World Innovation Summit for Education
The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) aims to transform education by fostering innovation and linking education to global issues and leading fields of development.
WISE was created in 2009 by Qatar Foundation
Qatar Foundation
Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development is a government-funded, chartered, non-profit organization in the state of Qatar, founded in 1995 by decree of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar and chaired by Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned...

 for Education, Science and Community Development, a non-profit organisation, under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.
WISE, chaired by H.E. Sheikh Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, PhD, holds an annual summit in Doha, Qatar, that brings together thought leaders in education and experts from different sectors to share practical new approaches. This unique event acts as a privileged arena for face-to-face networking and dialogue.

In addition to this forum, WISE is also a year-round action-orientated initiative devoted to promoting innovation in the field of education. This includes activities such as the WISE Prize for Education and the WISE Awards together with collaborations with international partners.

The Summit

The annual WISE Summit unites over 1,000 experts, thought leaders and pioneering practitioners from multiple sectors worldwide to foster new collaborations and develop innovative solutions with the goal of inspiring creative changes in education. This three-day forum is "an invitation only" event and includes a programme of plenary and breakout sessions, together with workshops and networking opportunities. A large exhibition area helps build the WISE community with stands, videos and highly interactive information and activities related to the entire WISE initiative.
Participants include:
  • Academics: experts from teaching and research areas in national education institutions from pre-school to higher education and life-long learning

  • Policy makers: current and former politicians who are experts on education and interested in international cooperation.

  • Representatives from NGOs/associations: heads of NGOs/associations acting for education development and enhancement or for children’s causes

  • Private sector representatives: multinational companies committed to education and development.

  • Journalists: from top-tier media

WISE 2011 Summit

The third WISE summit took place Nov 1-3, under the theme of “Changing Societies, Changing Education”. The sessions and debates looked at how education can more effectively contribute to strategies for sustainable social, economic and political development in a permanently changing world. Discussions also centered around the kind of world education could achieve if innovative ideas were implemented more often. This year’s Summit took place in a new venue, the Qatar National Convention Center, and was a highly interactive event where virtual attendees had the opportunity to ask speakers questions via MyWISE and Twitter.

2011 Summit outcomes

WISE 2010 Summit

The second summit, from 7–9 December 2010, further contributed to "Building the Future of Education" by focussing on three themes:

Improving Education Systems: exploring new models of leadership, curricula and open education, and multi-stakeholder partnerships.
Exploring Innovative Trends: examining national and international trends ranging from developments in cognitive science and the social media to innovative teaching methods in poorer countries using mobile devices.
Funding Education: finding resources to finance education, especially at a time of global economic crisis.

2010 Summit outcomes

WISE 2009 Summit

The first summit, from 16–18 November 2009, focused on 21st century educational models, innovation, new initiatives, best practices, and educational engagement on a global scale, under the theme “Global Education: Working Together for Sustainable Achievements”. The central theme was complemented by sub-themes of pluralism, sustainability and innovation.

2009 Summit outcomes

The WISE Awards

The WISE Awards are designed to identify, showcase and promote innovative on-the- ground educational projects from across the world, and from all educational sectors. These annual Awards recognise a total of six educational projects that have had a positive effect on socieites and improved peoples' lives. The winners are given access to maximum visitbility, which helps promote their work and connect them to a global community.

Find out more about the WISE Awards here.

The WISE Awards 2011

The Winners of the 2011 WISE Awards were selected for their innovative approaches and positive impact upon societies and education, within the perennial theme of “Transforming Education: Investment, Innovation and Inclusion”. The six following winners were selected:
  • Al Jisr School-Business Partnerships, based in Morocco and represented by Mhammed Abbad Andaloussi:

The mission of Al Jisr is to improve the quality of education by mobilizing and involving businesses and to move them beyond charity or philanthropy towards true engagement. By using the expertise of the business sector to improve the management and quality of education, 150,000 students in 300 schools are currently benefitting from the project.
  • BBC Janala, based in the UK and represented by Mohammad Ashrafuzzaman:

This project uses multi-media devices to enable people to learn English in a simple and affordable way. At a cost of 0.004 UK pence per minute, BBC Janala provides audio lessons to 26.3 million individuals who want to improve their English language skills in order to get a better job.
  • Creative Partnerships, based in the UK and represented by Paul Collard:

The Creative Partnerships (CP) program operates in around 2,500 schools throughout England each year and is designed to develop the creative skills of young people through partnerships between schools and creative professionals.
  • Connexions, based in the USA and represented by Richard Baraniuk:

Connexions ( is a content platform that enables the free and open use of high-quality educational materials by a global community of authors, teachers, and students. The system demonstrates that knowledge is dynamic: the ever-changing blocks can be connected. It is used by 2 million people from 190 countries each month.
  • SueñaLetras, based in Chile and represented by Ricardo Rene Rosas Diaz:

SueñaLetras is an open source tool that supports the literacy learning process using sign language as a bridge to reach written language. It is designed to support teachers in the process of teaching students with hearing disabilities aged 4 to 12 years old.
  • Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA), based in the UK and represented by Freda Wolfenden:

TESSA is working to improve access to, and the quality of, school-based training for teachers across 12 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. It works through the collaborative creation and supported use of multilingual high-quality resources for 400,000 teachers.
Find out more here

The WISE Awards 2010

In 2010 the WISE Awards focused on “Transforming Education: Investment, Innovation and Inclusion.” The following six winners were selected:
  • The Citizens Foundation
    The Citizens Foundation
    The Citizens Foundation is one of the largest non-profit organization in Pakistan in the field of education. It was established in 1995, by a group of like-minded citizens in Karachi...

