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Radical Imagination: The Audacity to Innovate

14 February 2024

Saturday, 2 March 2024

The third plenary session of the 2024 UWC International Congress will be centred on the important subject of remaking education for alternative futures and the need to embrace our responsibility to continually innovate in times of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. In this session, we will interrogate the reality and the challenge of educating for peace and a sustainable future in a world where both ideals often seem beyond reach. 

In today’s world, the dominant themes in public conversations range from the impacts of climate change and global conflicts, economic instability and political shifts towards populism and nationalism. Concurrently, rapid technological advancements in areas such as Artificial Intelligence, biotechnology and automation are shifting the ways in which we live, work and learn. Yet, we are keenly aware that we have the agency to shape the world through our actions or inactions. In envisioning solutions for human and planetary sustenance, there are more questions than answers. Therefore, how should education systems evolve in order to equip future generations with the required skills, competencies and adaptive strengths to shape the future and lead purposefully in an ever-changing world? 

Join Dr Suzanne Rivera, President of Macalester College; Professor Lutfey Siddiqi, Visiting Professor-in-Practice at the London School of Economics and Political Science; and Dr Nicole Bien, Chief Schools Officer of the International Baccalaureate in a session moderated by Naheed Bardai, Principal of UWC Atlantic. 


Naheed Bardai, Principal of UWC Atlantic

Naheed became Head of UWC Atlantic in August 2021. Prior to this role, he served as Head of Upper School at Upper Canada College in Toronto for six years and held leadership positions at the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa for over a decade. With degrees from Western University, the University of British Columbia, University College London and Teachers College, Columbia University, Naheed is well-equipped as a leader. Naheed is committed to fostering a more just, sustainable and peaceful world alongside the UWC Atlantic community.

Dr Suzanne M. Rivera, President of Macalester College

Dr Suzanne M. Rivera is Macalester College’s 17th president, bringing over 25 years of experience in higher education. With a strong commitment to social justice, inclusion and equity, she previously held leadership positions at Case Western Reserve University and UT Southwestern Medical School. Dr. Rivera is a national expert in research ethics, with particular focus on biomedical research and science policy. She also holds degrees from Brown University, the University of California-Berkeley and the University of Texas at Dallas.

Professor Lutfey Siddiqi, Visiting Professor-in-Practice at the London School of Economics & Political Science

Lutfey Siddiqi, a Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics, serves as an emeritus governor and advisor to various boards including The Inclusion Initiative and the Systemic Risk Centre. Additionally, he is an Adjunct Professor at the National University of Singapore, contributing to the Centre for Governance and Sustainability. Recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2012, he has also served on their global future councils. Siddiqi is actively engaged in governance roles, serving on the boards of ShareAction and UWC Atlantic, among others.

Dr Nicole Bien, Chief Schools Officer of the International Baccalaureate

Dr. Nicole Bien, Chief Schools Officer at the International Baccalaureate (IB), oversees services for IB schools worldwide, including educator development, school authorisation and curriculum design. With a background in strategy and education advocacy, she leads initiatives to support at-risk youth and enhance curriculum quality. Dr. Bien holds a PhD in education from the University of Sydney, an MBA from Columbia University Business School, and a BA from Yale University, and has extensive international experience spanning America, Asia, Australia and Europe.