IDEC2016 Newsletter 2/2016

Less Than 4 Months to Go – Register Now to IDEC!

We extended the early bird fee until end of February to allow everyone enough time to prepare for the conference fees. Early bird group prices will be available for groups of ten people or more until May 15th.

Refund Policy for Groups Requiring Visas

For groups that come from countries where you need a visa to join the conference, we have made special arrangements for the refund policy. For groups which register and pay the registration fees, we will refund 100%  (minus 50 EUR service charge) in case the visas are not issued. This offer is valid until end of April. In case the issuing of the visa is not clear until then, we request the group to contact us in case they need special arrangements. Otherwise the regular refund policy comes into effect on 1st May (50% refund if cancellation made before 1st June, cancellations made after end of May will not be refunded).

Register here

Home Town of IDEC 2016 – Winter is Here but Spring is Just Around the Corner

Skiing track at Kalevankangas on 3rd February, 2016



Pre-IDEC Online Event Coming

The first online pre-IDEC online event will be held on Saturday 27th February 2016 between 10 am – 18 pm (GMT). The event is free for all and is based on Open Space. We hope that you will join us to let us all know what you are doing and if you work in a democratic school, to tell us about your school. Registration for it is now open at http://www.idec2016.org/openspace

Keynote Days at Concert and Congress Hall Mikaeli in Mikkeli

We have the pleasure of inviting You  to the exciting Keynote Days at the beautiful Concert and Congress Hall Mikaeli.

The building hosts concerts and conferences for hundreds of people and more intimate gatherings, festive occasions and chamber concerts annually.

The spacious foyers of Mikaeli offer magnificent views over the adjacent Pankalampi pond. The atmosphere of the foyers changes according to seasons, and these light-filled spaces are well-suited for showcasing imposing works of art.

Let’s Get to Know Some of the Keynote Speakers

John Moravec

Dr John Moravec is a scholar on the future of work and education; a global speaker; editor of the Knowmad Society project; a co-director of the Invisible Learning project; and is the founder of Education Futures LLC.

Dr Moravec’s research and action scholarship agendas are focused on exploring the convergence of globalization, innovation society, and accelerating change in human knowledge development; and, building positive futures for knowledge creation systems in an era of exponential uncertainty. His work focuses on exploring the emerging “Knowmad Paradigm,” and the new approaches to leadership and human capital development required. Dr Moravec’s work is global, and he is most actively engaged in research and collaborations in the United States, Latin America, and Europe. In addition to editing Knowmad Society (2013, Education Futures), I am the co-author of the book Invisible Learning (2011, University of Barcelona Press)

Sugata Mitra

TED Prize winner Sugata Mitra is at the forefront of a new approach to education which challenges how we teach today’s children in a technological age. He is Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University, UK and previously a Visiting Professor at MIT in the US.

Sugata is currently working on the School in the Cloud, which is the culmination of over a decade of research and observations from all over the world. The School in the Cloud is learning at the edge of chaos – a community, place and experience to discover and explore children’s learning as a self-organising system.

From his earliest experiments while working at NIIT in Delhi with the Hole in the Wall project, through to setting up SOLEs (self organised learning environments), Sugata discovered that children’s innate sense of learning is magnified when they are given the freedom to explore the internet in small groups. Children in these environments, regardless of who they are or what language they speak, can competently search for answers to ‘big questions’, drawing rational, logical conclusions from their research. These are questions far ahead of what is expected of them in their school curriculum.

In 1999 Sugata and his colleagues at NIIT made a hole in a wall bordering an urban slum in Delhi, installed an internet-connected PC, and left to see what happened. Almost immediately, children from the slum began playing with the computer and in the process taught each other how to use it and get online. This experiment, which inspired the book ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ that went on to become the Oscar winning film of 2009, was replicated in other parts of India, both urban and rural, with similar results.It challenged some of the key assumptions of formal education, demonstrating that, even in the absence of any direct input from a teacher, an environment that stimulates curiosity could result in learning through self-instruction and peer-shared knowledge. However, his research has shown that it’s not simply a case of taking teachers out of the equation: children in remote areas often perform poorly at school because they do not have access to good teaching.

Sugata Mitra interview

To view the complete list of the keynote speakers, please click on the link below.

Keynote speakers

Additional Program

We will organise pre- and post-conference events. Should you be interested in joining them, let us know your participation in the registration form. Registration for the additional program will be opened shortly. We will take notice of all who have expressed your interest in joining the additional program. Detailed program information will be available soon.

1) 30th May – 3rd June – School Visit Week in Helsinki – We will organize guided visits to schools in the capital (Helsinki) area and guided evening and weekend program. Cost of the week (Monday-Sunday) will be 300 €, including hostel accommodation and program. Meals are not included.

2) 11th -17th June – Excursion Week near Helsinki – We will organize guided tours to several places of natural and cultural importance near Helsinki. Cost for the week (Saturday-Friday) will be 400€, including hostel accommodation and program. Meals are not included.

Good to Know

How to get to Mikkeli

By train

The city of Mikkeli is 228km (141 miles) southeast of the capital city of Helsinki. The quickest and most comfortable way to travel from Helsinki to Mikkeli is either to take a train from Helsinki airport (with one change) or a direct train (or with one change) from Helsinki central railway station. A train trip takes between 2 to 3 hours. There are several connections daily.

Please see the train timetables:


By bus

You can also easily get to Mikkeli by bus. This is considerably cheaper than a train connection. There is a regular connection to Mikkeli from most cities of Finland.

Check timetables at: www.matkahuolto.fi or www.onnibus.com

By car

You can rent a car from several offices in Finland and Mikkeli: Avis, Hertz and Scandiarent

To view the full details of travelling tips, go to IDEC 2016 website INFO section:

More Travel Tips

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See You at IDEC 2016!

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