Leading global education initiative set to convene next month in Qatar

The World Innovation Summit for Education, the leading global initiative for innovation and collaboration in education, is set to convene next month in Doha, Qatar.

Since its establishment by Qatar Foundation in 2009, the biennial global WISE Summit gathers policymakers, educators, entrepreneurs, corporate and government leaders from around the world to explore current trends and share their visions for co-designing the future of education.

“When it comes to preparing students for the future, teachers today have a tough task,” said 2017 WISE Summit speaker Dr. Mike Feinberg, Co-Founder of the KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) Foundation and Executive Vice Chair of KIPP Houston.

“In the predictable economy of the past, educators could get kids ready for a job that would last their whole lives, whether it was working in a factory or being a family doctor. But with the advent of robotics, artificial intelligence, and more, there is no roadmap for what jobs will look like 10 or 20 years from now.”

“That’s why the role of classroom teachers must evolve to keep pace with the changes in the global economy and society. It’s crucial because teachers are the key to the quality of any school,“ said Feinberg, a University of Pennsylvania and Teach For America alum.

WISE has been dedicated to enabling innovation in education around the world, reflecting the commitment of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Father Amir, and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser to address important education challenges. Acknowledging uncertain times of disruption and economic strife stemming from conflict, mass migration, growing inequality, on-going, rapid technological change and other forces, this year’s theme is Co-Exist, Co-Create: Learning to Live and Work Together.

“I want to see – as I am sure do you – an education system which allows every single pupil to flourish, no matter who they are or where they come from,” said Sir Dr. Kevan Collins, Education Endowment Foundation Chief Executive and Summit speaker.

“Yet far too often we see the same story in schools across the globe: the poorest pupils – those who can’t afford the same out-of-school support that their better-off classmates can - lose out at every stage,” said Collins, a professor at the Institute of Education University of London who was knighted for services to education in 2015.

“Supporting leaders in schools and governments to make the best possible decisions based on access to independent, actionable and relevant evidence is essential if we are going to fulfill the promise of an education system where every pupil is allowed to fulfill their potential,” Collins said.

Under the leadership of its Chairperson, Her Highness, WISE is an international, multi-sectoral platform for creative thinking, debate and purposeful action. Established as a global reference in new approaches to education, the Summit presents a unique opportunity to meet, share experiences, build new partnerships and identify concrete innovative practices to address education challenges in the age of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

“In a recent Economist Magazine takes a deep dive into this subject from many different angles, including “Ed-Tech” and personal learning,” said Sarah Zak Borgman, Director and Curator of The Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship.

“Khan Academy has disrupted the education paradigm by providing alternative learning opportunities that both augment what is being taught in the classroom, and allow a user to learn at his or her own pace to master a subject. Khan Academy also collects data on student performance to structure learning models according to student outcomes,” said Borgman, a Former Director of Marketing for the Peace Corps and the Press Secretary of the National School-to-Work Office at the U.S. Department of Education during the Bill Clinton Administration.

“What Khan Academy has been able to do is shift mindsets towards awareness that students with agency are better learners,” said Borgman, one of several world-class Summit speakers scheduled to engage policymakers, educators, entrepreneurs, corporate and government leaders from around the world.

“Now doesn’t that sound reasonable? From learning to code and art history, to math and financial literacy, Borgman believes “Curiosity catalyzes learning, and the future of education must engage and excite students.”

“Access to quality education, with minimal or no cost to the user, can help the brightest minds in the most remote places rise to their individual potential, regardless of the economic or social circumstances,” said Borgman.

Promoting innovation and building the future of education through collaboration while connecting people by offering a global platform, through both the annual Summit and a range of ongoing programs — WISE Accelerator, WISE Prize for Education, WISE Learners' Voice, WISE Books, WISE Research Series, WISE Survey, WISE Haiti Task Force — WISE advocates and activates the development of new ideas, supports innovative approaches to education and promotes successful practices from various sectors and from around the world to build the future of education.

WISE also recently announced the 2017 WISE Awards winners [Lights to Learn (Latin America); PhET Interactive Simulations (Global); The Learner Guide Program (Tanzania); The Speed Schools (Global); Ubongo Edutainment (Tanzania); 42 (France, USA)], six high-impact projects selected from a pool of 15 finalists for their creative solutions to 21st century education challenges and demonstrated positive impact on society in the USA, UK, Tanzania, France and Spain.

Organizing educational forums internationally that feature expert speakers in a wide range of fields and sectors, WISE hosted the first of its WISE gatherings last year in Tunis and in Beijing before hosting the WISE@Madrid Forum earlier this year, a regional one-day forum organized in partnership with Banco Santander.

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