Equipping the next generation’s thought leaders and change-makers takes centre stage at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Knowledge & Learning Week

A three-day global education summit, a number of World Majlis events, an interactive workshop-style event around experiential learning, and a Business Forum on harnessing and challenging today’s knowledge to better prepare for the future will be among the headline events uniting global thought leaders and change-makers at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Knowledge & Learning Week.

The week – which runs from 12-18 December, in association with UAE-based global philanthropic organisation Dubai Cares – will analyse how knowledge can propel a global community to innovate for a better future for all.

It is one of 10 Theme Weeks anchoring Expo’s Programme for People and Planet, and will kick off with the three-day RewirEd Summit from 0900 GST on 12 December at Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo 2020 Dubai. Led by Dubai Cares, in partnership with Expo and  in close coordination with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the summit will focus on three key pressing areas in education worldwide: Youth, Skills and the Future of Work; Innovation in Education; and Education Financing.

Speakers, appearing either in-person or virtually, will include H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, His Excellency Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana, His Excellency Faustin-Archange Touadéra, President of the Central African Republic, His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya, His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete, former President of Tanzania and Chair of the Board of Directors of Global Partnership for Education (GPE); Rt Hon Gordon Brown, the UK’s former Prime Minister and UN Special Envoy for Global Education; and Patrizio Bianchi, Italy’s Minister of Education.

A World Majlis at the Women’s Pavilion at 1500 GST on 13 December will answer the question ‘How do we ensure our education system delivers for women and girls?’, with speakers including Her Excellency Maruja Gorday de Villalobos, Panama’s Minister of Education; and Safeena Husain, social worker and founder of India-based non-profit Educate Girls.

Additional World Majlises, held throughout the week at Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion will host stimulating conversations on how best to equip youth for success in the 21st century by debating ‘What if we learned to learn differently?’

The Knowledge & Learning Week Business Forum will also take place on 14 December at the DP World Pavilion from 0900 GST, comprising panel discussions, Q&As and presentations on harnessing and challenging knowledge to better prepare for the future. Speakers at the event, co-curated by Expo 2020 and Dubai Chamber, will include Her Excellency Liina Kersna, Estonia’s Minister of Education; Marjaana Sall, Ambassador for Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland; and Hon Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, Ghana’s Minister of Education. 

Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “A cornerstone of the UAE’s development strategy, education has witnessed a fundamental shift since the beginning of the pandemic, with traditional learning modes dismantled in favour of others that better equip our next generation for the demands of the 21st century. With this in mind, in collaboration with our friends at Dubai Cares, Knowledge & Learning Week will spotlight how to strengthen the provision of inclusive, equitable access to quality education, as enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals, in a changed world. 

His Excellency Dr Tariq Al Gurg, CEO and vice-chairman at Dubai Cares, said: “Education has been integral to the UAE’s growth and development over the years. The Knowledge and Learning Week at Expo 2020 Dubai is a strong reflection of the country’s enduring commitment to advocating for the importance of education in driving a sustainable future for all. As the flagship event of this week, the RewirEd Summit, in particular, will not only reinforce the UAE’s long-standing efforts in promoting access to quality education, but also championing a much-needed transformation in global education to make it more robust and resilient to crises.” 

Throughout the week, social enterprises from the Expo Live Innovation Impact Grant Programme and the Expo 2020 Best Practice Programme will present their innovative ideas for creating more inclusive societies – from night schooling children in India using solar lanterns, to theatre and play-based learning with marginalised communities in Lebanon and Jordan, and a Canada-grown solution designed to provide early literacy learning outcomes for children using ‘Talking Stickers’.

The Expo Live Impact Series takes place from 13-17 December at 1600 GST at The Hub, The Good Place by Expo Live pavilion. It is an opportunity to hear from grantees such as Wild Shots Outreach, teaching the value and benefit of local ecology in South Africa’s Kruger National Park; and Blossom Academy, upskilling Ghanaian talent to be successful data scientists and pairing them with start-ups across Africa.

Knowledge & Learning Week is the fifth of 10 Theme Weeks under Expo 2020’s Programme for People and Planet, offering an exchange of inspiring new perspectives to address the greatest challenges and opportunities of our time.