Education Renaissance – Let’s build the future

ADI annual meeting 2020, Bologna, February 28th - 29th


EDUCATION RENAISSENCE – Let’s build the future


It is said that the current revolution of artificial intelligence and biotechnology could eventually lead to a transformation of our species. Humans could merge with computers to form cyborgs, a novel mix of the organic and the inorganic, of the biological and the technological, of flesh and silicon: something that we have never seen in the 4 billions years of life on Earth.
This could create much deeper and more disturbing inequalities than today’s. For the first time in history, economic inequality could be translated into biological inequality. Humankind could split into biological castes – an upper caste of upgraded superhumans, and a massive lower class.

Is it science fiction? No it is not, nothing seems too daring in this century.
But fortunately technology is not deterministic.
We can still do something about our future.
We can decide to recover humanism in technology.

Hence the idea of ​​the Education Renaissance, where technological and scientific education merges with Humanism, with the revival of Humanitas.
This seminar expresses the hope and the will to relaunch the Renaissance Humanism as a model of knowledge and education: a deep technical and scientific education- today lacking in Italy- imbued with humanitas, inspired by the rediscovery of man and aimed at the success of all children.

The 3 sessions


1st Session: february 28th, friday morning
The challenge of curriculum in the age of artificial intelligence

How to overcome the unbearable division between ‘two cultures’ — the humanistic-literary and the scientific? How to manage the time lag between today’s curriculum and future needs? How to overcome curriculum overload? How to ensure equity through curriculum innovations? How to manage curriculum flexibility and autonomy? How to embed values into the curriculum? How to design/plan for effective implementation?

These and more issues will be addressed by:

Fabio Minazzi, Professor of philosophy of science at the University of Insubria; Miho Taguma, Project Manager for the OECD Education and Skills 2030; Jamie Steckart, Head of the Think Global School, New York; Carmela Palumbo, Director General of the Italian Education Department; Xu Jinjie, Professor at Shanghai Normal University.
Chaired by Maria Teresa Siniscalco, INVALSI Consultant.

2nd Session: february 28th, friday afternoon
“Kindness matters”. Transforming education for humanity

This session has been inspired by the UNESCO MGIEP project “Kindness matters”. Kindness is a high priority in education, because it promotes peace, respect, well-being and happiness.

Keynote speakers:


We will have an exceptional speaker: A science- policy pacesetter, economist Dr. Anantha Duraiappah, Director of UNESCO MGIEP. Other speakers: Ana Barroca, Principal of Scholé Portugal, Judy Martyn, Principal of Highweek School UK; Lene Jesby Lange, President of the Global School Alliance, Denmark. Finally, three students, environmental activists, Alice, Beatrice, Giovanni.
Chaired by Giovanni Biondi, President of INDIRE.

3rd Session: february 29th, sathurday morning
Welcome 2050: a glimpse into the future

The children born today will graduate in 2050! So, tomorrow is already here. This session will re-imagine today’s school by looking at what tomorrow’s education will be like.

The speakers who will take us into the future are:


Cristina Pozzi, CEO and Co-founder of Impactscool; Ben Kornell, Director of Alt School in Silicon Valley; Lasse Leponiemi, CEO of HundrEd, Finland; Daniele Barca, Headmaster of IC 3, Modena, Italy; Claire Amos, Principal of Albany High School, Auckland, New Zealand.
Chaired by Lorenzo Benussi, Director of Riconnessioni by Fondazione per la Scuola.

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1st Session, February 28th, friday morning, 8:30 – 13:00

8:30 Registration
8:45 Opening Remarks
Alessandra Cenerini, President of ADI
9:00 Distinguished Regards
Stefano Versari, USR Emilia Romagna General Director


Chaired by Maria Teresa Siniscalco

9:10 Introducing the session Maria Teresa Siniscalco, INVALSI Consultant
9:20 Scientific Humanism and the “two cultures” controversy
Fabio Minazzi, Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University of Insubria
9:40 Discussion
9:50 OECD: redesigning and implementing curricula 2030 Miho Taguma, Project Manager Education and Skills 2030 OCSE
10:10 Discussion
10:20 Welcome to “Think Global School”, the first travelling high school! Flash of two Italian presenters
10:30 One Simple Shift: a curriculum unlike any other
Jamie Steckart, Think Global School’s Head Director, NewYork
10:40 Discussion
10:50 Coffee Break
11:10 Opportunities and limitations of Italian current curricula Carmela Palumbo, Director General of the Italian Department of Education.
11:30 Discussion
11:40 Follow us: you’ll discover how schools in China are like Flash of two Italian presenters
12:00 The reasons for Shanghai students’ success
Maggie Xu, Professor University of Shanghai
12:20 Discussion and conclusion of the session

