DigiEduHack Main Stage Event 2021


Welcome to the Main Stage of DigiEduhack 2021

This year, the main stage event is hosted by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of European Union in cooperation with the International Research Center on Artificial Intelligence under the auspices of UNESCO (IRCAI).

This year’s theme of the Digital Education Hackathon is

“Digital education for a sustainable world”. 

An inspiring programme

The programme of the Main Stage Event provided a showcase for the hackathons happening in Europe and beyond. Over two days, it brought together a diverse array of speakers for keynotes and discussions on the topics of digital education, vocational training and lifelong learning.

Panel topics included:

Future of education - Perspective on policy and innovation
Sustainability in Education
Future of Learning - The Innovation Potential of Hackathons
Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Education

Main Stage Event, Day 1

Day 1 kicked off with opening remarks from illustrious speakers such as, Simona Kustec, Minister of Education, Science of Sport of the Republic of Slovenia and Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. Good vibes are guaranteed for the audience and hackathon participants with many tips and insights provided by the experts from the DigiEduHack steering group.

In the morning, useful tips to participants by DigiEduHack 2020 Global Award winner teams. In the afternoon, the first panel discussion of the day delved into the future of education, focusing on a perspective on policy and innovation and provided an in-depth look at the Digital Education Action Plan of the European Commission. The day ends with a social event for everyone with graffiti light performance and Slido quiz aim to motivate hackathon participants as they worked well into the night.

Main Stage Event, Day 2

Day 2 completed the look at digital education. It starts with an international perspective on education with diverse mix of speakers discussing the future of digital education around the globe. Here, opinions of experts meet voices from the EU and beyond.

The day ends with a focus on how good ideas have an impact in digital education. Throughout the event, hackathon participants join the stage to keep the audience updated on their ideas.


We have invited inspiring speakers from all over the world, who are all experts in their field in digital education.
The event moderator, Klemen Slakonja, is a prominent Slovenian actor and television host. He have been performance more than 100 characters throughout his career and gained millions of views on his YouTube Channel.

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Klemen Slakonja

Television Host

Klemen is a Slovenian actor, comedian, television host, impersonator, and singer. He has transformed himself into more than 100 characters throughout his career and gained millions of views on his YouTube Channel.


Simona Kustec

Minister of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Slovenia

Prof. dr. Kustec has been teaching subjects on policy analysis, human rights policy and global governance. She is the author of over 400 scholarly works on a variety of issues, published by leading Slovenian and international academic publishers.

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Mariya Gabriel

European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth

Mrs. Gabriel is the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. Her responsibilities include ensuring a swift agreement and full implementation of the Horizon Europe programme, ensuring investment flows for innovation and updating the Digital Education Action Plan.


Margrethe Vestager

European Commissioner for Competition

Margrethe is the current European Commissioner for Competition (since 2014) and Executive Vice President of the European Commission for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age (since 2019). Her responsibilities include coordinating work on a European strategy on data and on a European approach to AI.


Boštjan Koritnik

Minister of Public Administration of the Republic of Slovenia

Boštjan background is in law, and also he worked with three crypto-companies as a lawyer and co-founder, and was the director of the GLEDOS (Global Education System) project. He (co-)authored legal opinions and other scholarly texts about blockchain technology and entrepreneurship.

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Georgi Dimitrov

Deputy Head of Unit Innovation and EIT at DG EAC, European Commission

Mr. Dimitrov joined the EC in 2008. Since 2020 he has been the project team leader for the new edition of the Digital Education Action Plan (DEAP) by the European Union.

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Riikka Mäkikoskela

Researcher and the Head of Radical Creativity at Aalto University

Riikka is the leader of the new Aalto University strategy’s cross-cutting approach of Radical Creativity. She is a visual artist/sculptor, visual arts teacher and researcher.

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Cristina Riesen

Founder and CEO of Educreators Foundation

Mrs. Riesen is the Founder and CEO of Educreators Foundation, a non-profit supporting deep change in education.

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Mark Brown

Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning at Dublin City University

Mr. Brown has been active in the field of Distance Learning in New Zealand, Australia and Europe. In 2017 he was recognised by the Commonwealth of Learning (CoL) as a world leader in supporting new digitally enhanced models of higher education.

