‘Imagining the future of education’, a forum to promote innovation in the education system

On February 28, the WISE @ Madrid: Imagining the Future of Education forum was held, whose objective is to promote innovation in the educational system. For this, industry leaders have discussed the future and how technology can play a fundamental role.

Does the education system adapt to current needs? Are young people prepared with the skills and knowledge necessary to face the new global scenario? To try to resolve these issues, the World Summit for Innovation in Education (WISE) in collaboration with Banco Santander, held the forum on February 28 WISE @ Madrid: Imagining the Future of Education, with the aim of promoting innovation in education.

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Leaders from education, business and politics discussed the future of education and how technology can play a fundamental role in fostering the skills of young people in the 21st century, in a global economic market where innovation and the search for talent prevail . We are witnessing the digital age, and education must adapt to new changes, since new applications, such as artificial intelligence, require new paradigms and new skills.

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Do youHow can education systems be transformed? What tools are needed? What role should education, technology and entrepreneurship play in this change? These are the main questions that the WISE @ Madrid forum has explored. Specifically, it has addressed issues such as new emerging tools and successful experiences for change; the role of higher education in preparing students, and new entrepreneurial skills for creating smarter societies.

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Commitment to quality education

During the presentation of the forum, the CEO of the Qatar Foundation, Sheikha Hindbin tHamad Al-Thani, and the president of Banco Santander, Ana Botín, reaffirmed their commitment to creating quality education to achieve transformation. “Our world is evolving rapidly and as a result, education systems must adapt. This is the reason why at the Qatar Foundation we are working hard together with our partners to find innovative solutions and ‘reimagine’ the educational landscape ”, assured Sheikha Hindbint Hamad Al-Thani.

In this context, companies play a fundamental role in making this possible. Why is it important to encourage entrepreneurship from school age? Traditional education has proven that it does not work and students must be able to manage their own resources, work as a team and undertake. WISE has been supported by Banco Santander since 2013 to develop activities that generate opportunities in education, such as the WISE Accelerator program. This initiative offers personalized tutoring to startups dedicated to education, and involves mentors and qualified collaborators to support and ensure the development of projects. On the other hand, they also promote the Learners’ Voice program, where young people tackle problems and challenges of global education with the help of quality teachers.

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“The collaboration between WISE and Santander reflects our dedication to finding solutions to the challenges posed by global education. We are delighted to have a strong ally in Banco Santander with whom we work to achieve common goals ”, added the CEO of the Qatar Foundation. For her part, Ana Botín clarified that “Ensuring that a high-quality education is accessible to all has never been more important. We must expand educational opportunities and reward effort to enable new generations to prosper in a knowledge-based economy. “

Santander Bank. Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al-Thani, CEO of the Qatar Foundation, and Ana Botín, president of Banco Santander, at the ‘Imagining the Future of Education’ forum.

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Transformation through ‘design thinking’ processes

“It is difficult for people to understand, but today we are transforming schools with the same method with which we designed the first Apple mouse”, are the words of Sandy Speicher, creator and head of the IDEO educational innovation team, in an interview with The country. What tools do they use to be so innovative? They use the Design Thinking method to exploit the creativity of the students.

Why is it important to promote creativity?

In a previous article we quoted a reflection by the neuroscientist Norman Doidge, discoverer of neuroplasticity, who argued that the brain is malleable and has the ability to improve cognitive abilities. In this sense, malleability could explain the changes in the child’s learning development and, therefore, the current educational model must change because it is necessary to offer students the opportunity to develop, by themselves, their knowledge.

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On the other hand, the famous pedagogue Ken Robinson exposed a critique of the traditional school, and claimed that “children are born with qualities that, often, the system buries.”

Herein lies the importance of the Design Thinking method that allows, through investigation and error, to approach the needs of people. “You have to rethink the system, and this cannot be done from an office with the door closed, but rather by entering the classrooms and interviewing children, teachers and parents. You have to connect with what interests young people and forget about 19th century education, ”said Sandy Speicher.

Design Thinking is a method that helps draw inspiration and creativity through group work with teachers “to see how we could apply that formula to the way of teaching.” In this way, they created an online kit of free tools called Design Thinking for educators, and some 7,000 teachers are already part of this network. For example, “to be more collaborative at school, a good way to understand what students are interested in is to think about what matters to them, to know what they play when they are alone, perhaps to observe them at home, to leave the area. of comfort that the classroom represents ”, comments the expert.

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New ways of thinking about the education of the future

Returning to the WISE @ Madrid phenomenon, it comes at a time of constant changes in the global economy due to the emergence and renewal of technology beset by growing inequality. Therefore, one of the problems to be addressed is reducing the high rates of youth unemployment in Europe and better preparing students for progress.

The forum held in Madrid is the first in Europe in a series of regional WISE events, in addition to global symposia. During November 14 and 16, 2017, the biennial WISE World Summit will be held in Doha (Qatar). Undoubtedly, WISE has established itself as a world benchmark regarding new educational approaches as it promotes innovation and collaboration.

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