Philosophy of Education Conference: May 25, 2018

Photo of students sitting in a lounge area

Philosophy of Education (PoE) Think Tank 2018

Reimagining Education in an Automating World

The Philosophy of Education Committee at George Brown presents a college-wide meeting of the minds on May 25 at the Waterfront Campus on the topic of 'Reimagining Education in an Automating World'.  This event will include invited experts on automation, education and the workforce, including Nora Young (CBC), Dr. Geoffrey Rockwell (Kule Institute for Advanced Study, University of Alberta), and Heather Stockton (Deloitte). The event will also feature a forum for panelists and participants from throughout the college to co-construct a set of vital questions that will be comprehensively treated at our major conference on this theme in 2019.  

If you are a thoughtful person and are invested in education, or concerned about the future of our society, we encourage you to join us on May 25, 2018.

Register here
– Early Bird rate available until March 31st.  For more information, contact Jordy Koffman at

Call for Participants

Work is changing quickly.  Thanks to robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), many of the jobs that exist today will be automated or fundamentally restructured—maybe more kinds of jobs than we think, and likely sooner than many people think.  What kind of world will college graduates be facing?  What challenges does this pose to college educators?  How should college anticipate such changes?   

The Philosophy of Education Committee at George Brown College invites you to share your knowledge, your perspective and your critical thinking skills on such questions.  While part of the day will feature expert speakers on the topic of automation, work and education, the main purpose of the day is to have representatives from all parts of the college provide snapshots of their perspectives on this issue and participate in a think-tank.  All of this will serve as a springboard for the larger, more public, 2019 Philosophy of Education conference on the same theme.  By the end of the day, participants will have co-created a list of essential questions which ought to be pro-actively discussed as we move into this automating world.

These are the sorts of questions we aim to address:

  • What might it be like to live in a highly automated world, with rapidly automating work conditions?  What would it take to thrive in such conditions, and what would 'thriving' mean?
  • Should college education prepare people to live in such a world? If so, how?
  • In what ways might an increasingly automated world be good and bad for individuals, families, communities, and societies?
  • What are the fundamental causes of these changes?
  • What does it mean to 'lead' with regard to future changes? Does leadership actually exist?  Who and what could and should be leading?
  • Is it possible and/or desirable to influence the direction of and attitudes toward technological progress?   
  • What means, if any, are available to influence the changes, and what role could education, and college education in particular, play in directing this momentum?
  • What other 'big picture' questions should we be asking about these imminent changes?

Please consider joining us, informing us, and making your perspective known.