Diana MacKay and Carl Amrhein
Speaker Series – The Future of the University and the Future of Learning
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Responses to Diana Mackay and Carl Amrhein's presentation
I really appreciated Carl’s (what he called) “Alberta pragmatism” in his approaches to what challenges face us today. It really resonated with me to “stay in dialogue” – I think that applies on a meta level, with the University + governments, but also on a more local level – eg between departments, or between academic and non-academic sectors of Concordia. I would love to see this lived + breathed here!
There is some transformative work coming out of MIT right now with this course called U.Lab. If you haven’t heard of it, I highly suggest checking out the below 7-minute youtube, or this huffington post article. It poses some excellent tenants for what’s required of institutions today (countering “overpriced, out of touch (with society's real needs), and outdated (in its method and purpose) ” with “free (or accessible to everyone), empowering (putting the learner into the driver's seat of profound personal, professional, and societal renewal), and transformational (providing new learning environments that activate the deepest human capacities to create -- both individually and collectively)”). At the least, it may be a conversation starter with later speakers.
Huffington Post article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/otto-scharmer/ulab-seven-principles-for_b_6697584.html
7-minute youtube clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxu0AvAALiM
Around the world, post-secondary institutions are dramatically reforming how they prepare students for work, leverage digital learning technologies, and integrate with their communities.
In their work at The Conference Board of Canada, Carl Amrhein and Diana MacKay help academic leaders “rethink universities” with a particular focus on student interests and pathways.
This event was the third in the speaker series, The Future of the University and the Future of Learning, being organized as part of Concordia's strategic directions initiative. The university is bringing a diverse group of thought-leaders from across Canada and the U.S. to share their insights and know-how on emerging issues and trends in higher education and learning.
Carl Amrhein is Official Administrator, Alberta Health Services and Professor, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, as well as the former provost at the University of Alberta. Diana MacKay is executive director, Education, Skills, and Immigration at the Conference Board of Canada.
Diana is leading two five-year special initiatives of The Conference Board of Canada. The first, The Centre for Skills and Post-Secondary Education addresses Canada’s advanced skills needs by helping to renew the roles, structure, activities and impact of the postsecondary system while ensuring its operational sustainability.
The second, the National Immigration Centre, is developing an immigration action plan designed to enhance Canada’s global competitiveness in talent attraction, utilization and retention. She also oversees one of the Conference Board’s provincial institutes.
MacKay previously spent 10 years with the World Bank in Washington D.C. where she was involved in the creation of the Human Development Network – the part of the World Bank that oversees all lending for education, health and social protection.
Prior to the World Bank, she spent four years in Japan where she gained insights as the sole foreign woman working within a traditional Japanese manufacturing firm of 3000 employees.
MacKay earned a BA from Wellesley College in Boston, incorporating a year at Tokyo’s Waseda University. She has a Master’s in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She has the designation as a certified Chartered Director from The Directors College, a joint venture of McMaster University and The Conference Board of Canada.
Carl Amrhein served as provost and vice-president (academic) at the University of Alberta from 2003 to 2014. He came to the University of Alberta following 17 years at the University of Toronto.
Amrhein holds a Bachelor of Science in Geography from Pennsylvania State University (1978) and a PhD in Geography from State University of New York at Buffalo (1984) with research interests in economic geography, labour markets, decision theory, migration, and quantitative methods.
Currently a member of Fulbright Canada (Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the United States of America), he is also a director for the German-Canadian Centre for Innovation and Research.
In October 2012, Amrhein served as a visiting professor in the Graduate School of Education at Peking University in Haidian, Beijing, China. Since 2013 he has been a special executive advisor to The Conference Board of Canada.
Amrhein was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany in 2011 and recently received an Eagle Feather to honour his contributions in advancing the role of traditional knowledge of the First Nations in university programming.