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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

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Qatar Foundation at the 2020 Global Goals Week

We’re joining forces with partners from around the world to put together a series of events in September 2020 during and around the United Nations’ Global Goals Week.



The UN’s Global Goals Week presents a great opportunity for all of us to unite us as one voice, exchange ideas, and present transformative solutions for our world’s most pressing challenges.

Despite social distancing and travel restrictions, we’re inviting the world to join us virtually to cultivate ideas, come up with solutions, and build strong partnerships that will solve a range of complex global challenges.

This year’s theme


Inspired by the stark realities of 2020 and the problems affecting us all, our theme for this year is ‘Global Challenges, Local Solutions.’

Over the course of a week, each of our distinguished speakers will collectively try to answer one overarching question: how can we foster more globally inspired, locally customized innovations to address the challenges we’ve all been experiencing in 2020?

Speakers from around the world will be joining us in panel discussions that seek to explore five key areas:

  1. Precision Medicine
  2. Social Progress
  3. Disruptive Education
  4. Sustainability
  5. Artificial Intelligence

Global Cooperation


New Institutions for a New Era?

In light of the current pandemic, we need global cooperation more than ever. Do our global institutions need to be reformed—or completely rebuilt?

As we stand at the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, Doha Debates looks even further ahead: Will our global institutions continue to serve us or is now the time to rebuild institutions that are more inclusive, more gender-balanced, and more representative?

Three guests will debate the future of worldwide governance on 20 September 2020, with live digital voting and audience participation. Mark your calendar and join the debate now @DohaDebates with the hashtag #DearWorld.


COVID-19 and Education


COVID-19 and Education: The largest disruption in the history of education

COVID-19 is no longer just a health crisis. It has led to nationwide school closures in more than 100 countries, impacting over 860 million children and youth. The pandemic is also leading to global questioning and distrust in state institutions, specifically the educational ones, as never before has education been disrupted at this scale. This crisis should serve as a catalyst to support transformative changes in education and a greater shared sense of global responsibility.

To be held at the margins of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), this panel will consider the community of nations’ collective response to the pandemic and its associated financial, economic, and social repercussions worldwide. With the goal of improved responses to future crises, especially by global and regional institutions, it will seek answers to difficult questions, such as:

(i) Is the ongoing pandemic an opportunity to rethink and revitalize our global education model?

(ii) Rigid curriculum and exams are all a byproduct of convenience and the scaling of education. With the pandemic, education has become more flexible and more inconvenient at the same time. Are leaders in education ready to embrace this change?

(iii) How can COVID-19 trigger a more effective and meaningful mindset shift in the way we approach education in our communities?

(iv) How can we regain the trust and decrease the gap of expectations between communities and educational institutions?


Multilateralism in Crisis


Is Multilateralism in Crisis?

QatarDebate is hosting a virtual debate on the efficacy and challenges to multilateralism, in the context of recent world events, such as a global pandemic. A group of talented university debaters will exchange arguments on whether multilateralism has been a success, or a failed experiment?

Join us as we find the inspiration for new ideas, solutions, and partnerships that will fuel our determination towards addressing the wide range of complex global problems facing humanity.


Educate to Eradicate Extremism


Educate to Eradicate: Extremism, what’s next post COVID-19?

The pandemic has come with an imminent threat to global economies and hence, societal peace, a fertile ground for desperation and extremism. The role of education is perhaps more crucial than ever to keep such developments at bay. What needs to be done?


Education Disrupted, Education Reimagined


Launch of Special Edition E-Book: Education Disrupted, Education Reimagined

Written over the course of the first five months of the COVID-19 pandemic, WISE’s Special Edition E-Book, Education Disrupted, Education Reimagined: Thoughts and Responses from Education’s Frontline During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond  tells the education story during the COVID-19 crisis in real time. It spans over 40 articles and essays written by key stakeholders on education’s frontline during the crisis, including from schools, NGOs, governments, and international organizations.

Join us for the launch of this first ever anthology documenting stories from around the globe of delivering education during this unprecedented time in history and hear from six of our authors speak in a panel discussion about the future of education in a post-COVID-19 world. The discussion will include representatives from BRAC, UNHCR, the Ministry of Education of Sierra Leone, the OECD, and AtentaMente.

WISE Speakers and Moderators

Panel Speakers

Artificial Intelligence and COVID-19


Calculating the Cure: AI and COVID-19

A discussion on how to use AI and bioinformatics to find candidate drugs for repurposing to meet the challenges of COVID-19. Identifying existing drugs currently on the market to treat a variety of conditions that could also be used to treat COVID-19 offers an opportunity to quickly meet an urgent need, since existing drugs have already completed extensive trials and are available in the market.

Quickly knowing which drugs could be effective in the fight against COVID-19, and what side effects could be expected, is vital, but the number of drugs on the market is vast. This discussion examines the role AI and bioinformatics can play in finding rapid solutions to a rapidly spreading healthcare crisis.


Environment and K-12 Students


Glocalizing Education for a Sustainable Future

Sustainability is a key focus area for QF and QF aims to develop and advocate best practices for environmental sustainability nationally. Aligned to this, our pre-university programs have several strategic initiatives for graduating students who are aware of the UN environmental global goals and can take action to progress towards these goals in the local community.

The discussion will focus on:

(i) How can K-12 students learn more about the connection of the Global Goals to the local context?

(ii) How can we empower students and youth to take concrete action towards the Global Goals in their local communities?