We Cannot Predict the Future, but We Can Invent it

The adage ‘we cannot predict the future, but we can invent it’ has been known to come in many forms, and attributed to many people.

When I researched the origin of this maxim, I discovered popular belief has it that the phrase was originally coined in 1971 by computer scientist, Alan Kay. Years later at a conference in 1982, Alan responded to managers wanting to know how to plan future products, with ‘the best way to predict the future is to invent it.’ Other similar quotes replace ‘inventing’ with ‘creating’, but at the very essence of them all is the idea that the future is in our hands, we are not helpless, and we can do something about it… now. As Alan later stated, ‘we should decide what we want and then make it happen’.

The theme the Committee has chosen for the AIEC 2014 is about understanding that we must evolve, recreate and keep up with the transformations our industry is experiencing: How we deal, accept, respond and evolve to current emerging technologies and innovation today, and how this will impact the way we will operate in the future. Not just next year, or the year after, but in ten years and beyond. The focus in Brisbane will be on the future and our responsibilities in shaping it.

Why is this important? There are many obvious reasons, but to quote American inventor, Charles F. Kettering, ‘My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.’

So, what’s next for international education? Personally, I would like to see AIEC 2014 as a forum that connects delegates with everyone and everything moving the sector forward. I’m excited to meet and hear from the people, companies, governments and institutions that are helping shape the future of international education. What disruptions are you experiencing now, and what are you doing about it? What are the latest tools, strategies and insights busy professionals can later apply to their work once the conference is over? How are you collaborating with others in the industry or outside the industry to keep up with new technologies, new policies and new environments? What are the trends and evidence telling you about where we will be 10 years from now?

The Committee is calling upon creative thinkers with innovative ideas that are identifying, defining and preparing for the future of international education to submit their proposal for the AIEC 2014.

Our submission guidelines and instructions will be available from the AIEC website shortly. If you have any questions about the process please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Josephine Wiliams, Conference & Events Leader at IDP Education


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