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22 November 2019

WISE Summit 2019 offers platform for recommendations to G20 leaders

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Delegates suggested ideas to G20 representatives on how the spirit of entrepreneurship can support education

Students, thought-leaders, policy advisors, and educators met on the second day of the WISE Summit 2019 to suggest ideas to official representatives from the G20 – the international forum for governments and central banks from 19 countries and the European Union – on how education can benefit from entrepreneurship.

In the G20: Entrepreneurship Education session, participants discussed ways of improve practices in teaching entrepreneurship. The solutions they proposed to expand entrepreneurship education will support policy recommendations to be made to the G20 leaders.

“The objective of this roundtable is to foster education,” said Winston Chan, Member, G20, Business 20, Taskforce on Employment, Education, and Entrepreneurship, who moderated the session.

“G20 nations gather every year, and this year the summit took place in Japan where G20 nations recognized that entrepreneurship is critical to address economic downturns.”

The inclusion of entrepreneurship within school curricula was the most common suggestion, with a delegate from Zimbabwe telling the discussion that holding talks within schools about the journey that entrepreneurs take will “encourage and inspire students to become part of an entrepreneurial society.
A representative from South Africa also said that education systems can “use and leverage the values of entrepreneurship” by embedding them within school curricula, as it will teach skills critical for the 21st Century.

Another theme that steered the discussions was the need for social, moral and emotional elements to be part of the essence of entrepreneurship. The roundtable was told by a delegate from Qatar’s Ministry of Education and Higher Education that cultivating entrepreneurial mindsets involves understanding “what the future looks like”, with students being encouraged to think about how they can contribute to identifying solutions in fields such as water security.

And Dr M. Evren Tok, Assistant Dean for Innovation and Community Advancement, and Program Coordinator for the Islam and Global Affairs Program at Qatar Foundation member Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s College of Islamic Studies, said: “We need to ask how entrepreneurship is supporting the social and cultural fabric of our societies.

“I believe entrepreneurship is not moral at the moment, and that element needs to be introduced. We need to have more green-based entrepreneurship; and more faith-based and moral and ethics-based entrepreneurship.”

The importance of offering psychological and emotional support to students “to give them the confidence to follow through their idea’ was voiced by a Puerto Rico delegate, while the topic of social entrepreneurship was highlighted by Moiz Lakhani, a member of the 2019-2020 cohort of the WISE Learners’ Voice program.

“Social entrepreneurship should be encouraged,” he said. “Those below the age of 18 often don’t have the skills in technology to do something big in AI or blockchain technology. These young people are really passionate to make a difference, and so social entrepreneurship is very important.”

At the end of session, participants were asked to consider whether entrepreneurs are highly-regarded within their countries, and how they can help to “change society’s perception” by promoting them as role models.

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