Education Without Borders 2009 was held in Dubai in March 2009 which brought together 1000 delegates from over 120 countries and featured key note address from Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former President of India and Sir John Rose, CEO, Rolls Royce, was acclaimed a great success.
The vision of the conference was to: engage students and experts from countries around the world in active dialogue about the globe’s most pressing social challenges and empower them to create and implement solutions. The vision was realized with the attendance of over 1000 students from nearly 120 nations.
A key feature of all Education Without Borders conferences has been the inspirational speakers, giving students a unique opportunity to share their ideas and interact with internationally-renowned experts and world leaders. HE Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan set the scene for the conference when he examined the common concerns of our world – world peace, economic viability, environmental sustainability and education: challenges which were to be discussed through the three days of the conference.
Dr A P J Abdul Kalam provided an inspiring address, providing challenges for the students and discussing a united ignited mind. And Sir John Rose delivered a topical address, looking at the world of manufacturing in the context of the global financial crisis.
The conference also included a series of lectures, entitled “inspiring by example,” where leaders from the world of music, science and education discussed their challenges and how they overcame them, describing the pervading theme that they should not give up! Coping with hardship, such as Hurricane Katrina, failure, such as failing an audition, or the seemingly insurmountable challenges of malaria were discussed and it was clear that success is achieved only by standing up and facing these challenges.
The student papers which provided the cornerstone of the conference focused on solving some of the world’s most pressing challenges with the theme “Innovative solutions to global challenges”. The papers were written to six sub-themes for the conference: Harnessing technology for a better world, A sustainable future for our planet, The future of energy on earth, The role of education in meeting global challenges, and Cultural exchange for peace tolerance and understanding. The papers and abstracts presented in this volume exhibit a remarkable range of insight and innovation, such as Irina Pleva’s excellent paper concerning how to fit the human economy within the economy of nature, Ayesha Al Ateeqi’s insights on the UAE education system and Joyce Meng’s ideas on micro-philanthropy and her website, Givology.
The Education Without Borders concept involves students getting together to form networks, exchange ideas and encourage each other and EWB2009 did just that. EWB2009 gave birth to business ideas, firm friendships, and sense of optimism knowing that the future of the world is in the hands of such dedicated and talented students.