WISE@Tunis: “Dialogue for Education and Peace”

On 26 May 2016, WISE brought together, for the first time, the 2015 WISE Prize for Education Laureate, Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, and a representative of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Ms Ouided Bouchamaoui, President of UTICA (the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts). Dr. Yacoobi, Founder of the Afghan Institute of Learning, has worked for over twenty years to bring education to fragile communities.



This high-level gathering also included local education specialists and internationally recognized leaders and experts from countries including Finland, Singapore, and the United Kingdom for a one-day forum at IHEC Carthage in Tunis, Tunisia. The event focused on the role of education in fostering peace and development.

The Tunis forum, produced with the support of BIAT (Banque Internationale Arabe de Tunisie), Ooredoo Tunisia, and IHEC Carthage, was an opportunity to engage key stakeholders in a dialogue for promoting social change, seeking employment solutions for Tunisian youth, as well as exploring innovative teaching and higher education priorities.

In the opening session, Dr. Yacoobi and Ms Bouchamaoui shared their experiences and described diverse strategies they pursued in their countries. A panel discussion with Dr. Yacoobi, a representative of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet and Mr. Stavros Yiannouka, CEO of WISE. Panelists explored best practices in education to promote peace and development. The International Broadcaster, Ms Zeinab Badawi, moderated both sessions.

The afternoon plenary session focused on entrepreneurship education. In parallel, two workshops designed specifically for Tunisian educators focused on youth employment and teaching. Students also had an opportunity to meet Dr. Sakena Yacoobi in an open discussion session.

This event was by registration only. 


Ms Salwa Smaoui

Salwa Smaoui


Khaled Helioui

Khaled Helioui

Angel Investor
Tunisia, France

Mervi Jansson-Aalto

Mervi Jansson-Aalto

Omnia Education Partnerships

Gilbert Doumit

Gilbert Doumit

Beyond Reform & Development Group

Lotfi Hamadi

Lotfi Hamadi

Wallah We Can!

Sherena Mistri-Yiannouka

Sherena Mistri-Yiannouka

Phoenix Executive Education & Consulting

Ouided Bouchamaoui

Ouided Bouchamaoui


Dr. Sakena Yacoobi

Dr. Sakena Yacoobi

The Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL)

More about the sessions


Pathways to Peace


Following welcoming remarks by Mr. Elyas Felfoul, Head of Administration, WISE and Mr. Slim Khalbous, director of IHEC Carthage, Dr. Sakena Yacoobi and Ms Ouided Bouchamaoui set the tone for the day by sharing their experiences and life-long engagement in their communities.

Although facing very different challenges and contexts, they share the common vision that education through community engagement is key for nations and societies to develop and thrive. Their unique paths demonstrate how civil society leaders can take on transformative challenges and advance solutions to promote profound political and cultural change.



Education in the Context of National Reconstruction:
Applying Best Practices and Developing Peace


This high-level panel focused on the role of education to promote peace and development, and its contribution to national reconstruction. Dr. Yacoobi was joined by a representative of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet and Mr. Stavros Yiannouka, CEO, WISE. All shared their experience and insights on the best ways to promote peace and facilitate development in fragile contexts.

The panelists explored a range of best practices from various countries and discussed recommendations applicable in the Tunisian context, with an emphasis on access to education for all, economic development and employment.

This international dialogue aimed to inspire new ideas and actions for education in Tunisia.


Entrepreneurship Education:
Lessons from Research and Approaches for Tunisia


The afternoon discussion has started with a global overview of the state of entrepreneurship education and training. Key findings of the WISE report titled, “Entrepreneurship Education: A Global Consideration From Practice to Policy Around the World” has been shared with the audience to structure the conversation.

The panel, composed of international and Tunisian experts, then explored which practices are most relevant and applicable to the Tunisian context.


Education and Employment:
Designing a project for implementation at IHEC


The high rate of youth unemployment is a growing concern in Tunisia. The aim of this “World Café” style workshop was for participants to design concrete solutions to bridge the gap between education and employment. Registered participants were divided into small groups and each group proposed solutions to help students prepare for a changing labor market, whether it be through partnerships with the private sector, changes in the academic curricula, or through a new approach to skills development. IHEC then chose one of these projects and implement it during 2016-2017.


Innovative Teaching:
Drafting a Guideline of Best Practices


The objective of this workshop was to design a guideline of best teaching practices to help teachers engage students and encourage them to enjoy learning. This workshop was targeted to teachers, school principals and students.

After sharing innovative pedagogic examples from around the world, the group drew a comprehensive list of the best techniques and methods for their classrooms.


WISE Prize for Education Laureate Meets Tunisian Youth


During this session, registered students form IHEC and other universities met Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, the current WISE Prize for Education Laureate, in person for a one-hour conversation and Q&A.