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Carla Rojas Arana

Global award winner of DigiEduHack 2020 / Team Believe

Carla is an interior designer that is passionate and fights for human rights and sex education. She’s one of the global winners of DigiEduHack 2020 and Global Ambassador 2021. She is part of the University Innovation Fellows of Stanford University, and she is working in Digital Education.


Sergio Facchini

Global award winner of DigiEduHack 2020 / Team Squiddy

Sergio Facchini is a freelancer and bachelor student of University of Trento. His projects include mobile apps, websites and custom CRM software. He is passionate about programming, marketing and self-improvement. During his free time he is probably learning something new.


Felix Reimann

Global award winner of DigiEduHack 2020 / Team SaveYourDopamine

Felix is 25 years old, living in Berlin. He studied physics and is currently working as a software developer. SaveDopamine, the solution he co-created with his teammates is going to "change the world, helping companies to match employees to projects, based on their individual skill sets".


Luciano Zickler

Global award winner of DigiEduHack 2020 / Team SaveYourDopmaine

Luciano is one of the DigiEduHack 2020 Global award winners and DigiEduHack ambassador. Currently working on SaveDopamine, the project that aims at revolutionising the future of work. His favourite topics to speak about are the future of society, AI and blockchain, as well as quantum physics.

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John Domingue

Professor of Computer Science at the Open University

Mr. Domingue is a British academic, professor at and Director of the Knowledge Media Institute at the Open University in Milton Keynes, and researcher in the semantic web, linked data, services, blockchain and education.

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Adhitya Iyer


Mr. Iyer is a Pizza lover and when he is not having pizza he is obsessing about the future of Global education. He has written a bestselling book about what could be India's fifth biggest religion - Engineering. His upcoming book is supposed to be a secret and he wouldn't tell us more about it.

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Oreoluwa Lesi

Founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC)

Mrs Lesi is a social entrepreneur, economist and information technology expert. She is the founder and executive director of Women's Technology Empowerment Centre, a non-profit organisation that empowers women and girls socially and economically through education in Information technology


Aleš Veršič

Head of the Open Data Portal in the Slovenian Ministry of Public Administration

Mr. Veršič has been the Head of the Open Data Portal in the Slovenian Ministry of Public Administration since 2015 and the Project Manager at Open Data Hub Slovenia since 2020. His achievements include the establishment of the Slovenian open data ecosystem.


Arjana Blažić

High School Teacher

Mrs. Blažić is a language arts teacher, education technology consultant, course designer and international speaker.


Bart Verswijvel


Mr. Verswijvel is a Belgian educator and expert trainer who works as a Senior Pedagogical Adviser for European Schoolnet in Brussels.


Blaž Zupan

Professor at the University of Ljubljana

Mr. Zupan is a professor at the University of Ljubljana. He also enjoys building things. His first popular web application was GenePath: it is over ten years old but still runs! Mr. Zupan is teaming up with a spin-off Genialis to build data mining pipelines with simple web interfaces.


Colin de la Higuera


Mr. de la Higuera is the author of more than 70 reviewed research papers and the holder of the UNESCO chair in technologies for the training of teachers by open educational resources at University of Nantes. .


Do-Hyung Kim

Lead data scientist at UNICEF

Dr. Dohyung Kim is a lead data scientist at UNICEF. He earned his PhD in Geographical Sciences from the University of Maryland and worked at NASA Goddard space flight center as a postdoctoral researcher until he joined UNICEF in 2017.


Igor Pesek

Assistant Professor

Mr. Pesek has been an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Maribor since 2009. He teaches programming algorithms to future mathematicians and e-teaching methods to future science teachers. Also, he has co-authored 10 original scientific papers.


John Shawe-Taylor

Acting Director at IRCAI

Mr. Shawe-Taylor has contributed in the development of the analysis and subsequent algorithmic definition of principled machine learning algorithms founded in statistical learning theory. This work has helped to drive a fundamental rebirth in the field of machine learning.


Lenart J. Kučič


Lenart J. Kučič is a journalist for the independent and non-profit media outlet podcrto.si, a lecturer and podcast host on the Marsowci network, and a co-editor of the online magazine Disenz.


