ICOT 2015

ICOT 2015, the International Conference on Thinking took place in Bilbao (Basque Country, Spain) from 29 June to 3 July. It is one of the most important world event in the field of education. EPA was present both as a supporting institutional partner and by the participation of two Vice Presidents, Christian Hellevang and Josep-Manuel Prats.

ICOT is the biggest event on thinking in the world. This year marked the 17th edition and aimed to be a space to raise and discuss ideas and experiences on concepts such as creativity, intelligence, thinking, curiosity, complexity, problem-based learning (PBL), thinking-based learning (TBL), education, networking, learning, leadership, evaluation, measuring sustainability, change and innovation.

The thinking conferences focus on new ways of thinking in the following major conference strands: 
- Arts
- Business
- Culture
- Education
- Health
- Politics
- Average and
- Sports. 
They emphasize innovation and change that not only result in new concepts and practice, but also lead to new ways of thinking with regards to old problems. The challenge for the future is to create societies that enhance social and environmental as well as economic development. This will require giving predominance to innovative ideas, knowledge creation and the will to apply them. This conference was uniquely placed to bring together people from different disciplines and contexts  to share their own breakthroughs as well as learn from other peoples stories.

In Bilbao we learned a lot, we heard impressive success stories in education, business, leadership and innovation. Among other many ideas, here are some of the best I have heard in the field of education:
- You have to know and love the students to educate them with demand,
- The teacher must be an example of life for students to convey enthusiasm for thinking and learning,
- Parents should be involved in the educational process together with the school as the first educators,
- Parents need continuing education to better educate,
- Need a digital ethics is not different from the non-digital.

World-renowned speakers such as Edward de Bono, Howard Gardner, David Perkins, Montserrat del Pozo, RobertSwartz, Lane Clark, Francesco Tonucci, José Antonio Marina, Bruno della Chiesa were able to make us think and reflect on our role as educators.
We also had the opportunity to greet Professor Bengt Lennartsson, University of Linköping, Sweden, whom we met at the TA Teachers conference held in Riga in September 2014, and already then encouraged us to attend this event. We are especially grateful.

The organisation was impressive. More than 2,000 attendees from 43 countries, 90 speakers, 282 sessions, more than 200 student volunteers from schools in COAS, the main organiser of the event, educational organisation that groups 9 schools (four of which are among 100 best in Spain) and FAPAE, EPA member from Basque country (It had been FAPAE president, Victor Petuya who made it possible for EPA to become a partner in ICOT). They have been primarily responsible for organising this event in Europe, and it is fair to praise the extraordinary organisation and human quality that have tried them all. Anecdotally it should be noted that the staff of the Palace of Congresses and ancillary services have praised all the participants and stressed that they had never encountered so polite, disciplined and good humoured attendants.

To enjoy all content, you can access and register on the website www.eduthink.es, which will be published in a few weeks.
To learn more about this and previous events: www.icot2015.com and http://thinkingconference.org.
On twitter you can find many contents through the account @icot2015eduthink_es and under the hashtag # icot2015

Next conference: Miami, Florida (USA) in 2017.

Josep Manuel Prats
EPA Vice President

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