    , from Pakistan, represented by Mushtaq Chhapra:

This is one of the largest educational not-for-profits in Pakistan. Based on the principle that education for the poor should not be poor, it has created, and is running, a network of 660 schools in the poorest rural and urban areas in Pakistan. The Citizens Foundation brings quality education to 92,000 students nationwide, half of whom are girls.
  • The Mother Child Education Program (MOCEP) from Turkey, represented by Ayla Goksel:

MOCEP takes a novel approach by training mothers in their role as “first educators”. This cost-effective programme has already reached over 400,000 people in Europe and the Middle East and has been shown to have a positive and long-lasting impact on mothers and children.
  • The Smallholder Farmers Rural Radio (Farm 98.0 FM), from Nigeria, represented by Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu:

This radio programme informs over 250,000 small farmers, most of whom are illiterate, on how to improve their agricultural, environmental and market access capacity. Since its creation, the income of 65% of listeners has increased. The programme has also helped reduce soil degradation while conserving wood resources.
  • MIT OpenCourseWare
    MIT OpenCourseWare
    MIT OpenCourseWare is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to put all of the educational materials from its undergraduate- and graduate-level courses online, partly free and openly available to anyone, anywhere. MIT OpenCourseWare is a large-scale, web-based publication of...

    , from the USA, represented by Cecilia d’Oliveira:

This is a large-scale, web-based publication of virtually all MIT
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

courses, providing free and open access to content of the highest quality to anyone, anywhere in the world. 100 million individuals from 215 states and territories have visited the site to date. This project has sparked numerous similar initiatives across the globe.
  • The Next Einstein
    The NextEinstein initiative intends to make it possible for an African to emerge as the next boundary-breaking scientist; the spiritual successor to Albert Einstein...

    , from South Africa, represented by Neil Turok:

Since 2003, the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS)
African Institute for Mathematical Sciences
The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences is a tertiary education and research institute in Muizenberg, South Africa, established in September 2003...

 has been training talented students from over 30 countries in Africa thanks to international partnerships between Cape Town’s universities and Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

, Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

 and Paris XI
Paris-Sud 11 University
University of Paris-Sud or University of Paris-Sud or University of Paris XI is a French university distributed among several campuses in the southern suburb of Paris...

. Students obtain an innovative postgraduate diploma in mathematical sciences giving them access to leadership careers. So far, 77% of them have remained in Africa.
  • Rewrite the Future from Save the Children
    Save the Children
    Save the Children is an internationally active non-governmental organization that enforces children's rights, provides relief and helps support children in developing countries...

    ,represented by Tove Romsaas Wang:

It reaches out to children living in zones affected by conflict and political instability. These areas often have extremely high rates of children who do not attend school. By bringing education to them, the project has managed to get 1.4 million children back into school.
Find out more here

The WISE Awards 2009

In 2009, the WISE Awards were divided into three categories aligned with the WISE 2009 summit themes: pluralism, sustainability and innovation:
The following six winners were chosen for their achievements in education:
  • Project Nanhi Kali
    Project Nanhi Kali
    Project Nanhi Kali is an Indian non-governmental organisation that supports education for underprivileged girls in India. Founded by Anand Mahindra in 1996, it is jointly managed by the Naandi Foundation and the KC Mahindra Education Trust, which is part of the corporate social responsibility...

    , from India and represented by Sheetal Mehta:

The objective is to offer primary education to underprivileged girls in India. Nanhi Kali provides material and educational support to girls in India. Today, the project reaches out to over 57,000 young girls across the country. Its success lies in the fact that it works with the community at large to encourage education for girls.
  • Escuela Nueva, from Colombia, represented by Vicky Colbert:

This project contributes to improving the quality of basic education in low income-schools. Escuela Nueva is an innovative educational model that has successfully provided quality education to students from poor backgrounds in rural and urban Colombia. To date, 19 countries have implemented this model benefiting over 5 million children.
  • The Self-Sufficient School, from Paraguay, represented by Martin Burt:

The Self-Sufficient School provides education to chronically poor young people without relying on third-party support. The Self-Sufficient School was implemented by Fundación Paraguaya
Fundación Paraguaya
Fundación Paraguaya is a leading edge self-sufficient social enterprise founded in Paraguay in 1985 that seeks to develop innovative solutions to poverty and unemployment, and proactively disseminate them throughout the world....

