IB Global Conference, Daegu 2024


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Thank you to everyone who attended the International Baccalaureate (IB) Global Conference, Daegu, in March 2024. Your enthusiasm and dedication to education were the pillars of our shared journey towards Inspiring learners, realizing potential.

More than 1,300 attendees from 38 countries met in Daegu, South Korea, with the shared goal of fostering discussions to bring a newfound sense of inspiration back to the classroom. Together, we embarked on a quest to explore fresh pedagogical approaches while navigating the dynamic landscape of modern education. The conference’s overarching theme, Inspiring learners, realizing potential, provided guidance in enlivening youth inquiry and equipping us as educators to maximize the potential of every young person we encounter.

Our lineup of speakers, drawn from various corners of the globe, took the stage to share their insights and experiences in the realm of education. The sense of camaraderie and community that flowed through the conference was truly heartwarming, reinforcing our belief in the power of collaboration and shared purpose.

Day 1

On the first day, we were treated to a performance by the talented students of Kyungpook National University Middle School. Conducted by their teacher, Hanna Choi, the students delivered a breathtaking rendition of “Viva La Vida” and “Colors of the Wind”.

To follow, attendees enjoyed a performance by the students at the International School of Busan. The students showcased the mesmerizing art form of Buchaechum, a traditional Korean fan dance.

Kim Yeonseok, Deputy Minister, spoke on behalf of Lee Ju-ho, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, providing valuable insights into the educational landscape. Olli-Pekka Heinonen, Director General of the IB, then took the stage to elaborate on the IB’s mission. He shed light on the organization’s dedication to fostering excellence and innovation in learning worldwide.

Furthermore, attendees were entertained by performances from Kyungpook National University Middle School, the International School of Busan and Seoul Foreign School. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our talented students for their captivating performances, which added a special touch to the conference.

We proudly hosted IB alumni (Sophie) Su Young Choi, who completed her IB programme from Kristin School Auckland, New Zealand. She is now a marketing professional with over 15 years of sales and marketing experience at global brands such as HYATT, Nike and Porsche. Currently, Sophie is working as a Commercial Director at PAP corporation, a subsidiary company of NAVER corporation, which is the largest internet conglomerate in South Korea.

Our first keynote speaker, Dr Paul Kim, Chief Technology Officer and Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University, examined important insights from educational development initiatives involving youth in diverse global learning environments. Attendees learned more about the significant changes that artificial intelligence (AI) is bringing to the educational landscape and the future workforce, and the urgent need for educators to reformulate perspectives in relation to the competencies that are crucial for future challenges.

We remember his presentation with the quote, “As we enter the AI era, true student success lies not just in the answers they find but, in the depth and daring of the questions they pose”.

Highlights from Day 1

Day 2

The second day opened with a touching performance from Kyungpook National University Elementary School, who inspired us with their rendition of “Heal the World”.

The general session started with a keynote panel centred on our conference theme, Inspiring learners, realizing potential. We heard from our keynotes Dr Paul Kim, Dr Ameeta Mulla Wattal and Meg Durham, as well as IB Director General Olli-Pekka Heinonen. The panel was moderated by Haif Bannayan, the IB’s Global Director of Business Development. The conversation focused on how educators can maximize pedagogical leadership and curriculum to unlock the potential of every young person they encounter.

The panel discussion was followed by our community voice and IB student Anoushka Jolly. Anoushka is the 15-year-old founder of Kavach, a well-being app that aims to address the everyday issues and problems of adolescents holistically. At the age of 13, Anoushka became the youngest entrepreneur to receive funding on the business-themed reality series, Shark Tank India, for her anti-bullying initiative. In 2023, she won the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar, the highest civilian honour for a child, from the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, and President of India, Droupadi Murmu, in the field of social services.

We then heard from our keynote speaker, Dr Ameeta Mulla Wattal, Chairperson and Executive Director of Education of the DLF Foundation, India. Her presentation urged educators to reconsider the purpose of education in light of the rapidly changing world of the 21st century. She emphasized the need to shift towards an educational framework centred on human flourishing, advocating for individualized holistic approaches that foster student agency, creativity and global partnerships. Wattal’s address challenges prevailing standardized education policies and practices, calling for a focus on adaptive problem-solving, ethical decision-making and aesthetic perception to prepare students for the challenges of the future.

