Bett MEA Launch: Education in an exponential age

Bett MEA launch event at Area 2071

On 26 November, Bett MEA had a very successful launch session in Dubai!

We saw 80+ VIPs from Oman to Nigeria in attendance, as well as speakers from the UAE who came to discuss the market outlook for education in the Middle East and Africa, and how to rethink education in an age of exponential growth.

This event was also the perfect occasion to introduce Bett MEA 2020, highlighting our aim to reconnect with the education community, announcing the change in dates from April to December, and the biggest and most exciting change of all: our move to Dubai!

The first panel discussed how we need to redefine success in schools and develop skills that are useful in the workplace. Speaker Rohan Roberts’ (Head of Digital at GEMS Education) core message was that we need to look at the skills that cannot be automated, such as:
  • Intrapersonal intelligence
  • Pedagogical intelligence
  • Existential intelligence
The second panel discussed how Higher Education needs to be more connected with industries to understand the requirements of businesses in the Middle East in order to provide learning opportunities that creates employable graduates.

The event was wrapped up with a vibrant networking session, with everybody making rich connections.
See our highlights below!

Interviews with the experts

Take a look at the agenda

09:30 – 09:35

Introduction from the chair

Sarah Marshall, Global Head of Content, Bett Show

09:35 – 09:45

Welcome to Area 2071

Speaker from Area 2071 


Panel 1 – Rethinking Education in an age of exponential growth

  • Where are education’s radical thinkers?
  • Education in an exponential age
  • How do we future-proof today’s students?


speaker Raya Bidshari, Founder & CEO, Awecademy

Andi Price, Teacher, Ranches Primary School


Evo Hannan, Spark Institute Coordinator, Dwight School Dubai


Rashenah Walker, Vice President, Dubai Arabian American School


speaker Jeremy Williams, Headteacher Manor Hall School Al Ain



Networking break




Educating the Wise Cyborgs of the Future

We now live in an age where artificial intelligence is able to create art, compose music, and drive cars. Humans have long shared a connection with technology – in many ways, we are already cyborgs. The focus of this session is on the new field of Humanics and on exploring the purpose of education in a world of exponential technologies and on considering what would happen if powerful human-machine hybrids of tomorrow were also purpose-driven, compassionate and ethical.



Rohan Roberts, Head of Future Learning, GEMS Education




Panel 2 – Market Outlook for Education in the Middle East and Africa

  • What are the latest trends that are affecting the Education landscape in the Middle East and Africa region?
  • How are market conditions impacting the way schools, colleges and universities operate in the regions?
  • How schools can make informed decisions and sustainable purchases
  • How education needs to improve the employability of students in the region
  • How can education form closer links with employers



Roland Hancock, Partner, PwC


Bllend Henari, Middle East and North Africa Research Consultant, ISC Research


Hugh Martin, Registrar and Chief Administrative Officer, British University of Dubai



Cameron Mirza, Director of Strategy, University of Bahrain




Introduction to Bett MEA 2020

Victoria James, Event Director, Bett MEA




Coffee and Close

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