2020 Virtual Annual Meeting

Like everyone else across the globe, the last few months have presented so many challenges and changes it is hard to take stock. Nevertheless, it is important we keep you engaged and our network flourishing for now and into the future. Here are some of things that have been happening behind the scenes at the Groningen Declaration Network:

Our 2020 GDN Annual Meeting
Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic we were compelled to cancel our 2020 Annual Meeting scheduled for April in Delhi, India and quickly adjust to digital delivery of content by developing a ‘Virtual Annual Meeting Program’. We can finally repay the generosity of many of our registered delegates and sponsors with complimentary access to the series which features live discussion panels, keynote presentations and interactive Q&A forums. The series is available to the whole network and to other interested colleagues, for a small fee, so feel free to share this information with a friend or colleague.

Virtual Annual Meeting – 2020 Webinar Series

We are pleased to announce the schedule for the first 5 sessions of our ‘Virtual GDN Annual Meeting’. The timing of each session is in consideration of the presenters, however if the session is not in your time zone, you will be able to catch the recorded session later, on the GDN YouTube Channel.


Webinar 10

Live Webinar with Q&A
North America – Cooperation Efforts Canada, USA and Mexico

When: October 27, 2020, local times




Joanne Duklas, Founder, Duklas Cornerstone Consulting Inc.; Executive Lead, ARUCC National Network; Artist, Joanne Duklas Fine Art

Ricardo (Rick) Torres, CEO, National Student Clearinghouse, Washington, D.C. area; Director on the Inaugural Board of Directors, GDN; Chair, Advisory Committee, GDN 


Romesh Vadivel, President, ARUCC; Assistant Registrar & Director, Service Point, McGill University, Canada

Melanie Gottlieb,Deputy Director, AACRAO, USA 

Francisco Maldonado Altieri, President of the Executive Board, ARSEE – Association of School and Student Service Managers, Mexico; Registrar, UPAEP – Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla, Puebla, Mexico


Register Here 

Previous Webinars in the series listed below

Webinar recordings will be made available to signatories to the GDN. 

Webinar 1  Assessing Skills Classifications, the cases of ESCO (EU) and Credential Engine (USA)

When:   Tuesday 23 June 2020
Moderator: Rick Torres
Panel Members: Jeanne Kitchens, Credential Engine; Dimitrios Pikios, EU DG EMPLOI


Webinar 2 Student Panel – ‘Leave No Student Behind’ – Equitable Approaches to Mobility

When:     Thursday 3 July 2020

Moderators: Kathleen Massey & Joanne Duklas
Panel Members: Gohar Hovhannisyan, European Student’s Union; Celine Thomas, Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness; Abdullah Mouslli, World University Services Canada (WUSC)



Webinar 3 The HCCH Apostille Convention – A Diamond Jubilee Legal Instrument for Global Document and Data Mobility in Changing Times

When: Tuesday 7th July 2020

Moderators: Matt Pittinsky & Herman de Leeuw
Presenters: Dr Christophe Bernasconi, Secretary General, Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH), Brody Warren, Attaché to the Secretary General/Senior Legal Officer.

Webinar 4 Power to the People with Self-Sovereign Identity

When: Tuesday 14 July 2020

Moderator: Daniël du Seuil, Convenor European Self Sovereign Identity Framework (EBSI)
Presenter: Takis Diakoumis, Chief Technical Officer, Digitary


Webinar 5 Lifelong learning: collaborations and innovations in Asia Pacific

When: Tuesday 21 July 2020

Moderator: Anthony Manahan (University of Melbourne and GDN Board Director)
Panel Members: Jay Segeth (MyeQuals), Rob Thomason (VETASSESS), Joanna Browne (University of Auckland) New Zealand


Second series 

Webinar recordings will be made available to signatories to the GDN. 

Webinar 6 Digital Credentials in Europe – Regional Update 

When: Tuesday 15 September 2020

Moderator: Tessa Mouha, Project Manager and Data Analyst, AHOVOKS – Agency for Higher Education, Adult Education, Qualifications and Student Grants, Belgium

10 minute country update by presenters:

  • David Vannozzi, General Director, Cineca, Italy: Unbundling and Sealing the Academic Degree with Digital Credentials
  • dr. Hans Pongratz, Vice-President/CIO, Technische Universität München, Germany:  Digital Credentials: Update on the Digital Credentials Consortium (DCC) 
  • Digitizing the Ivory Tower: The Case of Sweden, presented by 
  • Ulrika Seydler (Ehrenstråhle), Degree Manager, Secretary of the Disciplinary board, Linnaeus University, Sweden
  • dr. Per Zettervall, Director System Management and Operations, UHR Swedish Council for Higher Education, Sweden
  • Erik Johansson, Senior Credential Evaluator, UHR Swedish Council for Higher Education (ENIC-NARIC Sweden)
  • William O’Keeffe, Seconded National Expert, Skills and Qualifications Unit, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission, Belgium 
  • Anthony Camilleri, Independend Expert, Knowledge Innovation, working for European Commission on the development of Europass Digital Credentials   

 15 min panel discussion with presenters – e.g.,  Challenges in Europe for Digital Credentials 


Webinar 7 Lifelong Learning and Digital Learner Data Portability

When: Tuesday 29 September 2020

Moderator: dr. James Keevy, CEO, JET Education Services, South Africa


  • Alex Kaplan, Global Leader, Blockchain and AI for Learning Credentials, IBM Talent and Transformation, USA
  • dr. Borhene Chakroun, Director for Policy and Lifelong Learning Systems, UNESCO, France
  • Manuela Geleng, Director Skills, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission, Belgium
  • dr. Pankaj Mittal, Secretary-General, Association of Indian Universities, India

Panel theme

The panel will discuss where things stand, globally, in the development and provision of Lifelong Learning Systems, and whether we can see global convergence on these issues and on the need for global interoperability. Also, Borhene Chakroun may bring in a UNESCO call for the adoption of a global right-based perspective for learners’ records.


Webinar 8 Credential Mobility: Asian Perspectives

When: October, 2020


  • Darren J. McDermott, Team Leader Designate, SHARE programme – EU Support to Higher Education in the ASEAN Region, Singapore 


  • Koichi Nakasaki, Chief Research Officer, The Institute for Future Engineering and Director at RECSIE – Research Consortium for Sustainable International Education, Japan: Establishing a Credential Mobility Model for Japan
  • Zheng Wei Quah, CEO, Accredify Pte. Ltd, Singapore: How Singapore Put an Entire Nation’s Education Credentials on the Blockchain
  • Dr Cheng Weixing, Director Information Division, CHESICC – China Higher Education Student Information and Career Center: A Road of Sustainable Development: Chinese Student Information Management for 20 Years (interpreter and presenter Chen Wenjun, Project Manager of International Promotion Department, CHESICC 


Webinar 9 Microcredentials in the digital credential ecosystem


When: 21 October, 2020 


Michael Hörig, Head of Division Strategic Planning at DAAD, the German Academic Exchange Service 


Barbara Dale-Jones, Founding partner and Director at The Field Institute, South Africa

Emeritus Professor dr Beverley Oliver, Principal Consultant at EduBrief, Australia

Simone Ravaioli, Director Strategic Initiatives, Digitary 

Thank you to our sponsors and supporters

We would like to extend a special word of thanks to the delegates, sponsors and local service providers that were in a position to donate their sponsorship money, registration fees and advance deposits, thus demonstrating their understanding, commitment and generosity to the GDN.