WISE: education systems innovation according to the Qatar Foundation



In the past few years we have seen the Arab world positioning itself on the art’s globe: at this point it already hosts prestigious Biennales, and Abu Dhabi’s Guggenheim – signed Frank Gehry and due to open its doors to the public by 2017 – is a strong signal that reaffirms this determination. The Emirates will become the next global culture hub, a tourist destination, new and perhaps unexpected.

Nevertheless, the Qatar Foundation is what surprised me the most, what brought my thoughts back to the Middle East thanks to the work of its World Innovation Summit of Education. Every year, 6 prizes are awarded to worthy projects as part of a wider all-year-round digital education program. This year, a new “enterprise accelerator” will be implemented to facilitate the take off of the best ideas. At the same time, a new agenda setting program will keep the world’s public opinion set on the issue of education.

CEO Stavros Yiannouka has commented on the challenge that they have decided to undertake: “Many projects around the world provide solutions in local contexts. It is our mission to showcase these achievements, and to bring committed but often isolated innovators, their ideas and creative solutions to the greater community.”

This is what impressed me: a strategy able to culturally enrich the centre with ambitious national projects that include museums and exhibitions, and yet at the same time open to network investments beyond its borders. There are many talents in the world: to connect them is definitely a winning move.