Posted on June 14, 2017

The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) recently hosted a roundtable discussion to examine the role of the private sector in education, in collaboration with the International Economic Forum of the Americas (IEFA) at the Conference of Montréal. The roundtable, entitled ‘The Age of Disruption: Re-thinking the role of the private sector in education’, was moderated by WISE CEO Stavros N. Yiannouka (pictured).

The panel was joined by Osama Bedier, CEO, Poynt, Co-Founder of Google Wallet and Co-Chair of this year’s Conference of Montréal; David Dufresne, Partner, 500 Startups; Danièle Henkel, President and CEO, Danièle Henkel Inc.; and Stéphane Pallage, Dean of the École des science de la gestation at the University of Quebec, Montréal.

The panellists discussed the impact of technology on the skills of the future workforce, given the early understanding and heavy consumption of technology by children and youth today. As technology dramatically changes learning, the individuals were asked what role the private sector could play in ensuring that education adapts to changing needs.

The wide-ranging discussion explored changes in the way children learn and are taught in technology rich education contexts, and how technology is disrupting the world’s socio-economic status-quo.

Stavros N. Yiannouka remarked: “This very lively discussion touched on many crucially important issues which we are all grappling with around the role of technology and education. The panellists, from their variety of perspectives, reflected the challenges we face in transforming education to be relevant and effective. They explored the dramatic opportunities that rapid technological change presents to education leaders and change-makers. We want to encourage our young people, given their facile understanding of technology, to think critically, develop unique solutions for their lives, and embrace flexibility and agility in their career paths.”

The IEFA’s Conference of Montréal annually brings together senior government leaders and heads of state, specialists, union leaders, representatives of private and public sectors, academics, and civil society to discuss issues, share experiences, and provide access to information. The conference, attended by WISE, a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), is in its 23rd edition, and gathered under the title ‘A New World: Managing Change’.