A call to Nordic Collaboration: World Learning Summit establishes a scientifically accredited publication channel, featuring Nordic Edtech

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Today we can present a scientifically accredited Nordic-located world conference allowing EdTech companies and entrepreneurs a window to the world of learning and edtech. At the same time Nordic researchers are offered a meriting publication channel.

Nordic countries need to get their act together

-It´s high time the Nordic countries get their act together and begin working out a more detailed collaborative strategy for meeting the future challenges in learning and education. The Nordic learning eco system is going global and it is going digital. We don´t realize how strong and vibrant the Nordic EdTech scene really is. We need a more coordinated policy for education´s digital future. And we need an eco system that supports innovations with a much stronger investment structure, these words come from Professor Oddgeir Tveiten at the University of Agder in South Norway, in building up to the World Learning Summit June 6th through June 10th.

-We are very excited about this, because we believe there is need for such a publication outlet. Our first publication on Level 1 in the Norwegian and Danish merit system, will be our 2017 Summit Proceedings. There is a 50 people strong peer review board in place, with an editorial board represented by Norway, Holland and Greece for the time being. We want to reach from the North to the South in Europe, Tveiten says .

From 2011 until 2013 he led a project mapping “Nordic Edupreneuring”. That project was financed by the Nordic Innovation Center in Oslo. Together with Eilif Trondsen in Silicon Valley, he presented basic findings at the 2013 version of the conference that is now labeled World Learning Summit. At the 2017 event, Eilif Trondsen will present the follow-up project, where one dimension is the now emerging Nordic EdTech Alliance, led from Sweden.  

A cross-disciplinary research field

-I think there are three particular conversations that we are missing in the Nordic region”, Tveiten continues.  “We need to bridge the dialogue between the full range of academic disciplines involved in shaping the future of learning and technology. Second, we need to challenge the Nordic tradition to isolate the academic dialogue from the entrepreneurial one. Only by developing a fruitful dialogue between the ´knowers´ and the ´makers´ can we counteract the tendency to think of technology, commercial entrepreneurship and culture as polar points in the learning eco system. They are not. In fact, we are bombarded by international learning technology commerce in the shape of companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon, to mention some of them. But we treat this as Moses handing down the 10 commandments on stone tablets, instead of asking why we are in the desert in the first place. Nordic EdTech deserves better”, Tveiten says. -This is why we need a third drive in the Nordic conversation, and that is a collaborative research drive to shape the Nordic digital future of education rather than simply critiquing the present” in journals only peer scholars really read. We need a broader scholarly conversation that matters”, Tveiten adds.

Background of World Learning Summit

The World Learning Summit began as a small conference in South Norway in 2010, but it had great speakers from Silicon Valley joining from the start. It has since then grown. Dr. Martha Russell who now heads MediaX at Stanford and Dr. Keith Devlin who now heads the HStar Institute have been returning visitors since the start. According to Tveiten, the Nordic Innovation House in Palo Alto is an important place, and the EdTech industry would benefit a great deal from working together to create that Nordic EdTech Innovation Bridge.   


-With an acceptance rate as strict as 25 percent for the proceedings, we are looking at a build-up of potential journal articles, and for this reason we will be hosting a workshop during the summit to invite Nordic peers to join us in setting up the full journal.  That journal will be a bit different from others, in that it will highlight both publications, projects, networks and conferences as well as workshops. It will be a community-building journal in purpose and function”, Tveiten says. -Since there is such an obvious need for Nordic collaboration at the PhD-level as well, we think of this also as a space for PhD-students to connect and collaborate. We think of it as a means to connect in order to shape PhD courses and possibly a PhD course network for the near future. This will also be discussed at the June 2017-summit”, Tveiten says.

-All that remains is to get this communicated out across the Nordic region, is his final comment. A call to and an opportunity to all Nordic researchers and edtech-companies.

About World Learning Summit 2017 “Smart Universities”

The World Learning Summit theme for 2017 is Smart Universities adressing how we can build a smart education system in our rapidly changing digital age. 10-20 Nordic EdTech stakeholders will be on stage and the emergent Nordic EdTech Alliance will be presented. About 350 Nordic Edupreneurs are being invited. Newsletters reach out internationally to about 35000 potential readers. Among the 10 main plenary speakers you will find:

  • Two global voices from UNESCO´s engagements in Open Education
  • A corporate learning advisor to the Swizz President
  • A world-leading futurist
  • A former manager for 25 years of Pink Floyd and Billy Bragg  –– now an outspoken internet critic
  • A former head of Creative Commons
  • A virtual media learning pioneer running a research lab in Atlanta.

Check out the emerging program here: www.worldlearningsummit.com

The program is subject to constant updates, so please come back.

Swedish Edtech Industry is collborative partners in the emerging Nordic Edtech Scene and will take an active part in the programme inviting edtech entrepreneurs and investors.