The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), an initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, recently took part in the International Economic Forum of the Americas (IEFA) in Montreal, Canada.
The three-day gathering brought together 4,000 international leaders under the theme ‘Shaping a New Era of Prosperity’. More than 200 speakers presented insights on major global economic issues, discussing their social, cultural, and political impacts.  
In a roundtable discussion on technology and innovation in education, Stavros N Yiannouka, CEO, WISE, noted the dramatic potential of emerging technologies in extending education access to the most vulnerable and marginalised. Technology, he said, could only reach its full potential through strong teaching and leaders committed to transforming school systems. Yiannouka praised the economic and leadership opportunities that creative projects and organisations are bringing to women and young people in vulnerable regions, and called for a wider recognition of the need for creativity and innovation in education management.
Also taking part were representatives of two WISE Award winning projects: Cecilia D’Oliveira, associate dean of Digital Learning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who led a team that developed the MIT OpenCourseWare, which shares freely teaching course materials that reach over 150mn people worldwide; and Mike Feerick, founder of the Alison courses, providing an online learning platform that enables worldwide users to gain employability skills.
Also participating were Robert Beauchemin, CEO of KnowledgeOne, which provides training and development solutions for businesses; and Alan Shepard, president and vice-chancellor, Concordia University, Montreal.
In a separate gathering at IEFA, Yiannouka called for a renewed commitment among global leaders to empowerment through education at all levels. “Education is likely the most effective investment societies can make to tear down the walls of ignorance, fear, and demagoguery wherever they may arise,” he said.
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