Wattal memorably posed the question: “As humanity moves into the mid-21st century, we face profound challenges. Are the compass and tools we have enough to navigate the learning landscape?”

Highlights from Day 2

Day 3

We wrapped up the conference with an astounding student performance of “Above and Beyond” from Nam Sung Elementary School, conducted by their teacher, Sanghyeon Ji.

Following the performance, the Governor of Education, Kang Eun-hee, addressed the audience. She expressed her pride in the growth of the IB programme in Daegu public schools since its introduction in 2019. Daegu has become one of Korea’s leading future education destinations, with 24 IB World Schools as of March 2024. Since then, many Korean school boards have recognized the achievements and potential of the IB programme for the future of education. By 2024, the IB programme in South Korea had grown to include eight provincial education departments. Eun-hee highlighted the shared values of the IB programme and Daegu’s educational goals, both aiming to foster self-directed global citizens. The Daegu Office of Education supports schools in building teaching and assessment expertise, and assists community members as they build their teaching and assessment expertise, too. It will continue to support the growth and sustainability of IB World Schools.

Our community voice, Sara Julia Aow, then took the stage to share her thoughtful insights. Aow is a second-year undergraduate student at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), pursuing a double major in civil and environmental engineering and computer science. She is currently concentrating her studies on geospatial analysis and game development, and she is passionate about designing environments that enhance mental well-being. As an international student immersed in a foreign culture, Aow is committed to bridging the gap between Koreans and internationals.

Our closing keynote speaker, well-being expert and educator of Open Mind Education Meg Durham, delivered a considered and inspiring address that presented a proactive approach to teacher well-being.

Durham emphasized the urgent need to prioritize the well-being of educators amid unprecedented numbers leaving the profession. Drawing from her experience, Durham shared practical strategies to empower teachers to thrive rather than just survive in their demanding roles. By giving precedence to teacher well-being, Durham’s aim is to create thriving learning communities for both present and future generations.

We remember her message with the quote, “If we’re serious about student well-being, we must take teacher well-being seriously”.

Highlights from Day 3

Breakout sessions

Apart from the general sessions, participants had the opportunity to engage in over 80 peer-to-peer and IB staff breakout sessions, thoughtfully organized into four distinct tracks.

The sessions covered a wide range of the most relevant topics for IB educators and the larger global community today. From educational technology and innovation to inclusive education and well-being, learning and teaching to leadership, the breakout sessions offered abundant learning opportunities suited to the interests and needs of every attendee.

Session highlights included the following.

  • Integrating the approaches to learning throughout the curriculum (IB—PYP): Rebecca Williams and Amy Bishop from the Australian International School Singapore explored how the approaches to learning are planned for, developed and taught across the curriculum. Attendees walked away with a clear process for implementation and examples from an elementary school context that showcases how to provide opportunity for all students to develop the necessary skills essential for school and life.
  • How the IB is identifying and engaging with trends in education: Fidelis Nthenge, IB Director of Curriculum Development, and Marc Neesam, IB Head of Curriculum Design Collaboration, highlighted how the IB is undertaking the commitment to monitor and engage proactively with trends in education to support our schools and inform programme change. They discussed recent trends that the IB is investigating and the role of our community in supporting our understanding.
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the IB: Practical approaches to DEI planning for schools: Dr Michèle Rice, IB’s Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, facilitated an insightful discussion that nurtured international-mindedness and intercultural understanding by exploring learning, teaching and administrative best practices. She welcomed perspectives from schools at different stages of their DEI efforts, highlighting the challenges faced and emphasizing curriculum development and administrative practices in engaging all students. We invite you to learn more about the IB’s commitment to DEI by reading the IB’s Diversity, equity and inclusion statement.


Attendees can log in to the conference app to download session slides that have been shared by presenters. See the full conference programme here.

We would like to express heartfelt thanks to our community of passionate educators, presenters, exhibitors and sponsors for joining us in Daegu. The success of this conference would not have been possible without you.

See you at the IB Global Conference, Singapore 2025!

Want to see more #IBGC2024 highlights? Relive our attendees’ favourite moments of the conference on social media with #IBGC2024!

See social media highlights here.