World Innovation Summit for Education

The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) is an international initiative aimed at transforming education through innovation. WISE was established by Qatar Foundation in 2009 under the patronage of its chairperson, Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser.[1] With a biennial Summit held in Doha, and a range of year-round initiatives, WISE's mission revolves around promoting new approaches to education and investigating new ways to address pressing global education challenges.[2]

World Innovation Summit for Education
TypeNon-profit organization
HeadquartersDoha, Qatar
Region served

The Biennial Summit

Panel participants in the 2012 WISE Summit.

The 3-day WISE Summit is held every 2 years in Doha, Qatar.[3] It unites over 1,500 experts, researchers, and innovators from multiple sectors worldwide to foster new collaborations and develop solutions with the goal of inspiring creative changes in education. The summit is currently organized by Stavros Yiannouka and his team. Each summit has a distinct theme.[4] The first summit was held in 2009 under the theme "Global Education: Working Together for Sustainable Achievements".[5] The 2019 WISE Summit will be held on 19–21 November under the theme, "UnLearn, ReLearn: What it means to be Human."

The WISE Prize for Education

The WISE Prize for Education is an international prize that rewards an individual or a team for contributions to education which have been adjudged to be outstanding. The inaugural edition was launched in 2011 with a monetary award of $500,000.[6]

Selection criteria for the prize stipulates that the laureate's work should have had a significant and lasting impact at any level of education. The laureate is selected by an international jury of education stakeholders and announced at the annual Summit.[7]

The first WISE Prize was awarded to Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairman of BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee).[8] The second prize, in 2012, went to Madhav Chavan, co-founder and CEO of India-based NGO Pratham.[6] The third WISE Prize laureate, announced at the 2013 Summit, was Vicky Colbert, founder and director of Fundacion Escuela Nueva in Colombia.[6] Ann Cotton, an advocate of girls' education, was awarded the 2014 prize.[9] Dr. Sakena Yacoobi was awarded the 2015 prize.[10] Most recently, the 2017 prize was awarded[11][12] to the founder and president of Ashesi University in Ghana, Dr. Patrick Awuah.

The 2019 WISE Prize will be announced during the Summit on 19–21 November.

Other activities

The WISE Awards

Each year the WISE Awards recognize and promote six projects that address global educational challenges. A pre-jury composed of education experts assesses submissions and selects a shortlist of fifteen finalists. Following this, a jury chooses the six award-winning projects.[13] Winners receive a cash prize of $20,000. The first WISE Awards were handed out in 2009.[14]

Award Year
2020 Barefoot College Solar Electrification with Enriched Education Education for Sharing (E4S) Legal Education, Training, and Practice Parenting the Future (PTF) Stawisha Instructional Leadership Institute Think Equal
2019 Akilah Institute United World Schools: Teaching the Unreached Micro:bit Educational Foundation Family Business for Education Arpan's Personal Safety Education Programme Programa Criança Feliz
2018 One Village One Preschool Safe Space Club for Girls Technology-Based Deaf Education 1001 Nights Life Skills and Citizenship Education Program Generation Partners for Possibility
2017 Lights to Learn 42 Ubongo Edutainment Speed School The Learner Guide Program PhET Interactive Simulations
2016 Education for Growth and Value Creation in Lebanon Geekie: Personalized Learning for All Ideas Box JUMP Math Little Ripples: Culturally Inspired


Tara Akshar Literacy Program
2015Al-BairaqBridge International AcademiesNafhamEducate!The Talking Book ProgramVideoBook for Deaf Children
2014Alternate Education for Rural Development in PeruMe and My CityWe Love ReadingThe Song RoomStreet Children: Re-integration through EducationEducate Girls
2013AlisoniThra Youth InitiativeMedersat.comPathways to EducationPEASTe Kotahitanga
2012Cristo Rey Network Corporate Work Study ProgramPSU EducarchileRoboBrailleSatya Bharti School ProgramSolar-Powered Floating SchoolsCambodian Children's Fund Generational Change through Education
2011BBC JanalaOpenStax CNXCreative PartnershipsSchool-Business PartnershipsSueñaLetrasTeacher Education in Sub Saharan Africa (TESSA)
2010The Citizens FoundationMother Child Education program (MOCEP)The Smallholder Farmers Rural RadioMIT OpenCourseWareNextEinstein Initiative (AIMS-NEI)Rewrite the Future
2009Project Nanhi KaliEscuela NuevaCurrikiDistance Learning in the Amazon ForestThe Financially Sustainable SchoolWidows Alliance Network (WANE)

WISE Research

The WISE Research Reports bring key topics to the forefront of the global education debate, and reflect the priorities of the Qatar National Research Strategy.[15] The reports are produced in collaboration with recognized experts and organizations from around the world.

