Kicked off by H.E Kees van Baar – The Netherlands Representative to the Palestinian Authority, Dr. Mona Demaidi took us behind the scenes of her “Education & Innovation” journey.
Dr. Mona comes from a family of academics and has fallen in love with writing commands at a very early age. Starting with a BSc degree in Computer Engineering and an obsession to develop virtual learning environments for students to become Avatars, and then drowning into the passion of turning, playing and gamifying learning and education through her MSc degree in Advanced Engineering and Data Management by developing virtual environments for students to be introduced to concepts in an easy, realistic 3D way, she eventually cultivated her passion in her PhD applying artificial intelligence to learning environments taking into account students’ behaviors, traits, and other factors.
Dr. Mona has launched a number of initiatives to bring students together to discuss their issues and talents. And on an evident-gap, she brought the private sector and the market needs on the same table, thus bridging the gap between both sides by matching interests and the required skills to tackle them.
The “However!” to overcome challenges can make a change:
Stereotyping, pursuing opportunities, culture, and the need to prove oneself more, according to Dr. Mona, are the key hurdles she faces as a female along the not-so-easy route. However, bringing more females on the table to speak out is making a difference, being recognized for what you do is changing the idea of working extra to be noticed as a woman and the mindsets are changing as long as the impact is seen and successful stories are on the way.
Various opinions by Dr.Mona about integrating innovation in education
- Innovation should be integrated at an early stage of leaning journey
- Problem solving skills should be introduced to children at an early age
- Children should know about the world-wide problems the SDGs
Advices for females in the innovation field
- Never accept “No” for an answer. Always understand what you want, and fight for what you think right that should happen.
- Participate in initiatives at an early age to gain skills as much as you can.
- You are always qualified. Don’t underestimate yourself. Engage in any opportunity that you have.
- Be passionate about what you do. You don’t need a PhD to step up; unless you are passionate about it.