The symposium "Education, digital technology, social cohesion and public policies" was organised by the Institut des Amériques, in collaboration with the EU-LAC Foundation, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) in the framework of the Latin America and Caribbean Week.
Overall, 2020 and 2021 were irrevocably marked by the closure of educational institutions, to different extents, to limit the spread of Covid-19. In the schools, universities, professional and economic spheres, all-digital technology has been largely imposed, without transition, with its successes and failures. This episode, which has led to an unprecedented digitalisation of societies, will mark a technological milestone.
The time has come to take stock of the situation in order to transform yesterday's difficulties into tomorrow's opportunities. Faced with this challenge, the Institut des Amériques, the EU-LAC Foundation and the Agence française de développement intend to contribute to the comparative, transamerican and transdisciplinary reflections through their annual symposium.
At the educational and academic level, the acceleration of distance learning in both Europe and Latin America has indeed led to a renewal of opportunities for scientific cooperation and the partnership development between institutions in both regions. More generally, the widespread use of online webinars, symposiums and events organisation suggests new dynamics of collaboration, dialogue and scientific exchange between Europe and Latin America. In the future, digital technology seems to be an unavoidable way to strengthen the links between the two regions. However, although digitalisation represents an undeniable tool of influence, it cannot be efficient without jointly considering the reduction of fractures, new methods of regulation and evaluation, and economic positioning in a highly competitive world.
In this context, the symposium had the aim to fuel the debate through four workshops. Each of them approached the issue of the complex and close links between education, digital technology, social cohesion and public policies: from the soft power issues steering public policies to the challenges of inclusion and the professions of tomorrow, not forgetting the economic factors necessary for the development of innovations.