DOHA, Qatar, November 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The World Innovation Summit for Education - WISE, an initiative of Qatar Foundation, continued in Doha, Qatar today with 1,000 representatives from various sectors including politics, academia, international institutions, the private sector, NGOs and others listening to and debating on the challenges and solutions for education in the 21st century.

Following a very successful opening day which was launched by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, Chair of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, the international participants worked intensively during the second day to identify current worldwide educational challenges and explore potential solutions.

The second day of WISE offered a unique opportunity to focus on specific issues including the education of people with special needs, gender inequality and sustaining education in critical circumstances. This multidisciplinary international delegation is identifying strategic priorities which will then be formalized in a declaration during the closing plenary session of the third and final day of the Summit.

Addressing the Summit's opening plenary session on Sustainability, Former Chancellor of Germany, Mr. Gerhard Schroder declared that we must make use of all available talents, skills and aptitudes, adding that any country that wants to be successful, either economically or culturally, must utilize these resources. There is only one way to ensure that Governments continue to put an emphasis on education and that is through pressure by the people.

Among the other notable contributions at the Sustainability plenary session on day two were:

- President of Qatar University, Professor Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad, who stressed that education is not a static entity, but a living, breathing one that is constantly evolving. Professor Al-Misnad went on to say that on both a national and global level, it is important that the efforts of educational institutions complement rather than compete with each other. This entails harnessing resources and existing technologies to serve a wider base beyond the immediate community. - United Nations' Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Mr. Kiyotaka Akasaka, who said that the time has come for a new culture of 'intellectual social responsibility', one that takes teaching, learning and research beyond the classroom, laboratory or campus.

Day two of WISE also featured a series of highly-engaging breakout sessions, categorized into 'Selected Priorities' and 'Solutions'.

Under the 'Selected Priorities' series of discussions, key policy areas debated included 'Women's Education', 'Education and Community Development', 'Sustaining Education in Critical Circumstances, Conflict Zones and Poverty' and 'Special Needs Education'.

Speaking at the 'Special Needs Education' session, Founder and Director of SMARTlab Digital Media Institute, Professor Lizabeth Goodman demonstrated how through innovation and technology, they are working in partnership with people with special needs to create open source software that enables a two-way educational interface.

She added: It is vital that technology and support is offered to people with special needs and their network at the earliest possible stage in order to allow this community to fully realise their abilities.

The 'Solutions' breakout sessions, meanwhile, comprehensively covered a number of relevant educational issues such as 'Managing International Mobility', 'Education and Governance for Trust and Sustainability', Accreditation and Quality' and 'Increasing Access Through Technology'.

During the Managing International Mobility session, Dr. Diana Davis, Associate Provost for International Initiatives, Princeton University, emphasized the urgent need to promote more collaborative global partnerships between higher education institutions. She also suggested that a renewed focus on volunteerism should form an integral part of any such expanded educational alliances.

Strategic Director, Partnership For Schools, Mr. Steve Moss, concluded the session on 'Education and Governance for Trust and Sustainability' by underlining the importance of developing leadership capacity across the community in order to guarantee the sustainability of educational institutions.

The three-day Summit concludes tomorrow with an analysis of the role of innovation in overcoming educational challenges. A final closing session will allow the international gathering to focus on achieving a declaration defining educational priorities and next steps for WISE.


WISE (World Innovation Summit for Education) is a global, groundbreaking collaborative initiative established by Qatar Foundation under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned. WISE seeks to monitor and contribute to 21st century challenges and their impact on education. With 1,000 leading education stakeholders, opinion leaders and decision-makers from 120 countries and from the spheres of education, politics, international institutions, NGOs, grassroots movements, the private sector, media and multimedia, culture and the arts. WISE endeavours to propose visionary thinking on education, offer new ways of addressing current global challenges and untapped opportunities and anticipate future education models. The WISE Forum will take place in Doha, Qatar, from November 16th to 18th, 2009. Sponsors of the Summit are Exxon Mobile, Qatar Petroleum and Microsoft Corporation.

Full details on the WISE website:


Founded in 1995 by decree of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, Qatar Foundation is a non-profit organization focusing on education, scientific research and community development. Under Qatar Foundation's umbrella are Education City, which comprises elite universities, several academic and training programs and Qatar Science and Technology Park, which boasts more than twenty-one world-class companies involved in scientific research and development.

Chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned, Qatar Foundation also aims to enhance lives through community development initiatives including Doha Debates, Reach out To Asia and Al Jazeera Children's Channel.

Joint venture partnerships in the areas of design, ICT, telecommunications, policy studies and event management contribute to fulfilling the objectives of the Qatar Foundation.

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For further information, please contact : Emilie Demange / Constance Lozet Tel: +33(0)1-47-42-19-54 / +33(0)1-47-42-92-78 Email :

SOURCE: World Innovation Summit for Education - WISE

CONTACT: For further information, please contact :Emilie Demange /Constance Lozet, Tel: +33(0)1-47-42-19-54 / +33(0)1-47-42-92-78, Email