UN Sustainable Development Goals

Tools to develop cost-effective education products and services

Prof. Colette Mazzucelli

2nd VP (NYU/NY) ACT-UAW Local 7902; President (Academia), 2020-2022, Global Listening Centre; Series Editor, Anthem Press; Research Mentor (Europe), Pioneer Academics; Founder & Principal, LEAD IMPACT

February 22nd 2022 - United States

Empowering Education Through Cost-Effective Tools

Welcome to the World Higher Education Ranking Summit, a platform where leaders, educators, and humanitarians come together to address vital global issues. Today, our focus is on a key item from the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals: "Tools to Develop Cost-Effective Education Products and Services." We delve into how these tools can eliminate barriers and enhance the quality of education worldwide.

Meet Our Esteemed Panelists: Our panelists are experts in their fields, dedicated to creating solutions for regions in crisis and underdeveloped areas. Today, we are honored to introduce Professor Collete Mazzaucelli, Saber Mejaat, and Jennifer Lauren.

Professor Collete Mazzaucelli: With a focus on East Jerusalem, Professor Collete Mazzaucelli leads the charge in providing education solutions to young Palestinian girls facing adversity. She emphasizes the importance of using appropriate tools for the region, ranging from basic Zoom to other audio and video tools. Her intergenerational approach ensures that girls progress from high school to advanced training, ultimately leading to university education.

Saber Mejaat: Saber Mejaat brings a global perspective, highlighting the significance of digital strategies in education. He emphasizes the importance of user-friendly tools, robust security measures, and selecting tools tailored to specific regions. Saber underscores the impact of simplicity in learning and stresses the need to adapt tools to local preferences and usage.

Jennifer Lauren: Jennifer Lauren shares her insights on the adaptive process required in education, especially in disruptive contexts. She underscores the importance of feedback from students, educators, and local partners in streamlining services. Jennifer emphasizes the need to create safe spaces in digital education, where psychosocial support and comfort are paramount. Her approach focuses on pedagogy and teacher support as foundational elements before selecting appropriate tools.

Enhancing Education in Crisis Areas: In this engaging discussion, our panelists provide valuable insights into promoting education in regions facing crises. They explore various tools and strategies that have proven effective in different contexts, from high school education in East Jerusalem to addressing youth unemployment in diverse populations.

Key Takeaways:

  • Appropriate Tools: Discover the importance of choosing tools that fit the specific needs and preferences of the region, ensuring accessibility and security.
  • Feedback and Adaptation: Learn how soliciting feedback from students and educators can enhance the adaptability of educational services.
  • Creating Safe Spaces: Understand the significance of fostering safe, comfortable learning environments, especially for vulnerable populations.
  • Peer-to-Peer Learning: Explore the power of peer-to-peer learning and how tools like Zoom and Google Documents facilitate collaboration and connection among students.

Join the Discussion: Your Questions Matter We encourage active engagement from our audience. Please share your questions in the chatbox to gain expert insights and guidance on enhancing education through cost-effective tools.

Shaping a Brighter Future through Education As we navigate the complex landscape of global education, we come together to explore innovative tools, strategies, and approaches. By leveraging cost-effective tools and placing the needs of students and educators at the forefront, we can empower education in crisis areas, opening doors to brighter futures for all.

Speakers Info


Prof. Colette Mazzucelli 2nd Vice President and Steward at New York University

Prof. Colette Mazzucelli is a distinguished professional with a remarkable career spanning various roles and achievements. Currently serving as the 2nd Vice President of ACT-UAW Local 7902, she represents New York University in this influential union, advocating for the rights and interests of part-time faculty, student workers, and health service employees from The New School, as well as adjunct faculty at New York University, a role she has held since 2023.


Saber Mejaat Innovation Fellowship & Ambassador at UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency

Saber Mejaat is a dynamic force in the world of international IT project management, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the table. Fluent in four languages, Saber holds an MSc in International Management and Technology with a focus on AI. His career journey has taken him across private enterprises and international organizations, including a significant tenure with the United Nations.


Jennifer Lauren Learning Experience Design at The City University of New York

Jennifer Lauren is a dedicated professional with extensive experience in program design, implementation, and impact evaluation across continents, including Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. Her career has been marked by leadership roles aimed at advancing the inclusion and retention of nontraditional students and marginalized populations in educational settings.