2nd Session, February 28th, friday afternoon, 14:30 – 18:30


Chaired by Giovanni Biondi

14:30 Introducing the session Giovanni Biondi, President of INDIRE
14:40 From India with Kindness Flash of two Italian presenters
14:50 An education for Humanity. The whole brain approach
Anantha Duraiappah, Director of UNESCO MGIEP, India
15:15 Discussion
15:25 And now… to Portugal! Flash of two Italian presenters
15:35 At Scholé happy minds and intelligent hearts Ana Barroca, Director of Scholé in Porto, Portugal
15:55 Discussion
16:05 OLTRAPE: from Bologna to Stockholm by Apecar to save the planet
Alice, Beatrice e Giovanni, secondary school students and speakers at Radioimmaginaria
16:25 Discussion
16:35 Coffee Break
16:50 Let’s go to England, now! We’ll show you how a growth mindset school works Flash of two Italian presenters
17:00 At Highweek Primary School we develop a challenging learning culture and positive learners Judy Martyn, Principal at Highweek Primary School, Newton Abbot, UK
17:20 Discussion
17:30 Learning spaces today, dreaming of tomorrow Lene Jesby Lange, President of Global School Alliance
17:50 Discussion and conclusion of the session

3rd Session, February 29th, sathurday morning, 8:45 – 13:00


Chaired by Lorenzo Benussi

8:45 Introducing the session Lorenzo BenussiDirector of Riconnessioni by Fondazione per la Scuola
8:55 Welcome 2050: a glimpse into the future Cristina Pozzi, Ceo and Co-founder of Impactscool
9:15 Discussion
9:25 Follow us! We’ll take you to an amazing school in the Silicon Valley Flash of two Italian presenters
9:35 At Alt School, San Francisco, tomorrow is now Ben Kornell, Director of Alt School, San Francisco
10:00 Discussion
10:10 HundrED: Small actions towards better education Lasse Leponiemi, Ceo ofHundrEd, Finlandia
10:40 Discussion
10:50 Coffee Break
11:10 Contemporary: when future school is today Daniele Barca, Principal of IC 3 Modena
11:40 Discussion
11:50 And now to New Zealand , discovering what highly devolved self-managing schools are like Flash of two Italian presenters
12:00 From Down Under new ideas for a transformative school Claire Amos, Principal at Albany High School, Auckland, Nuova Zelanda
12:20 Discussion and conclusion of the meeting
The National Secretary of the Italian Department of Education Lucia Azzolina has been invited
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The challenge of curricula in the era of artificial intelligence

Fabio Minazzi

Fabio Minazzi is Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University of Insubria; he is the scientific director of the “International Insubric Center C. Cattaneo and G. Preti and editor of the magazine “Il Protagora”. Two philosophers have had a particular influence on his university education: the epistemologist Ludovico Geymonat and the historian of philosophy Mario Dal Pra. To Geymonat he has devoted numerous studies, two monographs (La passione della ragione, Thèlema-USI 2001 and Contestare e creare, La Città del Sole 2004), and also The reasons of science, Laterza 1986, Philosophy, science and truth, Rusconi 1989, Dialogues on peace and freedom, Cuen 1992, La ragione, Piemme 1994.

Co-founder and past President of “L. Geymonat Institute” in Milan, he is currently a full member of the Académie Internationale de Philosophie des Sciences in Brussels.
Author of 28 monographs, he has written over fifty volumes and 300 essays, studies and notes in which he has deepened the history of European critical rationalism.
In recent years he has been interested in the role of multimedia and ICT in the teaching of philosophy, from secondary high school to university.

The reflection on the role of new technologies in the teaching of philosophy has led to an ambitious cultural project called The Young thinkers, which has involved hundreds of students from upper secondary schools to university, creating a real laboratory in close and fruitful connection with civil society.

