NEF Vigo 2024

Empowering Minds: Insights and Innovations in Youth Mental Health, Inclusive Education, and AI Integration
February 22, 2024 9:00 am
University of Vigo, Spain. Edificio Redeiras, Berbés, Vigo, Spain

New Education Forum Vigo 2024, is a pivotal event unfolding over February 21st-22nd, where educators, policymakers, and innovators converge at the University of Vigo, Spain, to address the challenges and opportunities in youth mental health, inclusive education, and the integration of AI. This conference offers an immersive experience with expert panels, presentations, and networking opportunities designed to spark dialogue and inspire actionable strategies for advancing education in the modern world.


Join us for a transformative conference that unveils critical aspects of youth well-being and education. Our three dynamic panels will explore the shadows of youth mental health, unravel practices for fostering inclusive school environments, and navigate the impact of AI in education. Gain profound insights, learn concrete practices, and envision a future where innovation and understanding converge to empower young minds.

Three Key Themes:

“Unveiling the Shadows of Youth Mental Health”: This conference panel discussion will unravel the intricate dynamics of youth mental health, spotlighting anxiety and depression as pivotal players in the evolving narrative of the 15–29 age group. Drawing from the latest research findings, including insights from the State of the World’s Children 2021 report by UNICEF, the session will shed light on the intensified challenges posed by social isolation, disrupted education, and limited job opportunities during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of the mental health landscape, as 16.3% of European youth grapple with disorders such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder—a statistic surpassing the global average. While suicide remains a significant concern, the panel will navigate the delicate balance between addressing suicide prevention and tackling more prevalent issues like anxiety and depression. Recent helpline data analysis from multiple European countries during the pandemic will be presented, emphasizing the surge in calls predominantly related to feelings of anxiety and loneliness, redirecting the focus toward a comprehensive approach to youth mental well-being. What is the role of the EU Youth Strategy implemented in 2019-2027and the European Youth Goal 5 on Mental Health & Well-being?


“Nurturing Minds, Fostering Belonging — Unveiling Practices for Inclusive School Environments”: Inclusion in the school environment refers to the practice of providing all students, regardless of their abilities or differences, with equitable access to education. Creating an inclusive school environment has been shown to positively impact the mental well-being of children and youth. Inclusion acknowledges and addresses diverse learning needs, ensuring that all students receive an education tailored to their abilities (Booth, T., & Ainscow, M. 2011 Index for Inclusion: Developing learning and participation in schools). Inclusive education also fosters positive teacher-student relationships, which are crucial for students’ emotional well-being and positive school experience (Pijl, S. J., Frostad, P., & Taljard, C. 2015 Inclusive education and classroom practices). These and other references collectively support the idea that inclusion in the school environment fosters a sense of belonging, reducing stigma, enhancing social and emotional development, building empathy, improving academic achievement, encouraging positive teacher-student relationships, and addressing diverse learning needs. What are concrete practices we can learn from?


“Future Frontiers: Navigating the Impact of AI in Education”: As Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to advance at an unprecedented pace, its integration into educational settings raises profound questions and opportunities. This panel will delve into the multifaceted impact of AI on the school environment, exploring the transformative potential, ethical considerations, and practical implications. From personalized learning experiences to challenges in mental health, equity and ethical AI adoption, our experts will share insights, discuss current trends, and envision the evolving landscape where human intelligence and artificial intelligence intersect in the realm of education. We’ll deepen the understanding of the impact of AI on the school environment including adaptive learning systems (as defined in “Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Education” by Rodney H. Jones and Christoph A. Hafner) and the implications for everyday work of educators and students.

These themes aim to spark thoughtful discussions and insights from the panellists and the audience, encouraging a comprehensive exploration of the interconnections, inspiring innovative ideas and fostering collaboration to create healthy schools environments while harnessing the potential of digital learning.


9:00 – 9.30    Registrations


9.30 – 9:50    Welcoming Statements

  • Dª. María Eugenia PÉREZ FERNÁNDEZ, General Director of Training in Galicia Region
  • Dª. Mª Isabel DOVAL RUÍZ, Vice rector of Wellbeing, Equity and Diversity -University of Vigo
  • Dª. Patricia GARCÍA, President of Femxa

9:50 – 10:00    Presentation of Mentor 2.0 project research Joanna BOCHNIARZ, General Director, Center for Innovative Education

10:00 – 11.30   Panel I “Unveiling the Shadows of Youth Mental Health”: What specific challenges do young individuals face in the 15–29 age group regarding mental health, and how have these challenges evolved over the years? How has the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic intensified mental health challenges among the youth, particularly in terms of social isolation, disrupted education, and limited job opportunities? Balancing suicide prevention efforts with addressing prevalent mental health issues is crucial. How can we prioritize both aspects effectively, and what strategies have shown promise? Could you elaborate on the specific initiatives within the EU Youth Strategy (2019-2027) and European Youth Goal 5 related to mental health and well-being? How have these strategies been integrated into national policies?

  • Dominique DE MARNÉ, Mental Health Europe representative
  • Diana LAMAIRO – Founder and President of Lingoreta
  • Carme PUYOL, Member of RiEEB (Red Internacional de Educación Emocional y Bienestar-International Network of Emotional Training and well-being )

Moderated by Joanna BOCHNIARZ, General Director, Center for Innovative Education

11:30– 12.00    Networking break

 12.00 – 13.30   Panel II “Nurturing Minds, Fostering Belonging — Unveiling Practices for Inclusive School Environments”: In what ways does an inclusive school environment positively impact the mental well-being of children and youth, and are there specific success stories or case studies that highlight this impact? Can you share practical examples of inclusive education practices that have effectively reduced stigma, enhanced social and emotional development, and addressed diverse learning needs? How do positive teacher-student relationships contribute to students’ emotional well-being, and what strategies can educators employ to foster these relationships in diverse classrooms? What are some challenges schools may face in implementing inclusive practices, and how can these challenges be overcome to ensure a supportive and inclusive learning environment for all students?

  • João SANTOS, EC Asesor , Expert in Education and training
  • MORA DOMÍNGUEZ, President of AGAMPI, Galician Association of Educators for Inclusion
  • Jennifer SANTABAYA  President of the Erasmus Students Network of Vigo-ESN

Moderated by Maruxa ÁLVAREZ, Representative of the Vigo University

13.30 – 14.30   Lunch break

14.30 – 14.40   Presentation of Mentor 2.0 Platform for teachers Miriam LANZETTA, Project Manager in Lascò and partner of Mentor 2.0 project. Expert in digital field in EC

14.40 – 16.00   Panel III: “Future Frontiers: Navigating the Impact of AI in Education”: What ethical considerations should educators, policymakers, and technology developers take into account when integrating AI into educational settings, especially considering its impact on students’ mental health? Beyond the theoretical discussions, what practical implications does the integration of AI have on the day-to-day work of educators and the learning experiences of students? Drawing from the insights in “Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Education,” how can adaptive learning systems be effectively implemented to address individual learning needs and enhance the educational experience? As we navigate the intersection of human intelligence and AI in education, what are the key considerations for ensuring that AI serves as a tool for empowerment rather than a source of inequality or stress in the learning environment?

  • Manel RIVES, Digital competences Teacher and expert in AI in schools.
  • Loredana BUCSENEANU, Project Manager, European DIGITAL SME Alliance
  • Lucas CANLE, student of the University of Vigo

Moderated by Mamen López, Head of the European Funds in  Femxa

16:00 – 16.15   Questions from the audience

16:15 – 16.30   Summary and closing remarks by the panel moderators

Register today!



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