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The Global Educational Supplies and Solutions (GESS) show scheduled in Dubai later on February 26-28, 2019 is putting the spotlight on empathy and emotional intelligence to help schools deliver a more enriching and meaningful learning experience.

“There is currently a growing movement in progressive schools around the world on developing soft-skills of students alongside digital abilities to deliver a more enriched and empowering learning experience. We’re delighted to have been able to gather world-leading experts to share insights and practical tips on how this can be achieved in classrooms across the region,” said Matt Thompson, Project Director, Tarsus F&E, organisers of GESS Dubai scheduled to take place on 26-28 February 2019 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Organised in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Education and held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, GESS Dubai has lined-up powerful keynote presentations for the entire duration of the three-day show that is expected to gather thousands of education stakeholders from around the Middle East.

His Excellency Engineer Hussain Ibrahim Al Hammadi, UAE Minister of Education, will deliver the opening remarks that will provide a pivotal update on the Emirates’ pioneering initiatives in education.

Aligning its theme with the UAE’s proclamation of 2019 as the Year of Tolerance, GESS Dubai has adopted the theme of Empathy, hoping to Inspire, Empower and Flourish with nine prominent leaders in the field of education delivering keynote presentations on the subject, including Dame Darcy Bussell DBE (Fostering Empathy through Dance), Dr Anantha Kumar Duraiappah (Predators to Nurturers), Dr Ilona Boniwell (Positive Education: Global Developments in Well-Being and Resilience Education), Dr Michele Borba (Empathy is a Verb: New Lessons for Student Success in the Digital Age), Gilda Scarfe (Empowering Students through a Strengths-Based Approach to Bullying Education), Joseph South (Empowering Learners in a Connected World), Nicola Morgan (Inside the Learning Brains in Your Classroom), Olli-Pekka Heinonen (Education Systems as an Innovation Platform in for Lifelong Learning) and Professor Peter Barrett (Designing the Emphatic Classroom).

Empathy as a powerful transformative tool

In today’s plugged-in world of virtual workplaces, electronic communications and increasing personal disconnection, Dr Borba, a noted psychologist and consultant, points out that empathy among students must be activated, because “the habits that achieve this also make us more effective leaders, insightful managers, collaborative colleagues, and compassionate community members.” Drawn from her inspiring TEDx talk, Dr Borba’s presentation will help educators use the “Empathy Advantage” to build valuable social capital within our students.

Another eminent expert, Dr Duraiappah, Director of the UNESCO’s Mahatman Gandhi, will share a new approach to learning that builds not only intellectual intelligence but also emotional intelligence to draw out empathy neurons that can help motivate powerful behavioural changes among students.

Other trending education initiatives on spotlight

Global developments in well-being education will also be discussed in a presentation by France-based Dr Ilona Boniwell, CEO, Positran, who will provide the latest insights on how positive psychology interventions are being successfully developed in various countries that focus on sustainable well-being of students over short-term learning achievements.

Meanwhile, Olli-Pekka Heinonen, Director General of the Finnish National Agency for Education, will share how schools in the region can develop 21st-century skills among students by working closely with start-ups and educational technology experts as practised in Finland, which has set a global standard for quality education and developing high-achieving and well-rounded individuals.

Another keynote presentation from Joseph South, Chief Technology Officer of US-based International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), will explore key principles and strategies to help schools achieve global standards on implementing learning systems that harness the power of technology in developing advanced digital skills among students.

In addition to its top-level conference content, GESS Dubai will also showcase important education initiatives from around the Gulf with participation of the education ministries of Kuwait and Bahrain as well as from Saudi Arabia, whose contingent includes five Tatweer companies, the Saudi Digital Library and the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).

On top of this state-led participation, over 500 local and international private companies will also be exhibiting the latest education-focused products and solutions – from hi-tech teaching aides and materials to innovative STEAM equipment and tools.

Education professionals will also have a chance to network with their peers from 92 countries around the world. Online registration is now open via the event website at