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International conference in Cork to address threats from AI, Misinformation, and Climate

27 May 2024
Pictured at the launch of Global Lifelong Learning Week 2024 which features the ASEM LLL Hub Conference and the 54th eucen Conference are: from left, Cllr Kieran McCarthy, Lord Mayor of Cork, Lyndsey El Amoud, Deputy Director ACE at UCC, Prof. John O'Halloran, President of UCC, Dr Seamus O Tuama, Director, ACE at UCC, Chair, ASEM LLL Hub and Catherine McManus, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ireland. Picture: David Keane.
  • Over 50 speakers and 200 participants from over 40 countries to attend Cork conference
  • Global Lifelong Learning Week 2024 will address Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity in our world
  • UCC hosting week-long events featuring international educational leaders

The opportunities and threats posed by AI, the ongoing problem of misinformation and fake news, and the ever-present challenge posed by climate change are all topics due to be discussed at a major international conference this week.

University College Cork (UCC) will host over 50 speakers and 200 participants from over 40 countries at Global Lifelong Learning Week 2024, which is underway and will contemplate responses to a so-called “VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) world”.

Leaders in education at the conference will discuss AI, in particular analysing jobs that are likely to be displaced by AI and what skills gaps will appear that can be used to upskill these displaced employees and provide employment in other areas.

Misinformation and fake news is at a critical peak, they will discuss how we can develop and identify the necessary training and skills to help people develop the critical thinking and analytical skills necessary to analyse the information around them.

 The term “VUCA world” refers to the heightened levels of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity facing us today. The delegates will be addressing how to prepare a workforce to be able to cope with these VUCA challenges through education.

Prof. Séamus O'Tuama, Director of UCC’s Adult Continuing Education (ACE), said that lifelong learning will prove to be at the centre of our collective response to these existential challenges.

"Lifelong learning is the essential paradigm through which humanity can address the huge global challenges we face today. As a species we have to learn how to adjust to new realities and collectively plot a planetary way forward. We are truly in an existential crisis, largely of our own making, which we have to solve together,” he said.

“In the Global Lifelong Learning Week we will have an unprecedented meeting of leading theorists and practitioners in lifelong learning coming from over 40 countries, representing every region of the planet. They are not coming to Cork to just share best practice. They are coming here to co-create new practice and new thinking that will animate and enable people everywhere to become the kind of creative, active, learners that can imagine ways in which we can live more sustainably from the local to the global level,” Prof. O’Tuama said.

The week includes the ASEM LLL Hub Conference (May 27-29) and the eucen Conference (May 29-31) and will see representatives from UNESCO, the European Commission, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the South East Asian Ministers for Education Organisation in attendance.

The theme, "University Lifelong Learning: Leading Positive Change in Challenging Times," highlights the crucial role of continuous education in societal resilience and adaptability.

For more information, visit

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF