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WISE

A WISE Focus on Innovative Solutions to Ensure Learning

Harry A. Patrinos's picture

Harry Patrinos @ WISE 2012 Last week, I had the honor of being part of the fourth World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), in Doha. Pratham, the recipient of the 2012 WISE Prize for education, was praised as a renowned leader in the field of education for providing innovative, low-cost solutions for mass literacy and numeracy in developing countries.  Pratham’s CEO and co-founder, Madhav Chavan, received the award, which recognizes “world-class” contributions to education.

While in Doha, I had the pleasure of being part of a WISE panel debate with Mr. Chavan, which also included Financial Times correspondent Chris Cook and Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh.  Anver Versi, editor of African Business and African Banker, was the moderator.  During this panel, we discussed innovative financing and the role of public-private partnerships in education.   Mr. Chavan began his remarks stating that, “Education is too important to be left to governments alone.”

Reporting back from WISE, the World Innovation Summit for Education

Michael Trucano's picture

some new approaches to development were on display at WISE 2012 ...The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) annually brings together "more than 1,000 prominent education, corporate, political and social leaders from over 100 countries to explore how collaboration in many forms and at many levels can become the driving force of efforts to inspire innovation in education and to design long-term strategies for its renewal". Now it its fourth year, WISE is one high profile example of how the small but natural gas-rich Middle Eastern nation of Qatar is seeking to establish itself as a locus for discussion and dialogue on a number of key global issues (another example is the hosting of next week's global climate change conference), with a particular interest in education (in addition to WISE, Qatar is also home to Education City) and sport (in addition to high profile Qatari sponsorship of the FC Barcelona jerseys and investment in the French soccer club PSG, the country will host the 2022 World Cup.)

The annual WISE Prize for Education, which comes with a gold medal and USD $500,000 and was awarded this year to Madhav Chavan of the Indian NGO Pratham, is an attempt to, in the words of the sponsoring Qatar Foundation, "[raise the] status of education by giving it similar prestige to other areas for which major international awards exist such as science, literature, peace and economics". (Think of the WISE Prize as a sort of Nobel Prize or Fields Medal for education and you'll get a sense of the ambition at work here.)