World Innovation Summit for Education Announces Its 2009 WISE Awards Winners

October 1, 2009

DOHA, Qatar, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ — The Qatar Foundation, which will host the first World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) in November, today announced the six 2009 WISE Award winners of its Innovative Education Practice Awards.

The WISE Awards capture the spirit and ethos of Qatar Foundation’s new international educational initiative and aim to showcase, at a worldwide level, pioneering education-related projects that foster distinctive, cross-educational collaboration. For this first edition, the contest was intended to reward concrete achievements across three categories, aligned with the Summit’s main themes: pluralism, sustainability and innovation.

The six laureates (full details below) will receive $20,000 each and were chosen in a highly competitive process that attracted global interest, generating 588 entries out of 6,000 downloaded applications.

The two-tier selection process involved a 15-member jury of internationally-renowned experts short-listing 48 projects, which were then reviewed by an international jury of 11 of the world’s leading experts in pluralism, sustainability and innovation.

Entrants stood out from the four corners of the globe (Africa: 109, Asia/Oceania: 91, Europe: 80, North America: 55, Middle East: 34, Central and South and America: 25), with the majority of applications having an international dimension and application, further underlining the WISE Awards as a truly global initiative.

“The level of entries received for the first edition of the WISE Awards has helped to elevate this first initiative of the World Innovation Summit for Education, to the international stage. The submissions received give us a glimpse into the insightful and high-quality debates on education we can expect in Doha this November during WISE,” said Dr. Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, Chairman of WISE, Vice President of Education, Qatar Foundation and Chairman of the WISE Awards International Jury, praising the effort and participation of all applicants.

The six laureates will be honoured at the first ever World Innovation Summit for Education, taking place in Doha from November 16th-18th. Each of the winners will be awarded a prize of $20,000 and present their projects before an audience of 1,000 leading international influencers during a gala dinner to be held on November 17th.

A full profile and synopsis of the laureates and their projects is now available at www.wise-qatar.org/en/awards.

WISE Awards 2009 Winners

For the ‘Pluralism’ category:

Name: Sheetal Mehta; Country: India

Project: “Project Nanhi Kali”

Profile: A collaborative, national child sponsorship project to ensure that under-privileged girls in India receive 10 years of continuous, quality education.

Name: Vicky Colbert; Country: Colombia

Project: “Escuela Nueva”

Profile: A child-centered, community-based educational program making schools and schooling a new enterprise led by teachers.

For the ‘Sustainability’ category

Name: Martin Burt; Country: Paraguay

Project: “The Financially Self-P”

Profile: Transforming sons and daughters of chronically-poor farmers into “rural entrepreneurs,” integrating the teaching of high-school subjects with the running of 17 small-scale rural enterprises, and covering the school’s operating costs as a result.

Name: Joyce Dongotey-Padi; Country: Ghana

Project: “Widows Alliance Network (WANE) for Sustainable Economic Development in Ghana”

Profile: A network designed to emancipate and empower widows through employment skills, human rights education, reproductive health and social integration programmes.

For the ‘Innovation’ category

Name: Peter Levy; Country: USA

Project: “Curriki”

Profile: A Web 2.0-based platform that provides users with free tools and services necessary to develop, aggregate, evaluate and support Open Educational Resources (OER).

Name: Delio Morais; Country: Brazil

Project: “Distance Learning in the Amazon Forest”

Profile: An interactive distance learning solution that transmits and receives live, two-way audio/visual classes to 25,000 students in 700 classrooms across 300 schools in the State of Amazonas.


A high-profile international jury selected the six laureates of the WISE Awards 2009. The international jury consists of 11 of the world’s leading experts in pluralism, sustainability and innovation in education. Members were drawn from public institutions, civil society, the private sector, international organisations, universities and social entrepreneurs.

Chairman: Dr. Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, Chairman of WISE and Vice President of Education, Qatar Foundation

Vice-Chairman: Dr. Ahmad Hasnah, Vice-Chairman of WISE and Associate Vice-President of Higher Education, Qatar Foundation

Pluralism Jury

  • Susan J. Bodilly, Director, RAND Education; Senior Social Scientist
  • Nicholas Burnett, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO
  • Gordon Gee, President, Ohio State University

Innovation Jury

  • Zhou Qifeng, President, Beijing University
  • Mike Gibbons, CEO, Richard Rose Federation
  • Dr. Anoop Gupta, Corporate Vice President, Technology Policy and Strategy, Microsoft Corporation, USA

Sustainability Jury

  • Dr. Amy Gutmann, President, The University of Pennsylvania; Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science; Professor of Philosophy, Education and Communication
  • Patrick M. Callan, Founding President, National Centre for Public Policy and Higher Education
  • Dr. Christian Bode, Secretary General, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)


WISE (World Innovation Summit for Education) is a global, groundbreaking, collaborative initiative established by the Qatar Foundation under the high patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned that seeks to monitor and contribute to 21st century challenges and their impact on education. With 1,000 major education stakeholders, opinion leaders and decision-makers from diverse disciplines in over 120 countries participating, WISE endeavours to propose visionary thinking on education, offer new ways of addressing current global challenges and untapped opportunities and anticipate future education models. The WISE Forum takes place in Doha, Qatar, from November 16th to 18th, 2009.

Full details on the Wise Web site: www.wise-qatar.org


Qatar Foundation, located in Doha, Qatar, is an independent, private, non-profit, chartered organization founded in 1995 by decree of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, to support centers of excellence which develop people’s abilities through investments in human capital, innovative technology, state of the art facilities and partnerships with elite organizations, thus raising the competency of people and the quality of life.

More information on the Qatar Foundation Web site: www.qf.org.qa

SOURCE Qatar Foundation

Source: newswire

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