Dubai UAE & Busan South Korea

Last week I was fortunate enough to visit GESS Dubai (a wonderful conference) and the Citizens School in Dubai. I already wrote a blog about the start of this week. You can find it here. In this blog, I want to give you a brief summary of the rest of the week (10 days actually).

Let’s start with an interview by Danny Mesmar and his team from GESS. I believe they have done a great job editing this because it sums up quite nicely what I stand for (it’s about a learning society, not just about schools):

After watching this interview, I thought about a slide that I didn’t use in Dubai:

For me, this slide stands for being a learning community. Not telling the school that they are responsible for learning. We have to do this together. If we want to educate kids for their future in our or their companies, we have to invite them into our companies at a young age. To get to know us, to see possible personal future goals. We not only need to do this to turn them into workers. We also need to do this because if they leave their home environment, we don’t have anyone left to raise our village in the future. For me, it’s all about strong connections between people.

On Tuesday, I also met a very like-minded person. We were fortunate enough to spend a full Wednesday evening together. Thanks to GESS, they positioned us at the same table during the Award diner, which was great. I could write about Gavin McCornack (co-funder of, but GESS also did a great interview with him that everybody should hear!

“Now you know X. What are you going to do with it to make the world a better place?”

I’ve had a look at, and it really gives you great courses, projects or whatever you want to call it. And of course, they are all related to the sustainable development goals.

Do you feel like you could use a Gavin in your local classroom?

Do you want to work on the sustainable development goals? This is possible! Have a look at this video about a course which will be available soon on : BE THE CHANGE!

Personally, I would only add one line in the video above. Gavin says, “If they fail, that is okay. Because they will get back up and try again.” I would add. “because, they know that every iteration will improve the end result.” I hope we can ban the word fail from the classroom. Personal growth is about having a plan and having the guts to try it, reflect on it, improve it, and try again. It’s an iteration!

After my exciting time in Dubai, I went to Busan in South Korea for the Korea Google for Education Summit hosted by Appsevents. I visited the International School of Busan. There I could work with a lot of great teachers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I must say that when I looked at some of the teachers during my opening speech, I could see “He is nuts. This can’t be possible” in their eyes. But before the end of the speech they were exited. And after multiple workshop sessions, during the weekend, these teachers felt compelled to improve what they were doing with their students the Monday after the event!

I’d love to hear how that turned out!

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