Fig.1. The dining room at Appleby Castle, Cumbria
I posed this challenge to an e-learning group on LinkedIn:
‘If you could invited anyone in the world to a dinner party who would it be?’
I could run this every month on a different continent and keep going for a couple of years … 12 might work better as I’d like to include a few undergraduates and graduates … perhaps guests would be asked to bring a member of their faculty, a young work colleague or inspiring student.
I’ve left myself off. As the host I would be at their service. Running the event behind the scenes and enjoying the conversation before and after.
Martin Bean, Vice Chancellor, Open University. Inspirational champion of distance learning and accessible education. The Open University has over 257,000 active students.
Dame Professor Wendy Hall, DBE, FRS, FREng – Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, UK, and Dean of the Faculty of Physical and Applied Sciences.
Vilayanur.S. Ramachandran – Behavioral Neurologist and Professor at the Center for Brain Cognition at the University of California, San Diego. Influential academic/research on how we think in symbols and metaphors
Professor Daphne Koller, Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University and a Third generation PhD. Informed on big data, open learn and the future of higher education.
Cammy Bean, VC Learning Design, Kineo US. An instructional designer who mixes creativity and the pragmatic.
Sugata Mitra – Professor of Education Technology at the University of Newcastle. Best known for the ‘hole in the wall’ computers used in research in rural India (and city slums).
Donald H Taylor – Founder and CEO of Learning Skills Group and annual Learning Technologies conference in London every year.
Kirstie Donnelly, Director of Product Development, City & Guilds. From linear video production to a global leader in applied, workplace learning.
12-16 would give me more scope.
I’d book the dining hall at the Oxford Union.
Dr Zbigniew Pelczynski – Founder of the School for Leaders, Poland. Retired Oxford Professor of Philosophy and Politics.
Dr B Price Kerfoot – Harvard Medic and educator, ‘Spaced Education’ and QStream
George Soros – Investor, entrepreneur and educational philanthropist.
Thomas Garrod – Wiseman of e-learning Global Network, educator, learning design.
Double the numbers and I’d run it as an exclusive weekend on the Isle of Eriska – the castle would be ours with 32 guests for the conference and another 18 family members for the extended visit.
- Jonathan Vernon – A career in video communications, training and coaching.
- Matt Bury – Wiseman of e-learning Global Network, learning design.
- John Seely-Brown – Learning from the periphery, former Xerox educator.
- Yrjo Engestrom – Cultural historical activity theory and knotworking
- Gilly Salmon – E-tivities, e-moderation
- Agnes Kukulska-Hulme – Professor of mobile learning at the Open University
- Martin Weller – Digital Scholar
- Diana Laurillard – Chair of Learning with Digital Technologies
- Gordon Bell – long lived, lifeblogging, Microsoft research and experimenter.
- Jay Cross – educator, speaker, inspired thinker on learning and e-learning
- Sir Jonathan Ive – SVP Design, Apple
- William Hague – Oxford, Insead and UK lifelong politician. Engaging and extraordinarily bright.
- Walter Isaacson – A pupil of Dr Pelczynski (see above), journalist and author of the Steve Jobs exclusive biography.
- Steven Pressfield – Author, thinker, influential pusher of the ‘War of Art’ (overcoming resistance).
- Marc Lewis – Advertising entrepreneur and Dean of London’s highly influential School of Communication Arts (SCA 2.0)
- Viktor Mayer-Schonberger – Director of Advancement of the OII and Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation
- Sir Martin Sorrell – WPP CEO. Highly influential and well regarded businessman.
- Richard Davey – Founder, owner of influential global law publishing group.
- David Waller – Ex FT Lex Columnist and Bureau Chief Germany, Founder of PR agency, Author, Head of Communications at Mann Group, previously for Deutsche Bank.
- Susanna White – award winning documentary and filmmaker.
(At the time this photograph was taken Appleby Castle was, aptly, the HQ and Training Centre for a UK based PLC. Managers attended from the US, Australia, Hong Kong, South Africa, the UK and various parts of Europe.)