GRADUATION: FAST-FORWARDING OUR FUTURE
Sponsored by Nido Student & ASK4
The Class of 2020 was founded in 2011 as a think tank to solve the student housing crisis. In the aftermath of the financial meltdown, we believed we needed 10 years to solve it. Our Graduation Conference in Amsterdam was planned this Autumn as a moment to celebrate what we had achieved as a community and to explore a bright future.
Everything changed in March. Today we are faced with a crisis in global health and student mobility. The impact of the COVID-19 crisis is so profound that it calls into question the very future of our universities and the cities that host them. COVID-19 keeps students flung far from campuses and isolated from communities. Amsterdam has reported the first population decline in 10 years, with international students and young professionals retreating to learn and work remotely. Our community has barely had time to adjust, let alone look ahead.
The past decade has brought extraordinary growth and change to university cities. Universities have stepped up investment in internationalisation and the student learning experience. Visionary investors, developers, and operators have introduced flexible and community-oriented living concepts for global talent to markets across Europe. Billions of equity and institutional funds have been deployed on campus, housing projects, and regenerated districts. Global talent mobility has accelerated vibrant city development and economic success in return.
But how resilient are we? What will tomorrow and the day after look like? How can we recover from the current crisis and prevent the loss of progress we have achieved and reshape the future for the better? At The Class, we believe that crises can be a powerful engine to fix things. Even before the outbreak of COVID-19, we were confronting a housing crisis, often worse than that of 10 years ago. Higher education and student mobility are neither accessible to all nor necessarily providing the right competencies to the labour market in a changing world. The rise of blended living and learning is here to stay, and students make it clear that they still value experience and community. At The Class Graduation Conference, we will convene some of the most provocative thinkers and practitioners who will challenge our community to make a better future happen faster. We will ask them to envision the new knowledge ecosystem in an era of paradigm shifts. And with you, we will explore what our community can and should do to provide opportunities for global talent and save our beloved university cities.
The space and format. This year, The Class of 2020 invites you to a completely different experience: our graduation ceremony. It will be a half-day virtual conference that combines thought-provoking live talk shows, knowledge updates from the expert correspondents, and the celebration of outstanding achievements via The Best in Class Awards. You will also have the first access to The Class Trend Report 2021: our digital graduation thesis/yearbook.
Accessibility, engagement, and safety. As a learning community with an ambition to make a better future happen faster, we find it important to make our conference as widely accessible and engaging to follow as possible, while securing the health and safety of our community and surroundings. Note that we are not trying to replicate the face-to-face experience that was immensely appreciated by our community. We are presenting an entirely different experience as different spaces require a different approach to maximise community engagement.
Tune in, hop on and off, and enjoy the ride with peer experts. Once registered, you will have full access to a cross-platform (web and native mobile app). You can follow the live streaming of our half-day programme and connect with fellow attendees at the same time. Check the agenda and speakers and hop on and off according to your interest and convenience. The on-demand recording will also be available to maximise your learning outcome. In addition, you will be able to check who is on the ride with you to connect, converse and contribute, either in real-time or to meet up at a certain time, even before and after the half-day programme. Make sure you stay tuned for updates!
Everywhere and anywhere. This year, The Class of 2020 Conference will be delivered to you wherever you are. Just tune in from the most optimal learning space for you, by yourself or with your colleagues (in a safe manner of course).