Mitchell L. Stevens

Professor of Education and Sociology at Stanford University

Mr. Stevens has written scholarly articles for a variety of academic journals and editorials. Among them his most recent book: The Changing Ecology of Higher Education and Seeing the World: How US Universities Make Knowledge in a Global Era.


Niema Moshiri

Assistant Teaching Professor at UC San Diego

Mr. Moshiri is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at UC San Diego, where he researches viral phylogenetics and develops Massive Adaptive Interactive Texts (MAITs) for computing courses.


Nina Jelen

Primary School Teacher

Mrs. Jelen is a primary school teacher in Slovenia. In 2015, she won the Information Commissioner's competition for the best lesson on online safety. By turning her classroom into a virtual world, she used various games to promote positive online behaviour among elementary school pupils.


Sahan Bulathwela

Affiliated to the UCL Centre for Artificial Intelligence

Mr. Bulathwela is affiliated to the UCL Centre for Artificial Intelligence currently contributing to the X5GON project and HumaneAI project working. His research interests lie on the theme: “Improving Recommendations of Educational Contents to Lifelong Learners”.

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Salvatore Nigro

CEO JA Europe

Mr. Nigro dedicates his energy and passion to preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. He specialises in multi-stakeholder partnerships, workforce development and entrepreneurship programmes. He joined JA Europe in 2020 after having spent twelve years at Education for Employment.


Sana El Harbi

Professor at the University of Sousse

Mrs. El Harbi is a Full Professor at the University of Sousse. Her teaching and research interests include Entrepreneurship, Experimental Economics, Regional Development and Economics of Education. She has organized several conferences and workshops, amongst others on Open Education Resources


Tel Amiel

Researcher at NIED, University of Campinas

Mr. Amiel coordinates the UNESCO Chair in Open Education. He has previously been a visiting fellow at the University of Wollongong and a visiting professor at Utah State University. He currently conducts research funded by FAPESP and CAPES on schooling and teacher professional development.


Wayne Holmes


Mr. Holmes interests are in the learning sciences and learning innovations, focused on AI in Education: the application of AI to both enhance and further understand learning, and the ethical and social implications of AI applied in educational contexts. Co-authored three books on AIED

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Yvonne Rogers

Chair of Interaction Design

Mrs. Rogers is a British psychologist and computer scientist. She is the director of The University College London Interaction Centre at University College London. She has authored or contributed to more than 250 publications.


Zeynep Varoglu

Programme Specialist in the Digital Innovation and Transformation

Mrs. Varoglu works in the Communications and Information Sector at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. She is responsible for the implementation of the UNESCO OER Recommendation and related OER Dynamic Coalition and the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers.


Piret Liv Stern Dahl

Learning Technology Strategy Developer, EIT Climate KIC

Mrs. Stern Dahl is an adventurer in digital education with a solid experience in transformational strategies and in co-creation.

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Gihan Osman

Senior Advisor for Teaching and Learning Innovations at the British University in Egyp

Mrs. Osman has her PhD and MSc in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University Bloomington with a minor in Organizational Behavior, an MA in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) from the American University in Cairo, and a BA in English from Alexandria University.

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Fengchun Miao

Chief of the Unit for Technology and Artificial Intelligence in Education, UNESCO

Mr. Miao is leading programmes on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and education, ICT in education policy development, digital skills development for teachers and students, mobile learning, and future e-schools. He is also managing the UNESCO Prize for the Use of ICTs in Education.


The programme of the Main Stage Event sheds light on the current state of digital education, offering a vibrant mix of voices – from Europe’s leading politicians, experts, and a diverse group of learners young and old. Next to regular "Call In" sessions with hackathon participants worldwide, panel discussions examined a range of topics, such as digital education for a sustainable world.