WISE Books

WISE Books are aimed at supporting innovative thinking in education. As of October 2014, WISE has published three books addressing educational topics. WISE Book authors and photographers travel to several countries in an attempt to identify the challenges and illustrate the impact of initiatives and practices that are making tangible differences. The third book to be released by WISE, Learning (Re)Imagined - How the connected society is transforming learning focuses on the link between technology and education.[16]

WISE Learners' Voice

Learners' voice, inaugurated in 2010, is a program that aims to reshape students' perception of education. Each year, a selected group of young people, aged 18–25, participate at the annual summit by engaging in debates and making presentations. Workshop sessions are also held throughout the year.[17] In late 2013, 36 new learners joined the existing network of 78 learners from previous years.[18]

WISE Accelerator

The accelerator is a support and advisory program with the aim of developing early-stage projects in education. The program, founded in 2014, seeks to assist projects that have a high potential for scalability and a positive impact on the field of education.[1] The program selects five innovative projects from a variety of countries every year.

The past participants of the program, including country of origin and date of creation:[19]

Year of participationNameCountry
2014-2015Ideas BoxFrance
Kytabu Textbook SubscriptionKenya
Mobile TaleemPakistan
Ustad MobileUnited Arab Emirates
KeplerUnited States
Making Ghanaian Girls Great!United Kingdom
Maths Curriculum OnlineSouth Africa
TeachPitchUnited Kingdom
2016-2017 Aflatoun Education The Netherlands Canada Philippines
Joko's World Australia
Learn Syria Canada
2017-2018 CamBio Science United Kingdom
Doc Academy United Kingdom
Pixis France
Tabshoura in a Box Lebanon
2018-2019 Chatterbox United Kingdom
ImBlaze Internship Management System United States
ScholarX Nigeria
SmartScience United States
UpTale France
2019-2020 AskMyClass United States
Wiloki France
Medics.Academy United Kingdom
Kamkalima Lebanon
Wumbox Argentina
Teacherly United Kingdom
Livox United States
Botter Ethiopia


The WISE initiative has cooperation agreements with the following institutions in major education issues: Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), the Institute of International Education (IIE), the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP), RAND Corporation, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).[20]

See also


  1. Rahim Kanani (5 July 2014). "WISE: The Global Platform For Innovators In Education". Forbes. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  2. "About WISE". WISE Qatar. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  3. "The WISE Summit". WISE Qatar. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  4. "(As it happened) Imagine, Create, Learn: reinventing education at WISE summit 2014". Euronews. 30 October 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  5. "The 2009 World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) convened November 16-18, in Doha, Qatar under the theme "Global Education: Working Together for Sustainable Achievements"". WISE Qatar. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  6. Sean Coughlan (29 October 2013). "Colombia school project founder wins global prize". BBC. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  7. "The WISE Prize for Education". WISE Qatar. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  8. "WISE prize for education goes to Bangladeshi Sir Fazle Hasan Abed". UNICEF. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  9. Sean Coughlan (4 November 2014). "UK girls' education campaigner wins global prize". BBC. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  10. Coughlan, Sean (2015-11-04). "Afghan education campaigner wins global prize". BBC News. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  11. "WISE Prize for Education 2017 presented to Ashesi Founder, Patrick Awuah". Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  12. "Interview with Patrick Awuah". Times Higher Education (THE). 2018-01-04. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  13. "Al-Bairaq is among six WISE Awards winners". Gulf Times. 15 September 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  14. "IIE Partners with Qatar Foundation on World Innovation Summit on Education 2013". Institute of International Education. 30 October 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  15. "2015 WISE Research". Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  16. "WISE releases third book on education". The Peninsula. 6 October 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  17. Francesca Green (16 March 2015). "WISE Learners' Voice Program for Educational Innovators". Lancaster University. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  18. "Qatar Foundation's WISE Learners' Voice: Call for Nomination". Institute of International Education. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  19. "2014-15 Program". Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  20. "The 5th Annual WISE Program for Education Leadership" (Press release). 13 November 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2015.