IB Virtual Conference 2021


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Thank you to everyone who participated in this IB Virtual Conference, which gathered more than 1000 members of the IB community from over 60 countries.

Participants, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and IB staff came together under the theme of Unlocking the next paradigm, to explore new perspectives, approaches, and attitudes that are shaping the future of education. Here are some of the many highlights from the conference.


Our new Director General, Mr Olli-Pekka Heinonen, greeted and answered questions from the community for the first time, and shared his insights on the future of education and vision for the IB. A distinguished panel of education leaders discussed the lessons learned from battling a global pandemic and how to maintain quality education during uncertainty.

Inspirational speakers

Over the next four days, our diverse line-up of speakers delivered thought-provoking sessions about the future of education. Keynote speaker Jos Dirkx discussed how education is being disrupted and how technological advances can help our schools take learning further. Pierre Dillenbourg gave us a peek into the future by demonstrating how augmented reality can provide access to realities that are too dangerous, expensive, or rare to experience, while Dr Afiya Fredericks shed light on how to leverage the power of science to prepare our scholars for the challenges ahead.

Our topic expert Dr Darya Yegorina taught us how meta-skills can be developed with emerging technology, while Chase Mielke discussed how to harness the science of positive moments so we can empower ourselves and our students. Richard Gerver inspired us to better evolve our practices and processes by looking at the worlds of business, sports, and beyond. For the first time, an inspirational session was delivered in Spanish by Elisa Guerra, who discussed what the teaching landscape will look like in the future.

Throughout the week, participants enjoyed numerous opportunities to learn from and connect with their peers in breakout sessions, staff-led forums and association meetings. The conference also provided a platform to foster community ties, from the insightful discussions in Roundtables and Community Q&A, as well as student projects and performances to social activities featuring IB alumni, Emiliano Ruphra.

The success of this conference would not have been possible without the support from our community and stakeholders. We were truly inspired by our community’s passion for education and look forward to continuing this meaningful dialogue—whether virtually or in-person—in 2022.

Conference highlights

#IBVirtual highlights

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