World Innovation Summit for Education "WISE" 2013

Doha, 29 October 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome to the fifth World Innovation Summit for Education – WISE. It is wonderful to see this event continue to build and grow over the years, delivering innovative solutions and collaborations year after year.

With five years behind us, we now have the momentum that comes with a conference of international stature and status, a global convention. Indeed, WISE is now a movement that is sustainably embedding innovation into education.

The theme of WISE this year – the bond between education and life – is a theme that can truly inspire us. The more education thrives, the more prosperous life becomes. The more it languishes, the more life fades. There is nothing more beneficial to life than education, and nothing matches its ability to influence and change.

Perhaps the sociologist and French thinker Professor Edgar Morin would be the most eloquent person to speak about the relationship between education and life.

The requirements and challenges of contemporary life, which are manifested in its pace, impact and permanence, necessitate that education should move at a similar pace. It has become axiomatic that education is the determinant for the standards of progress in any given society or country, just as the breakdown of education indicates, by logical association, the breakdown of society and the state.

This leads us to the pressing question: What benefit would education have, if not linked to life - reflecting its requirements, and exploring the necessities of its development? Should we let the emerging questions of life precede the answers of education? In my view, education should provide anticipatory answers to the questions of life.

Accordingly, it is not acceptable that education lags behind the conditions of life. Our hope goes beyond making education synchronize with life. Our longing is to make education anticipate life, instill its approaches in the horizons of the future, pave the way to address the constantly emerging challenges.

There is no doubt that such a realization would require an innovative approach. Since life every day invents new questions, challenges and problems, we must excel in innovating solutions. Given that education is treasure trove of solutions, we should bring together all our efforts for innovation in education.

If the will, seriousness and readiness to adopt this approach are there, then we can find the codes that will enable us to decipher the most serious global difficulties.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Every year we assemble at WISE to invent solutions that will advance and ensure universal education, so as to establish innovation as a vital context for educational vision.

The challenges are great, and much work is needed. It cannot be achieved without the spirit of WISE.

By that I mean: innovation in education.
When we innovate in education, we innovate in all other areas of life. If, through our discussions, education itself seems to be a goal, then it is undoubtedly a means towards a greater goal, in which innovation then is also a means.

To embed innovation in education, to promote education as an essential environment, to produce the elements of innovation, to make education precede life, or at least make the two head, side by side towards the future – to build all of this: we are convening at WISE.

I appreciate your participation, and I sincerely hope that the events of this conference will lead to sound successes.

Thank you,
Peace be upon you (As-salam alaykum)