Yidan Prize Summit 2017: Agenda

The summit, hosted by Charles Chen Yidan, founder of Yidan Prize and core founder of tech giant Tencent, offers delegates the opportunity to meet the world’s most influential thought leaders in the field of education, to identify and shape solutions to the biggest educational challenges faced by the world today. Through a series of interactive roundtables, debates, LIVE LAB and keynote addresses, the Summit will address issues that define the future of education, including ways to implement innovative learning, close the skills gap in an automated world, investing in educational work that bridges us to a world that has yet to emerge and the critical question of how to achieve education for all by 2030. At the Summit, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) will drive an in-depth discussion around Worldwide Educating for the Future Index, a global study on education across 35 economies, commissioned by the Yidan Prize Foundation.




8:15 – 8:30

Founder, the Yidan Prize



 8:30 – 9:00

Chancellor, Asian University for Women; Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women
Education is a fundamental driver of personal, national and global development. Public investments in education improve the level, quantity, and quality of human capital thus contributing to economic growth. Despite that what we are currently observing is the trend toward shrinking education funding in many major economies. Given continued high investment in the military and heavy industry it seems like endless and pointless war became top priority for many governments, while the education field is being neglected.
How could we make governments reconsider the value of education? Taking up this challenging task Cherie Blair Foundation for Women raises awareness to such issues as technological literacy and access to education bringing it to the attention of those who have the resources to make changes.


9:00 – 9:30

Founded with a mission to create a better world through education Yidan Prize serves to establish a platform that allows the global community to engage in conversation around education.
In this dialogue the first-ever selected Yidan Prize laureates will be presenting their game-changing concepts that have been implemented across various countries and literally transformed education systems. Ms. Vicky Colbert will talk on Escuela Nueva model which promotes cooperative learning and cross-peer tutoring and provides high quality schooling for rural areas reaching 7 million children across the globe. Ms. Carol Dweck will explain the differences between the fixed mindset, the belief that one’s abilities were predetermined at birth, and growth mindset, the belief that one’s could be cultivated through effort and perseverance, and unveil what is the key element to motivate people and improve their performance.
Founder, Fundacion Escuela Nueva
Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology, Stanford University
Moderated by
Deputy CEO, Mikhailov & Partners; former correspondent for Bloomberg News TV and bureau-chief for CTV Canada in Moscow




9:30 – 10:00

At present education is in the midst of transformation. While technology such as MOOCs and adaptive learning has broadened access to education in ways previously thought impossible, the world is far from reaching universal education. In many countries, lack of access to education, poor learning environment and insufficient resources remain very real challenges for many. One of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG4) is to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” by 2030. Is it a mission possible?
Another challenge is to secure safe access to education for all in the situation of war. In the past, no one thought that education would be a humanitarian need, however, nowadays, access to education is critical to a great number of children in various regions. ICRC is trying to maintain the basic of humanity dignity and the possibility for the children in war zone to continue their development.
This session sets the stage for a candid conversation between representatives from the international institutions and non-governmental organizations, critically examining the challenges and limitations while exploring solutions.
Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO
Founder, Room to Read
Director-General, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
Moderated by
Public Policy Editor, The Economist


 10:00 – 10:30


 10:30 – 11:00

President, Tencent Holdings


Moderated by
Presenter of “Money Talk”, RTHK Radio 3


In this session, moderator will ask about Tencent’s investment appetite for global education business, how technology can be integrated into classroom and the chief’s take on the future of skills required to stay competitive in the labour market. We are going to discuss the Chinese conglomerate’s wide success in integrating technology into classroom through WeChat – country’s top social media platform.


 11:00 – 11:45

Transforming education to meet the needs of the future requires significant financial investment that remains unavailable to many countries, institutions and schools around the world. This is where investors with a vision, an eye for far-reaching opportunities and a healthy level of risk appetite come in.
In this roundtable discussion, we curate a dialogue that taps into the brains of educational investors and educators.
Managing Partner, Rethink Education
Partner and Founder, EdTech Fund
Partner, Lightbox
Founder & General Partner, KK Fund


