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February 17, 2020

Eisenhower Fellowships convened thought leaders from around world in Cartagena, Colombia to explore the Future of Education, a critical issue in every corner of the planet. This three-day global conference looked at how educational systems prepare young people for the future and how well they have adapted to the explosion in technology that has disrupted life, work and the status quo in every society.

From February 13 to 16, leaders from all fields in the diverse and influential global network of Eisenhower Fellows joined leading educational thinkers, high-tech innovators, business leaders, government officials and other prominent experts to address the challenges and opportunities ahead as governments and educators struggle to navigate the continuous rapid change that has transformed the very concept of learning and the future of work.

Professor Dajani an eisenhower fellow for innovation herself and founder and director of the We Love Reading program and president of the society for the advancement of science and technology in the Arab world presented the We Love Reading Programm as a Programm for the future inspiring creating changmakers by changing mindsets through reading especially in a time of uncertainty about the future of education. We Love Reading is all about fostering curiosity, critical skills and analytics.

We create changemakers by recruiting and training adults and youth from local communities to provide read-aloud sessions for local children in safe, public spaces. Each year, WLR volunteers read to tens of thousands of children in public parks, community centers, mosques and other faith-based settings, nurseries, refugee camps, and other locales.

The Programm has three outputs

1. It fosters the love of reading among children so they can reap the benefits of reading

2. it empowers adults and youth mostly women to become changemakers

3. it creates a community with the mindset of I can

The program is built on scientific research and rigorously evaluated by researchers at leading institutions of higher education, including Brown University, Harvard University, Yale University, New York University, and the University of Chicago. We partner extensively with universities and academic researchers to test our model, share our findings, and fine-tune our approach. It is globally celebrated for its leadership and innovation in children’s programming, refugee education, literacy, mental health, empowerment of women and girls, and social entrepreneurship.

We’re at an exciting moment in our organizational trajectory, with multiple research projects under way to continue demonstrating our value across numerous domains, including empowerment of women and girls, resilience among children exposed to trauma, refugee services, and social entrepreneurship. http://www.welovereading.org

WLR is innovative at three levels

1. WLR has the secret sauce to motivating both children and adults to pursue learning because they want to not because they have to.

2. WLR is a basic framework based on shared universal human values to allow it to scale all over the world while at the same time being flexible to be able to adapted to any culture or context

3. WLR harness technology to serve rather than be controlled by technology so the adults use technology to be connected through a digital platform while the children are reading aloud books with a human because human interaction is essential for our survival as a species we are social animals and our brains in order to develop need human interactive stimulation

That is why WLR is a scalable, efficient, sustainable program that stared in Jordan and has spread to 52 countries and counting WLR is a social movement it is the butterfly effect.

More than 50 experts, educators and entrepreneurs in the field of education participated in big-picture plenary panel discussions and short, tightly focused talks that took on conference participants around the world with snapshots of current education trends from a cross-section of the 56 countries on six continents where Eisenhower Fellowships is active.

Set against the backdrop of Cartagena, a breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage site on the Colombian Caribbean coast, EF will present the findings of a new global poll on the future of education in more than 20 countries. A new class of Eisenhower Fellowships Youth Leaders, 17 diverse, exceptional leaders from 15 countries between the ages of 18 and 25, will also attend.

Conference attendees will participate in the organization’s new eLabs, interactive platforms for Fellows, sponsors and friends of the organization from around the world to present innovative projects advancing the Future of Education.