ICOT promises professional development with a twist
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > 2024’s International Conference on Thinking (ICOT) is PD with a difference

2024’s International Conference on Thinking (ICOT) is PD with a difference

by Freya Lucas

December 04, 2023

A conference offering thought-provoking innovation, creative and critical thinking, and transformative ideas in the context of ‘for the greater good’ as we look to the future may not intuitively seem like an early childhood education and care (ECEC) event, but it could be the very thing to level up your professional development in 2024. 


Returning to Melbourne for its 20th year, the International Conference on Thinking (ICOT) will feature international and local keynote speakers who will explore the 2024 theme “we are on the edge of what?”


Across nine key disciplinary strands including education, the body, technology, globalisation, human rights, business, arts, the environment and sports, the conference offers attendees the chance to think outside their traditional professional and personal interests, and to learn in a cross disciplinary fashion. 


International presenters at the conference include:


  • Phillip D. Jaffe (CH) – Professor at the University of Geneva, Switzerland and elected member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.


  • Tina Grotzer (USA) – Senior Researcher at Project Zero, faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and cognitive and learning scientist specialising in education.


  • Vishal Talreja (IND) – Co-Founder of Dream a Dream, a charitable trust empowering children from vulnerable backgrounds to overcome adversity and is an advocate for disadvantaged children.


  • Bill Martin (USA) – Faculty member during the Columbine School Shooting, who has gone on to enable voices to be heard and foster the creation of desired cultures.


  • David Perkins (USA) – the Carl H. Pforzheimer, Jr. Professor of Teaching and Learning, Emeritus at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and a founding member of the well-known research and development group Project Zero at HGSE.


  • Patrick Newell (JPN) – Co-National Project Manager for the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)’s Survey for Social and Emotional Skills in Japan.


  • Ron Ritchhart (USA) – Researcher at Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education since 1994 where his research focuses on understanding how to develop, nurture, and sustain thoughtful learning environments for both students and teachers.


  • Jonathan Levy (FRA) – Initiator, Program, and Scientific Director of the CRIA (Child rights in action) forums. He is educated in pedagogy and the philosophy of education, and provides training in the education, social, Intergovernmental and NGO sectors.


  • Teina Moetara (NZ) – an accomplished composer and performer in Māori performing arts, and trained as a primary school teacher delivering in the Māori language. 


  • Yong Zhao (USA) – Distinguished Professor at the School of Education at the University of Kansas and a Professor in Educational Leadership at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education.


Local academics, educators, artists and business leaders will also be part of the conference program, including Rita Reichman (Steinway Artist), Mary Featherston AM, Kieran Nolan (RocketShoes.io), Lina Le (Shrunk) John Edwards (Author, ICOT steering member), Associate Professor Tilman Ruff AO, Suzie Betts (Boob Armour), Ryan Trainor (Adventus.io), Andy Dinan (MARS Gallery) , Simon Goodrich (Portable)

and Anders Sorman-Nilsson (Thinque).


“The motivation for the conference is to understand and enhance thinking, learning and creativity across disciplines at the individual and organisational level and to develop people and organisations through improved thinking and learning strategies,” organisers shared.


Further presenters will be announced as the conference approaches. Visit the conference website for updates and information. 

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