Building Skills, Strengthening Communities: The Impact of Learning Festivals

Learning Ecosystems and Leadership January 22, 2024

What can students learn outside of the classroom that they would not necessarily access in formal education systems? In a world facing challenges such as poverty, conflict, inequality, unemployment, and environmental sustainability, education holds a pivotal role in addressing these issues. However, traditional education often struggles to meet the evolving needs of future generations.

As a global initiative that identifies and promotes innovative practices in education, WISE has also the duty to make some of those innovations more accessible to its community. Since 2017, our festival Doha Learning Days (previously Doha Learning Week) serves as a platform to expose children and youth in Qatar to learning opportunities that might expose them to different career paths, ignite new thematic passions or simply enable fun and learning by play. Learning festivals are also an important component of the work of Remake Learning, a Pennsylvania-based Learning Ecosystem whose impact has been recognized by the WISE Awards in 2022. The Remake Learning Days Festival, which has been replicated in different regions in the U.S. and globally, showcases innovative collaborations among different stakeholders in education in the community and at the same time creates opportunities for new collaborations that enrich the learning opportunities children and youth can access. Remake Learning and WISE have partnered to conduct this study and generate evidence around the urgent need for transformative approaches in education policy and practice; and the urgent need for creative modes to deliver that. Learning Ecosystems have the potential to reshape education by creating vibrant learning communities, fostering impactful ecosystems, and facilitating measurable change.

This report contributes to a toolkit of innovative solutions that can be employed to address pressing global challenges in providing quality education. With a specific focus on Learning Festivals and their capacity to foster 21st-century skills, holistic competencies, and public-private partnerships, this initiative underscores WISE’s commitment to inclusivity, especially for underserved learners. In a rapidly changing world, this effort symbolizes WISE’s dedication to revolutionizing education and bridging the gap between existing systems and the evolving needs of future generations.