WISE Up: Matching Skills and Needs for Wider Futures
Khozema Shipchandler believes that education is the #1 issue for our generation. Recently, GE MENA’s VP & CFO attended the WISE summit, a conference that covers the importance of developing practical solutions and dealing with the education systems across the world. Read his guest blog post as he explores his thoughts on tackling the world’s most important resource.
Yesterday, I attended the annual WISE summit in Doha, Qatar. WISE stands for World Innovation Summit for Education. It’s a year-round series of initiatives that culminates in a three-day conference focusing on the big picture, the basic problems & practical solutions to address the issues of education everywhere in the world. The central tenets of WISE are innovation, diversity and action. Sounds familiar, right? So, it makes a lot of sense for GE to participate in the discussion.
I was happy to participate in a panel with a gentleman from the World Bank, a partner from McKinsey and a senior from the International Labor Organization. The panel explored how to match skills versus needs between the public and private sectors. We touched on several topics including incentives to vocational training, university standards, teaching quality and even the list of skills that are top-of-mind for employers.
I’m typically a bit cynical about conferences such as these. The reason? Sometimes I find them filled with talking heads having theoretical conversations over fancy dinners… with little actually being accomplished. WISE is different. Firstly, it is personally sponsored by Her Highness Sheikha Mozza, who kicks off the conference and oversees every aspect of it. Furthermore, WISE is well attended. Attendees join from the United Nations, Fortune 500 companies, academia, NGOs, foundations and many more. And perhaps most importantly, the company is remarkable. Countless participants have accomplished milestones in some of the most desperate and difficult places in the world. Not just hope, but they’ve equipped young people with real skills so they can become productive members of the workforce in both the poorest and most developed nations worldwide. Now, that’s impressive.
I believe education is the #1 issue for our generation. It’s at the root of virtually every other issue that exists. However you think about education – by opening minds, developing skills, or simply making people think – it is something that spans all countries, all markets and all sectors of society. It’s as real an issue for GE as it is for any other group or organization in the world.
So, what do you think about education?
Click here to find out more about education across the region.
Khozema Shipchandler is the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for GE Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.