Once upon a time, Naples was the city that connected the Romans to the rest of Italy with their innovative roads, tunnels, ports and public baths. It’s the gateway to the country’s southern regions, and the anchor to the superior and plentiful science and engineering expertise that is often little known outside the historic nation. Italy has a growing and dynamic Ed Tech community. We believe that the US’s experience with educational technology and innovation can become a critical new link in a new global partnership.
Countries like China, Israel, England and Brazil – to name just a few have hosted and boasted innovative education expertise for many years. When it comes to education, however, there are few better places in the world which can inspire not just the sciences to be delivered in better and innovative ways (think aqueducts) but could help transform the teaching of the humanities just by staging an event with the beautiful backdrop of Napoli, where so many great advances of civilization were largely developed.
Not everyone knows that Naples is not only known for being the birthplace of Pizza and for its natural beauties such as Posillipo, Phlegraean Fields, Nisida, and Vesuvius, but also because it was the cradle of the first of the world’s oldest state-supported institutions of Higher Education and research. In fact, the University of Naples Federico II was founded by the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Frederick II in 1224.
One of the most famous students was Roman Catholic theologian and philosopher Thomas Aquinas. Fredrick II’s main objectives, when he founded the university in Naples, were to train administrative and skilled bureaucratic professionals, lawyers and judges who would help the sovereign to draft laws and administer justice and to facilitate the cultural development of promising young students and scholars, avoiding any unnecessary and expensive trips abroad.
In a certain sense Fredrick II was a precursor of what the CER wants to do today: i.e. fighting to give learners at all levels the opportunity to shape their education promoting innovation and opportunity around the world. So why not convene in Naples for a major Ed Tech Conference in 2020 and feel the warmth of a city that has with it a long-lasting history that has to do with cultural exchange and commerce?