Salzburg Global Fellows Selected for WISE Emerging Leaders Program

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Apr 01, 2021
by Salzburg Global Seminar
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Salzburg Global Fellows Selected for WISE Emerging Leaders Program

Andrea Fahed and Wairimu Mwangi among 23 leaders chosen for 2021 cohort Andrea Fahed (left) and Wairimu Mwangi (right)

Following a “very competitive” application process, two Salzburg Global Fellows have been selected to join the 2021 WISE Emerging Leaders cohort.

Andrea Fahed, project manager at Lebanese Alternative Learning, and Wairimu Mwangi, founder and CEO of the Literature Africa Foundation, will join 21 other leaders from 12 countries for this year’s program.

Over the next 12 months, Fahed and Mwangi will participate in a series of collaborative and interactive modules on topics including ethical leadership and social innovation.

The program aims to cultivate the next generation of systems leaders in education with the tools, skills, community, and mindset required to transform their communities and change systems.

WISE hopes to empower a generation of education development leaders through combining knowledge with practical experience. The program is built on the conviction that empowering and mentoring young talent in education is integral to supporting and elevating innovation in education.

In addition to completing three residential training sessions (two virtual and, depending on the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, one in person) provided by WISE, fellows will contribute to their organizations by applying their new skills to a project developed in partnership with Salzburg Global.

Fahed first attended a Salzburg Global program in 2019, taking part in Education and Workforce Opportunities for Refugees and Migrants. In her role at Lebanese Alternative Learning, she helps develop free digital support programs and access solutions for underserved communities.

Her project will focus on putting field workers at the core of the process and is developed in response to Fahed’s experience that many projects created by professionals working behind their desks are imposed on field workers. Often those projects do not meet the specific needs of the beneficiaries and impose more stress on field workers. Many times, they are not culturally adapted.

The project will focus on finding ways for teachers/field workers to help design solutions in future project proposals. As the project develops, Salzburg Global will work with Fahed on a 2022 program around teacher-centered innovation.

At the Literature Africa Foundation, Mwangi helps provide access to education and economic empowerment opportunities to vulnerable young people living in rural areas and informal urban settlements of Kenya. This mission is achieved through academic and literacy support, skills training, and mentorship.

For her project, Mwangi will work with teenage mothers and young girls in community high schools in Kilifi County, Kenya. The Girls Sexual Reproductive Health & Education and Empowerment Project will promote a more inclusive environment for girls to access quality education by equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed to safeguard their health and dignity.

Mwangi participated in the Cultural Innovators Forum (CIF) in 2020 and is a member of the Nairobi CIF Hub. Salzburg Global will support Mwangi to organize a girls’ summit towards the end of the project, which will share best practices from the project to an invited audience of Salzburg Global Fellows from non-profit, governmental, and educational institutions working on similar issues globally.

This is not the first connection between the WISE Emerging Leaders and Salzburg Global. Faye Hobson, a program manager at Salzburg Global, is a 2020 Emerging Leaders cohort member. Commenting on Fahed and Mwangi’s inclusion in the 2021 cohort, Hobson said, “We are delighted to have been able to support the nomination of these two outstanding Salzburg Global Fellows to the WISE Emerging Leaders program. They will have access to a supportive peer group, mentoring masterclasses from members of the WISE global network, and an opportunity to explore how their work links to systems change.”

Dominic Regester, Salzburg Global’s program director responsible for education programs, said, “Salzburg Global Seminar and the WISE (World Innovation Summit in Education) have been working together on a number of initiatives since 2019. Salzburg Global was a knowledge partner at the Doha Summit in November 2019 and the two organizations co-organized the Education Disrupted, Education Reimagined online conference series that started in March 2020.

“Almost 4,000 people participated in the different convenings in the series and the e-book published in September 2020 has been downloaded more than 19,000 times. Salzburg Global is also very proud to co-convene the WISE Agile Leaders of Learning Innovation Network (ALL-IN) and to act as the Advocacy Lead. We are delighted that this partnership is further strengthened by the selection of two Fellows in the 2021 cohort of the WISE Emerging Leaders and would like to offer many congratulations to Andrea Fahed and Wairimu Mwangi, who came through a very competitive application process.”