The OECD’s Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) launched the New Millennium Learners (NML) project in 2007. It has the global aim of investigating the effects of digital technologies on school-age learners and providing recommendations on the most appropriate institutional and policy responses from the education sector. The project comprises two phases: the first phase explores the demand side, i.e., the changes, if any, experienced by learners. This phase is now coming to an end. In the second phase, current and emerging educational responses will be reviewed. The first NML conference aims at showcasing the results of the first phase and linking them to the next.


The concept of New Millennium Learners suggests that technology uptake, particularly by younger generations, has an effect on the way people build their identities, communicate socially, and manage information and knowledge. However, the fact that young people are increasingly attached to and knowledgeable in terms of technology does not necessarily mean that they develop by themselves the range of skills and competencies that a knowledge economy requires. These so-called 21st Century Competencies, which are the main topic of this conference, cover the range of skills and competencies that young people will be required to have in order to be effective workers and responsible citizens in the knowledge society of the 21st century.


The OECD and the Flemish Ministry of Education wish all participants a fruitful and instructive conference.