World Bank Group Youth Summit 2016: Rethinking Education for the New Millennium
November 14-15, 2016Preston Auditorium, World Bank Headquarters, Washington, DC

Youth are the main consumers and participants in education. Despite intimate knowledge of the successes and failures of modern education, youth rarely become architects, shapers, or producers of a system that is built on their behalf. The World Bank Group (WBG) Youth Summit 2016 will seek to bridge that gap, giving youth an active voice in creating the vision for the future of education.

Structure of the Youth Summit

The two-day Summit will be held on the 14-15 November 2016 in Washington DC and livestreamed globally. The 2016 Youth Summit will have three components:

Plenary: The Summit will open with a plenary session to connect youth representatives and speakers from the World Bank Group, the private sector, government and academia with the objective of engaging views, ideas and debate to rethink the future of education.

Workshops: Attendees will participate in workshops that delve into the Summit’s four subthemes, giving participants an opportunity to share ideas and experience and debate the future of education.

The subthemes are:

  • Innovation and Technology in Education;
  • Skills for the New Economy;
  • Gender Equality in Education;
  • Education in Crisis Zones.

Competition: On the second day of the Summit, the live final of the Youth Summit Competition ‘Rethinking Education: Innovative Ideas to Transform Education’ will take place. The competition finalists will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to the audience of attendees and an expert jury. To find out more about how to participate in the competition, visit our competition tab.

A full Summit agenda including speakers available here.


Register to Attend

Applications to attend in Washington DC are now closed. Thank you to everyone who applied, applicants will be contacted by October 30, 2016.

Given the scale of the event, neither the WBG Youth Summit, the World Bank Group or any of its affiliates can provide financial assistance to those attending. All travel and lodging costs are at the sole expense of the attendee.

If you can't attend in Washington DC, we encourage you to join us online via World Bank Live. Further details on online viewing will be posted closer to the event date.

You can also participate in the conversation on live here or on social media using the hashtag #wbgyouthsummit.

Please sign up to our mailing listing for the latest information on the WBG Youth Summit here


Rethinking education to ensure that young people – today and in the future – are well equipped to fully realize their potential and shape their own paths is one the most complex, pressing challenges of our time. Everybody has a role to play – but no one is better placed than young people themselves to identify the obstacles faced in education and find ways to overcome them.

The purpose of the Youth Summit Competition is to challenge young people to solve the problems that matter to them most by crafting their own solutions, so that they can build the future they want. In doing so, the competition also aims to inspire, create a dialogue on innovative ways to address education problems, and encourage entrepreneurship.

The 2016 Youth Summit Competition invited individuals or teams of 2-4 people aged 18 to 35, from all over the world, to submit innovative and action-oriented ideas on how to provide young people with a quality, inclusive and relevant education, adapted to the realities of the 21st century. The proposed solutions could be aimed at business or policy (e.g. product, service, program, policy, course, initiative etc.), but were required to relate to at least one of the subthemes of the Youth Summit 2016 (Innovation and Technology in Education, Skills for the New Economy, Gender Equality in Education, Education in Crisis Zones).

Between mid-August and September 2016 – the period during which the Competition was open for submissions -- more than 850 teams from over 100 countries submitted their proposals. After two rounds of reviews conducted by an Expert Committee – based on four judging criteriasix teams have been selected to attend the Youth Summit and present their idea during a ‘Pitch Contest’ that took place on November 15th, 2016. Three winning teams have been designated at the issue of the Contest (see below). In addition, all finalist teams have attended two training sessions – one focusing on fundraising offered by 1776, a global incubator and seed fund based in Washington DC, and the other one focusing on Monitoring and Evaluation, organized by World Bank Group experts.

Watch the Pitch Contest here.

Find more details on the Competition Rules in Regulations in the Competition Terms and Conditions.



Congratulations to all finalist teams for having been selected and for having presented their idea during the Pitch Contest!

Two winning teams have been selected by the Jury and one by the audience:

Jury’s Choice Winners


Team Members: Aline Sara, Reza Rahnema, Denise Maroney, and Sherif Kamal     

NaTakallam is a platform that connects displaced Syrians with Arabic learners through Arabic language sessions over Skype. NaTakallam gives learners access to affordable, flexible, and tailored training with native speakers, and provides an enriching work opportunity to displaced Syrians who, once resettled in a host country, struggle to join the workforce, due to language barriers or strict labor policies.  NaTakallam is currently partnering with universities as a complement to traditional Arabic/Middle Eastern studies, giving a human dimension to the refugee crisis and promoting a unique educational experience to students.

ROYA Mentorship Program

Team Members: Mohammad Asif Rasooly and Shoaib Mehryar

ROYA Mentorship Program is a comprehensive educational program in Afghanistan that enables children of impoverished families – girls in particular – to learn English and acquire computer literacy. Through this program, students have access to classes and computers/internet, are matched with local mentors who advise and encourage them, and also benefit from the financial support of sponsors who cover their tuition fees. ROYA Mentorship Program not only equips participants with the skills and motivation needed to pursue higher education, but also promotes ethnic harmony by building interethnic ties between mentors and students.



