WISE has evolved as a major think tank in education
November 03 2019 11:45 PM
WISE Officials Dr Ameena Hussain and Dr Asmaa al-Fadala. PCITURE: Shemeer Rasheed
WISE Officials Dr Ameena Hussain and Dr Asmaa al-Fadala. PCITURE: Shemeer Rasheed

Within 10 years since its inception, The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) has emerged as a major think tank in education, top officials of WISE told Gulf Times in an exclusive interview.

“We started as a summit in 2009, offering a platform for bringing global educational advocates together. We have evolved from there. We are now a major think tank in education with very strong pillars and a great research arm, creating evidence-based research on different topics in education,” said Dr Ameena Hussain, director of Programmes and Content, WISE.

A global initiative of Qatar Foundation, WISE will host the latest edition of its biennial summit from November 19-21 at Qatar National Convention Centre.

“Our focus is mainly on three pillars of research, programme and advocacy. Since 2015, we have been working closely with institutions and research organisations to look at the issues and produce policy recommendations. We are moving from academic research into best practices for policymakers on different topics such as school leadership, early childhood, and entrepreneurship in education,” noted Dr Asmaa al-Fadala, director, Research and Content Development, WISE.

Held under the theme, ‘UnLearn, ReLearn: What it Means to be Human,’ about 2,500 delegates from over 100 countries are expected to take part in the 2019 summit.

“More than convening educators on a platform, we are providers of knowledge in education and innovation. We have also expanded with different programmes such as The WISE Prize for Education, The WISE Awards. We have a programme for startups in education technology, youth leadership programme among others,” explained Dr Hussain.

According to Dr al-Fadala, WISE has been also focusing on the local stakeholders.

"We are trying to bring all the pillars together. This year we are also focusing on the local institutions including all the government and private schools in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and other stakeholders.The summit is a global one but also an opportunity to work with local stakeholders," said the official.

“We are going around the globe with education initiatives. We do have regular activities and meetings in different countries. Our research is focusing on a number of important topics related to education and innovations. We have over 60,000 people on our database who have come to the WISE activities," said Dr al-Fadala.

The official also encouraged local educators and innovators to register for the summit through the WISE website.

According to Dr Hussain, WISE introduces a number of new initiatives for every global summit. “We introduce new things and best practices every time for the summit. This year we are giving more opportunities for our delegates to present their ideas and best practices. The delegates can register for different sessions and can also become speakers at some of the sessions,” she pointed out.

“We are expecting a number of high-level educational experts to take part in the summit. We are also finalising some celebrities to attend the event whose names will be disclosed once their participation is confirmed. National Geography presenter, Jason Silva is one of the confirmed participants. Amy Mahmoud, a poet, is another celebrity speaker at the event,” added Dr Hussain.

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