Session Script: Tools to develop cost-effective education products and services


Angelika Sharygina
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm very excited to welcome you to the first world higher education ranking Summit. Today, we are going to discuss a very important topic in the UN 17 goals agenda, tools to develop cost effective education products and services to eliminate barriers and improve the quality of learning across the globe. Today, I am joined by leaders in their field… humanitarians, academics, and itself, it's a great pleasure and honor to talk to people that really care about global issues that really create solutions to impact problems that come from regions and crisis from underdeveloped regions. And today we have on board, let me introduce our honorary panelists. First of all, we have Professor Colette. And it's a great honor to see you here. Professor Collette, where are you joining us from?

Professor Collete Mazzaucelli
I'm joining from Monroe Township, New Jersey, about 25 minutes from Princeton and about an hour outside of New York City.

Angelika Sharygina
This is amazing. And it's a great pleasure to have you here because Professor Collete is a leader in her field. She's a University educator, an award-winning University educator with 30 plus years’ experience. And she is actually the founder and principal of lead impact reconciliation Institute. She's also appointed President of Global listening center. And Professor Colette has lots of experience working in crisis areas. And while we're going to discuss this further… I know that you have a lot to share about this. Professor Collete is also teaching at graduate level at New York State University in international relations, as her focus is international relations. Professor Collete has multiple awards, and it will take I guess, more than two hours just to list all your incredible achievements throughout your career. And we're really privileged to have you here Professor Colette, thank you.

Professor Collete Mazzaucelli
Thank you, dear. It's always a delight to join you and our distinguished panelists today and always thank you.

Angelika Sharygina
And I would love to introduce you to Saber Mejaat who is an information manager at UNHCR in private partnership with an extensive international background. He has a background in private and public organizations and in his work with the UN. Saber knows a lot about areas of crisis and tools and effective solutions that can be brought to counter certain challenges that the world has. And Saber is actually the graduate from Copenhagen Business School in international management specializing in technology management. And he's also tech and digitalization enthusiast. And it's really wonderful to have you here. Saber where are you joining us from?

Saber Mejaat
Thank you very much. I'm joining you from Copenhagen. I'm actually still at the office at the U.N city here in Copenhagen. And I'm also very happy to be here with you and with the panelists that it would be a very fruitful discussion and I'm looking forward to it.

Angelika Sharygina
Thank you so much saber. And it's my great pleasure to introduce to introduce you to Jennifer Lauren who works with New York University in New York City where she supports faculty development, the research and application of evidence based teaching and learning strategies. And she also has great experience working in crisis areas and especially within her research on Western Balkans and she also has dual master's degree in international affairs and global communication from American University in Paris. She has collaborated with a number of institutions and organizations including UNESCO, OSF, and many others. Thank you so much, Jennifer. And are you joining us from New York?

Jennifer Lauren
Yes, I'm in New York. And thank you for the invitation. Happy to meet you all today.

Angelika Sharygina
That's just brilliant. For me, today's topic is very close to my heart because today we are going to discuss tools to develop cost effective education, products and services, to eliminate barriers. That means that we will discuss crisis regions and we will discuss vulnerable communities because cost effective solutions, it means that those in need would require cost effective and affordable solutions to have access to education. And my first question and also I'd love to learn more about the work Professor Collete does towards implementing such solutions. And I know that you do a lot within lead impact, empowering global leaders in crisis regions, helping them advocate for change and providing tools for further change. Could you tell us a little bit more about your experience and how you're doing this, implementing cost-effective tools?

