From November 4-6, 2014, more than 1,500 of the top education experts, innovators, thought leaders, influential political and corporate decision-makers from around the world gathered for the sixth annual WISE Summit titled Imagine-Create-Learn: Creativity at the Heart of Education. Amongst the attendees were Results for Development (R4D) Education Managing Director, Nicholas Burnett and Senior Program Associate, Kavita Hatipoglu (pictured above). Over the course of the three day event, Burnett and Hatipoglu met with innovators around the world, attended events, and hosted a meet-up to share emerging themes and models in Early Childhood Development and Girls’ Education programs profiled in the CEI database, and explore potential areas for future analysis.
The summit brought together a vibrant community of education stakeholders, from students to leaders of large-scale innovations and funders. Hatipoglu was impressed by the event's the vast space and the large number of programs, events, and workshops, and bemused by the immense spider art instillation by Louise Bourgeois titled Maman that served as a central meeting place. She would have liked to have another day to attend programs, meet people, and learn about education innovations.
Burnett co-hosted an debate with the UNDP Team Leader in Poverty Reduction, Nasser al-Faqih, titled Education Post-2015 Poverty: Social, Economic and Cultural Challenges. This debate covered the link between poverty and education and how the success or failure of one will affect the other. Dr. Marwan Tarazi, Director of the Center for Continuing Education at Birzeit University and Dr Tariq Cheema, Founder & CEO of World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists both presented at the debate.
Other notable events for the CEI team included debates titled Quality Education for All: Are Low Cost Private Schools the Answer, a workshop titled Beyond Ideology: The Role of Public and Private Actors in Early Childhood Education, and sessions held by the LEGO Foundation and Right to Play International. The debates, presenters, and hosts displayed different viewpoints on issues in order to spark conversation and participation from the audience.
Aside from the connections, attendees, events and debates, highlights for Hatipoglu also included the presentation of the 2014 WISE Prize for Education Laureate and US$500,000 to Ann Cotton, founder and president of Camfed International. Cotton has been dedicated to improving girls education in sub-Saharan Africa for more then two decades. Many, including CEI, are excited to see where this money will be implemented.
Each year, the WISE Awards recognize and promote six successful innovative projects that are addressing global educational challenges. WISE selects its winners from a wide variety of sectors and locations. Winners are selected based on innovation, their positive contribution, and their potential for scalability and adaptability. These projects represent a growing resource of expertise and sound educational practice. We previously blogged that three of our profiled programs, We Love Reading, Educate Girls and FACE Salam Project for Street Children had received these awards. All three of these programs received their awards at the summit this year.
If you are looking for an opportunity to connect to and learn from innovators, funders, policymakers, and opportunities, applications for the 2015 WISE Awards are up now!