09 November - 10:00


Opening with Klemen Slakonja
DigiEduHack Main Stage Moderator & Master of Ceremonies

Welcome Address by Simona Kustec
Minister of Education, Science of Sport of the Republic of Slovenia

Welcome Address by Mariya Gabriel
European Commissioner Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth

Q&A with Simona Kustec and Mariya Gabriel

Welcome from the Main Stage Hosts

09 November - 10:53


with DigiEduHack local events worldwide

Invited talk: Sustainability and radical creativity or AI
by Aalto University

09 November - 11:15

A word for the 2020 Winners #1: Felix Reimann and Luciano Zickler

DigiEduHack 2020 Global Award winner - Team SaveYourDopmanie, with their solution SaveDopamine presented by Felix Reimann and Luciano Zickler

09 November - 11:25


Introduction to International hack sites,
by Aalto University

09 November - 11:37

A word for the 2020 Winners #2: Sergio Slava Facchini

DigiEduHack 2020 Global Award winner - Team Provolosi, with their solution Squiddy presented by Sergio Slava Facchini

09 November - 11:50


Inspirational quick talks by three of the DigiEduHack Steering Group members Mark Brown, The National Institute for Digital Learning at Dublin City University

09 November - 14:00


Logistics and world perspective

09 November - 14:05


with DigiEduHack local events worldwide

09 November - 14:15


Nina Jelen,Global Teacher Prize 2021 finalist, Primary school teacher and author of children’s books

09 November - 14:30


with DigiEduHack local events worldwide

09 November - 14:50


Hackathon video presentation by Aleš Veršič,Open Data Slovenia Champion at the Ministry of Public Administration
Boštjan Koritnik, Minister of Public Administration

09 November - 15:05


Zeynep Varoglu, Programme Specialist at UNESCO
Colin de la Higuera, NESCO Chair in in technologies for the training of teachers by open educational resources at University of Nantes
John Domingue, Open University
Georgi Dimitrov, Head of Unit, DG EAC, European Commission
Yvonne Rogers, University College London

09 November - 16:07

A word for the 2020 Winners #2: Carla Rojas and Lucia Corilla

DigiEduHack 2020 Global Award winner - Team Believe, with their solution EduSex presented by Carla Rojas and Lucia Corilla

09 November - 17:20


09 November - 17:35


with DigiEduHack local events worldwide

09 November - 17:50


Sustainability in education by EIT Climate-KIC

09 November - 18:05


Line Gry Knudsen Founder of LEARN Consulting
Altheo Valentini Sociologist and Communicator

09 November - 18:10


Graffiti light performance, Slido quiz

10 November - 10:00


Opening with Mitri Sirin
DigiEduHack Main Stage Moderator & Master of Ceremonies

10 November - 10:20


In education and for education and the sustainability aspect for education Blaž Zupan, Faculty of Computer and Information Science University of Ljubljana
Wayne Holmes, UNESCO Technology and Artificial Intelligence in Education; IRCAI
Gabriela Ramos, UNESCO, Assistant Director General for Social and Human Sciences
John Shawe-Taylor, UNESCO Chair in AI, IRCAI

10 November - 11:25


Oreoluwa Lesi, Founder of Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre
Maha Al-Freih, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University
Adhitya Iyer, author of “The Great Indian Obsession: The Untold Story of India’s Engineers”

10 November - 12:00


with DigiEduHack local events worldwide

10 November - 12:15


Anna Nixon, an award-winning roboticist, speaker and teacher
Tel Amiel, UNESCO Chair in Distance Education

10 November - 14:00


Dohyung Kim, UNICEF project Giga representative
Sahan Bulathwela, UCL

10 November - 14:20


Junior Achievement Awards Europe

10 November - 14:50


Steering Group Members Arjana Blazic, International Expert Team for Curricular Reform at the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education
Bart Verswijvel, Future Classroom Lab

10 November - 15:00


Kailash Satyarthi,Nobel Peace Prize Winner 2014 (TBC)

10 November - 15:50


Motion-stop of the graffiti creation

10 November - 16:00


Goodbye to Ljubljana and DigiEduHack Antoaneta Angelova-Krasteva, Director Innovation, Digital Education and International Cooperation, DG EAC
Igor Pesek, Head of Unit for Digital Education, Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Slovenia
John Shawe-Taylor, IRCAI

10 November - 16:25


Steering group

Featured Hackathons




Jožef Stefan Institute Jamova cesta 39.
SI-1000 - Ljubljana