Implementing cost-effective tools

Professor Collete Mazzaucelli
Well, thank you Angelica. And again, it is a pleasure to join you today. And to share some thoughts, we work with three specific regions in lead impact. The first is with a very historic School in East Jerusalem, which was founded in 1948 for young Palestinian girls and we're in distress. And actually this school really is the partner, we rely on the anchor partner in East Jerusalem because we feel that it's important to have the eyes and ears on the ground in a lead school, which then takes the responsibility to share what we are doing with other schools in the area. And therefore, the tools that we've selected and starting really with basic Zoom to connect with this school has been quite successful because everyone in the school administration is on board. So, we have a member of our own international advisory board, Jamal al Araf who has over two decades experience with an era with UNDP. And in that capacity as a community and development specialist, he has already identified certain tools that he believes would be helpful. So, we rely on Jamal because first and foremost he's in East Jerusalem. Second, he has the connections to the school administration to the principal to the IT lead to all of those teachers who would be helping these girls’ study with us. And then through Jamal, we've identified four candidates and those four candidates we brought in really using Zoom. And we also rely at times on LinkedIn and on WhatsApp because what we're trying to do is really develop foundationally a community. And in order to do that, we have to use different tools. You can't rely on simply one tool. You have to as I learned many years ago when we were working in southeastern Europe with Pristina, you really have to choose the tool that fits the area.

So over two decades ago, we were working first with an audio tool called Power talk. Then we were using a video tool called CUC MI. And the idea was we were working with modem speeds rather than ISDN. So, Polycom at that time was very expensive. We wanted inclusive learning. So what I always took away from those experiences, if you want inclusive learning, you use the tool that is appropriate to the area. And the more basic the tool, the more areas generally you can reach out to starting with East Jerusalem now. We've also been added northeast Syria and we've added members in the Afghan diaspora, the ones who will that they all share in common is Zoom. However, we also work with a variety of different, shall we say audio possibilities to supplement because we're letting them watch these videos first. So they have a sense of content, then we're all bringing them in live. And in bringing them in live, they have a chance to ask questions. And we use the different tools to mediate the dialogue. And then of course we record everything so that we have rich media resources for them. And we share all of these resources through Dropbox and different website options.

So it's really an experimentation with tools that either work or don't work, we learn more from the tools that don't work. When those tools don't work, we move on to something else. So it's learning each and every day about the appropriate tool for the appropriate area and for the type of dialogue that we want to create… I think I'll leave it there. That just gives you a basic sense of how we're operating and where we are engaged. Thank you.

Angelika Sharygina
Thank you so much, Professor Collete and especially, it's inspiring what you're doing your work. I wanted to ask Saber this question, as an expert in digitalization, that certain tools work better than others? What is your input within countries in crisis, and also within displaced? People, as you're working in the UN refugee agency, which tools are working the best for the refugees? What are they? Could you please just shed light here?

Working with refugees

Saber Mejaat
Thank you. I actually, before I wanted, before I respond to this question I wanted to ask Professor Collete, what type of education is it? Is it primary education, secondary education? From what level are we talking about here? Because that is very interesting, what you have just mentioned but of course, it really depends a lot on who are we talking with? If we're talking with kids that go from 0 to 10 or if we're talking with adults that like are doing more like advanced education?

Professor Collete Mazzaucelli
Now, it's an important question where intergenerational. Lead impact is a startup. So essentially in East Jerusalem, the historic school is a high school. So the girls’ ages about 16, 17 years old. This is a first step on the journey for them. And the idea is to marry [phonetic 12:22] what we are doing and lead impact with some future training possibly with the Institute for Economics and Peace. So in other words, we become one step. And then there's further training with other partners and they are working their way towards the university. So this is high school age. Alright.

In northeastern Syria, it varies. I would say the girls there are anywhere between 18 and 24. And the idea is, these are, of course, girls in three villages, girls and women in three villages that have suffered under the Assad regime. So we are working very much to help them build their own local infrastructure. The idea is that our interventions are meant to promote local development. So we intervene, we share content in areas like gender empowerment, regenerative urbanism, fragile and conflict affected countries, with leading experts in those areas. Everyone from Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation to religions for peace, to border meetings, which has its own connections to the UN in Geneva. So it's a wide a wide circle of colleagues.

And then the Afghan diaspora that again that is to create a virtual community for the Afghans that would then tie into a local NGO in Kabul and other parts of that country. There is a very specific project initiative, we are encouraging the women there to sew fabric bags rather than to use plastic bags because as you may know, in Afghanistan, plastic waste is a huge problem. So what we are trying to do is to encourage of those away to make people aware how one can deviate away from plastic waste and encourage entrepreneurship in the creation of these types of fabric bags that the women would be responsible to first introduced into bakeries and then into other, shall we say, local areas and then through that to show that women can also contribute in their way to a very challenging environmental concern in the country, and also develop their own skills and know how so that in a nutshell and those women again, the range 18 to about 26. Thank you.

