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Plenary: Paradigm Shifts for Systems Transformation

5 February 2024

Thursday, 23 November 2023

Our second pre-Congress plenary session explored how we can rethink and redesign the dominant education paradigms of today to adequately equip future generations with the skills, competencies and adaptive strengths to thrive in an ever-changing world.


Dr. Lee Howell
Dr Lee Howell is the Executive Director of the Villars Institute, where he is empowering young people to address global challenges and enact change in their local communities. Prior to his role at the Villars Institute, Lee spent more than a decade at the World Economic Forum. As Managing Director, he was responsible for the design and development of the Forum’s flagship annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland; the annual meeting of New Champions in China (“Summer Davos”); and Summit on the Global Agenda in the United Arab Emirates. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Geneva's School of Economics and Management and a lecturer at the University of St. Gallen.

Fidelis Nthenge
Fidelis Nthenge works as Director of Curriculum Development at the International Baccalaureate. Previously, she served as Head of the IB World Schools department based in the IB's global centre in The Hague where she was responsible for the development and implementation of school improvement strategy for IB World Schools, in line with the IB strategy and objectives, supporting IB World Schools to achieve their optimal teaching, learning and assessment. Before joining the IB in 2011, Fidelis spent 14 years with the Aga Khan Education Services in East Africa, where she was head of two of their IB World Schools in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Marija Uzunova Dang 
Marija is a learning designer and international educator who serves as Vice Principal for Learning and Innovation at UWC Atlantic. Previously, she worked at Pearson College UWC in Canada where she designed their Climate Action Leadership Diploma, and at UWC Mahindra College where she served as Head of Outdoor Education, TOK Coordinator and one of the designers of the Mahindra Project-Based Diploma. She is the co-author of a textbook on the politics of knowledge.

Cathy Jones
Cathy is Head of UWC South East Asia East campus. Before joining UWCSEA, she held a variety of teaching and leadership positions, in China, New Zealand, South Africa and England, at middle school, high school and at tertiary level, and in international, public and private schools. A Geographer and English teacher, Cathy also enjoys working with students as they develop leadership skills through a range of service activities, on field trips and excursions.

Dr. Vivian Feng (Moderator)
Vivian is an analytical chemist by training, an active research scientist and a seasoned science educator with passions in the liberal arts and international education. She is a faculty member and serves as Assistant Director of the Council of Science and Technology at Princeton University. Prior to Princeton, Vivian followed the career path of a tenure-track professor in Chemistry at Augsburg University (Minneapolis, MN), teaching in the chemistry curriculum, and leading an active undergraduate research program. Vivian is an alumna of UWC Adriatic in Italy and currently serves as a member of the UWC International Council and member of the 2024 UWC International Congress Working Group.