The Jacobs Foundation biannual Conference is always a highlight at the Jacobs Foundation. Since 1991, leading international scholars invited by the Foundation gather at Marbach Castle on Lake Constance, to discuss key issues and emerging evidence in child and youth development.
Fast forward to 2021, and the pandemic turned our plans upside down for this year’s conference. Rather than standing still and wait for better days to meet in person, we embraced the opportunity to think outside the box, push boundaries and innovate on what would be our first ever virtual conference.
Recognizing the global education challenges amplified by COVID-19, we designed the conference as a space where education stakeholders from across the world could come together to address pressing issues facing education, such as how to scale blended learning solutions or how to ensure that all children have access to quality, safe, and equitable learning environments.
We wanted to do more than talk about these issues, and actually contribute actionable ideas and solutions. The idea of a collaboration between the Jacobs Foundation and Massachusetts-based social innovation marketplace MIT Solve emerged based on complementary expertise and led to a 3-day Solveathon workshop last April.