New Book from GU-Q, QF Alumna and WISE CEO Brings the Future of Education to Life

Jan 30, 2020

New technologies are changing our world at a staggering pace, and promise even greater changes as innovative solutions are sought to address global challenges. In a newly released book titled “Ed Futures: A Collection of Short Stories on the Future of Education,” co-authors Stavros Yiannouka, the CEO of The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), Deena Newaz, a graduate of Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q), and Vesta Gheibi, a Digital and Communications specialist at WISE, explore the role of these emerging educational technologies in an imagined future, bringing to life the possibilities and potential pitfalls of edtech through science fiction.

In the book, the reader is invited to enter a futuristic world where genetic engineering has created super students, computer systems are interfaced with the human brain, and artificial intelligence has made education accessible in new, and often complex ways. While these ideas may sound far-fetched, explains Deena, who contributed to the book while a program officer with WISE, they aren’t as impossible as they may seem. “A big part of the work we do at WISE is identifying and landscaping innovative technologies that can transform education. So we based our exploration of the future on the technologies we are already seeing in development and its impact on human relationships.”

The authors project an imagined future to look at the impact of new technologies, but that doesn’t mean the future is already written, says co-author Stavros Yiannouka. “In the book, we don’t confirm whether a technological innovation is good or bad. Instead, we focused on the advantages and disadvantages. The final outcome will require everyone’s involvement, from students, to educators, to policymakers.” As the CEO of WISE, Yiannouka actively engages with decision-makers around the world to encourage best practices in education systems that promote equity and a more inclusive future.

The goal of writing a book about the future of education through fiction, explains Deena, was to make the conversation on edtech more accessible to all audiences, not only education specialists. “The truth is that we don't know what the future holds. Speculative fiction presents a risk-free way to forecast what that future might look like, so we can try and work towards the future that we want.”

Deena first used speculative fiction as a way to explore the politics of voicing women’s war-time experiences in her honors thesis while a Culture and Politics major at GU-Q. “I have always been interested in how fiction can enable women to voice their trauma in an ethical way, and serve as a powerful medium for sharing multiple truths.”  Following graduation, she managed youth development programs at WISE and designed content for three global forums, and she is currently completing a Masters in Education and International Development at the University of Cambridge.

The book, which is now available on Amazon, had a pre-launch at an event held in San Jose, California, at a closed roundtable gathering of specialists who work at the intersection of technology, education, creative writing, and film.

About Georgetown University in Qatar

Established in 1789 in Washington, DC, Georgetown University is one of the world’s leading academic and research institutions. Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q), founded in 2005 in partnership with Qatar Foundation, seeks to build upon the world-class reputation of the university through education, research, and service. Inspired by the university’s mission of promoting intellectual, ethical, and spiritual understanding, GU-Q aims to advance knowledge and provide students and the community with a holistic educational experience that produces global citizens committed to the service of humankind.

Located in Doha’s Education City, GU-Q offers the same internationally recognized Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree as Georgetown’s Capitol Campus in Washington, DC. This unique, interdisciplinary program prepares students to tackle the most important and pressing global issues by helping them develop critical thinking, analytic, and communication skills within an international context. GU-Q alumni work in leading local and international organizations across industries ranging from finance to energy, education, and media. The Qatar campus also serves as a residency and delivery location for the Executive Master’s in Emergency and Disaster Management along with the Executive Master’s in Leadership.

For more information please contact the Office of Communications +974 445 78100.