Miho Taguma

2aMiho Taguma is Senior Policy Analyst in the Early Childhood and Schools Division of the Directorate for Education at the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). She is the project manager for the OECD’s work on early childhood education and care (ECEC), e.g. the OECD Network on ECEC, the international ECEC staff survey, the policy review on transition from ECEC to primary schooling.

She is currently also leading a new OECD initiative, Education 2030, that aims to help countries explore different dimensions of 21st century competencies which modern education systems need to develop in students towards the world in 2030 (Project Phase 1: 2015-2018); and in a later stage (Project Phase 2: 2019 and beyond), help countries explore the learning environments and education systems that can support the development of these competencies. The project will focus on secondary level education, where relevant, including vocational education and training while recognising a life-long learning continuum.

In the past, she conducted various policy reviews such as on migrant educaiton, recognition of non-formal and informal learning. During her post at the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation, she worked on “E-learning in Tertiary Education”. She was also involved in the UNESCO-OECD Policy Review of Education Sector for Mauritius as a review team member.
Prior to joining the OECD, she was working in the Education Sector of UNESCO (2002-2003). She was working on intercultural dialogue and education projects.

Jamie Steckart

3aJamie Steckart is THINK Global School’s head of school. THINK Global School is a travelling high school where students live and learn in four countries a year, making unforgettable connections between their education and the world around them.
Jamie is widely recognized as an engaging school leader and visionary educator, and he brings to TGS over twenty years of experience designing and leading schools which utilize place- and project-based learning. He is passionate about student-centered learning. He believes in collaborative leadership and listening to the voices of students.

Jamie holds a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota and is a licensed teacher, principal and superintendent.
Prior to his coming to THINK Global School, he held the post of Principal of Qatar Leadership Academy, in Al Khor, Qatar. Jamie has a long history of being on the leading edge in educational reform and innovation. He was part of the initial group of teachers that designed Northwest Passage High School, ending his twelve years as the school’s Director.

As a former Outward Bound Expeditionary Learning Instructor (ELOB) for Voyageur Outward Bound, he was part of the early implementation of ELOB concepts in St. Paul Schools. He founded Project L.E.A.D., an expedition high school, which won the Minnesota Association of Alternative Program of the Year Award and the Crystal Award from the National Drop-out Prevention Association.

Carmela Palumbo

4aCarmela Palumbo is Director General of the Italian Department of Education.
She has had a long and successful career in the field of Pubblic Administration for over 25 years.

Her main interests in the field of Education are connected with redesigning and implementing curricula, with educational leadership, with preventing early school leaving and with evaluation and assessment policies. She has also been an important member in numerous national and international education commissions and committees on behalf of the Italian Government and of the Department of Education.

Maggie Xu (Xu Jinjie)

5aMaggie Xu is Professor at the Research Institution of International and Comparative Education, Shanghai Normal University.
She is also full-time researcher and key member of International Teacher Education Center, UNESCO (C2C) in Shanghai, China.

She is National Data Manager of OECD TALIS Video Study, Shanghai and Senior Analyst for Shanghai OECD TALIS & PISA Center, which is affiliated to Shanghai Municipal Education Commission.

“Kindness matters”. Transforming education for humanity

Anantha Duraiappah


Pr. Dr. Anantha Duraiappah took the position as inaugural Director of the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) based in New Delhi, India in 2014. A science-policy pacesetter, with over 33 years’ experience, he now plays a key role in positioning UNESCO MGIEP as a leading research institute on education for peace, sustainable development and global citizenship.

Anantha received his PhD in economics specialising in mathematical and computational modelling from the University of Texas in Austin, USA. He has authored numerous peer-reviewed books and journal articles and presently sits on the editorial boards of a number of international peer reviewed journals. He is a Fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences (WAAS), a Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and a visiting Professor at the University Of Tokyo, Japan.
In his previous post at the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), he initiated and played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). He was the Co-Chair of the Biodiversity Synthesis Group of theMillennium Ecosystem Assessment and founding director of theInclusive Wealth Reportreleased at the Rio+20 Summit in 2012.

Dr. Duraiappah is presently focusing on strengthening the science-policy guide in Education by researching and exploring how the neurosciences of learning can contribute to developing emotional & intellectual intelligence through innovative digital.

