The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) was established by Qatar Foundation in 2009 under the patronage of its Chairperson, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. WISE is an international, multi-sectoral platform for creative thinking, debate and purposeful action in order to build the future of education through innovation. WISE is now an ongoing initiative and a global reference in new approaches to education. Through both the annual Summit and a range of continuing programs WISE is promoting collaboration and building the future of education.
The thrust for constant innovation has long prevailed in sectors such as technology and healthcare, but education has generally lacked this approach in both policymaking and the classroom. We face unprecedented global challenges - poverty, conflict, unemployment, inequality, environmental sustainability and others. Education is the route to short- and long-term solutions, yet today’s learning systems are not coping with the task. WISE is a response to the urgent need to address education in a new way.
WISE is an international platform for innovation in education that nurtures new approaches, recognizes and supports successful initiatives and helps these initiatives spread and grow.
Innovation is about finding new ways to approach and confront challenges. Technology can make an important contribution.
WISE is a multi-sectoral community of thought leaders and practitioners from all over the world, working at various levels to transform education.
WISE is action-oriented and dedicated to collaboration as way to share sound practices and to replicate them on the widest possible scale.
The WISE Community
The WISE community has more than 18,000 active members in 152 countries who are together seeking novel solutions to the challenges facing education in empowering us to meet the challenges facing the world.
WISE is much more than an annual Summit. The initiative is action-oriented and seeks to raise the status of education through a growing number of year-round programs launched since 2009.
WISE Summit. The annual three-day event in Doha, Qatar, is the leading international forum for innovation in education, bringing together over 1,000 practitioners, decision makers and thought leaders from multiple sectors and more than 100 countries. Each year, the WISE Summit explores current educational challenges and highlights innovative solutions with the aim of turning ideas into action and replicating proven good practices. The fifth annual Summit will convene in October 29-31, 2013 in Doha, Qatar.
The annual WISE Prize for Education, the first major global prize of its kind, recognizes an individual or a team for an outstanding, world-class contribution to the field. In 2012, Dr. Madhav Chavan, was recognized for devising an innovative formula to bring education and literacy to millions at minimum cost. The inaugural WISE Prize for Education was awarded at WISE 2011 to Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Founder and Chairman of BRAC, a Bangladesh-based initiative that has improved the lives of millions through education across three continents.
The WISE Awards identify and promote each year six innovative educational projects that have had a transformative impact on societies. Since 2009, WISE has received 1,600 applications from 128 countries resulting in 122 Finalists and 24 winning projects. These projects have been recognized from a wide variety of sectors and locations, and they represent a growing resource of expertise and sound educational practice. The winning projects gain global visibility and receive a prize of 20,000 dollars (US).
WISE Learners' Voice brings the views of students to the issue of rethinking education. The Program builds their communication, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills to ensure that decision-makers hear their all-important voice, and that they are prepared to take on leading roles in their field and the education world.
The WISE Education Leadership Program supports current and emerging leaders in higher education, principally from the developing world. A four-day seminar reinforces the managerial and administrative skills of recently appointed university chiefs through experience-based training and case studies, workshops and talks delivered by senior colleagues, and role-playing exercises. The third WISE Education Leadership Program takes place in Doha from October 7 - 10, 2012.
WISE publications are a result of the WISE initiative’s commitment to support, spread and inspire innovative thinking and sound practices in education. The latest WISE Book, Learning a Living: Radical Innovation in Education for Work explores the relationship between education and the world of work. The book focuses on case studies and personal stories that emerge from 15 original projects around the world. The first WISE Book was launched in 2011-Innovation in Education: Lessons from Pioneers around the World, explores the work of 16 groundbreaking projects who have developed new, effective approaches to education.
The WISE Haiti Task Force is helping rebuild this impoverished country’s education system, which was devastated in the earthquake of January 2010, by supporting educational initiatives that have proven successful on the ground. It is working with a local partner, FOKAL (Foundation for Knowledge and Liberty), to empower Haitian people to reconstruct their country. In 2011, 20 best practices were identified in various sectors, and in 2012 six of these have been granted financing to enable them to expand.
Learning World is a weekly TV magazine program on education, developed in partnership with Euronews, which broadcasts 16 times a week in 11 languages to a potential audience of 330 million households in 155 countries. On air since 2010, the program consists of two or three brief education-related features from around the globe that surprise, inform and entertain.
The WISE Community Platform is the social networking feature of the WISE web platform through which members of the WISE community can connect, interact and share knowledge and experience. The WISE web platform is both a source of information about the WISE initiative and an interactive education resource base of ideas and successful practices that may be adopted, adapted and replicated.
His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, Ph.D., Chairman of WISE.
His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani is President of the new Hamad Bin Khalifa University in the State of Qatar, where he is leading the evolution of an international consortium of elite universities into an integrated center of academic excellence. He is also Vice President, Education, at Qatar Foundation and Chairman of the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), the leading global forum for innovative practice in education.
The World Economic Forum recently named Dr Al-Thani a Young Global Leader for his regional role in education reform and innovation. In 2010 Dr Al-Thani co-organized a Ministerial Colloquium on Quality of Education in the Arab World which committed 17 Arab states to a common evaluation system of basic education.
Hamad Bin Khalifa University currently consists of nine academic centers offering a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs, and conducting related research: Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar; Texas A&M University at Qatar; Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar; Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar; Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar; Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies; Northwestern University in Qatar; HEC Paris in Qatar; University College London in Qatar.
Among a diverse range of education-related initiatives, Dr Al-Thani is a board member of the Qatar Leadership Centre, an initiative of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Heir Apparent of the State of Qatar. Dr Al-Thani is a member of Qatar’s Supreme Education Council, which oversees reform at the K-12 level. He heads the project to build Qatar Foundation’s national library, which will house one of the largest collections in the Arab world.
He serves on the Executive Council of the World Digital Library at the Library of Congress in Washington, and on the Governing Board of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning in Hamburg. Dr Abdulla has been named to the Board of Trustees of the American University of Beirut; he also serves as a member of the Board of Advisers of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy of Rice University in Houston. He is a Board Member of the Palestine Happy Child Center which promotes the welfare of traumatized children.
After receiving his doctorate in Civil Engineering from the University of Southampton (UK), Dr Al-Thani taught engineering at Qatar University; he now serves on the Board of Trustees.
Dr Al-Thani is a board member of Nakilat, the national gas shipping company and a vital link in the LNG supply chain for the State of Qatar.
Qatar Foundation works in partnership with international institutions involved in global educational issues. These partners are closely associated with the WISE event, helping conceive high-quality debates and promoting the WISE initiative through their international networks.
The media play a unique role in the WISE initiative. They have the capacity to reach out to our multiple stakeholders and explain the critical role of education in the development of societies. WISE is pleased to have seven internationally renowned media partners again this year to help achieve this objective.