Join us at the Artificial Intelligence: Research, Technology and Business in OER” focused satellite at the 2nd World Congress on Open Educational Resources in Ljubljana, Slovenia on 18-19 September 2017.

Knowledge 4 All Foundation would like to take advantage of the momentum it has created with its activities in technology and research for Open Education, and provide real-life and data driven inputs to policy making bodies at the Congress. It will bring together representatives of Ministries, Data industry experts, Researchers and NGOs.

The event is by-invitation only and can be followed via the hashtag #oercongress on Twitter.

Day 1 – Monday 18.9.2017, room Kosovel
  Session 1: Building OER - challenges

Introduction by Colin de la Higuera, UNESCO OER chair, University of Nantes

Rory McReal, UNESCO OER Chair, University Athabasca

Jane-Frances Agbu, ICDE OER Chair, National Open University of Nigeria

Shivi Chandra and Dr. Richard Tibbles, Learning Equality
13:00-14:30 Lunch
  Session 2: Accessing OER - challenges and solutions

John Shawe Taylor, University College London

Gregor Leban, CEO Eventregistry

Tel Amiel, UNESCO Chair in Open Education, University of Campinas

  Session 3: Infrastructures, Operators and Use Cases

Smiljana Švarc, Post Office Slovenia

Jurij Bertok, Slovenian Ministry of Public Affairs, Republic of Slovenia - running governmental cloud education

Zlatko Fras, Director of Division of Internal Medicine, University Medical Centre Ljubljana

  Session 4: OER - Security and Privacy

Dobran Bozic, Slovenian Government Office for the Protection of Classified Information

Matej Kovačič, Centre for Knowledge Transfer in Information Technologies Jožef Stefan Institute

Blaž Ivanc, Elmar d.o.o


Day 2 – Tuesday 19.9.2017, room Kosovel
  Session 5: OER for Inclusion and Multilingualism

Gonçal Garcés, Universidad Politecnica de Valencia

Jernej Pikalo, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), Former minister of education

11:00-11:30 Coffee break
  Session 6: Evaluating OERs

Robert Schuwer, UNESCO OER Chair, Fontys University of Applied Sciences

Sophie Touze, President of the Open Education Consortium Board, Ministry of Higher Education and Research – France

Emine Yilmaz, University College London, Computer Science Department

12:30-14:00 Lunch
  Session 7: Changing Business models

Piotr Pluta, Director Corporate Affairs, CISCO (EMEAR)

Vasja Kozuh, Editor in chief, DZS publishing house

Alessandro Giacombe, General Manager, Worldwide education, Microsoft

15:30-16:00 Coffee brake
  Session 8: OER and Computational Thinking

Colin de la Higuera, UNESCO OER chair, University of Nantes

Andrej Brodnik, University of Ljubljana

End result of this event:

  • Theme - Capacity of users to access, re-use and share OER: Identifying a set of basic and advanced technologies that can be immediately deployed across OER siloes repositories in order to extract value for users.
  • Theme - Ensuring inclusive and equitable access to quality OER: Identifying technologies and addressing equitable access to quality lifelong learning for all, including persons with disabilities.
  • Theme - Language and Culture: Initiating a programme of ground-breaking actions that will deliver, by 2022, an online OER market free of language barriers, delivering automated translation quality, equal to currently best performing language pair/direction, in most relevant use situations and for at least 90% of the learners in UNESCO official languages.
  • Theme - Changing business models: Initialise a process of creating a level playing field for attracting businesses to the Openness agenda and defining services for OER that can potentially lead to innovative business models and new revenue streams, including companies that are not in the traditional education market.
  • Theme - Development of supportive policy environments: Initialise initiatives for openness to properly Open-up and improve access to data, materials, etc., as it is not enough just to open national databanks and “open up” governments, which are the main funders of OER, but require enactment of sound policies at the highest possible level, their follow-ups and implementation measurability, and allow for businesses’, researchers’, and technologists’ engagement in the nested process.
  • Theme: Security and Privacy: With educational issues present, security and privacy concerns are extremely important and require a renewed attention to both enable teachers and pedagogues to help learners in the best way and allow each user to have full confidence in the protection of his data.


Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence. It allows computers to become more accurate in predicting outcomes without explicit programming, using algorithms that iteratively learn from data.

Although there have been many good practices reported, OER still haven’t reached wider deployment. This is due to a chaotic OER space that is scattered across many sites, content that is available in various modalities, formats, languages and quality and the lack of services to allow easy discovery, structuring and bundling, personalised digestion of content to serve teachers and learners needs and preferences.

Here we present an agenda that culminates in connecting all digital aspects of OER with advanced technologies and create value for business.


Two of the trustees of the Knowledge 4 All Foundation are UNESCO Chairs and leading scientists in Artificial Intelligence and actively involved in creating technologies and products for OER.

In October 2016 one of the Chairs had a presentation of AI and machine learning technologies to UNESCO ED and CI colleagues working in or interested in this field.

The presentation opened a longstanding debate on the use of AI in SDG 4 on education and specifically how could the wider business, research and technology community find a value in facilitate the adoption and mainstreaming OER.


To make mainstreaming OER a reality, its impact needs to be of benefit to all, everywhere, a collective effort has to be made by all actors: UNESCO has the understanding of where the problems lay and what are the challenges.

Both UNESCO specialists and Knowledge 4 All network have a global understanding of the links between Education issues and enabling technologies and therefore the impact that progress in Education can have over the general UNESCO agenda.

