International Education Week (IEW), 12-16 November 2018 is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. To mark this week, AFS is proud to share the recordings of plenary sessions from this year’s AFS Global Conference, that focused on Global Competence: Our Future, Our Responsibility, which brought together 450+ attendees from across sectors (education, governments, NGOs and businesses).


The Global Competence Education Imperative

Panelists defined the roles that key stakeholders must play—governments, education authorities, social entrepreneurs and the private sector—to integrate global competence into teacher training and curricula development at all education levels. Speakers:

  • Andreas Schleicher – Director of Education and Skills, PISA, OECD
  • Daniel Obst – President and CEO, AFS Intercultural Programs
  • Kaya Henderson – Head of Global Learning Lab for Community Impact, Teach For All
  • Brian Atwood – Trustee, AFS Intercultural Programs
  • Ankit Kawatra – Trustee, World Youth Council

Why Global Competence?

The opening session defined why global competence is the essential 21st century skill required to develop and execute solutions that successfully address the world’s most pressing challenges and leverage our greatest opportunities. Speakers:

  • Clive Lee – CEO, Yidan Prize
  • Vishakha Desai – Board Chair, AFS Intercultural Programs
  • Simona-Mirela Miculescu – Head of the UN Office in Belgrade / Representative of the UN Secretary-General
  • Peter Mather – Group Regional President, BP
  • Larisa Hovannisian – CEO & Founder, Teach for Armenia

Global Competence Education: From Research to Practice

This session defined how to scale, replicate and multiply the most successful practices across different contexts, education systems and training environments. Speakers:

  • Darla Deardorff  Executive Director, Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA)
  • Francesca Minniti – Policy and Advocacy Coordinator, CONCORD Europe
  • Mattia Baiutti – Researcher and Trainer, Fondazione Intercultura Onlus
  • Maja Nenadović – International Association for Intercultural Education (IAIE)
  • Michael Vande Berg – Principal, MVB Associates
  • Tony Jackson – Vice President for Education, Asia Society
  • György Meszaros – Associate Professor, Eötvös Loránd University
  • Jennie King – Director of Cultural and Education, British Council, Hungary
  • Daniel Obst – President and CEO, AFS Intercultural Programs

Connecting the Gaps: Investing in Global Competence Across Sectors

Panelists in this session presented a compelling case for funders, social entrepreneurs and other stakeholders to align and invest in global competence education. Speakers:

  • Roberto Ruffino – Secretary General, Fondazione Intercultura 
  • Regina Honu – CEO & Founder – Soronko Solutions
  • Matthew Lawrence – Executive Director, Co-Existence, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change
  • Gabrielle Mandell – Secretary General, CISV International
  • Ron Alvarez – Teacher, Violinist, 2017 Global Teacher Prize Finalist
  • Hanneke Teekens – Director of Foundation for Dutch Education Worldwide

Watch AFS Now: Interviews with Leaders Across Fields


  • Ankit Kawatra, Trustee, World Youth Council
  • James Cooney, Vice Provost for International Affairs, Colorado State University
  • Ron Alvarez, Violinist, 2017 Global Teacher Prize Finalist
  • Tracy Moxley, Head of Global Citizens Connections, GEMS Education

Host: Melissa Liles, Chief Global Engagement Officer, AFS Intercultural Program

Original broadcast date: 27 September 2018

 Watch the recording here!

What is International Education Week?

International Education Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education. For the first time ever, AFS is holding a series of webinars during the International Education Week to encourage and enhance global competence development around the world, sharing our expertise and decades of experience in facilitating intercultural learning opportunities.

Find out more