the future of Learning
The impact of culture on teaching and early learning.

Thursday, February 27, 2014
Registration: 18:30-19:00, Conference: 19:00-21:15

THNK, Haarlemmerweg 8a, 1014 BE Amsterdam (Westergasfabriek)
Tickets: Euro 30, Euro 20 (Members etc.) or Euro 10 (Students)

The conference language is English.

A collaboration between THNK, the Amsterdam School of Creative Leadership and the Club of Amsterdam


Our event will take inspiration and use elements of the THNK Forum format which is designed to deepen dialogue and elevate discussion by asking questions and re-framing issues to lead to surprising insights.

Beyond the lecture model
The traditional way to impart knowledge has been the lecture and question-and-answer session. The message is usually completely fixed before it is communicated. The question-and-answer session allows the audience to get clarification and to put in critical comments. But it is also often unfocused, because questions are dealt with haphazardly as they are raised.

Going out of our comfort zone
Participants ask the questions and structure the dialogue; they share the responsibility for an interesting outcome. It requires commitment and courage. The experts in creative leadership are encouraged to ask questions of the participants, to make it a true dialogue; this means it’s a two-way street, and participants need to abandon the comfortable position of being the only ones asking questions.

Our "thought starters" are:

Huib Wursten, Senior Partner, itim International
Can we introduce "best practices" in education across countries?

As a result of globalization debates on education are no longer only about the improvement of the local standards. "Best performing countries now set the tone".
Politicians understand that performance in education can determine the economic future of a country.
Several systems - like PISA - are used to compare educational quality across countries.
A recent analyses of the Economist Intelligence Unit focused on benchmarking the factors differentiating the highest achievers. They concluded that only a few of these factors could be found. Teaching is still a very local activity and what is happening locally is a black box.
One of the "fashionable" ideas is to make the progress of learners visible by standard tests and to make teachers accountable for the results. The fear of many professionals in the field is that this is leading to "teaching to the test" and that as a result important elements like creativity, critical thinking and problem solving skills will disappear.
Well-researched systematic differences in value preferences across countries are vital for understanding the way teaching/learning processes are handled.
What we can learn from each other internationally?

Emer Beamer, Social Designer and Educator. Founder at Unexpect, co-founder at Butterfly Works and NairoBits
What should we teach the next generation?

Many children born today are likely to live to be 100 years old, making the imperative to rethink what they are being taught at school all the more urgent. As many have noted, our current system of education was developed for the Ford generation while now we are moving to what Zygmunt Bauman calls 'liquid modernity'.
What qualities will the next generation need in order to prosper in yet to be invented careers while creating meaningful lives? And could teaching the art of design and invention be a key component of future curricula.

18:30 - 19:00
Reception & Welcome Drinks

19:00 - 20:00
THNK welcome and Introduction by Kwela Sabine Hermanns, Core Faculty & Curator at THNK
Kwela is moderating, curating and guiding the dialogue and discussion.

Huib Wursten, Senior Partner, itim International
Can we introduce "best practices" in education across countries?

Emer Beamer, Social Designer and Educator. Founder at Unexpect, co-founder at Butterfly Works and NairoBits
What should we teach the next generation?

Group Discussion

20:00 - 20:25

Coffee break with drinks and snacks.

20:25 - 21:15

Group Discussion / Conclusions / Feedback

How to pay for the tickets?

....a) Online booking with credit card: Ticket Corner

....b) By bank: send an email with your details, number of tickets, type of tickets
........and event name to: ticketcorner@clubofamsterdam.com and make the payment to
........ABN AMRO Bank, Club of Amsterdam, Account 976399393, Amstelveen,
........The Netherlands, IBAN NL52ABNA0976399393, BIC ABNANL2A

....c) By invoice: send an email with your billing details, number of tickets, type of
........tickets.and event name to: ticketcorner@clubofamsterdam.com

....d) At the registration desk the evening of the event - unless we are sold out
........earlier: 18:30-19:00

THNK is on a mission: to develop the next generation of creative leaders that will have a societal impact on the world. This isn’t just about generating ideas. We work with individuals and organizations from the fields of business, entrepreneurship, and social entrepreneurship to make innovation happen.

