My Journal



Episode 17: Stavros Yiannouka: ‘The CEO’

Aldo speaks to Stavros Yiannouka, the CEO of the World Innovation Summit for Education about the past, present and future of this unique global platform.

Every other year the beautiful, cosmopolitan city of Doha opens its doors to those who shake and make Education in this world. From all over the globe people fly in to discuss the latest innovative developments, bright ideas & best practices to improve the process of teaching and learning – every step of the way. Policy makers, scientists, entrepreneurs, writers, teachers and most importantly students join together to exchange their thoughts on how we can collectively move forward with Education in its core.
The World Innovation Summit for Education, hosted by the Qatar Foundation  under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Sheikha Mozha Bint Nasser is a fully immersive experience that one is not soon to forget.
This summit really allows relevant stakeholders & enthusiasts to interact through a series of thoughtful workshops, lunch-ons, fireside chats, panel discussions and lectures that dive deep into the educational problems at hand, while at the same it has also managed to attract a lot of star power, enjoying the presence & speakership of many members of Royal Houses, Heads of State and incredibly impressive people like CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, Michelle Obama and even Shakira.
The ‘Piece de resistance’ of this bi-annual summit is the WISE Prize, an award of $500,000 given to people who have dedicated their life to positively changing this world through education. The summit always allows me to recharge my batteries and when stepping back on a plane, homeward to the UK, I am fully inspired, ready to take on the challenges that teachers all over the world have to cope with.
WISE its objective is to connect innovators in such a way that they are encouraged to collaborate so together they can realise educational transformations where needed.  And the summit is just the mere beginning of all of this. The WISE Accelerator, The WISE Awards, The WISE Emerging Leaders Program, A WISE Words Podcast…the list goes on and on.
The mastermind behind WISE in its most recent form is CEO, Stavros N. Yiannouka who with his warm and personable approach makes sure this event as well as all the many other ongoing activities of the platform are a success.
Before joining WISE in 2012, Stavros was the Executive Vice-Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKY School) at the National University of Singapore, a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company and practiced corporate law for a variety of law firms in London.
In a 2020 Forbes article Stavros rightly so expressed his concerns over the effects of the pandemic on education, urging all those involved to look beyond tomorrow:
“Education needed fundamental change before COVID-19, and it needs it even more now. It’s still within our power to make it happen. But if we don’t look beyond simply being resilient, we’ll certainly never get there.”