Stage set for education summit in Doha

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The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), initiated by Qatar Foundation and held in Doha, Qatar, from November 16th to 18th, has attracted a remarkable line-up of high-profile international personalities, coming from the public, academic and private sectors.

The WISE summit that will bring together an audience of 1,000 opinion leaders and stakeholders from 120 countries, including academics, political leaders, representatives of international organizations, NGO members and private sector executives.

Among the 90 world-class speakers, Gerhard Schröder, Former German Chancellor, will take the stage on November 16 and address sustainability issues, while Biz Stone, Co-founder and Creative Director of leading social network Twitter, will address the audience during the plenary session dedicated to Innovation, on November 18th.

Eminent voices are also expressing their support for the WISE initiative through written or video messages in which they also share their views about pressing educational issues. Some of these personalities include:

  • Statespersons such as current President of Senegal Abdoulaye Wade, current UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
  • Renowned education experts such as Nicholas Burnett, outgoing Assistant Director for Education, UNESCO and Zhou Qifeng, President of Beijing University, both members of the WISE Awards International jury.
  • Prominent business figures such as General Electric President and CEO Jeff Immelt, Chris Hughes, Co-Founder of Facebook and Founder of
  • Philanthropists such as Lord David Puttnam, Chairman of Futurelab as well as Yann Arthus Bertrand, CEO of Good Planet and Director of the acclaimed movie Home.

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: “Any country which lags behind education will lag behind economic recovery. So for me, there is no greater priority than raising educational standards and making sure every child in the world can have basic education.

“From 2010, the UK will provide £ 1 billion a year for global education. So I urge the World Innovation] Summit for Education to seek ways not just to enhance education for the rich, but to also help provide education for all.”