09 April 2017
The World Innovation Summit for Education’s (WISE) Learners’ Voice Program has concluded its first residential session for the 2016-17 year.
Taking place in Athens, Greece, for the first time since its inception in 2010, the intensive workshops brought together 25 young people to explore the global forced migration and refugee crisis.
Designed to impart both practical and theoretical knowledge, the group spent the days supporting the work of organizations working with both urban and camp refugee communities in Athens, including: Khora Community Centre, METAdrasi, Orange House, Project Elea, and Organization Earth.
The practical component was complemented by evening sessions delivered by expert faculty from the University of Oxford, Harvard University, University of Bologña, and Save the Children, among others.
Dina Pasic, Head of Programs, WISE, said: “After visiting the Katsikas refugee camp last April, it became clear that if we are to seriously explore social issues, we must immerse ourselves and learn from those directly affected by them. The Learners’ Voice Program challenges its participants to develop feasible, actionable and educational solutions to such challenges. The setting of a thematic focus was in response to the immediate and ongoing needs of refugees, and the addition of the field component was to enable deeper awareness, to support the work of those on the ground, and to understand the role that the education sector can play in alleviating the symptoms of displacement.”
The sessions came to a close following the presentation of five group projects to a panel of education experts, including Stavros N. Yiannouka, CEO of WISE; and Dr. Stefanos Gialamas, President of the American Community School of Athens; as well as representatives from Project Elea, METAdrasi, and Organization Earth.
The residential sessions of the program are designed to support the participants as they research and develop a variety of innovative educational projects throughout the year.
The Learners will continue to develop projects that aim to support the needs of displaced individuals and their host communities through educational interventions. Successful projects will be pitched at the 2017 WISE Summit and the best project will have the opportunity to present at the 2017 Falling Wall Labs Conference in Berlin, Germany.
WISE, a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), established the Learners’ Voice Program to engage the perspectives and creative energies of young people in discourse around important education issues and social challenges. This year’s participants, aged 18-25, were chosen from over 1,000 applications and collectively represent 21 countries. They will benefit from the expertise of the WISE team and global education specialists including faculty from Yale University, Harvard University, University of Oxford, and Babson College.
The Learners’ Voice Program is supported by its partners Banco Santander through its Universities Global Division and the American Community Schools of Athens.
For more information on the 2016-2017 program, please visit: http://www.wise-qatar.org/learners-voice-7