2021 WISE Summit Concludes

Doha : The 2021 WISE Summit has marked a seminal moment in education change. In one of the biggest global education events of its kind, thousands of thinkers, innovators, and practitioners came together to envisage how the global shock of the pandemic can – and must – be the catalyst for deep and lasting reform.

In what was WISE Summit’s first hybrid event, 11,110 participants registered online and more than 2,100 attended in-person sessions at Qatar National Convention Centre – located in Education City in Doha, Qatar – with delegates and speakers representing 177 countries. The summit brought together education pioneers who are delivering on the ground and who came to share concrete projects.

At the end of the summit, Stavros N. Yiannouka, CEO of WISE, said: “We built this platform over a decade ago to amplify the work that organizations are doing and to create a community. And in the midst of a global pandemic, we managed to come together once again – in-person and online – for three days of conversation, inspiration, and recommitment to the cause of quality education for all.

In the years and decades to come, the world is going to need movements like WISE to be a catalyst for collective intelligences and energies.”

Some of the 2021 WISE Summit highlights, from more than 200 in-person and online sessions, included:

● Key sessions examined how EdTech can transform learning in the MENA region, where there are steep challenges in learning outcomes within a huge diversity of cultures. Key Qatari educators addressed how EdTech can aid basic learning and upskilling.

● This year’s WISE AWARDS winners were honoured for the inspiring ways in which they had developed an effective, tried and tested solution to a global educational challenge. Dr Ameena Abdul-Majeed, Director Programs and Chief Curator at WISE, said: “It is crucial that policymakers and civil society leaders look at those best practices as solutions for a greater impact on learners.”

● Young education changemakers from around the world held centre stage at WISE’s first Youth Studio to demand a radically new education system – one that tackles social and economic inequalities and which educates everyone on the climate emergency. TIME magazine’s 2020 ‘Kid of the Year’, 16-year-old Gitanjali Rao, led a session urging girls to break free from limiting social norms to demand an education that fulfils their true promise.

● The CEO and co-founder of Teach For All, Wendy Kopp, received the WISE Prize for Education for her innovative global network to bring education opportunities to all. Since its inception the partners in the Teach For All network have collectively placed over 104,400 recruits across 6 continents and is currently supporting 1.1 million young people to develop the skills and knowledge they need.

● The Founding Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Marc Brackett, told delegates that young people are experiencing a global mental health crisis in the wake of the pandemic. He said: “It is our moral obligation that every child gets the emotional education that they really deserve.” The value of social and emotional learning was also highlighted by Her Highness Sheikha Intisar AI Sabah of Kuwait with her pioneering Bareec model, designed to instil a culture of positivity.


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