Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation (QF), spoke at the opening of the 11th edition of the WISE Summit taking place from 28-29 November in Doha, Qatar, under the theme ‘Creative Fluency: Human Flourishing in the Age of AI’.
The global summit convenes more than 2,000 education industry stakeholders, including influential thought leaders, young trailblazers, and key decision-makers to foster dialogue on the transformative power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the global education landscape.
Her Highness Sheikha Moza said:
“I want to ensure WISE is a platform for new ideas that keep pace with the changes taking place in the world, and the obstacles that education faces in certain countries for reasons of which we are all too aware. There is no alternative but to innovate if we are to find solutions to intractable problems.”
During the opening plenary, Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation, awarded the prestigious WISE Prize for Education to Safeena Husain, Founder and Board Member of Educate Girls. The WISE Prize for Education is the first global award of its kind that honors an individual for an outstanding contribution to education. Husain was recognized for dedicating 16 years to building the non-profit organization focused on empowering communities for girls’ education in some of India’s hardest-to-reach villages.
Husain’s journey with WISE began with a WISE Award in 2014 that acknowledged Educate Girls for its positive social impact and ability to scale. Over the years, Educate Girls has mobilized more than 1.4 million girls for enrolment and supported over 1.9 million children in their learning in India. Thanks to a precision targeting method using AI, Educate Girls is able to target, in 5 years, the same number of out-of-school girls, which would otherwise require 45 years. Through a network of over 21,000 community-based champions in some of the most marginalized communities in the country, the organization has been working to break the intergenerational cycle of inequality and exclusion.
Under Husain’s guidance, Educate Girls has evolved into a leading global force, harnessing innovative financing and AI technology to bridge the gender gap in education. This is mirrored in its global milestones: the delivery of the world’s first Development Impact Bond in education, and the organization becoming Asia’s first The Audacious Project – which, housed at TED, is a collaborative funding initiative catalyzing social impact on a grand scale.
Commenting on the award, Husain said:
“This is a collective win for all of us working toward girls’ education, right from the government and local communities to dedicated gender champions and our supporters. It is a testament to the array of initiatives that are actively addressing this global challenge, embracing grassroots innovations and technology-driven solutions that are tirelessly working to ensure that every girl, in every village, is in school and learning well.
“Girls’ education is the closest thing we have to a silver bullet to solve some of the world’s most complex problems. We must recognize that the right to education is a girl’s inherent right – a right that must always take center stage.”
The official strategic partner of WISE 11, Education Above All (EAA), a global non-profit organization established by Her Highness Sheikha Moza, dedicated to transforming lives through education, is at the forefront of the summit’s program creating dialogue around inclusive education, innovative financing, and protecting education in crises.
Day one was spread across distinct thematic zones that included diverse sessions covering some of the core summit discussion topics: Classrooms of the Future; AI and Digital Sovereignty; and Building Ethical AI.
A series of thought-provoking panel discussions and policy roundtables explored topics such as strategies for educators to future-proof classrooms in the era of AI and navigating the impact of AI superpowers to build an inclusive global AI landscape, among others.
Young innovators and advocates led discussions on a range of topics including personalized learning for students with disabilities, and cultural perspectives of Arabic learners in classrooms at the Youth Studio
A number of partner-led workshops provided students and teachers with hands-on learning and immersive experiences in the use of cutting-edge AI tools and systems across the education space, as part of WISE’s Learning Labs.
A special plenary honoured the 2023 WISE Awards winners this year for their innovative projects addressing global educational challenges and driving positive societal impact. Jeffrey Sachs, University Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University, addressed the economic impact of conflict on education in his keynote speech at the session.
For more information about the WISE Summit, please visit wise-qatar.org.