UNESCO IITE participated in “Innovation Arabia 8”

On 16-18 February 2015 the annual international conference “Innovation Arabia 8” was organized in Dubai (UAE) by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of the HBMSU. This year the event was held under the theme “Innovate, Collaborate, and Differentiate: Honouring the Past, Treasuring the Present, and Shaping the Future”. The main objective of the conference was to encourage innovation and creativity as fundamental mainstays for the transformation into full-fledged knowledge societies. The conference provided a platform for the exchange of ideas, discussion of trends, solutions and challenges in the development of sustainable economies and societies through innovation. Within the conference paper in four key 4 tracks were presented: quality and business management, e-learning excellence, health and environment, Islamic banking and finance.

The number of participants and the number of countries they present increases every year.  The 8th conference was attended by participants from Australia, Algeria, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Sudan, Switzerland, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA and Vietnam.

Keynote speakers at the conference were Dr. Farouk El-Baz (Director of the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University, USA), Mr. Gregory H. Watson (Chairman, Business Excellence Solutions, Ltd., Finland), Eng. Sobhi A. Batterjee (Founder, President and CEO of Saudi German Hospitals Group), Hussain Al Qemzi (Group Chief Executive Officer of Noor Investment Group LLC and Chief Executive Officer of Noor Bank PJSC), Dr. Alan Bruce (CEO & Director, Universal Learning Systems, Vice President of EDEN), and Rudolf W. Strohmeier (Deputy Director-General, European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation).

The track “eLearning Excellence” was structured into three parallel sections: Teaching & Learning towards Smart Learning, Policies & Best Practices in Smart Learning, and Smart Learning Technologies. On the 16th of February Dr. Svetlana Knyazeva (UNESCO IITE) delivered a paper “Digital Pedagogy for Teaching in the Digital Era”.

During the 3rd day of conference (18 February, 2015) a panel discussion was held under the aegis of the  UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education. The topic of the panel discussion was “New partnerships and new business models to scale up learning in a fast changing environment”. Prof. Abtar Darshan Singh moderated the discussion. Panelists Dr. Svetlana Knyazeva (UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education), Dr. Edward Robeck (Director of Education and Outreach, AGI, USA), Mrs Serine El Salhat (Assistant Chancellor for International Cooperation, HBMSU), and Mrs Hanadi Al Suwaidi (Director SIST and PhD candidate, HBMSU) discussed partnerships and business models arising under transformation of the education system.

More information about the conference is available at the website IA8.

In 2016 the conference “Innovation Arabia 9” will be held from 7th to 9th of March, 2016.