I am currently in Doha, Qatar for the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE). So far it has been a fantastic experience. Some of the videos from the day 1 sessions have already been made available on the the WISE website and I encourage you to have a look.

(Pictured left to right) Anver Versi from African Business and African Banker, Hassan Abdullah Al-Thawadi from the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, Paul Tagliabue from the US National Football League, and Sir Philip Craven from the International Paralympic Committee, speaking at the session ‘Education and Sports: Building Well-being’ – watch this session here.

This session on education and sport was really interesting! The speakers did not talk about the physical benefits of sport, but about benefits for humanity. Hassan Abdullah Al-Thawadi, from the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, talked about how there are two models: the United States model which identifies skilled individuals early and then tracks them through to university providing sporting scholarships, and the European model where sport and education are largely kept separate.The panel discussed which model was better, and the general lack of information on the performance comparing those two models. In the United States they talk about the coach being a teacher and having strong links to the students parents – so the student has a lot of support. Overall the panel saw sport as a very useful tool for breaking down barriers in that it provides a shared experience and a reason to need to make contact with each other. I particularly liked the way they described sport as the opposite to war.

The launch of ‘Educate a Child’ – a global initiative being led by  Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser from Qatar that aims to bring quality primary education to all the world’s children. A video of this session will be available soon here, and you can see more about the ‘Educate a Child’ initiative here.

The Rt Hon Gordon Brown, former Prime Minster of the United Kingdom, spoke yesterday at the ‘Educate a Child’ launch. He said: ‘a child plus teacher gives us infinite hope for the future.’

The ‘Education and Finance: Evaluating Innovative Models’ session. This session will be available to view here.

There are 1000 participants here from 100 different countries and I’ve been very impressed by how communication barriers have been overcome – they must have translators for every language! On the screen above is a translator from China.

Her Excellency Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, presents a speech titled ‘Sustainable and Quality Education for the Future’ on Malaysia’s experiences with early childhood education. Her presentation will be available to view here.

H. E. Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah MansorVery gave a good speech, discussing how human capital development begins with children. I particularly liked a couple of the quotes she used, the first from English novelist Graham Greene: “There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.” The second from former US President John F. Kennedy: “Not every child has an equal talent or an equal ability or an equal motivation, but they should have the equal right to develop their talent and their ability and their motivation, to make something of themselves.”