Megan Foo's Blog

Education Innovator Interview: Seif Abou Zaid, CEO of Tahrir Academy

Our CEO, Joyce, recently attended the 44th St. Gallen Symposium in Switzerland and met Seif Abou Zaid, CEO of [url=]Tahrir Academy[/url] and an innovator who is truly transforming education as we know it. [url=]Tahrir Academy[/url] boasts a promising impact model of crowdsourcing knowledge to make high quality content accessible to audiences across the world, and was once hailed as the "Best MOOC in the Developing World" by the University of Pennsylvania. With the mission of nurturing the next generation of "knowledge seekers, critical thinkers and future leaders", [url=]Tahrir Academy[/url] aims to build the largest Arabic video library offering educational content to the 13-18 year-old Egyptian youth demographic, and has so far secured 82,000 unique followers!
[b]Megan Foo: What does Tahrir Academy's business impact model of "crowdsourcing" knowledge involve?[/b]
[b]Seif Abou Zaid:[/b] [url=]Tahrir Academy[/url]’s philosophy is developed on the belief in open systems that thrive on contributions from all participants. We believe that life’s best rewards come from sharing one’s knowledge with those who need and seek it, and seeing how the learners use that knowledge to improve their lives. Cascading this model requires continuous building of the following core competencies:
1) Volunteer Recruitment and Mobilization
2) User-driven, Social Media Focused, Online and Offline Reach
3) An extensive network of supporting influencers in Egypt and around the world
[b]Megan Foo: [/b][b]How has Tahrir Academy met its goals of nurturing "a generation of knowledge seekers, critical thinkers and future leaders"?[/b]
[b]Seif Abou Zaid:[/b] So far, we have created more than 50 courses for Egyptian youth and adolescents, developed a fan base of almost 1 million on our social media, and we have more than 82,000 unique registered learners, more than 7 million minutes watched.
[b]Megan Foo: [/b][b]What are your hopes for Tahrir Academy's future?[/b]
[b]Seif Abou Zaid:[/b] [url=]Tahrir Academy[/url] aspires to transfer and deliver knowledge to every learner in every home regardless of where they are; big cities, small villages, remote locations, and underprivileged communities.
[b]Megan Foo: [/b][b]What to you, is education innovation?[/b]
[b]Seif Abou Zaid:[/b] It is not necessarily disrupting or sustaining education. It is getting to the details of each and every aspect of this multifaceted and multi-layered field and selecting what to disrupt and what to sustain. For me, education reform and innovation must deal first with issues of governance (who has the right to what and when) and pedagogy (the overarching philosophy of education and its intended purpose) before we get to methodology and techniques.
[b]Megan Foo: [/b][b]On a personal level, why is knowledge important to you?[/b]
[b]Seif Abou Zaid:[/b] I believe that seeking knowledge is innate in every human being; a natural tendency that is only suppressed by treating knowledge as a "commodity" where there is a "producer" and a "consumer". So, knowledge for me is both an end and a means, because being knowledgeable is enriching for the human mind, body and soul, and utilizing it is the main driver for success.
[b]Megan Foo: [/b][b]What message do you have to leave to the Givology network?[/b]
[b]Seif Abou Zaid:[/b] You're doing a great job! I hope you expand your reach to the Middle East, especially the Arab world. There are many wonderful initiatives and projects here that need support.

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