GESF Live Blog | Day 1 | 17 March

17 mar. 2018 |

GESF MISC Graphics 5

The Global Education & Skills Forum is taking place in Dubai, UAE from 16-18 March 2018. The theme this year? How do we prepare young people for the world of 2030 and beyond? 

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The Live Blog is now closed. We’ll be back again tomorrow. 

An evening soiree

That’s the end of today’s sessions, and the start of this evening’s cultural soiree.

Nasimi Beach will be alight with entertainment, food and socialising.

18:59, 17 March 2018

The launch of ‘Teaching in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Standing at the precipice’

The authors of the Teaching in the Fourth Industrial Revolution book have presented a signed copy to Sunny Varkey.


17:45, 17 March 2018

Spotlight with Julia Gillard

Julia Gillard has joined us to look at the challenge of financing education for every child.

The former Prime Minister of Australia and now Chair of the Board of Directors, Global Partnership for Education, she’s poised to offer a unique perspective on the globe’s major education issues.

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16:48, 17 March 2018

Priyanka Chopra’s warning to GESF

Actor, activist and producer Priyanka Chopra has told the Global Education & Skills Forum about the desperate need to educate a whole generation of Syrian children.

16:27, 17 March 2018

Coffee House: RedOne

You might not have ever heard of Nadir Khayat, but you’ve almost certainly heard of RedOne – and heard his music.

He’s collaborated with musicians from Justin Bieber to Nicole Scherzinger to create some seriously successful songs. But, he’s also a passionate supporter of young people – and creating opportunities for them.

The 2101 Foundation, that he created, is committed to helping disadvantaged youth using music, arts and education to inspire them.

15:36, 17 March 2018

GESF goes live again

Our second GESF Live! of the day features a former cricketer, a professor of history and art history,  the former Prime Minister of Australia and Charlize Theron. 

Join Wasim Akram, Simon Schama,  Julia Gillard and Charlize Theron with Rory Bremner as they discuss education and the world of 2030.

The queue to get in shows just how popular this new format has quickly become.

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15:44, 17 March 2018

Coffee House: Charlize Theron

Oscar-winning actress and activist Charlize Theron is taking her turn in our Coffee House with Vikas Pota. She’s a UN Peace Ambassador and worked tirelessly in the fight against HIV/AIDs.

The discussion includes gun control, her education and the vital importance of valuing teachers.


14:45, 17 March 2018

An emotional moment from this morning

Liza Donnelly captured a remarkable moment in this morning’s plenary, as the audience observed a moment’s silence for the victims of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.


13:48, 17 March 2018

Spotlight: Ms Eleni Antoniadou

Ms Eleni Antoniadou, President of the European Health Parliament, is talking on the power of disruptive innovation. From artificial organs to 3D printing, several technologies are the brink of becoming widespread.

13:36, 17 March 2018

Coffee House: Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1 World Champion joins Varkey Foundation CEO Vikas Pota in our Coffee House. They’re taking about what it takes to be a champion and the power of sport to inspire.

You can watch it live on our YouTube channel. 


Rodrigo Hübner Mendes, who last year become the first man to drive a Formula 1 car with his mind, challenges Lewis Hamilton to mind-control race.

13:40, 17 March 2018 

GESF Live! is live

Our very first GESF Live! is now live from Dubai. Comedian Rory Bremner is joined by an all-star cast.

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12:07, 17 March 2018

Teachers can save the world

Hanan Al Hroub, 2016 Global Teacher Prize Winner, was impressed with Simon Schama’s message to the Global Education & Skills Forum this morning.

11:32, 17 March 2018  

A powerful message from Parkland survivors

Paper.Dubai.28 11:29, 17 March 2018    

Coffee House: Nicholas Hoult, Taron Egerton, Gina Torres and Sarah Rafferty

Is there an actor in the house? Four, actually. Join us now as Hollywood stars Nick Hoult, Taron Egerton, Gina Torres and Sarah Rafferty discuss their lives, work and commitment to education.


Mina Al-Oraibi (@AlOraibi) 17 March 2018

Opening plenary

Mohamed Sidibay delivers the opening address. He speaks with emotion and passion about his early life in Sierra Leone, where he was trained to be a soldier: “My toys had been changed for an AK47,” he says.

Henry Hepburn (@Henry_Hepburn) 17 March 2018

He calls for investment and funding for global education. If we deny children, anywhere in the world, education, that means by 2030 we will live in a very unstable world. “I’m not asking you to change the world, I’m asking you to do what needs to be done,” he says. The future is grim if we don’t do what needs to be done, he explains. 

Tes (@tes) 17 March 2018

Vikas Pota, CEO of the Varkey Foundation, outlines his hopes for the conference, looks ahead to some of the sessions, and calls for a standing ovation for the Global Teacher Prize Top 50 Finalists.


Oliver Smith (@OliverSmithEU) 17 March 2018

Mr Pota calls on an expert group to take the stage, and discuss the future of education and the world of 2030. Priyanka Chopra, Julia Gillard, Matthew Opoku Prempeh and Sunny Varkey offer their opinions on how education can create a stable and sustainable future.

Neil Parekh #smwknd (@neilparekh) 17 March 2018

His Excellency Tariq Al Gurg, CEO of Dubai Cares, is next to the stage. He highlights the challenge of teacher shortages, and the need for more qualified teachers to make universal education a reality. He also flags the need for investment in girls’ education.

Pooja Taparia (@poojataparia) 17 March 2018

Simon Schama delivers his keynote to the Global Education & Skills Forum, calling on the audience to ensure history informs our decisions for the future.

Peg Keiner (@PegKeiner) 17 March 2018

Jordan Shapiro (@jordosh) 17 March 2018

Three students from Stoneman Douglas High School take to the stage. They offer an extraordinary insight into the events of that awful day.

Fernando M. Reimers (@FernandoReimers) 17 March 2018


Jordan Shapiro (@jordosh) 17 March 2018

Join us here at 08:30 (04:30 GMT) for the opening session of this year’s Global Education & Skills Forum. We’ll tee up the conference with some important messages and inspiring stories.  We’ll also explore this year’s theme: How do we prepare young people for the world of 2030 and beyond?

You’ll be able to watch it live on our Facebook page and YouTube.

08:00, 17 March 2018