Club of Amsterdam is an independent, international, future-oriented think tank involved in channeling preferred futures. It involves those who dare to think out of the box and those who don't just talk about the future but actively participate in shaping outcomes.
We organize events, seminars and summits on relevant issues and publish findings & proceedings through various off-line and online media channels. Our goal is to become a global player and catalyst for innovation in industries, science and society.
The Club of Amsterdam currently has more than 4,500 Members worldwide.


Huib Wursten
Senior Partner,
itim International

Huib is experienced in translating international and global strategies and policies into practical consequences for management. He has been working in this field since 1989 with a variety of Fortune 1000 companies, with public and private organisations in 85 countries on all continents. His main clients in the business sector are IBM, 3M, Vodafone, McCain, Quest, Texaco, ABN AMRO, Nike, and Unilever. Non-profit clients include the IMF, the European Central Bank, the World Bank, the UN Development Programme, the Council of Europe, and the Dutch peacekeeping forces.

Emer Beamer
Social Designer and Educator. Founder at Unexpect, co-founder at Butterfly Works and NairoBits

Emer Beamer from Ireland is based in Amsterdam. Her new studio and virtual school, Unexpect, teaches children the art of social design and invention. She is also one of the designers of the upcoming 'Nederlandse School', whose mission is to train a new generation of creative and independent teachers, which will have a big impact on the quality of secondary school education in the Netherlands.
In 2004, Emer co-founded Butterfly Works, co-creation studio for a better world, which works in 16 countries globally and enjoys structural funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its work. In 2000, Emer co-founded Nairobits, a design school in Kenya for young people from informal settlements, which has since been successfully adapted to Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia.
Emer recently completed the post-graduate program at THNK, the Amsterdam School of Creative Leadership and is a regular speaker on innovative education and social design and invention. She is currently doing research for a book about all the things she didn't learn at school.
'My latest venture is driven by the vision that if everyone could tap into their inner creativity and natural empathy, then together we could solve almost all the problems that the world has.'


Kwela Sabine Hermanns
Core Faculty & Curator at THNK

Kwela is a highly focussed, process-oriented entrepreneur and innovation specialist with many years of business experience in education, research, training and project management in the creative industries.
She is bi-lingual in English and German, owns a Masters degree in New Media Studies and trained in small business innovation at Copenhagen Business School.
She coaches and trains people and organisations in goal implementation and dynamic change management techniques.
”My own goal is to support inter-disciplinary innovation towards value based and surprising sustainable futures. I combine a highly analytical and strategic mind with a passion for team work, people and relationship buidling.”

Haarlemmerweg 8A
1014 BE
The Netherlands


The THNK campus is located at Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam.

From Schiphol Airport
From Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, you can either take a taxi to THNK (cost between €45-60), or the train to Amsterdam Central Station (€3.70). A taxi from the station will cost about €10.

Public Transport from Central Station
From Central Station, you can walk (30 minutes), or take bus number 22 towards Spaarndammerbuurt, and get off at stop Nassauplein. Take a short walk through the park to THNK.
Or take tram 10 direction Van Hallstraat - stop at van Limburg Stirumstraat. Take a short walk to THNK.

Driving to THNK
From the south: take the A10 toward Amsterdam West, exit S103 Haarlem, take a right toward Westerpark. After 1.5 km, there is a parking garage to on the right: Parkeergarage Westerpark at the corner of Slingelandtstraat and Haarlemmerweg (€3 per hour), Van Bleiswijkstraat 8, 1051 DG Amsterdam. Street parking is also possible, though harder to get.

Related to this topic see also
Club of Amsterdam Journal

and for more events

Club of Amsterdam