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TA3 2017 Theme: Crafting new learning environments; Be an entrepreneur of your own future!
Powerpoint presentations and photo gallery below
Watch a short video of the event here! https://youtu.be/zbB_xJOqD7A
The 2017 TA3 Conference in The Netherlands, organised by Da Vinci College and Markiezaat College has adjourned.
Many TA3 members from the United States, Denmark, Northern Ireland, Spain, The Basque country, Germany and The Netherlands attended the symposium that was kicked off on 11th June with a cultural programme in Dordrecht city centre, visiting the Hof van Nederland museum. Participants were introduced to major events in the history of Dutch democracy, followed by a walking tour of the inner city sites.
On Monday at the venue of the Sustainability Factory TA3 members were joined by representatives from the European Commission, Efvet, Innotecs, the Dutch VET council and many colleagues from Dutch community colleges.
Marloes de Vries, vice president of the executive board of Da Vinci College welcomed attendees, reminding them of Leonardo da Vinci, whose curiosity and fascination for innovative objects and concepts would inspire us during the symposium and hopefully would enable us to think in different directions.
Keynote speaker Ruud Veltenaar, a very inspirational philosopher, reminded us that the world is in transformation towards the next phase in civilisation, which will have an influence on everybody. This transformation is already taking place: Shift happens! Education is to serve as a bridge between our inner world and the external world so that we may meet, face and solve our challenges, working for a greater purpose while investing in well-being rather than welfare.
European Commission representative João Santos explained European actions taken on mobility, Erasmus+ and ways of financing the efforts. He reminded us that young people will undergo numerous transformations during their working lives and will have multiple careers.
Other keynote speakers, professor Egbert-Jan Sol and Siemens Netherlands CEO Ab van der Touw confirmed these views in different ways in their analyses of job-related issues, demographic developments and stressing that employability depends on life-long development. Katie Hall and Susan Lupo stressed the importance of life-long learning pathways as a condition for remaining employable. Job descriptions should be well-aligned to the competencies required by enterprise, business and industry. They presented a framework for credentialing, developed by the Lumina foundation.
The speakers presented a joint vision of competencies that are crucial to employees of the future. We need people to have multi-communicative skills, to be flexible and adaptive and work together, combining the common good and personal interests. Interdependence will be a key factor in our lives. Education should be focused on both social and emotional intelligence.
Our teachers and leaders need to be curious, eager to learn and willing to share their knowledge and expertise. A concept like Watson IBM could involve enormous numbers of people in decision-making, based on algorithms identifying the optimum scenario. The shift is ongoing and will be ever more noticeable to all of us. Several speakers also mentioned the possibility of providing everybody with a basic income, preventing social problems and enabling people to free their minds to contribute without having to worry about basic needs.
Whatever we do: action is required.
After the keynotes the stage was set for a round of interactive workshops or breakout sessions exploring the focus areas of the conference theme, moderated by TA3 members.
The three focus areas were explored by both member and non-member attendees, the sessions providing plenty of opportunity for exchange of opinions and expertise. Of course sessions like these are not a source of ready answers, but represent a process of exploring global questions and issues that might lead to various local solutions, the start of an ongoing search process for the coming period.
The focus areas were: the transformation of learning environments, leadership of scalable innovation and learning and credentialing / life-long development.
Participants then had a tour of the Sustainability Factory, being the venue for the conference. They were presented with a short introduction to the concept of hybrid education in which the frontiers between education and enterprise are becoming more fluid and are gradually disappearing, one step beyond work-placed learning. They were involved in a number of hands-on activities, such as simulated welding, programming robots, and viewing the Nacelle. The Nacelle is the first simulated wind turbine in The Netherlands, recently acquired by Da Vinci College.
This very inspirational day was concluded by an informal dinner buffet, enabling participants to share their experiences of the day, strengthening relationships and tying new bonds.
During the industry tour on Tuesday we visited Woensdrecht airbase. The industry tour made it clear to all participants that regional cooperation is absolutely vital towards building sustainable economic progress. Tapping into the needs of regional enterprise and aligning efforts of education, local authorities and business to these needs, has yielded a common ground for further development.
A region needs a particular focus, in Dordrecht this is the Maritime Delta, in Woensdrecht it is the combination of the commercial Aviolanda Business Park with the military airbase being in conjunction with aircraft maintenance and training. This was even translated physically by removing the frontiers between both bases, a sign of mutual trust. The municipal authorities have been instrumental in bringing about and maintaining these networks. This has also been the main reason for Aviolanda to resettle in the region and for steady enhancement of the business environment by attracting new partners.
The cooperation described and the interconnection of multiple smaller networks is highly conducive to creating sustainable economic growth and has created thousands of (new) jobs. Markiezaat College presented participants with an overview of these partnerships involved in the maintenance of civil and military aircraft. The behind-the-scenes presentations and walks around the airbase were quite impressive. What was most striking is, that in order to be successful, concepts depend very much on informal relationships, lots of patience, concerted effort and a willingness to succeed.
The Dutch Air Force provided insight into the workings of the military operations at Woensdrecht and the cooperation between civil and military authorities. At the AMTS (Aircraft and Maintenance Training School) the attention paid to detail, quality control and safety regulations was quite visible, students being well-trained to reduce the number of mistakes to a minimum. The visitors went on to the Markiezaat campus where they were shown the learning environments of building and construction.
The Wednesday members’ business meeting reconfirmed the commitment of TA3 members to expand the network, to increase member-driven activities and to seek the cooperation of other alliances to enhance the impact the network may have on vocational training.
The presentations and impressions of the conference will be made available to participants (and other interested parties) through various links on this website. Due to contractual obligations Ruud Veltenaar’s presentation may only be made available through the following link, deze link (English version) or deze link (Dutch version) and must not be shared for unauthorised publication.
We thank all those who have contributed to making this conference a great success: the keynote speakers, the American and European secretariats, artists, Da Vinci and Markiezaat staff and students, workshop and breakout moderators, representatives of municipalities, and of course: the participants!