Saber Mejaat
Thank you. Thank you very much for your response. That's really interesting. And that's a really interesting project because when you raise it to such a large level also like in terms of like multigenerational, it becomes very intricate in a way. It’s not very easy to manage and completely understand that so responding to your question, Angelica. First of all, I'm not speaking on behalf of UNCR here. But this is just like my personal opinion about what I'm saying in terms of developing a cost effective strategy. I think that we have learned a lot of lessons in the past years.

First of all with COVID, it really put education on a different level. What before was maybe light years away, for some countries or for some institutions, it had become reality within months. So for me, it became clear. And I think it also became clear for a lot of universities, institution, high schools and all sort of like education overall that having a digital strategy in terms of like having tools and as Professor Collete indicated that like tools effective for the area that's the most important part. So it can be Zoom, I think zoom what like, I'll just take on Zoom just to explain, maybe break down a tiny bit more why someone would pick zoom rather than others. I think when we're talking about student, we also need to take into account various parts, you need to have something that is user friendly both in user interface and experience so that every student can use it. But another important point, most importantly, when we talk about countries such that like going more through troubles, its security and we need to have like, sort of like bulletproof security here. When you you're talking to kids, maybe you're talking to women, or maybe also talking to women that are retaliated from society or other things like this then in this case, security comes as first in terms of priority.

And therefore if you do not have a digital strategy that takes into account both the users, what they’re going to go through in terms of like when they will use the software and their security when they use it. And at the same time, you also want to make sure that like it works in the country, there is some software that are more lagging in the country rather than others. There are some softwares… maybe sometimes you can develop your own, or within maybe some very simple tools. For instance, you have countries that use WhatsApp, while, some other countries are using Viber or some others are using Skype. So it also depends on like how many people are using a specific software. If you make things easier, learning becomes also easier. The more steps you're putting, the more barriers you’re creating. So I think when it comes to the digital aspects… I think it's more of a human aspect rather than a softer aspect in itself. It all depends on the tool, of course, but in what specific area, you're going to use it. So this is our thing like again as I mentioned in a nutshell, are sort of like a short response to your question.

Angelika Sharygina
Thank you so much, Saber. This is a very important question that you've mentioned, question of security. Because for example, like just a quick example here, when Taliban took over and there was such a great improvement in education systems in the past 20 years for girls in Afghanistan. When Taliban took over, they targeted those schools that provided even online classes. So cyber security for ensuring the implementation of quality education and helping areas in crisis to develop quality education is number one priority because this cannot be taken as like okay, cyber security, nobody will have this. Unfortunately, certain groups have access right now to the ways to counter security measures of different organizations. And when for example, humanitarian organization establishes their units in the area that is very controversial and in crisis, in an area where there are certain people, certain organizations that are against education or any other humanitarian actions. This puts in direct danger, those involved. So thank you so much for shedding light on the issue of security. And I would like to ask Jennifer, what is your experience of working? I know you've been working with many international organizations, what is your experience? What do you feel is the most effective tool to promote education and to promote education in areas of crisis? Thank you.

How to promote education in areas of crisis

Jennifer Lauren
Sure. Thank you. Well, I think just to back up a minute, I really agree with what the other panelists have been saying. Firstly, Professor Collette, she had mentioned experimentation. And I think that really rings true when you're working in these kinds of areas. And basically the context that most of us has been in the past few years where education and other sectors were really disruptive. And I think to weave in ways whatever tool you're using but to weave in ways of soliciting student feedback and educator feedback or the local partners on the ground is really essential so that you can streamline services. And there's an adaptive process that I think is always happening in this kind of setting, and then also what’s to Saber’s point about security. I think it comes back to just like when it's in person that carving as an educator carving out that safe space and what does that look like especially when you're working with vulnerable populations, where there's an element of psychosocial support and they have to feel comfortable?

And which way how, which, in which manner do they feel most comfortable? And I have found in the past work. I'm speaking in my personal capacity I’ve worked in different settings, is that gaining that feedback is really instrumental. Because sometimes it'll be it's surprising sometimes what you'll hear what you can do to easily accommodate different demographics. I'm thinking of like preferences and working without the video on things like that I think I have encountered. And well, but as far as your question around the tool… I think I agree with you. But it really depends on the context. I'm more I think… I'm interested or I think the pedagogy and the teachers come first and how to support them and then the tool second but the tools should best fit the goal and the setting. So that it's more seamless that really effective teaching and learning can happen.

