The book Powering a Learning Society During an Age of Disruption by ADB is an edited volume of 21 articles and presents latest, cutting edge thinking on the role of a learning society in education and training. Located in current volatile times, the book explores major drivers of change that influence learning. The volume presents contemporary perspectives on the role of a learning society from the lens of education planners, experts from universities, governments, and professional agencies as well as civil society organizations and industry leaders. The book is a testimonial to the importance of ‘learning communities’ as it stresses the pivotal role of different actors, including non-traditional actors such as city and urban planners, citizens’ groups, transport professionals, and technology companies in improving the quality of education and training opportunities. The book seeks to contribute to the discourse on strengthening the fabric of a learning society, which is crucial for future economic and social development, particularly in the context of the aftermath of the COVID-19 worldwide health pandemic.

ADB is privileged to have partnered with an illustrious group of education thought leaders. The authors come from: leading universities throughout the world, such as the National University of Singapore, Oxford University and Seoul National University; prominent CSO organizations (Pratham and Teach for the Philippines); government initiatives (eg, Institute of Cyber Education), global think tanks (eg.Brookings Institution), professional educational services agencies (eg. Australian Council for Education Research), large global providers of online education (eg. Coursera), international organizations (UNESCO and ILO), European skills institutions (European Training Foundation and SkillMan); non-traditional skills providers (eg. National Skills Academy for Rail in the UK) and private equity firms focusing on education (eg. Kaizenvest).

This webinar will launch this book to key stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific region, and beyond.


The webinar will discuss and promote the concept of learning society that adopts a life cycle approach to knowledge. Specific topics to be deliberated on by the invited experts and co-editors include: learnability and the learning crisis; future-proofing post basic education; communities as learning platforms; learning societies and Industry 4.0; and technology solutions to build a learning society.

Target participants

Government officials, policy makers, university and training institutions representatives, education experts and workers, and education and training stakeholders.

Resource speakers

Welcome remarks
Brajesh Panth, Chief of Education Sector Group, ADB

Launch of the book
Kenichi Yokoyama, Director General, South Asia Department
Bruno Carrasco, Director General, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department

Remarks by co-editors of the book
Sungsup Ra, Director, Human and Social Development Division, ADB
Shanti Jagannathan, Principal Education Specialist, ADB
Rupert Maclean, ADB Consultant

Expert views on the Role of a Learning Society
Prof. Dr. Maurits van Rooijen, Chairman of GISMA’s Board of Governors, Chief Academic Officer of Global University Systems
Libing Wang, Chief, Section for Educational Innovation and Skills Development,UNESCO

Closing remarks
Brajesh Panth Chief, Education Sector Group, ADB

How to register



Event organizers / partners

Shanti Jagannathan
ADB Education Sector Group

Event Contact