Impact by EducationIn the Era of the New Normal
4-6 November 2020


4-6 November 2020


Future Talk is a three-day hybrid dialogue platform in cooperation with three UN Agencies (UNESCO-UIL, UNESCO-UNEVOC, UNIDO) and under the patronage of the Swiss Government. The conference will take place in Bern, Switzerland, and be broadcasted live to an international audience.
Top-class speakers from NGOs, political authorities, international financial institutions, and education solution providers will discuss the foundation and relevance of education for the economy, society, and ecology as well as its disruption, digital transformation, and related impact during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We will focus on the importance of STEAM for education, the relevance of greening education, and the boost of digital education needed for transformation and innovation. Our goal is to join efforts, initiate collaboration, and generate visible contributions to support the 2020 UN-launch of the Decade of Action towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Agenda 2030.



Future Talk 2020's themes aim to bring forward solutions covering ongoing post-pandemic challenges and contribute towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each daily session is hosted in cooperation with a UN Agency representing selected topics to support the SDGs.
Future Talk is private sector driven and aims at developing solutions as well as active and sustainable partnerships (Goal 17) that reach way beyond the conference. We listen, learn and share. We support the Decade of Action. WE ARE ACTION.



Represented by Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin;Federal Departement of Economic Affairs, Education and Research EAER


It is our honour to welcome ‘Future Talk 2020 – Impact by Education’ in Bern. Switzerland has opened its doors and invites all participants, contributors and guests to join forces towards building and kicking-off the World Education Impact Hub bringing together players from education, society and business to accelerate global COVID-19 recovery, and transition towards purpose-oriented, sustainable and inclusive growth.
Education is the global empowering and aligning element for individuals, society and the economy, and for sustainable and inclusive growth. I can only emphasise the benefits that education provides for a viable and innovation-oriented economy. Switzerland relies on its established and successful combination of both academic education and vocational education and training, and will share its insights and views during the ‘Future Talk’ sessions.
Furthermore, I believe that ‘Impact of Education’ – the motto of ‘Future Talk 2020’ – underlines the spirit, endeavours and willingness to drive forward every single one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and the message that we would like to send out from ‘Future Talk’ Switzerland to support the United Nations Decade of Action launched at the beginning of the year.
As patron of ‘Future Talk’, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all stakeholders, education enthusiasts, official representatives, and business and economic participants a very warm welcome. I hope that your time together, your dedication and involvement in ‘Future Talk’ proves stimulating, and generates sustainable outcomes.




4 November 2020



5 November 2020



6 November 2020

Declaration on the Future of Education

Executive Summary

We, education executives, education experts, the private sector, and regional, international and civil society organizations, gathered here in Bern, Switzerland, and online around the globe, from 4 to 6th November 2020 for the Future Talk hybrid-conference. Three conference days were dedicated to three different topics: STEAM 4 Education, Green Education, and Artificial Intelligence. Men and women of all ages representing all regions, came together to share their ideas, experience, expertise and thereby help shape the future of education in those areas.
We express our wholehearted support for all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but for SDG 4 – “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.
We think Innovation, STEAM, Green, Industry 4.0, Jobs, Inclusion, and Prosperity
Innovation – Skills, knowledge, and technology need to evolve together, hand-in-hand with both human and social interaction. The creative use of skills and knowledge supports the development, building, and maintenance of sustainable smart societies.
STEAM – The fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are lagging as an essential component in teaching young adults for the 21st century. By adding the interdisciplinary, holistic, and abstract approach of the arts, STEM turned into STEAM.
Green – Climate change, environmental degradation, and scarcity of resources are changing the nature of work and life. Technological progress along with sustainability issues requires the need to explore and develop Education for Sustainable Development that not only focuses on sustainable production and frugal living, but also helps to overcome environmental challenges in a systematic way. Especially TVET (Technical Vocational Education and Training) and related transformations of TVET and lifelong learning can play a fundamental and crucial role in this context.
Industry 4.0 – The 4th Industrial Revolution is changing the world around us. Digital innovations, the internet of things, and big data are driving globalization beyond borders and impact the global economy, the environment, labor markets, and societies. Intellectual intensive jobs will be impacted just as much as shop floor activities and modern manufacturing. Education and skills development from primary education to higher education, TVET and adult education, as well as partnerships at all levels, and within all sectors, are in high demand all around the globe.
Jobs, Inclusion and Prosperity – Education should be adaptable and applicable to the relevant industry and business sectors. Experience from industry and the labour market at large is essential to strike a balance between practical skills and academic education. Seeking opportunities and practical experience builds confidence and self-awareness in students. Encouraging on-the-job training will ensure that real-world skills are acquired. United Nations state that various vulnerable groups women and girls play a crucial role on the achievement of sustainable goals.
We believe in a future with Digital Learning
Digital Learning – This current experience has shown that digital learning should be considered an essential part or pillar of the educational system. It can help our education systems to be resilient in times of personal, local, national, or global crises. But it also provides us a real opportunity to make our education systems better and more suited to the future. It is a required pillar for life-long learning which needs to be delivered flexibly to conform with the learner’s pace and place of learning. These tools and systems have a great potential to transform education to provide learning where and when it is needed so that it is delivered when the learner needs it, we call the “Just in Time learning”.


4, 5, 6 November 2020

BierhübeliNeubrückstrasse 433012 Bern, Switzerland
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