Lifelong Learning: Don Aitkin Lecture 2011

Stephen Parker gave the Don Aitkin Lecture at the University of Canberra this evening.
The Lecture took place in the newest building on the University campus, the INSPIRE Centre.
The trail for the Lecture was:

Imagine Canberra as an Education City, where more people work in education and research than in the public service; where every school student has a taste of what higher education can offer; and where the workforce is supported by a revolutionary education model seamlessly connecting all levels of study – from pre-school to PhD. From Kinder to Doctor.
Professor Stephen Parker will explain how this vision of Canberra could be achieved, in this year’s Don Aitkin Lecture. He will outline the role that the University of Canberra, UC College, UC Polytechnic and UC Schools can play to help realise this vision.

The talk was streamed live on UStream and had the Twitter # Don11.
The INSPIRE Centre is a great venue for such presentations. Stephen’s Mindmap was projected onto the auditorium front, side and rear walls.
Stephen introduced his talk with the suggestion that our thinking about education needs an urgent overhaul. He asserted that education and creativity are at the heart of cultural success. Stephen advocates investment in education to unlock talent. He noted the possibilities of an omniversity. Stephen affirmed that we must take education seriously.
Stephen shared ideas in the Don Aitkin Lecture that have been fermenting over five years in his time in Canberra. The paperclip in Stephen’s title linked to a short Ken Robinson video.
The Mindmap of Stephen’s talk shared with the audience was:

I thought Stephen’s talk was a delight. His use of a National Geographic augmented reality video was a great way to underscore the power of imagination.
Stephen’s talk presented eight propositions and he exemplified these through the University of Canberra omniversity and the possibilities afforded by an ecology of talent.
Stephen discussed the potential of an education city in the next part of his talk. Such a city drives the economy. He noted some of the potential threats to the establishment of Canberra as an education city.
He urged the transformation of Canberra as an education city.
Stephen concluded his talk with a return to Weber, Marx and Paperclips. His exhortation was we must become divergent thinkers!
The text of Stephen’s talk can be found here. A UStream video here.
A report in The Australian Higher Education pages can be found here.
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