Empowering a generation of change-makers to redefine the future of education at the IB Global Conference, Australia


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The International Baccalaureate (IB) hosted the IB Global Conference in Australia, where over four days, more than 1.100 participants from 34 countries navigated around the evolving educational landscape that challenge us to be more open in our approach to learning and teaching.

Under the theme "Education for an inclusive future", the IB Global Conference facilitated participants to learn from education experts, share their own experiences and engage with the IB community, colleagues and exhibitors worldwide. Among the features, the conference held an extensive line-up of inspirational speakers, staff and peer-to-peer breakout sessions, and networking opportunities. Participants also had the chance to attend over 95 insightful sessions to gain fresh perspectives on teaching practices and updates about the IB programmes.

"The world is rapidly changing and if our teaching and learning practices are to prepare students for the world in which they will live, our knowledge and understanding must deepen and our educational practice expand", said Dr Helen Drennen, Chair of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Board of Governors, during the opening speech ceremony.

The sessions focused on four strands:

  • Educational technology and innovation: the importance of combining technological tools and resources with educational practice to facilitate learning.
  • Inclusive education and well-being: a whole-school approach to education that promotes inclusion, equitable quality education and access to all students.
  • Learning and teaching: competencies and strategies needed to facilitate lifelong learning.
  • Leadership: advanced content for education leaders.

Among the various activities that took place during the three days of the conference, a diverse line-up of powerful keynote speakers shared their invaluable insights and experience with students and educators that will redefine the future of education.

An inclusive approach to supporting wellbeing in schools

During the first day of the conference, Dr Helen Street, co-founder of Positive Schools and the creator of Contextual Wellbeing, introduced the philosophy and framework of Contextual Wellbeing—a systemic approach to developing wellbeing in schools—and shared tips on how to support it best. “It is time we stop trying to ‘teach happiness’ in our schools, and instead develop school contexts that better support belonging and engagement for all. Wellbeing needs to be nurtured in spaces between us if it is to be found within us. When I see a child who feels accepted, valued and connected within the contexts of their life, I see a child who is well.”

Teaching academically driven diverse learners in inclusive schools

Dr Jane Jarvis, Principal Research Fellow at the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), shared during her session on the second day of the conference how her understanding of inclusive practice in classrooms and schools has developed over time through experience and research, and what are her thoughts to effectively teach academically driven diverse learners. “If we are going to educate young people for an inclusive future, we need to ensure they experience inclusive learning experiences within inclusive schools. As educators, this means knowing exactly what ‘inclusive’ looks like at the classroom, school and system level”, said Dr Jarvis.

Teaching for tomorrow: how to future-proof our schools, students and educational systems

Michael McQueen, multi-award-winning speaker, trend forecaster and bestselling author helped conclude the conference with a compelling session where audiences discovered some capability values that will equip students for the future that lies ahead, key paradigms changes educators will need to remain relevant in turbulent times and strategies for making innovation and agility part of the DNA in education.

Global Youth Action Fund announcement

The IB supports student development and growth by creating and offering opportunities such as the Global Youth Action Fund, an initiative that will award grants for youth-led projects that aim to make an impact in their communities and nurture future leaders and change makers. The applications to participate in the grant—open to all youth aged 12 to 19—will be open in May and grant awardees will receive mentorship and connection with social entrepreneurship leaders as well as other student awardees.

IB Global Conference Toronto 2023

The next IB Global Conference will take place in Toronto, Canada, from 27 to 30 July 2023 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Participants will have access to more than 100 sessions, network with peers, learn tangible skills for the classroom and gain insight into the IB, teaching methods and practices

We acknowledge and thank our Principal Partners: Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide Business Events, the Government of South Australia (represented by the Department of Premier and Cabinet), and Tourism Australia for the support provided towards the IB Global Conference, Adelaide 2023.