Qatar Foundation issues 2019 WISE education innovation awards

04 October 2019 3 min. read

International advisory L.E.K. Consulting has helped select the winners of this year’s WISE awards, an initiative which recognises projects tackling global education challenges.

Established by the Qatar Foundation in 2009, the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) is an international initiative aimed at uncovering innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing education challenges. Since its establishment, the organisation has annually through the WISE Awards recognised six innovative education projects from around the world found to be most creative and effective in finding solutions to challenges at any level.

From over 480 project submissions and a shortlist of fifteen finalists, the independent panel of jurists has now selected the six WISE award-winners for 2019, each of which will receive a $20,000 prize and the opportunity to showcase their work at the biennial global WISE summit in Doha, which from the 19th to the 21st of November this year will bring together over 2,000 educators, decision-makers and experts from around the world to discuss the future of education.

Aiding deliberations for this year’s awards was global management firm L.E.K. Consulting, which conducted an independent assessment prior to final selection. “L.E.K. was proud to once again support the assessment of the exceptional finalists for these awards,” commented Ashwin Assomull, a founding member of the firm’s global education practice. “The winners represent the best of the education sector globally, pushing the boundaries of innovation in the sector.”L.E.K. selects 2019 winners of WISE education awardsThe projects can address a wide scope of educational issues at any level and in all environments (each of this year’s winners varies in terms of project focus, geographical distribution, and reach) but in order to qualify must be already established and able to demonstrate a transformative impact on individuals, communities, and the society of their context. Eligible projects must also be financially stable, have a clear development plan, and be scalable and replicable.

Joining a network of sixty previous awardees from every corner of the globe, are Family Business for Education (Street Child – UK/Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Liberia), United World Schools: Teaching the Unreached (UK/Cambodia, Nepal and Myanmar), Micro:bit Educational Foundation (UK/Global), Programa Criança Feliz (Brazil), Arpan's Personal Safety Education Programme (India), and finally, the Akilah Institute of the USA and Rwanda.

To highlight just one of the organisations, the Teaching the Unreached project develops community schools in highly remote villages in Cambodia, Nepal and Myanmar, twinning those schools with a more affluent partner school from another part of the world and involving the communities along the way through recruiting and training local teachers. To date the organisation has granted access to education to more than 30,000 underprivileged children.

“The WISE Awards demonstrate once again how global organisations and governments can tackle pressing education challenges with innovative solutions in sustainable and scalable ways,” commented WISE CEO Stavros N. Yiannouka, a former McKinsey & Company consultant who spent five years with the firm in Southeast Asia. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank our jury and pre-jury members who did a thorough job in evaluating the projects.”