People’s Choice Winner


Team Members: Job Oyebisi, Adenike Adetoun, Tobi Oyedokun, and Deji Lawanson

StanLab is developing a 3D virtual laboratory that will provide practical science education to Nigerian students who do not have access to traditional laboratories. Equipped with motion sensing devices, StanLab will allow users to visualize and interact with 3D graphics – for instance, users will be able to rotate molecules and observe their constituting elements. StanLab will not only help students better understand science concepts and practice experiments – even in the absence of physical facilities – but also experience a more dynamic and collaborative approach to science education.

Read more about the winning teams here.




Team Member: Sandiso Sibisi

Khwela is developing a mobile platform that will help unemployed youth in South Africa. The application provides a comprehensive and accessible ecosystem offering career development education – covering steps needed to get ready for employment through nine interactive and practical modules. In addition, the platform connects young people in a structured and tailored manner with mentors, youth program service providers, and employers so that they can acquire the necessary resources, knowledge, and support to work their way towards gainful employment.


Team Members: Sulagna Datta, Leah Sebastian Zacharias, and Joel Modestus

InRoE proposes to create a platform which enables Indian students to afford quality education through a low-risk approach, by connecting them with investors and qualified skills providers. Investors will be able to invest in a ‘basket of students’ as an asset class, while students will have the opportunity to enroll in educational programs, without any upfront fee. They will pay back the funds only if they obtain a job and the amount will be proportional to their earnings. This scheme aims to create incentives and broaden access to education and equipping students with market-relevant skills.

School in School (Alohomora Education)

Team Members: Divakar Sankhla, Parinita Jain, and Aaditya Tiwari

School in School is a student-led ecosystem in India that empowers students to design their own learning path. Every week, a few hours are carved out from traditional curricula for a ‘School in School’ learning experience, whereby selected student leaders facilitate learning with other students. Through a process-based curriculum, students not only use online resources to independently learn new skills based on their interests, but also engage with their communities to develop and implement concrete solutions to real-life problems. In doing so, School in School democratizes learning and encourages students to take education in their own hands.



Thanks to a partnership between the World Bank Group Youth Summit and the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) – who sponsors the prize for the second year already –  and the generous support of the WBG Information and Technology Solutions, Global Telecom & Client Services , the captains of the two teams chosen by the Jury (NaTakallam and ROYA Mentorship Program) will have the opportunity to attend the 2017 ICSB Academy, which will take place on June 25th to July 1st 2017, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

The ICSB Academy provides students, young professionals and entrepreneurs with a full immersion experience in the making of a new entrepreneurial venture, while exposing them to the latest developments in entrepreneurship science under the mentorship of a global team of successful entrepreneurship experts (including entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, business experts, and faculty). This dynamic training program includes learning modules and other tools to help them identify entrepreneurial opportunities and create a new venture. Participants in each cohort are paired with mentors and given time throughout the program to gain insights and advice on their ideas, learn from mentors’ experiences, and network to expand their professional networks.

















