Sessions Include Practical and Theoretical Immersion into Global Forced Migration and Refugee Crisis

The World Innovation Summit for Education’s (WISE) Learners’ Voice Programme has concluded its first residential session for 2016-17. Taking place in Athens, Greece for the first time since its inception in 2010, the intensive workshops brought together 25 young people to explore the global forced migration and refugee crisis.

Designed to impart both practical and theoretical knowledge, the group spent days supporting organisations working with urban and camp refugee communities in Athens including Khora Community Centre, METAdrasi, Orange House, Project Elea, and Organisation Earth. The practical component was complemented by evening sessions delivered by expert faculty from the Oxford University, Harvard University, University of Bologña, and Save the Children, among others.

Dina Pasic, Head of Programmes at WISE said:

The Learners’ Voice Program challenges its participants to develop feasible, actionable and educational solutions to such challenges. The setting of a thematic focus was in response to the immediate and ongoing needs of refugees, the addition of the field component was to enable deeper awareness, and to understand the role that the education sector can play in alleviating the symptoms of displacement.’

The sessions concluded following the presentation of five group projects to a panel of education experts which include WISE CEO Stavros N Yiannouka and Dr Stefanos Gialamas, President of the American Community School of Athens. Representatives from Project Elea, METAdrasi, and Organisation Earth were also there during the presentation. The residential sessions of the programme were designed to support the participants as they research and develop a variety of innovative educational projects throughout the year.

The Learners will continue to develop projects that aim to support the needs of displaced individuals and their host communities through educational interventions. Successful projects will be pitched at the 2017 WISE Summit and the best project will have the opportunity to present at the 2017 Falling Wall Labs Conference in Berlin, Germany.

WISE, a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), established the Learners’ Voice Programme to engage the perspectives and creative energies of young people in discourse around important education issues and social challenges. This year’s participants, aged 18-25, were chosen from over 1,000 applications and collectively represent 21 countries. They will benefit from the expertise of the WISE team and global education specialists from Yale University, Harvard University, Oxford University, and Babson College.

The Learners’ Voice Programme is supported by its partners Banco Santander through its Universities Global Division and the American Community Schools of Athens.

For more information on the 2016-2017 programme, visit