But I think these reliable ones that have been mentioned already have been effective. In one scenario I worked in, we developed our own learning management system because it was it was working with some similar age range that we mentioned, actually it was 12 to 29. So it was a mix of refugee populations and then also traditional student base but it was really looking at long term and addressing global youth unemployment. So it was really fascinating to kind of tailor that experience. So I'm but I'm curious, I agree with the tools that have been mentioned. And then just Zoom, Google Documents, things where there's a shared experience that they can work together and really drive peer to peer learning so they can really connect with each other.

Angelika Sharygina
Thank you so much, Jennifer. I mean, this is very vital for us to understand the use of these tools. And thank you so much for sharing your experience here. My next question would be actually regarding current prices as in Europe, we face the biggest refugee crisis that has never happened in such scale before. And when we talk about refugees and displaced population, what are the key elements to ensure that they have the stable and steady tools to guarantee that they are enrolled in in the way that they should be? For example, like the situation like that I have seen that it's happening right now is the following. For example, students that used to study in their home country where there is a war suddenly is there. Unfortunately, they are facing the situation where they do not know the language. And this is a big barrier. So most programs are they do fit English speaking population. But maybe Professor Collete you could shed light here, What to do with the situation where students do not speak English. And suddenly they have to get adjusted, and they have to go to the new country where it's in the speaking country or other language speaking country. Are there any mechanisms? Are there any tools that that are there in place to help with this adjustment and help with the adaptation?

Are there tools that help students adjust in foreign countries?

Professor Collete Mazzaucelli
No, I mean that is a critical question. And I think building on what Jennifer and Saber have shared, I do agree that pedagogy is important, it's essential and context is king. So as an educator, I always appreciate working with those IT specialists who are sensitive to the needs pedagogically and who take into consideration that different professors have different styles, ways in which they learn. And learning, I think is critical here to answer your question specifically about the language. That is by far, I think in the context, you are raising Angelica, the most daunting challenge that we face. And in this respect, I think that there is a great need to continue to develop learning management systems to accommodate and to respond proactively to the needs to the basic human needs of those on the ground particularly IDPs are even, I think, more vulnerable than refugees and refugees themselves. And of course, Ukraine is going to present us in the next five months with a huge challenge a huge human security challenge and thinking about the dignity of the person. And what that means in terms of learning. I would emphasize here to build on what Saber has said that in addition to cyber security, we have to be very, very sensitive to personal data, to potential misappropriations of personal data. As we are working with these digital strategies, this is critical, these are vulnerable persons, and oftentimes they are very young persons, and we cannot risk any type of breach of that type of human security that would be ethically unforgivable.

As far as the languages, I think, with the recent developments with AI, you see, we of course, have had been working with touchcast. And of course, there you have the capability to translate into multiple languages when you are doing a particular learning program. I think that many of the learning management systems I have piloted, I have tested everything from Sakai to Canvas to what we are using now Bright space, D2L at NYU at New York University. I find that there's always something missing in those learning management systems, I'm honestly saying and here Saber may have a different view. But I'm honestly saying I'm not satisfied with them. And I think there's a lot more work to be done. The challenge, of course, is that once you choose that type of a learning management system, you tend to be locked into it. They these companies require contracts and you can spend years being locked into a learning management system that does not respond to the needs that you have either as a university, much less needs on the ground with refugees.

So I think that whole model has to change. The business model has to change. And I think learning management systems that idea has to be revisited. We have to be thinking forward looking in terms of how do you connect the latest technologies that are going to take us into M city that are going to bring us into the to the metaverse, how do you connect those technologies with an array of learning management systems that are developed from the ground up to respond to the needs in very specific areas? That is the creative challenge of the time. And that is what I believe, personally, is the next step for those of us who are very concerned about the development of these cost effective tools, and the response of those tools to the refugee challenges we face. Thank you.

Angelika Sharygina
Thank you so much, Professor, Collete. Saber, would you like to add on here?