Rethinking Education for the New Millennium

Preston Auditorium, World Bank Headquarters

14th-15th November 2016



Start (EST) End (EST) Content Location Description
8.00 9.30 Registration & breakfast Preston Glass Area  
9.30 10.00 Opening Ceremony Preston Auditorium Welcoming Remarks from Louise Baldwin and Mora Farhad (Co-Chairs)
World Development Report (WDR) Overview with Shwetlena Sabarwal and David Evans (Economists for the 2018 WDR on Education)
Master of Ceremonies: Roger Osorio (Entrepreneurship Program Leader at IBM and Facilitator at Startup Weekend Events) 
10.00 11.30 Education in Crisis Zones Preston Auditorium Youth as Agents of Change in Crisis Zones
- Maya Alkateb-Chami (Director of Jusoor)
- Mohammed Al-Samawi (Yemeni Refugee)
- Nina Weisenhorn (Education Technical Advisor at USAID)
Moderated by Saroj Kumar Jha (Senior Director, Fragility, Conflict and Violence Group at the World Bank)
11.30 13.00 Gender Equality in Education Preston Auditorium Barriers to Girls Education: Unpacking Assumptions and Addressing Biases
- Krishanti Vignarajah (Policy Director at The White House, Office of the First Lady)
- Giovanna Lauro (Deputy Director at Promundo US)
- Xanthe Ackerman (Journalist and Founder of Advancing Girls' Education in Africa)
- Katie Meyler (CEO of More Than Me)
Moderated by Oni Lusk-Stover (Senior Education Specialist, Education Global Practice at the World Bank)
13.00 14.00 Lunch break Preston Glass Area  Education and youth organisations to host information stands over lunch
14.00 15.15 Workshops    
    Education in Crisis Zones Preston Auditorium How to Achieve Social Change in Crisis Zones?
The workshop will focus on three elements: (1) empowering youth (2) changing our own society, and (3) advocating for structural change. In partnership with A World At School and Winning the Minds
    Gender Equality in Education Preston Overflow  How to Overcome Education Barriers for your Household?
Through family case studies, participants will address a variety of obstacles and challenges that many girls in developing countries face, and present and share ideas about how to overcome them. In partnership with Let Girls Learn, Peace Corps
15.15 15.45 Coffee break
15.45 17.15 Skills for the New Economy Preston Auditorium Building Skills for the Future
- John Moravec (Founder of Education Futures LLC)
- Brent Roberts (Professor at University of Illinois)
- Parminder K. Jassal (Founding Executive Director at ACT Foundation)
- Indhira Vanessa Santos (Senior Economist at the World Bank)
Moderated by Omar Arias (Global Skills Lead at the World Bank)
17.15 18.00 Closing discussion Preston Auditorium Takeaways to be shared from the plenary sessions and workshops
Moderated by Roger Osorio
Joined by Manjula Dissanaake (Founder of Educate Lanka Foundation)
Start (EST) End (EST) Content Room Description
9.00 9.30 Registration & breakfast Preston Glass Area  
9.30 12.00 Competition final Preston Auditorium Pitch Contest: Final Round of the Youth Summit 2016 Competition ‘Rethinking Education: Innovative Ideas to Transform Education’
Six Finalists, selected out of almost 900 submissions from more than 100 countries, will present their proposals. Two winners will be decided through a combination of votes from the Jury and the audience
Jury Members:
- Stephanie von Friedeburg (Vice President and Chief Information Officer at the World Bank Group)
- Amit Dar (Director, Strategy, Operations and Education Global Practice at the World Bank Group)
- Sara Sibai (Education Innovator)
- Rusty Greiff (Managing Director, Education Ventures at 1776)
Facilitated by Roger Osorio 
12.00 13.30 Lunch break Preston Glass Area Free time for participants
13.30 15.00 Innovation in Education Preston Auditorium Generating New Value in Education through Innovation and Technology
- Sara Sibai (Education Innovator)
- Amit Wadhera (Director at Donors Choose)
- Chris Etesse (CEO at Scriyb and former CEO Flat World Education)
- Tyce Henry (Associate Director, Technology and Education at Boston Consulting Group)
Moderated by Mike Trucano (Lead of Innovation in Education at the World Bank)
15.00 16.15 Workshops    
    Skills for the New Economy Preston Overflow  How to Reinvent Internships?
Define the skills set needed for young people to correspond with rising world trends and decide what kind of internship experiences can develop these skills. In partnership with AIESEC
    Innovation in Education Preston Auditorium

How Can Technology Transform Education?

Partner RobotLAB to host an interactive session and CommonLit to share its platform and experience as a tech nonprofit

16.15 17.00 Award Ceremony & Closing Preston Auditorium Annoucement of the winners of the Youth Summit 2016 Competition ‘Rethinking Education: Innovative Ideas to Transform Education’
Joined by Keith Hansen (Vice President for Human Development at the World Bank Group)
17.00 19.00 Reception   Social mixer for all participants

Established in 2013, the Youth Summit is an annual event that serves as a platform for conversation and action to make the World Bank Group more relevant to the global youth and to better involve young people in the work of the World Bank Group. The Youth Summit Organizing Committee is comprised of young World Bank Group employees and is supported by World Bank Group senior management.

The first Youth Summit was held in October 2013 and emphasized youth entrepreneurship, revitalizing a new chapter of World Bank Group involvement and engagement with a dynamic generation of young entrepreneurs, activists, development professionals, and others interested in global youth-related issues. The 2014 Youth Summit focused on Governance, leveraging the experiences and expertise of participants to offer workshops highlighting the work of youth globally to increase transparency, accountability and collaboration in the context of participatory government. In its third edition, the 2015 Youth Summit made a global call to crowd-source solutions for climate change, held right before the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP 21) in Paris.

The 2016 Youth Summit, Rethinking Education for the New Millennium, will take place on November 14-15 2016.


Youth Summit Steering Committee 2016

Manager and Co-Chair

Louise Baldwin

Treasurer and Co-Chair

Mora Farhad


Fernando Castro

Event Content Lead – Plenaries and Training Sessions

Uriel Kejsefman

Competition Lead

Diane Davoine

Communications Lead - Branding and Outreach Management

Jewel McFadden

Communications Lead – Social Media and Website

Alejandra de Lecea 

Event Logistics Lead – IT

Frederic Lafleur Parfaite

Event Logistics Lead – Design

Alejandra Bustamante

Youth Engagement Lead International

Tingting Wang

Youth Engagement Lead National

Samhita Kumar

Senior Advisor

Ines Gonzalez Del Mazo
Senior Advisor Arezo Kohistany
  • LOCATION: 1818 H St NW, Washington, DC 20433
  • MONDAY NOVEMBER 14, 2016: 8:00AM - 6:00PM
  • TUESDAY NOVEMBER 15, 2016: 8:00AM - 6:00PM

Youth Summit 2015