The Futures of Education

This year’s conference engages the once-in-a-decade UNESCO report, The Futures of Education, pulled together by a broad international committee with diverse representation and focus groups conducted across many countries.  

The first two chapters answer three big questions, which are essential questions we will address in the conference:

  1. What educational progress has been achieved over the last
    50 years?  
  2. What injustices still need to be addressed? (Ch 1) 
  3. What emerging disruptions will shape the world of 2050? What role can education play in achieving desired futures? (Ch 2) 

March 25, 2022, 7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. CT

Education Building, WI Idea Room 159, 1000 Bascom Mall,
Madison, WI 53706

*Some conference sessions will be broadcast in Room 159 virtually via Zoom.

Program Fee:
Free; pre-registration required

Register Now

The conference will feature keynote speakers:

  • Dr. Antonio Novoa, Portuguese ambassador to UNESCO and formerly the Rector of the University of Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Dr. Noah Sobe, Professor of Comparative Education at Loyola University, UW grad, former president of Comparative and International Education Society, and Senior Project Officer in the Education Research and Foresight programme at UNESCO. Dr. Sobe directed the review process for the report.

The conference will include panels of students presenting their work. There will also be opportunities to connect with current, future, alumni and emeriti members of the EPS community.

The graduate planning committee is comprised of Batuhan Aydagul, Moisés G. Contreras, Virginia R. Downing, Khrysta A. Evans, Gabrielle Hernández, Kyoungjin Jang , Jacques Lesure and Emily O. Miller.

This event is hosted by the UW-Madison School of Education’s Department of Educational Policy Studies and Office of Professional Learning and Community Education (PLACE) and co-sponsored by IRIS NRC and the Center for European Studies. This partnership was made possible by the generosity of the School of Education’s Impact 2030 Initiative. 


7:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m. Panel: Global Responses to the Futures of Education Report

International Network of Education Institution members from Beijing Normal University, Hiroshima University, Nanyang Technological University, University of São Paulo, and University of Wisconsin-Madison will respond to the UNESCO report. Facilitated by Dr. Kate McCleary of the SoE Global Engagement Office (via Zoom).

8:45 a.m.-9:00 a.m. Dean Diana Hess: Welcome

9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. Dr. António Nóvoa: Reimagining our Futures Together (via Zoom)

Together is the key word in this report on the futures of education. In a time of interdependences, how do we build what makes us part of a common humanity? How should we think about conviviality, a concept coined by Ivan Illich in the 70s? What can, and cannot, education and pedagogy?

Dr. António Nóvoa is Professor of Education at the University of Lisbon and Ambassador of Portugal to UNESCO, until November 2021. He served on the International Commission for the Futures of Education.

10:15 a.m.-11:15 a.m. Student Panel Session #1

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Student Panel Session #2

12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Lunch Break

1:30 p.m.-2:45 p.m. Dr. Noah Sobe: Co-constructing Futures of Education

Dr. Noah Sobe is Professor of Comparative Education at Loyola University, a UW grad, former president of Comparative and International Education Society, and Senior Project Officer in the Education Research and Foresight programme at UNESCO. Dr. Sobe directed the review process for the report.

3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Invited Faculty Panel: Thinking Collectively about Futurity in Education (via Zoom)

  • Dr. Nidia Bañuelos, Assistant Professor of Adult, Continuing, and Higher Education, UW-Madison
  • Dr. Justin A. Coles, Assistant Professor of Social Justice Education, UMass Amherst
  • Dr. Hailey Love, Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education, UW-Madison
  • Dr. Matt Villeneuve, Assistant Professor of History and American Indian Studies, UW-Madison

4:00 p.m.-4:05 p.m. Closing

4:05 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Reunion with alumni and emeritus faculty

Current EPS undergraduate and graduate students, undergraduate and graduate alumni of EPS, currently EPS faculty, and emeritus faculty of EPS are invited to join this zoom reunion and reconnect.

Faculty Lead

Lesley Bartlett

Professor, Department Chair, Department of Educational Policy Studies