Saber Mejaat
Yes. So I really pretty much like to add on that. Actually, I agree with you, Professor Collette I also think that like this learning system that we have today, they're outdated. They're outdated. Why? Because they just worked like a library. And libraries today, they're sort of outdated. I mean, we everyone wants to read a book. But not everyone is going to a library today to do that. We want a more dynamic way to do it. We want things live. When we look for information, we want information when we search for it. And then just to stay, I don't want to diverge too much into something that was a bit outside of our topic today, which is being cost effective, right? So if you want to be cost effective, why did we talk about security? Why do we talk about like this vulnerable people? Why do we talk about this because the cost of an error is way higher than the cost of preventing it. This is what I mean for being cost effective.

Cost effective meaning putting the capacity to do what is our task, in this case, teaching students in need, we need to assess what are the different tools that we're going to use for what period? Having a solid strategy I think like I can't emphasize it as much as, as it possibly can. No matter how big of an organization or no matter how much money you have, if you did not allocate the money or the assets, or the capacity for the right thing, this is going to bite you back. And this is I think where a lot of very big projects or a lot of very, how can I say, not necessarily. It just can happen. This is what I'm saying. And if you want to be cost effective, you need to take into consideration everything. And the best thing to do it is to ask the directly involved person. So as the students what they want, ask for the feedback ask for this and this is free. This is not something that takes a lot of money. And again, as the professor and Jennifer said, as the professors because they're also going to teach, you need to be the bridge.

So I think when we're talking about doing cost effective, it's about being cost effective in building this bridge between the professor and this children or adults or just call them students. How do you want to build this bridge, if you're not putting the right leverage, if you're not putting the right wood, if you're not putting the right decisions, just in building that? And if you're not using real engineers in building a bridge, you’re just going to fall down and that price of losing all that money that you have already put in the project. On top of that, making the students lose the professors lose, I think is I just can't emphasize it as much as I can. So this is where I see it. And lastly, just to finish, another important point is that like when you have a digital strategy, and when you're working digitally and online, talent is all over.

You cannot you don't have to be with the professor that is like within a radius of 40 kilometers or 50 kilometers, which is hasn't been the case for a very long time. And that's why it's very difficult to find really good talent just around the corner that is willing to do that specific task. I mean, it's really difficult. But here you can find the best talent as professors of NYU like teaching. I mean, the potential just become and it’s completely different. I think it's completely different. And it's all about using the right tools to do this. And to take all this into consideration, which is not easy in the end. And I would like to hear your thoughts on the on this point.

Angelika Sharygina
Thank you so much, Saber. This is brilliant because we need to take into account this comprehensively, it cannot be done just looking into this one way. My next question is actually about those areas that do not have internet connection, unstable regions. And this is a very big problem because those areas are the most vulnerable in the world. And it doesn't matter what is the reason behind why they do not have it now.
But what is your vision? What is the solution in ideal world that can actually help counter this and get access to education to every student across the world? Because today's agenda is 17 Sustainable Development Goals, right? And the main purpose, the main vision of the 17 goals framework is to leave no one behind. However, it doesn't happen this easily because in this area's many kids, many students, adults, they are left behind already by the fact they don't have access to internet. What do you think of all this? Jennifer, Professor Collete, Saber, please feel free to jump on? What are your maybe, maybe tips in ideal world if we have all the resources? Or what is the best way to counter this?

Vision for the 17 SDGs

Jennifer Lauren
I'll just start that. I think digital exclusion is a major issue that sometimes doesn't get enough air time. And I like that it's pertinent to this discussion. I did work I guess I can speak to my experience in working in those contexts where there was low internet or no internet is where we were really robust in responding and just developing supplemental resources that can be delivered without internet and also downloadable resources. We did a lot of like micro learning that was supplemented with ministries of education but also organizations that were just working with you that we're at a school at work. So we're just really rigorous about offering alternative ways to interact with the content for edgy caterers, formal educators and non-formal educators to have support and resources.

And also I think with building off with Saber, Professor Colette was just saying prior, I think about bringing to mind is cost effective element in all of this is that I think it really demands a cross sector response that we're I think I'm very I know myself I always in the prism of education but in really serving this unique demographic that is literally in transit or in transition in and being with the mindset of being cost effective. I think it's important to really be collaborative and not want to duplicate efforts. So I'm interested what my colleagues here think of that as well. But yes, off the top of my head, I really… I think I found it really useful to kind of have that Arsenal within your framework of in education, delivery, alternative resources that can be reached off online.

