Keynote speakers


Darija Medić , New Media Serbia

Darija is a digital practitioner and researcher, working in the fields of media art and design, critical writing, curating and production. She graduated from the Networked media department at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, Netherlands and the New media department of the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, Serbia. She is a core member of the organisation Interkultivator that focuses on the decentralisation of cultural production in Serbia through creating experimental educational platforms, a researcher at the Center for new media and a member of Napon, institute of flexible cultures and technologies. Currently as Digital Art Project Coordinator and researcher at DiploFoundation, she works on introducing art methodologies in digital policy education by building interdisciplinary experiences through exhibition and online learning formats.
 Time of speech: Mon 22nd June 10:05-10:35
Civil society, online learning and adaptive technologies in the context driven digital space 

The Gartner curve of technology has its implications across all realms of daily life, including the field of education. As an educational organisation active in digital diplomacy and digital policy, DiploFoundation has built extensive experience over the last two decades in confronting the enabling versus disabling aspects of digital tools. In light of the context specific to online learning, the key question regarding technology is when is it a means to gaining a better learning experience? However, an equally important question is when does it become less useful and act more as a technically driven solution to a non-existing problem? This keynote presentation will offer a view into how an educational organisation’s online teaching and learning experience has influenced the development of discussion tools for its specific methodology, as well as its custom LMS. In doing this, some light will be shed on how the habitus (Mauss, Bourdieu) of online learning has changed over the years and on the role that experiential technology can play on today’s online learning spaces. Examples of DiploFoundation’s courses, such as Introduction to Internet Technology and Policy and Future of Meetings for Global Governance will be shared. The presentation will offer an overview of the flexible methodology that enables participants to study in parallel to working, as well as the importance of understanding policy aspects while implementing technologies for learning environments of the future. Furthermore, the specificity of the digital only landscape of interfacing and learning will be offered from the perspective of DiploFoundation’s ConfTech lab, and its experience in online conferencing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nadia Sansone, Ph.D., Unitelma Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Nadia is researcher in Experimental Pedagogy and Technology Enhanced Learning. She is the eLearning Responsible and Head of teachers and tutors’ Training. She also leads the online Degree Course in Psychological Sciences and Techniques and acts as e-Learning Consultant at the School of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. His main research interests concern models for the design and analysis of e-learning paths supported by Learning Management Systems in which learners experience active approaches promoting theoretical and practical learning. Currently involved in the Horizon 2020 Up2University project aimed at defining a next generation online learning environment and its data mining system. Author of several international publications, including communications to conferences, book’s chapters and journal articles. She is Chief-editor of QWERTY – Open and Interdisciplinary Journal of Technology, Culture and Education.

Time of speech: Tue 23rd June 10:00-10:30

Collaborative best practices and knowledge work skills in Higher Education

One of the main goals of secondary and higher education is to ensure that students acquire useful skills to achieve success not only in their studies, but also in their future career and in life in general. Through specific learning strategies, students should become able to act and work in constantly changing situations, in an uncertain world and unknown future, facing incomplete and imperfect results and carry forward a reflexive attitude oriented towards life-long learning. Skills like these, in fact, are not innate, but can only be learned through direct experimentation. In this direction, over the last years, we have designed and tested a university course in which students are involved in concrete activities that allow them to truly collaborate to create knowledge and build meaningful artefacts, while developing key competencies for their academic and professional careers.

Starting from this course, the speech will show collaborative best practices in higher education by anchoring them to the specific learning theories and providing an overview about students’ outcomes

Sanna Brauer, Ph.D., Learning & Educational Technology Research, Faculty of Education Unit/ School of Professional Teacher Education, Oulu University of Applied Sciences

Sanna Brauer received her Ph.D. in Educational Sciences from University of Lapland in February 2019. Her doctoral dissertation is the first to address digital open badges and badge-driven learning in Europe. She currently works with digital open badge-driven learning and research related to competence-based professional development, motivation and gamification.

Since 2011, Brauer has been working as a senior lecturer at Oulu University of Applied Sciences, School of Professional Teacher Education. The University of Oulu currently employs her also in development of the work-integrated pedagogy in higher education. She is the leader of national digital pedagogical development of medical education in Finnish universities. She is involved in various projects and national and international networks aiming to develop digital open badges and digital open badge-driven learning.

Time of speech: Tue 23rd 14:00-14:30

Prospect: Turbulent Digital Disruption in Higher Education 

Digitalisation refers to the process of analogue information and processes being converted into digital format. Meanwhile, digital disruptions lead to transformations through new technologies and their resulting business models. These innovative new approaches can impact the value of existing products and services while causing industries to re-evaluate supplies. The term ‘disruption’ clearly applies to the era of COVID-19, as the concept of digital disruption is often framed as a form of environmental turbulence capable of producing industry-level upheaval. During Covid-19, higher education has made a major leap towards eLearning, but not everything can be transferred to online environments. For instance, the laboratories needed for some classes require large machines and equipment that cannot exist in virtual spaces. In this keynote presentation, I will discuss the future prospects and challenges faced in higher education this spring. COVID-19 has shown us that it is not enough to be pedagogically effective while providing meaningful digital learning; we also need to promote digital competences to remotely access and operate the machines and equipment needed in different disciplines. Given the current technologies available, our learning environments could be improved significantly.

The Oulu University of Applied Sciences (Oamk) has gained profound mastery in digital solutions as well as strong experience in developing new mobile technologies (e.g., 5G, 6G and wireless connectivity) in close cooperation with working life. We now aim to engage the full power of this digital transformation to enhance students’ agency, expertise and working life skills for ongoing learning and professional development – all while accelerating their employment in the new future growth industries. In order to respond to the challenge of rapid employment emerging from the recent crisis, we aim to support higher education’s transition towards a competence-based approach with versatile use of digital learning environments, especially focusing on remote access and equipment use. In this way, we can secure the availability of a competent workforce and accelerate the transition to working life. In order to achieve this common goal, Oamk has planned a vision and working plan aiming to make nearly 100% of its physical learning environments (including laboratories) remote-operated and controlled before the end of this decade. Higher education’s competence development system must become future-ready, and educational structures need to adapt to a rapidly-changing labour market. This keynote presentation will explore the impacts of COVID-19 through the lens of higher education while focusing on the working life relevance of education and training. The shift towards a digital strategy can occur on an individual, organizational, industry or societal level. Higher education organisations require better capabilities for eLearning to ensure excellent learning experiences when students are at home or at work. With competence-based excellence, we seek to promote a sustainable form of education and training to increase individuals’ capabilities based on already-acquired competences. With this keynote presentation, I would like to invite you to join our efforts at Oamk to study, enhance and promote digital pedagogy and the competence-based approach in higher education in order to meet the needs of a changing world of work.

Keywords: Digital disruption, digitalisation, higher education, competence-based approach, work-integrated pedagogy


Brauer, S., Pajarre, E., Nikander, L., Häkkinen, R., & Kettunen, J. (2020). “Kehittämishankkeet korkeakoulujen työelämärelevanssin edistäjänä” [Development projects promoting of the working life relevance of higher education]. Journal of Professional and Vocational Education 22(1): 8-25.

Brenner, S. & Kreiss, D. (2014). Digitalization and Digitization. Retrieved from

Skog, D.A., Wimelius, H. & Sandberg, J. (2018). Digital Disruption. Business & Information Systems Engineering. 60, 431–437.