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Global Education Industry Summit 2019:
Learning in the Data Age
December 8-10, Tallinn, Estonia

The fourth Global Education Industry Summit will take place in Tallinn, the Capital of Estonia, from 8-10 December 2019. The meeting is a collaborative effort to foster the high-level dialogue between education ministers and leaders on the one hand and representatives of the education industry.

Jointly organised by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research, the European Commission and the OECD, the focus of the Summit will be Data in Education, Data for Education.

The purpose of this Summit is to provide an opportunity for education ministers and high-level officials to engage in a dialogue with education industry on innovation in education, focusing on learning analytics, big data and artificial intelligence, to discuss shared principles of good policy and practice in dealing with data in education, including protection of children, and to establish a policy framework for a level playing field for education industry to engage with schools and education systems.

Time: 8-10 December 2019
Venue: Tallinn, Estonia (Radisson Blu Sky Hotel Conference Centre)

Co-organisers and supporters of 4th Global Education Industry Summit




8 December 2019




Pre-Summit networking reception for participants

9 December 2019




Session 1a: Welcome

Participants will be welcomed to the Summit. Following a scene-setting presentation, participants will be invited to share their expectations – positive and negative – of what data could deliver and their views of the biggest challenges related to the use of data in, and for, education.

  • Mailis Reps, Minister of Education and Research of the Republic of Estonia
  • Stefaan Hermans, Director for Policy Strategy and Evaluation, Directorate-General Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, European Commission
  • Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General at the OECD

Session 1b: Setting the scene: data in our education systems

In what ways are data and artificial intelligence transforming education? How are educators and industry leaders looking at the risks and opportunities of the data revolution in education?

  • Anthony Salcito, Vice-President Microsoft Corporation (USA)
  • Michael Stevenson, OECD/PISA expert (UK)
  • Aape Pohjavirta, Founder & Chief Evangelist Funzi (Finland)

Coffee break


Session 2: Learning and teaching – changes in the process and learning analytics

Teachers, schools and education systems increasingly rely on data to monitor, evaluate and improve student learning, inform decisions on learning trajectories and track the performance of institutions. The opportunities provided by big data and learning analytics in education are huge, but they also raise important questions. This session will invite participants to discuss current advances in learning analytics, to learn from successful cases in countries, to assess how to move from innovative small-scale applications to a wider adoption in education systems and to discuss how to address possible risks.


  • How can learners, teachers and schools use data and learning analytics to improve education?
  • What are the conditions for effectively integrating data use in learning and teaching?
  • What are the main risks that should be taken into account when designing data architectures and data systems in education?

Inspirational speaker:

Maria Langworthy, Director of Worldwide Education Research, Microsoft (USA)




Session 3: Empowering learners, schools and policy makers in the data ageEmpowering learners, schools and policy makers in the data age

Data can enable learners to leverage their learning agency: real-time feedback loops can improve learning dramatically; data can inform them to make better decisions on their learning trajectories, etc. Schools can take a lot of benefit from data to monitor learners’ progress, redesign classes, etc. Policy makers acquire many data to inform policy-making. This session will invite participants to examine and discuss the conditions for creating data-rich educational environments where the opportunities are maximised and risks are minimised.


  • What skills do learners, schools and policy makers need to take benefit of these opportunities?
  • How can public policy and industry collaborate to empower educational actors and avoid needless dependencies?
  • What are the policy frameworks needed to create a level playing field among industry players and between industry, policy and schools?
  • Is there a need for regulation and ethical principles for data use in education? Can the OECD Principles for Artificial Intelligence be applied to education?

Inspirational speaker:

Xavier Prats Monné, Senior Adviser for Strategic Initiatives, Open University of Catalonia (Spain)


Coffee break


Session 4: Sharing data for research and innovation

Education data are a powerful and rich resource, in particular to researchers and innovators. In a public policy sector such as education data systems should be open and transparent, providing access to researchers, with respect to privacy. This session will invite participants to discuss mechanisms and challenges for creating a more dynamic data ecosystem in the education sector – one in which both researchers and industry can have better access to data while subject to effective controls for privacy protection and ethical use.


  • What types of regulations and protocols are needed in the education sector to protect privacy while making data available?
  • How can we improve researchers’ access to education data?
  • What types of data is most useful to the education industry in developing innovative educational products?
  • Would data-based innovation mainly be applied within existing education systems or significantly disrupt them?

Summit dinner

10 December 2019


Session 5: What we need to prepare for the future

This interactive, small-group session will provide participants with inspiration from those who have used data effectively in education, explore future scenarios in which data play a key role in education delivery and identify priorities for action.


Coffee break


Session 6: What have we learned from the Summit and what next

This session will confirm priorities for action, identify any concrete commitments that can be made individually and collectively and conclude the Summit.

Closing remarks by the host Ms. Mailis Reps, Minister of Education and Research of the Republic of Estonia.


Informal lunch


Optional field visits

Gustav Adolf Gymnasium – contemporary learning environment and usage of data for fostering learning and teaching.

Tallinn Secondary School of Science – the curriculum of the school is science-oriented: all pupils study extensive mathematics and additional courses in physics, biology, chemistry and geography. Upper secondary school pupils choose between four fields of study: programming, technology, economics and medicine.

E-Estonia Briefing Centre


Optional guided tour in Tallinn Old Town

Additional Information

The Summit will bring together Ministers of Education, innovators and private sector leaders to exchange views, identify key policy issues, learn from each other, strengthen cooperation and contribute to innovation in teaching and learning on all education levels. The Summit has proven significant value added in exploring the opportunities offered by technological opportunities in teaching and learning and in discussing the framework conditions to support innovation in education.

Education must not only keep pace with but lead the technological progress and fully exploit its potential in order to improve the everyday and future wellbeing of citizens, businesses and countries. Data has become a resource and a key driver of social development and economic growth. Data analysis facilitates innovation, optimisation of processes and evidence-based decisions. This global trend holds enormous potential for education but also presents challenges, such as privacy issues, data protection and cybersecurity.


For all overarching topics the Summit programme is designed to:

  • Identify the main challenges faced in using data in education and for education and examine the nature of these challenges from a multi-stakeholder perspective.
  • Identify priority issues to tackle, possible policy actions to enable and encourage more effective use of data including standards, protocols and the appropriate capacity (infrastructure, skills etc.), and where possible, produce concrete summit outcomes.
  • Provide all participants with a stimulating and rich experience that deepens their understanding of the key challenges; generates ideas on ways to tackle them; and inspires individual and collective actions to support more effective data production, collection and use in education.

If you have already received an invitation and given your RSVP to the invitation, we suggest you to also look into our recommendations for accommodation in Tallinn. More information can be found from the practical information sheet attached to the invitation.

Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the organisers via email GEIS2019@hm.ee.


Conference venue:
Radisson Blu Sky Hotel Tallinn

Rävala puiestee 3, 10143 Tallinn


For further information, please contact GEIS2019@hm.ee