” declared Anant Agarwal, Founder and CEO of edX and faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in a plenary session. Based on various research studies conducted by edX, he said that amongst the various challenges business leaders must overcome today, reskilling, retaining, and recruiting are vital ones. He added, “About 75% of the workforce would comprise millennials by the next decade. Tomorrow’s learning will be digital, which will be connected, on-demand and modular, mobile, flexible, and personalized.”

Varun Garg, VP Learning, UpGrad, Amit Goyal, CEO, edX India, Bibin Shivas, Head Customer Success – Asia Pacific, Coursera, and Nishit Jain, Special Advisor, EFMD Global Network Asia, participated in a panel discussion on ‘The Future of Professional Education’, moderated by Ramya Srinivasan, Program Director, VentureBasecamp. Personalized learning, pathway skilling, learner engagement, agility, and creating the right degree of motivation for learners that will help drive future education towards digitalization, were some of the key points that came up during the panel-audience interaction.

Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty, Chair, Board of Governors, IIM Bangalore, observed, in his keynote address at the event, “We tend to overestimate the effect of technology in the short run and underestimate it in the long run. Everything is going to be disrupted. We should be ready to embrace the change.”

Besides the plenary discussions, the participants also got an opportunity to present their research on various problems in the education industry, at the conference.