Ana Barroca

7aAna Barroca is co-founder and principal of Scholé, a school for pupils from 3 to 14 years old. Ana also coordinates the People Development area at Advancis and promotes international projects of lifelong learning.

A mix of a futurist, activist and change agent, always with a pinch of uncertainty, two of creativity and three of emotion.

Ana believes in the power of knowing, knowing how to be, knowing how to feel, knowing how to do and knowing how to make it happen as a community. Her job is to inspire a learning (r)evolution and to ensure that learning is always meaningful and playful. As one must walk the talk, Ana has decided to add to the research & development projects a real-life experience by opening a school.

Judy Martyn

8aJudy Martyn is the Headteacher of Highweek Primary School, UK.
She was headteacher of two schools in the South East of England before moving to her current school in Newton Abbot in Devon 9 years ago.
Passionate about high aspiration for all, the focus of her work at Highweek has been on creating a positive learning culture throughout the school based on developing strategies to build children’s resilience, curiosity and motivation for learning.

In 2016 the school embarked on working with James Nottingham and Challenging Learning, who work with some of the most respected researchers and leaders.
Through a long-term CPD development process for all staff, Highweek have immersed themselves in a Growth Mindset culture. The process has been transformational for the whole community including parents. They have seen a genuine shift in the Learning Attitudes of all children, with children talking positively about learning to learn, the progress they are making, welcoming feedback and embracing challenge. They now see children who are now more confident, more tenacious, willing to take risk and seek opportunities regardless of their backgrounds.

The rapid impact of Highweek’s work has been formally recognised by Challenging Learning and they now act as a study tour school for groups of educationists from around the world.

Studentesse e Studenti di “Radioimmaginaria”

9aRadioimmaginaria is the teenagers’ radio and the first teenagers’ European network created by boys and girls from 11 to 17 years old. It was first established in Castel Guelfo (Bologna, Italy) in 2012 and today there are more than 300 teen speakers who broadcast from 50 cities in 9 different countries. In summer 2019, a group of teens from Radio Immaginaria was the protagonist of “OltrApe”, a trip in ApeCar (Piaggio Three Wheeler) from Castel Guelfo to Stockholm to discover Europe and talk about climate change in the footsteps of Greta Thunberg.

Three of them will illustrate this extraordinary experience at the Meeting, they are:

  • Alice

10bAlice is 16 and has been part of Radioimmaginaria Bologna for a year. She attends Minghetti grammar school in Bologna.

She has been playing volleyball for 5 years.

In summer 2019 she took part in the first part of trip OltrApe, from Castel Guelfo (Bologna) to Amsterdam.

  • Beatrice


Beatrice is 14, she is a speaker at Radio Immaginaria Castel Guelfo (Bologna). She attends Galvani International Lyceum in Bologna.

She has been doing artistic gymnastics since she was 6.

In summer 2019 she took part in the second part of the trip OltrApe, from Amsterdam to Stockholm

  • Giovanni


Giovanni is 15, he is a speaker at Radioimmaginaria Bologna. He attends Sabin Scientific Lyceum in Bologna.

He is fond of football and trap music.

In summer 2019 he took part in the first part of trip OltrApe, from Castel Guelfo (Bologna) to Amsterdam.

Lene Jesby Lange

13aLene Jesby Lange is the founder of Autens Future Schools, a consultancy specializing in third millennium learning, schools transformation and learning space design.

Autens inspires and develops visionary futures with clients, creating momentum, ownership and courage to transform. Autens strongly believes in the power of how our schools and learning spaces are designed and works tirelessly to transform schools and higher educational facilities – both in content, pedagogy, student work, structure, interior design and architecture – into vibrant places learning suited for the needs of students in the 21st Century.

Lene Jesby Lange also leads the Global Schools’ Alliance, whose goal is to ensure children experience a better quality of education no matter where they live. Its mission is to collaboratively raise the standards of education in countries worldwide by connecting with the most progressive schools to:

  • exchange research about how children learn and the newest ways to educate children,
  • share teaching and learning methods that are proven best practices continously develop member schools’ teachers through rotating fellowships at other member schools’ locations,
  • create common projects between the schools that have a trans-national relevance facilitate educational visits between members to understand diverse cultures and work ethics,
  • evaluate, adopt, and share emerging technologies for learning.

