For the first time in three years and for the first time after the restrictions of the pandemic, the IB global community from our IB world region (Africa, Europe, Middle East) gathered again at the World Forum at The Hague, with more than 1600 educators.
The IB Global Conference is a place to exchange ideas and views about the latest educational trends, which are presented by renowned guest speakers such as Steve Bollar, an educational thought leader and a school culture and motivation expert; Conrad Hughes, who investigates how educational systems can address societal challenges, and Arjen Wals, whose work focuses on enabling, supporting and assessing ecologies of learning that foster sustainable living.
The IB Global Conference is also a place where many of the IB associates and managers are present to answer questions and provide insights, not least to put a face to a conversation and to build personal connections. We had the pleasure of meeting Vedrana Pavletic, Development and Recognition Lead for the AEM region, and Katrin Fox, Manager IB World Schools, to check in about our PYP implementation journey.
Liam Browne in his role as chair of the Executive Board of the Association of German International Schools (AGIS) has also met with Vedrana Pavletic and Katrin Fox to discuss a project the IB and AGIS has been working on to further improve the recognition of the IB Diploma as a German university requirement. This work will be presented to the German Conference of Ministers of Education (Kultusministerkonferenz) next month. Liam Browne in this role also hosted a session for all AGIS members present to discuss opportunities and challenges in furthering our partnerships with the IB for the benefit of our students.
Most importantly, though, the Global Conference is a place to reconnect with friends and colleagues. We had the pleasure meeting Harry Lock, our former High School Principal, who is now responsible for a school in Andorra, and Sibylle Harth, our former Head of Secondary School who is now Director of IT, Teaching and Learning at the International School of Dusseldorf. Additionally, we met and collaborated with many other school leaders and members of the IB Educator Network (IBEN). We could share our experiences and compare them with those of other schools; we could start new projects and explore future collaborations with schools that work on developments similar to our own.
It has been an intense three days with many meetings, discussions, lectures and conversations over a coffee or beer. The many contacts and conversations were truly inspiring and provided us with new perspectives for our own projects. We only realized there and then how much we had missed this exchange with passionate colleagues and are very much looking forward to the next Global Conference 23 in Dublin.
Dr. Christian Hoffmann
IB Continuum Coordinator | Head of Curriculum
Note: The Franconian International School is an IB World School offering IB Diploma Programme, IB Middle Years Programme and is in the process of Primary Years Programme implementation.