Angelika Sharygina
Thank you so much, and for thank you for in depth view on this. Just before I go to Professor Collete for her insight on that, we know that Elon Musk has sent a starlings to Ukraine directly to the satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX that will enable free Internet and Internet that will be absolutely, the coverage will be accessible to everyone. What do you think about this professor Collete And do you think this can be implemented in every country?

Can internet be made free and accessible in every country?

Professor Collete Mazzaucelli
I think that that's certainly a very good start. Just to come back to what Jennifer was saying. I can remember years ago, when I was working in Budapest at the fringes of Soros network, we have many areas, the further east we went where the internet was very spotty. And what we did was we managed to collaborate with different actors. And through the funding that was provided, we would simply ship I mean, it's possible to so in very large plastic beds, books… 600, 700, 800 pounds of books, journals, resources, and simply to ship them to these different locations. And at that time, in 95, 96, in the middle of the 1990s, I mean, we were we were doing everything possible to try to help these countries and their local schools have these types of resources available, readily available.

Now, with the digitalization, I think is as Saber has pointed out, it's a completely different world. And we're in the midst of a revolution in that respect so everything that we can possibly do in terms of making it possible to transmit scans and to make it possible for having the access readily available. I think we are searching constantly for solutions according to the area, I think with Starlink. And I think with that type of a proposal, it again, it depends on you have to listen, it depends on what the area is asking for. And this is where listening is key. If the area is asking for this type of broad coverage that I think absolutely then solution like Starlink. I mean years ago, we went to a very well-known Distance Learning Center in Hawaii. And we were working with Starlink. And what we did was basically we had a program that was delivered to the islands throughout the Pacific. Basically, there were a few of us speaking. And using these types of technologies, I think there were 500 or so islands, they were all receiving the broadcast that we were involved with, I think these are the types of solutions that you have to be thinking about proactively, creatively… And you listen to those who will be the recipients of the type of content with the type of technology and then you do your best to create the opportunities so that these areas can actually be served.

It's truly a question of service Angelica, you identified creatively the tool and I think this is what Saber’s talking about. You serve by identifying the tool creatively and then you do your utmost to make it possible in the implementation to serve as wide a range of peoples as possible, whether they're islanders whether they're refugees, IDPs, young persons who otherwise wouldn't have access to education because they can't travel to the local school. I mean, they're just blocked from being able to receive this type of learning. So that's my thought in that respect. Thank you.

Saber Mejaat
Very interesting point! Colette really thank you for this. And also thank you Jennifer, really very interesting points. I mean, this is a very it's such a nice discussion to have. And I'm happy to have you here to be here with you and to respond just to this, again… I mean, it all depends on the situation, why do they don't have internet in the first place? That's the question. And that might differ from each country. For instance, in a lot of Asian countries today, a lot of people are not using computers, they will have a smartphone, though. They're using a smartphone. And maybe they're not using a very expensive smartphone but that smartphone has the capacity to watch a video. So since you can do that, what are the possibilities that you have? What can you do with that? Maybe you cannot have a resource page where you need to maybe access books, or maybe you write on a Word document for instance talking about collaborating together, maybe you cannot do that but at least passively. You can take something out. And then maybe what you could do is maybe upload your homework or do something like that.

So again, it all depends from a why in the first place. Why? Like if Elon Musk did this action today, it's in a very specific situation, we're talking warfare here. During other crisis, we have not seen this type of reaction but we have seen different reactions, it's still our reaction nonetheless. And it's because Internet has been completely removed in this situation. That's why it's acting like this satellite thing, I mean, we can argue whether it's sustainable or not to do this type of things for maybe countries in Africa, if it's going to be really working. And also does it work in areas that are very densely populated or in areas where like there's six kilometers in between each student. So what you're going to do in this type of thing, you're going to put seven satellites, you cannot do that, you need to think about different types of capacity, different types of tools, all depending on what is the best thing to do in that specific situation. And you need to think that in a creative and innovative way because today, the number of tools that we have at our hand are many, to say the least. So it's all about thinking, the best strategy in this type of scenarios and not just finding a solution but the best solution for whatever case…

Angelika Sharygina
I thank you so much Saber, it's very important what you've just mentioned because every country has their own way of their own solution. And when we approach it, we do not have this one comprehensive outlook that will be like idealistic world way to culture in this the lack of digitalization across the world. But we have to be very specific. And as we are approaching the final moments of our discussion today, I would like to actually ask everyone to give their last points on this topic of creating solutions, creating tools that will be really important to help everyone have an access to education. What would be your message because we are joined today by different government authorities, we're joined today by different academics by change makers that can implement those changes. So what would be your advice to them?