Welcome 2050: a glimpse into the future

Cristina Pozzi

14aCristina Pozzi is CEO and Co-founder of Impactscool. Cristina Pozzi defines herself as a future maker. Graduated in Economics at Bocconi University and now a student in Philosophy, in 2006 Cristina founded Wish Days with Andrea Dusi.
They sold the company to Smartbox in 2016 and it was one of the most important exits in Italy in the last 10 years.

In 2017, she founded Impactscool with Andrea Dusi and Andrea Geremicca.

She is the author of the book “Welcome in 2050. Changes, criticality and curiosity“, published in Italian by EGEA.
Cristina Pozzi has received an important international recognition: the nomination as Young Global Leader 2019 for Italy by the World Economic Forum (this title has come back to Italy after 5 years).

The mission of the Forum of the Young Global Leaders is to create a dynamic global community of exceptional people with the vision, courage and influence to drive positive change in the world. Each year they select people from all over the world who must be younger than 40 with and with extraordinary careers. EGEA.

Ben Kornell

15aBen is President at AltSchool an education start-up in San Francisco, committed to catalyzing and accelerating learner-centered education. AltSchool combines high-quality professional learning with its flexible technology platform to empower teachers to deliver a transformational learning experience tailored to each student.

Committed to empowering all children through a high-quality education, Ben has built a broad leadership/management toolkit to drive transformational impact in the education sector.
This path has included 5 years with direct impact as a classroom teacher, skill-building in Stanford’s MBA and MA in Education programs, and applied experience in Strategy, Business Development, and Operations at a world-renowned Fortune 500 company, DaVita HealthCare Partners.
In 2013, Ben returned to the Education sector and joined Envision, a charter management organization with a unique scaling strategy: instead of focusing on replication, Envision works with partner school districts to adapt and implement the Envision Portfolio Defense System. Ben served as Envision’s COO and Executive Director of Envision Learning Partners, before becoming President of AltSchool.

Lasse Leponiemi


Lasse Leponiemi is Executive Director and Co-Founder at HundrED – a Finnish not-for-profit organization – which seeks and shares inspiring innovations in education. HundrED selects annually 100 pedagogically sound education innovations around the world and helps them spread with their wide network of educators in over 70 countries. Lasse is also a co-founder and the current chairman of Mentors of Finland, a non-profit organization that mentors unemployed young people to find a job, free-of-charge. Annually the organization helps 700 young people to find a working place.

Asked to quote three HundrED innovations he loves, Lasse has answered:

“I love so many innovations that this is tricky. However, here are some of the innovations I have been looking at more closely as of late”:

  1. “Firstly, I think the Smart School Alliance is a brilliant innovation as it provides new ways for rural schools to offer high-quality education to their students.”
  2. Secondly, Playground Ideas is excellent as it provides developing areas with pedagogically sound playgrounds at a low-cost.
  3. Finally, the city of Lappeenranta in Finland, because it has implemented a leading principle called “a solution-focused mindset” to the whole school district and it has helped all the schools in the city improve learning results through collective actions.


Twitter: @lasselepo

Daniele Barca

17aDaniele Barca is principal at IC 3 in Modena, Italy. He is well known as one of the most innovative and challenging school leaders in Italy.

He holds a PhD in Literary Cultures, and is a passionate expert in the use of digital technologies in teaching.

He has also held many positions in various ministerial and non-ministerial commissions, such as:


  • member of the ICT and Education working group of the European Commission,
  • advisor in the National Digital School Plan for MIUR,
  • member of MIUR technical-scientific committee on digital school publishing,
  • member of the technical scientific committee on PON DIDATEC project,
  • expert for INDIRE in the use of digital technologies in teaching and tutoring of teachers in blended mode,
  • member of the MIUR working group on technologies applied to teaching and quality in education.

Claire Amos


Claire Amos is Principal at Albany Senior High School in Auckland, New Zealand. She was also one of the three foundation Deputy Principals at Hobsonville Point Secondary School.
Claire has worked for a variety of schools and educational organisations in her twenty- plus year teaching career. This has included working at a number of new and established secondary schools as well as working on various national projects with the NZ Ministry of Education, the Network for Learning and, and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. Claire was a founding member of the Education Council of Aotearoa and is a board member of NetSafeNZ and 21C Skills Lab.

Claire is passionate about her family, education, design and tattoos, living by the mantra – “You can never be overdressed or overeducated”.

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