 in 2005. In just five years, this school “that pays for itself” has changed the lives of 1,500 students and is currently being replicated in 27 countries in Latin America and Africa.
  • The Widows Alliance Network (WANE) for Sustainable Economic Development in Ghana, represented by Joyce Dongotey-Padi:

WANE aims at emancipating Ghanaian widows from social, cultural and economic deprivation. WANE helps over 6,000 widows in Ghana to rebuild their lives and those of their children through professional training, support and credit schemes. This network allows them to earn a living, helping limit the number of children out of school because they need to support their families.
  • Curriki
    Curriki is a nonprofit organization that is building an Internet site for open source curriculum development, to provide universal access to free curricula and instructional materials for students up to the age of 18 . By applying the open source process to education, Curriki empowers educational...

    , based in USA, represented by Peter Levy:

The Curriki website is a platform that provides users with the tools and services necessary to develop, aggregate, evaluate and support Open Educational Resources. Curriki offers a global web platform allowing teachers, students and parents to access and share high-quality educational content. With 1.6 million visitors each year, Curriki is working to close the gap between those who have access to quality educational material and those who don’t.
  • The Distance Learning project in the Amazon Forest, based in Brazil, represented by Delio Morais:

It involves transmitting live classes via a two-way video-conference link to students in 300 secondary schools and 700 classrooms, throughout the 62 county districts. The Distance Learning in the Amazon Forest project reaches out to extremely remote communities through Internet and satellite technology. Launched in 2007 by the Amazonas State, this revolutionary project is already offering quality education to over 25,000 students.
Find out more here

The WISE Prize for Education

The WISE Prize for Education was announced in December 2010 at the WISE Summit in Doha, Qatar. This major international prize for education rewards an individual or a team for an outstanding, world-class contribution to education. The Prize places education on the same level as other important fields such as science, literature, peace and economics.

The first Laureate, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder of BRAC, was congratulated by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar, during the Opening Plenary Session of the 2011 WISE Summit in Doha, Qatar on Nov 1.Sir Abed founded BRAC in 1972 and has built the world’s largest and most efficient NGO based on the principle of empowering people to grow as individuals, to manage the welfare of their families and to contribute to their societies. He received a specially designed a gold medal and $500,000 which he plans to use to help make a difference to a multitude of projects, such as starting a new school or launching a library in a remote village.

Other WISE activities

Learning World

Learning World is a series of weekly TV documentaries on education developed in partnership with Euronews
Euronews is an international multilingual news television channel.It covers world news from what it claims to be a 'European' perspective.Criticisms are that the perspective is in fact that of the European Commission - a major and growing funder of Euronews....

. It broadcasts 16 times a week to all continents in 10 languages. Viewers can travel the world with these mini-documentaries that inform, entertain, inspire and surprise. Learning World looks not only at current issues but also examines the educational challenges of the future.
See videos of Learning World here

Collaborative activities

WISE is actively developing new synergies among key international players in the fields of education and international development. At the Ministerial Colloquium on Quality of Education in the Arab World - organised in September 2010 by
Qatar Foundation
Qatar Foundation
Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development is a government-funded, chartered, non-profit organization in the state of Qatar, founded in 1995 by decree of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar and chaired by Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned...

, the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization
Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization
The Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization is a Tunis-based institution of the Arab League, established in accordance with article 3 of the Arab Cultural Unity Charter by an announcement made in Cairo, Egypt, on 25 July 1970...

 (ALECSO), and the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 - 17 Arab states committed to devising and implementing a transparent shared system of evaluating education.

The WISE Educational Leadership Programme

This programme offered, in its first edition, recently appointed university leaders from developing countries a customised master class in administrative and leadership skills.


The WISE initiative is supported by a network of six dedicated partners and international institutions involved in major education issues: Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF),The Association of Commonwealth Universities
Association of Commonwealth Universities
The Association of Commonwealth Universities represents over 480 universities from Commonwealth countries.- History :In 1912, the University of London took the initiative to assemble 53 representatives of universities in London to hold a Congress of Universities of the Empire...

 (ACU), the Institute of International Education
Institute of International Education
Institute of International Education - is a non-profit organization promoting international exchange of education and training. It was established in 1919 and is based in the USA....

 (IIE) the International Association of University Presidents
International Association of University Presidents
The International Association of University Presidents is an association of university chief executives from higher education institutions around the world...

 (IAUP), RAND Corporation and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...


See also
Qatar Foundation
Education in Qatar
Along with the country’s free health care to every citizen, every child has free education from kindergarten through high school. Some universities from the United States have opened satellite campuses in the country at Education City, Qatar...

Education in Qatar
Education in Qatar
Along with the country’s free health care to every citizen, every child has free education from kindergarten through high school. Some universities from the United States have opened satellite campuses in the country at Education City, Qatar...

Education City, Qatar

External links

I rina Bokova speaks about education funding at the WISE in Doha, Qata
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