The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), an initiative of Qatar Foundation, recently announced the 15 finalists for the 2020 WISE Awards. Hailing from ten countries, the finalists were selected by a panel of international experts and presented projects that tackle a number of pressing global educational issues.

This year’s projects focus on the following:

  • Implementing early childhood education
  • Promoting social emotional learning for early years
  • 21st century teaching and entrepreneurship skills
  • Education for the marginalised and vulnerable populations
  • Improving teacher training and motivation
  • Fostering reading
  • Democratising sign language education
  • Promoting legal education
  • Nurturing global citizens among the future generation


WISE CEO Stavros N Yiannouka said the world is experiencing a crisis that is affecting all facets of our lives. Education is no exception, and indeed the need for innovation is all the more urgent because of the systemic shortcomings that the crisis has exposed. In this context, the work celebrated by the WISE Awards is critically important.

He said that each of the 2020 WISE Awards finalists has built an effective, tested solution to a global educational challenge. Whether ensuring access to fundamental early childhood education or imparting valuable entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills, each project is already transforming lives, and provides an inspirational model for others to emulate.

As we look forward to recognising this year’s WISE Awards winners it is imperative that policymakers and civil society leaders around the world seriously address the need to bring some of these innovations to scale.

This year’s finalists are:

  • MyMachine
  • Stawisha Leadership Institute
  • Barefoot College Solar Electrification with enriched Education
  • MAIA Impact School
  • Dengbe’ Bide (‘Two Rabbits’ in Baka)
  • Education for Sharing (E4S)
  • Pratham Books’ Storyweaver
  • Centro Educativo Tecnico Chixot – Hero School
  • Think Equal
  • The Junior Achievement Africa Company Program
  • SignLab
  • Parenting the Future (PTF)
  • Justice Changemaker Program
  • Transformational Teacher Training
  • Arkki International – Creative Education for Future Innovators

The projects were selected from a pool of 625 submissions. The submissions were evaluated following a strict criteria: initiatives must have already been established and demonstrate how they have already had a transformative impact on individuals, communities, and society of their context. Projects also need to be financially stable, have a clear development plan and be scalable and replicable.

The winners of the WISE Awards will be announced in October 2020 and celebrated at a WISE event. In addition to visibility and networking opportunities, each project will receive US$20,000.

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