How private sector can work together to help provide education

Education funding, Education in emergencies, Sarah Brown

Sarah Brown listens to Julia Gillard  Picture: Lana Wong


Business leaders came together today to discuss innovative ways in which they can help children get into school and learning.

They exchanged their experiences at the Roundtable with Sarah Brown and Julia Gillard, an event hosted by the Global Business Coalition for Education in New York.

With world leaders meeting at the United Nations General Assembly, this was a great opportunity to talk about how the private sector can co-operate and engage in education in both humanitarian emergencies and longer-term initiatives in developing countries.

In her open remarks, Sarah Brown – Executive Chair of GBC-Education – said: “We need to challenge ourselves to look at how we are really going to reach the point where every child is going to school.”

She said that, for the first time, there is an opportunity to put education to the forefront of humanitarian emergency responses through the Education Cannot Wait Fund, which was launched in May.

The event followed another GBC-Education event, called Business Leads in Education: Driving Innovation and Partnership. Read about it here.

The other host was Julia Gillard, former Australian prime minister, Board Chair of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and a member of the Education Commission which published a major report at the UN this week.

She spoke about the critical need for planning about of GPE’s desire to engage more philanthropy and the private sector.

She added: “We need to look at the incredibly practical steps that lead to the outcome for these sorts of partnerships. When all of us engage we are doing it at a better and better quality level over time.”

Among the speakers was Gus Schmedlen, Vice President for Education at HP. On why his company works in the field of education, he said: “The answer is self-interest.”

He talked about the need for direct engagement, adding: “We embed and connect. We embed in the countries…we don’t read reports about what happened, we engage with… policymakers, business leaders, students.

“Over the past two years we have surveyed over 50,000 students around the world.”

The key speakers included Paula Luff, Viso Strategies Corporation; Leila Toplic, Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer, LRNG; Janiece Evans-Page, Vice President, Fossil Group; Tamas Deutsch, European Parliament Member from Hungary; Douglas Hunt, Global Business Leader, Education at IBM; Mariam Farag, Group VSR Manager, MBC Group; and Annemiek Hoogenboom, Country Director, People’s Postcode Lottery.

Here are some of the tweets from GBC-Education during the event.









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