Scientists have the understanding of the algorithms, technologies which are being deployed to day on smaller scales, in experimental settings or on altogether different problems, finally the industry has the capacity of deploying solutions. Companies and businesses have a strong interest in understanding how to find added value models on top of Openness and OER.


Business, Technology and Research in Artificial Intelligence are tightly connected, and can ultimately influence policies. This event will show that (i) basic and advanced technologies, that (ii) can ensure inclusive and equitable access to quality OER, and empower (iii) massive quantities of users to access, re-use and share massive amounts of OER, (iv) based on their respective language and culture needs and specifics, are already available and need only to be applied to OER, which will in return create a marketplace for (v) changing business models – this is only possible through (vi) a supportive policy environment.

Given the trends in education, technology, digital business models, and, most importantly, customer market power, the OER agenda must account and surmount the enormous business, technology, and political complexity.


Structure of the event: Providing answers to the main Congress theme “Challenges to mainstreaming OER practices”

  1. Capacity of users to access, re-use and share OER: Artificial Intelligence is impacting today many sectors (Health, Security, Autonomous vehicles, smart cities, etc.), we believe it will have a profound impact on education. AI and machine learning (ML), which include technologies such as deep learning, neural networks and natural-language processing, can also encompass more advanced systems that analyse, learn, predict, adapt and potentially operate autonomously for learners’ benefits. Large systems can learn and change future behaviour, leading to the creation of more intelligent devices and programs.
  2. Language and Culture: We want to demonstrate Machine Translation research and technologies available that can solve many of the detected OER adoption problems. Interdisciplinary work has led to a new paradigm in overcoming the language barrier and progressively, to reach high quality for all language combinations and translation directions, and cater for the most demanded text types and use contexts. Systems and solutions exist that are intended to overcome the language barriers, can deal with huge volumes, high variety of languages and text styles, and deliver results in reasonable time (in most cases, instantly). These methods require automatic learning from language resources, the availability and suitability of the latter need to be addressed.  We will present technologies for EU languages (both as source and target languages) that solved the issue of "fragmentary" or "weak/no" machine translation support and start the agenda on all other UNESCO Member States languages.
  3. Ensuring inclusive and equitable access to quality OER:Whereas OERs are being added in vast quantities by organisms and individuals, unless alternative governance tools are provided, it will be difficult for material prepared in less known institutions, using less spoken languages to emerge and be part of the educational offer. It is essential that these mechanisms, as discussed and encouraged at a political level, be supported by the right technologies.
  4. Changing business models: The plan is to discuss potential new business models involving Artificial Intelligence in OER and Open education and present the business view of various stakeholders on OER. Increased cross-border availability and wider adoption of education technology products/services is generating new business opportunities for European and global providers and because the nature of OER is digital and falls into the broader area of open education, in terms of business it is becoming an interesting venue of exploration for IT and data companies. We want to showcase this new business arena, which is not directly connected to the publishing industry, and invite all Telecoms, Post offices, broadband providers and other open software based companies to join us at the congress and present their collaborative ideas. Established in 1874, the Universal Postal Union (link), with its headquarters in the Swiss capital Berne, is the second oldest international organization worldwide. With its 192 member countries, the UPU is the primary forum for cooperation between postal sector players. It helps to ensure a truly universal network of up-to-date products and services. In this way, the organization fulfils an advisory, mediating and liaison role, and provides technical assistance where needed.
  5. Development of supportive policy environments: Current developments in particular in the policy adaptations shows that only policies alone are not enough to streamline OER and Open Education. This also includes the UNESCO policy process towards a “UNESCO Recommendation in OER” that is planned to last till 2019 with still unclear outcomes. This is why Slovenia has been approached by several countries to propose some concrete and joint actions towards implementation of OER and Open Learning. This will from one side support the UNESCO process, demonstrate effective OER use, and create a role model and exemplar for other countries to follow and/or be involved. We call this the “Dynamic Coalition of Member States in OER and Open Education”, which brings together Member States, companies, social partners, civil society, non-profit organisations, education providers, and activists, who take action to tackle the mainstreaming of OER globally. All organisations who take action to boost OER can become members of the Coalition by endorsing the objectives and principles of the Coalition as laid out in the members Charter or Roadmap (draft to be prepared).
  6. Security and Privacy: Institutions currently issue records in a format that is not tamper proof, not recipient owned. A possible solution is to use blockchain for instant verification. This new technical infrastructure gives people the means to hold and share their records as they see fit. Advanced technologies are what makes a difference. This section begins with definitions and distinctions between privacy, confidentiality, and security. We will address the concerns about these concepts with regards to personal identity, learning certificates and general data information and more. We will discuss tools and approaches for protecting personal and educational information and content.

Knowledge 4 All Foundation Ltd is based in London (UK), and supports its 1000+ researchers and 62 member institutions is by co-funding more than 200+ events, 60+ machine learning challenges, 20.000+ academic video lectures and creating machine learning tools and software for open education. Two K4A trustees are also UNESCO Chairs in OER and directly involved in the organisation of the Congress.

Pošta Slovenije d.o.o. is national postal operator in Republic of Slovenia. Pošta Slovenije ensures development as well as high-quality, competitive and reliable provision of postal services, logistics services, secure electronic postal services, the services of the global postal information and communication network use and retail sales to domestic and international private and business customers.

X5GON project members: University College London, Institut Jozef Stefan, Knowledge 4 All Foundation, Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, Université de Nantes, Universitaet Osnabrueck, Slovenian Post, Ministry of Education of Slovenia.