Senior Associates Nick Kendell and Ray Sparks along with Senior Consultant Norma Hudson joined over 1,200 school leaders from the region and beyond at the 51st Annual East Asia Regional Council of Schools Leadership Conference, October 31–November 2. The event, whose theme was Nurturing Growth and Building Relevance, featured three powerful keynotes.
Innovator and entrepreneur Graham Brown-Martin addressed Learning Innovation in an Era of Exponential Change. After having built fast-growth technology businesses for many years in the entertainment, education, and publishing sectors, Graham could easily list the rapidly-developing technology, human and environmental changes surrounding us: mobile supercomputing, intelligent robots, self-driving vehicles, neuro-technological brain enhancements, genetic editing, artificial intelligence, climate change, population growth, and migration, among others. These days, Graham works with in the commercial and social sector—from large corporations to start-ups—focusing on the human response to what he calls “the fourth industrial revolution.” By nurturing human potential and creativity, Graham guides individuals and groups on how to respond to significant challenges.
Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2011 for her "services to girls' and women's issues,” presented the keynote: Build a contextual response to peer-on-peer abuse in schools. Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire, Carlene has focused her research and writing on violence among young people. Her talk began with the global nature of peer-abuse between young people in schools—focusing on the dynamics present in international school contexts. She explored the significance of the school environment itself—student and staff cultures, in addition to wider neighborhood settings—to understand the capacity of schools to take a proactive approach to safeguarding their students. Highlighted were the online and offline dynamics of family, peer, school and community in order to demonstrate the contextual nature of peer-abuse. Carlene’s aim is to provide research-backed insight to international school leaders to help them create strategic plans—policy and practice frameworks—that would safeguard young people within educational settings around the world.
The third speaker, veteran educator Will Richardson is a best-selling author and passionate advocate for school change. For the last 15 years, he has raised awareness to the intersection of education, social online learning networks, and systemic change. Will’s keynote—This is Personal: Learning in the Modern World—described the ideal modern student: a voracious, self-determined learner, able to think him or herself through problems and projects on a daily basis. Will contends that all this begins with “honoring and expanding the freedom and agency of our students to learn what they want, when they want, with whomever they want, in whatever ways make most sense to them.”
The EARCOS Leadership Conference, held in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, offered a wonderful opportunity for our Search Associates (SEARCH) to discuss with many school leaders the ways in which we can assist them with their recruiting needs. Having attended an EARCOS conference for the first time as a SEARCH representative, Norma says,
I appreciated the location of the SEARCH table since we were in an area in which people were constantly walking by between sessions. They did not have to specifically seek SEARCH out. We were easily visible, with many leaders stopping by to express their appreciation and thoughts about the recruiting process.
One of the frequently discussed topics at the SEARCH table in Exhibitors Hall was the implementation of our candidate management system APLi. The schools already using this we very complimentary about the features and design. Those yet to try APLi were quite keen to hear more about the potentials of this program.
All in all, EARCOS Leadership Conference was a fantastic opportunity for our Associates to make connections with leaders. In addition to assisting with recruiting needs, SEARCH is constantly seeking ways we can best serve schools.