The Future of Learning: What I learned at the Nobel Prize Dialogue in Chile

The future of learning

In the fields of chemistry, literature, peace activism, physics, and physiology/medicine, a Nobel Prize is widely regarded as the most prestigious award there is. The winners are among the very brightest people on the planet who possess a rare brand of perseverance along with the ability to see problems in new ways and find innovative solutions. Simply meeting a Nobel laureate and having the opportunity to listen to them speak is a great privilege and an eye-opening experience, as I learned recently when the Nobel Prize Dialogue came to Santiago, Chile, January 18-19.

What is the Nobel Prize Dialogue?

The Nobel Prize Dialogue is a cross-disciplinary, global program that is hosted in various countries around the world every year. 2019 is the first year that it included a stop in Latin America, and as an exclusive partner of Nobel Media, it was an honor for us to co-host the event in Santiago, featuring Nobel laureates Serge Haroche (Physics, 2012), Bruce Beutler (Physiology or Medicine, 2011), Brian Schmidt (Physics, 2011) and Michael Kosterlitz (Physics, 2016).

People sitting in a discussion


By taking them on tour to visit universities and research centers around the world, the Nobel Prize Dialogue provides the laureates with an excellent platform to share their stories and insights with the global scientific community, and with young scientists in particular. Each year has its own theme, and this year's theme is "The Future of Learning".

I found it both fascinating and inspiring to listen to the Nobel laureates speak. The knowledge they brought with them is opening new doors for technology, encouraging us to look at things from a different perspective and think hard about what it really means to drive changes to make our society better. I am very proud to work for a company like Ericsson that sponsors initiatives like the Nobel Prize Dialogue.

I was particularly struck by the perseverance that the Nobel laureates have all demonstrated in their work. I think the secret behind their successes is that each of them had a strong belief that there was something out there waiting for them to discover, something important that could be shared with all humankind. That belief is what helped them get through the difficult times, when they faced resistance from their peers, or even their own families. That in itself is a valuable lesson.

Woman looking at a book

The Future of Learning

As a company, Ericsson is committed to contributing to the creation of spaces that inspire people to dare to think and act in new ways and challenge each other's view on topics that are crucial to the world and our shared future. We are convinced that the kind of collaboration between academia and industry that takes place at events like Nobel Prize Dialogue boosts innovation and triggers disruptive thinking.

Since Ericsson first became a global partner of Nobel Media, we have found that our involvement has provided us a great opportunity to communicate our passion for education, science and knowledge through the voices and stories of Nobel laureates. It also enables us to share our message about what our technology is capable of to an audience that is interested in inventions that benefit to mankind.

For example, we know that 5G can contribute to learning by allowing tactile, visual and sound data to be shared in a way that combines immersive technology and physical existence. We also know that 5G can change the way that educational games are played, dramatically reducing speed and memory issues while creating a safe, ad-free learning environment through curation and cloud technology. These are just two of many examples of how our technology contributes to the future of learning.

Connect to Learn

Beyond 5G, our long-term commitment to learning is best illustrated by the Connect to Learn (CTL) program, which we launched in 2010 with the aim of improving access to quality education for all children through the use of mobile broadband and ICT, while creating a new type of customer engagement through Technology for Good. More than 120,000 students across the globe have been positively impacted by the program, which has been implemented in 25 countries to date.

During the Nobel Prize Dialogue event in Chile, we demonstrated "Virtual Reality (VR) Teacher Training", a part of CTL, at the Ericsson stand. This professional development tool for teachers simulates a real-life CTL classroom using VR technology, and includes training modules. It enables teachers to experiment with interactive teaching methods that integrate ICT and provides constructive feedback on effective teaching practices in a virtual environment. The people who took part in the demo were impressed to see how much technology can contribute to inclusive, high-quality education.

Woman wearing VR glasses in a group

Talent Acquisition

It was a very enriching experience for us to visit Chile's two most prestigious universities together with Nobel laureates. It was a great opportunity to speak with students who are interested in working for a company that offers the possibility to be involved in projects that are at the forefront of the telecommunications industry. We took the chance to tell them about our trainee program, and share the stories of young professionals who participated in it before going on to important positions at Ericsson.

Technology for Good

At Ericsson, we are determined to use our technology for good, by which we mean using our expertise in new technologies, our solutions, and our advocacy to make life better around the world. By connecting our portfolio, our customers and sustainability, we want to build a strong and profitable company now and for the future.

To learn more about Ericsson's perspective on the future of learning, check out this page on our website.

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