How to make education more accessible

Professor Collete Mazzaucelli
I think to build on what Saber has said and what Jennifer has said, when I was at TDs College, Columbia University, I went back there for a master's in education because it was one of the few schools that had a specialization in mobile phone learning. And I think that Saber is absolutely right, the numbers of those who have smartphones or even just basic cell phones are spreading exponentially. So therefore, we have to think in terms of our teaching, the ways in which we can take advantage and build on that rapid spread in terms of the mobile technology. And that is the pedagogy and so right and that is a specific way of learning that I think we're only at the beginning of developing. So I would suggest that again, context is the priority. We listen to those in a particular area. When you're trying to reach a village in Africa, clearly you're going to have a different type of solution creatively than if you need to reach an area that as Saber has underlined is in the process of war, or if you're trying to reach those in a refugee camp. So I think that the tools are expanding rapidly. And starting with mobile phones, our pedagogy must adapt itself accordingly. And that means that we really have to update our curriculums and schools of education to focus on the rapid developments in these technologies. Thank you.

Angelika Sharygina
Thank you so much, Professor Collete. To you Saber…

Saber Mejaat
Yes, I will definitely second what Professor Collete just said. It's again, just to resume what we have been, I think repeating now for almost an hour, it's just… it's all about finding the right strategy for the specific areas for specific students or specific professors because we're all different. So there's no one fits all solution, in this case and if you want to be cost effective, think about the students first and the professors and that's how you're going to build a cost effective solution. Because if you think just about a specific tool that you think that can fit a lot of things, maybe we're not, I think it's all about hearing first, then developing something that is sound thinking about the security and actual thoughts that they have and take that into consideration and building a strategy. And then in the end, it's also a lot about the execution as well, if you take all these hints and you not build them together that is also another recipe for failure.

So, of course, it was strategy but like the execution also needs to be done in a good way. And not like in something that is maybe too long term. I think that sometimes a lot of very big projects and might sometimes think about too much long term where things change so rapidly today. So it's all about testing, see what is there and find the best solution for whatever the scenario is in front of you. And not thinking too much about just the way that we are envisioning education has been the same for too many years. So it's up to us today to change things if you want them to make them new and if you want to make them effective and specifically, in this case, cost effective. Thank you.

Angelika Sharygina
Thank you so much, Saber for your in depth analysis of everything. And I love the way that we need to approach every single thing, every single crisis differently. To you Jennifer…

Jennifer Lauren
Sure, I would say, I agree with what's been said by the other panelists and I would echo that… in this age where I think ignition of natural disasters and conflict is a very real and present. I think we can learn from past conflicts and disasters that it's pretty miraculous, that learning does not stop. And so while each context is different, I do believe convening like this, like how we are today and really highlighting those best practices on what tools and what supportive measures do work, can really should really continue to be brought to the fore. So that I think we can really maximize this, listening and adaptability and really forward the educational opportunities for a generation that's in need of learning, and that should not be sacrificed. So on a positive note I would say that learning doesn't stop. And to just be creative about it, yes.

Angelika Sharygina
Thank you so much, Jennifer. And I do believe that through communication, and through events like various conference, through actually addressing those issues, we can create solutions together based on our individual experience based on our countries, and based on our own challenges. Thank you so much, Professor Collete, Saber, Jennifer, it's been a great pleasure to host today's discussion. And it's been a great pleasure to know you personally, because I know that the work you're doing towards implementing UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This is really amazing. And it's a great honor to interview you. Thank you.

Professor Collete Mazzaucelli
Thank you. It's been a pleasure.

Saber Mejaat
Pleasure. Thank you very much
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