Nineteenth International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

  • 2021 Special Focus: Critical Thinking, Soft Skills, and Technology
  • 30 June - 2 July 2021
  • Hosted By: Universidad Complutense Madrid, Spain

2021 Special Focus: Critical Thinking, Soft Skills, and Technology

Since the Internet revolutionized access to information and storage capacity in the 1990s, networks, databases, publishing, and access to all kinds of news and scientific research have proliferated. The international circulation of non-face-to-face training programs for different professions and the better relations between scientific communities around the world is, without a doubt, something positive. The impact of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence has yet to be felt in many areas. These changes have been facilitated by the increased capacity of mobile phones and tablets that facilitate numerous interactive spaces for entertainment, communication, and education. However, technology alone, far from increasing culture and knowledge, provides us with superficial, lax, and indiscriminate information, where the capacity for reflection and critical thinking is diminished.

The knowledge provided by the Humanities and their insertion in an education based on key competencies must play a fundamental role to promote a reflective and conscientious citizenship in the face of the new challenges of our globalized, changing societies and the important crises our world faces. The environments of Vulnerability, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity (VUCA) that define our current context require a type of holistic knowledge that takes into consideration a global vision of the world, in all its dimensions, including the basic knowledge provided by the different fields of knowledge provided by History, Art, Philosophy or Literature. A critical and truthful vision is increasingly necessary to counteract elements such as infoxication or "fake news", derived from the absence, in many cases, of the type of training to be addressed among the topics to be discussed in this conference.

The 2021 conference will focus precisely on the role of critical thinking and the so-called "soft skills" that come from the field of Humanities and which play a fundamental role to place technology in an authentically human context that ensures the interests of our societies and the future of humanity. The transfer to educational frameworks will also be treated as an inherent formula for the enrichment of democratic and responsible societies. Likewise, the impact of the 4.0 revolution on the generation of critical thinking and the role of transversal skills treated from the perspective of humanistic thought and its translation to the educational sphere will be one of the key aspects of this conference.

Local Co-Chairs

David Alonso

David Alonso

Coordinador del Máster de Formación de Profesorado, Facultad de Educación-CFP, Universidad Complutense

Asunción López-Varela

Asunción López-Varela

Associate Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of English Studies, Universidad Complutense Madrid, Spain

Plenary Speakers

The Nineteenth International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities featured plenary sessions by some of the world’s leading thinkers and innovators in the field.

María Concepción García Gómez

María Concepción García Gómez

Vice-rector for Employability and Entrepreneurship, Complutense University

Paloma Bel Durán

Paloma Bel Durán

Head of Complutense Office for Entrepreneurship, Professor, Department of Financial Administration and Accounting, Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences and PhD in Financial Economics, Complutense University of Madrid

Gonzalo Jover

Gonzalo Jover

Dean of the Faculty of Education, Professor, Faculty of Education, Complutense University Madrid

Mónica Cantón de Celis Calvo

Mónica Cantón de Celis Calvo

CEO of Design for Change Global Inc.

Ainara Zubilaga

Ainara Zubilaga

Director of Education and Training, Cotec Foundation for Innovation

Pampa García Molina

Pampa García Molina

Science Journalist, Editor in Chief at Agencia SINC Agency, FECYT, Spain

José Manuel Pingarrón

José Manuel Pingarrón

Former General Secretary of Universities, Government of Spain

Brian Cahill

Brian Cahill

Governing Board of EuroScience

Eugenio Luján Martínez

Eugenio Luján Martínez

Dean, Faculty of Philology, Complutense University Madrid, Spain

Benat Bilbao-Osorio

Benat Bilbao-Osorio

Deputy Head of Unit, DG RTD, European Commission, Switzerland

Emerging Scholar Awardees

For each conference, a small number of Emerging Scholar Awards are given to outstanding graduate students and emerging scholars who have an active research interest in the conference themes. Emerging Scholars perform a critical role in the conference by chairing the parallel sessions, providing technical assistance in the sessions, and presenting their own research papers. The 2021 Emerging Scholar Award Recipients are as follows:

Cara Miller

Cara Miller

Anderson University, U.S.A.

Thomas Girard

Thomas Girard

Dr. Shuo Zhao

Dr. Shuo Zhao

The University of China, China

Alba García-Martínez

Alba García-Martínez

Dr. Monica C. Yndo

Dr. Monica C. Yndo

Concordia University, U.S.A.

Andrea Arribas Aracil

Andrea Arribas Aracil

Complutense University of Madrid, Spain

Ioannis Sidiropoulos

Ioannis Sidiropoulos

The University of Melbourne, Australia

Conference Partner