Nearly 180 leaders from academic institutions, libraries, publishers, and scholarly societies gathered in New York City last week for ITHAKA’s Next Wave 2018. This year’s provocative theme – Will We Recognize Higher Ed in 10 Years – raised some of the most pressing questions and trends set to impact the higher education ecosystem.

In a series of panels featuring experts and seasoned journalists as moderators, attendees explored everything from the efforts needed to rethink education and the university in light of underemployement of college graduates, to the continued decline of the liberal arts, to a demographic picture of tomorrow’s students characterized by greater diversity and increasing numbers of lower income students. The shifting research and publishing landscape also took center stage through a Q&A between Elsevier chairman, YS Chi, and ITHAKA President, Kevin Guthrie, and a conversation aimed at surfacing and deepening understanding of different views about future platform and content needs across publishers and libraries.

Higher education futurist, Bryan Alexander, facilitated the event, guiding discussion in the room and on social media, and actively polling the audience to understand how prepared they think their organizations are for the changes that are coming (most feel only somewhat prepared) and to take their pulse on trends like the decline in liberal arts majors (most feel the decline will continue, even as they also believe the liberal arts are essential).

To get a deeper understanding of the conversation, we recommend reading:

You can also review the robust conversation on Twitter: #ithakatnw18