Moderated by
Head of China and APAC, Startup Grind


 11:45 – 12:30


 12:30 – 12:45

Editor, The Economist Intelligence Unit
The Yidan Prize Foundation commissioned the EIU to conduct a groundbreaking index that compares the commitment of 35 economies to develop and promote education that will ensure youth are equipped with skills to meet the socio-economic demands of tomorrow. The world’s first ever comprehensive benchmarking tool focuses on inputs to education systems, as opposed to outputs such as test scores.
Evaluating how developed and developing economies representing 88% of global GDP and 77% of global population are preparing the next generation to acquire the skills needed for an uncertain and volatile future, the index creates a blueprint for governments to improve.
The session will outline the key findings of the index presented by the Editor of the Economist Intelligence Unit


 12:45 – 13:05

Deputy Minister of Education of Ontario, Canada
Moderated by
Editor, The Economist Intelligence Unit
Over the past few years Canada has climbed into the top tier of international rankings. The recent PISA Collaborative Problem Solving report ranks Canada 5th out of 56 participants, while The Worldwide Educating for the Future Index, which assessed 35 economies on how they prepare the next generation to acquire the skills needed for the future, placed Canada 2nd in the ranking.
The case of Canada is unique as education falls entirely under provincial jurisdiction, with no federal government department or agency involved in the formation of national education policy. Ontario’s education system, consisting of nearly 5,000 schools, 120,000 teachers, and 2.2 million students, is among the highest-performing in the country. The province’s renewed vision for education ensures that all students develop the knowledge and skills to become professionally successful and economically productive citizens. Ontario’s graduates are thus well-prepared to enter a world that is more competitive, globally connected and technologically engaged than ever before.
So how has Canada overtaken so many other countries in education? How to explain the success of Ontario’s education system, which tops other systems within the country and prepares students for successful future in the labor market?


 13:05 – 13:15

Minister of Education, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia’s investments for education account for 8.8 percent of the country’s GDP which is the highest rate in the world. The country’s investment in education sets the groundwork for future homegrown talent and supports next generations.
Last year the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced Vision 2030 – an ambitious strategic plan, intended to transform the country’s economy. One of the pillars of Vision 2030 is the focus on the development of “skills”, needed in a knowledge-based economy – where more emphasis is placed on the talents of individuals rather than on natural resources. To reduce the reliance on oil income the Saudi Arabian Government is establishing over 150 vocational training centers to create over 3 million jobs. As such, the National Center for e-Learning and Distance Learning is among the latest initiatives of the country. Moreover, to help assess the knowledge, there is the Saudi Digital Library (SDL) established which is considered to be the largest collection of academic information resources in the Arab world.
How did the Saudi Arabian education system achieve such a tremendous progress and what are going to be the country’s next innovative projects in the transition to a knowledge-based economy?


 13:15 – 14:15

In the 21st century, education is not only about how knowledge is acquired and applied, but also how shifts and breakthroughs can manifest in our roles and relationships within the economy. At last year’s World Economic Forum, global experts predicted that we are now facing the fourth industrial revolution. The modern era is defined by human-machine interdependence – a fusion of technology that blurs the lines between the digital, physical and biological spheres. The younger generation is at risk of facing a marketplace that will confront them with a skills gap worse than any generation has previously encountered.
With the speakers coming from varied backgrounds that range from business to academia, this multi-stakeholder panel session will seek to answer a multitude of questions highly relevant not only to educators and future graduates, but the prosperity of mankind as a whole.
Minister of Education, Saudi Arabia
Senior Director, Education, World Bank Group
Co-Founder, Director, University Ventures
Professor of the Practice in International Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Senior Policy Analyst/ Project Manager of the OECD Education and Skills 2030, Early Childhood and School Division, Directorate for Education and Skills, OECD
Moderated by
Chief Education and External Officer, Tes Global Ltd




 14:15 – 14:45


 14:45 – 15:45

Technology is changing the way we live in the speed of light. Never in human history has our lives changed in fundamental ways within such short time spans. While technology enables innovation, it does not promise progress per se. An OECD study has shown that students who used computers more at school received lower test scores. But what remains unclear is how teachers can harness technology to facilitate better learning outcomes.
The session will start with a general vision on the global EdTech trends featuring the case of Microsoft empowering students of today to create the world of tomorrow. In the following Live Lab session founders of leading Ed-Tech startups will present their latest projects and a select group of teachers and students will evaluate these technologies and their practical use for the learning process.
VP of Worldwide Education, Microsoft
CEO, Edx
Founder and Director, OpenStax
CEO, CodeMonkey
Co-Founder & CEO, Flocabulary
Moderated by
Columnist, The Wall Street Journal


 15:45 – 16:00

Chief Executive Officer, Yidan Prize Foundation