Gems American Academy recently hosted the first Qatar Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference (Qinocon 2018), a project spearheaded by students as part of the school's Independent Study Program.
Co-founded by Grade 11 students Andrew Jose and Ahmed Emam, the conference was themed 'From Why to How' and provided students with a fresh look at entrepreneurship and educated them on how to turn their dreams to reality.
The speakers at the event, Renee Odeh and Juan Carols Van Meek from Al Jazeera Media, provided insights on how a media organisation works, whereas newly launched Qatar NGO, Green Mangroves founder Lina Tarawneh spoke about social entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship tips were further shared by popular social media website ILoveQatar co-founder Khalifa Saleh al Haroon who shared his experiences on starting the largest digital media network in Qatar. Also, speaking from the parents' perspective was Commercial Bank Senior Corporate Relationship Manager Christian Ofori Atta, who discussed the funding and financing aspects of entrepreneurship.
In addition, GEMS American Academy Qatar CEO Mark Lentz spoke on the core values of the school and entrepreneurialism while The Hague International Model United Nations (Thimun) Qatar Head Lisa Martin discussed 'Sustainable Development Goals and Entrepreneurship'.
The project was a part of the Independent Study Program, newly launched this academic year, by Academics Vice-Principal and History Department Head Alzahir Tharani to empower students to form projects to benefit the community and leave a legacy for future students.
"The Independent Study programme at GEMS American Academy Qatar was designed to give students the opportunity to take ownership for their own learning and showcase it to community members in Qatar. It gives students the opportunity to apply their knowledge from the class to real world problems. The ultimate goal is for students to be critical thinkers, to empower others and take pride in their accomplishments. It is our hope that conferences like this will encourage students, teachers and schools to make impactful initiatives that will allow the youth to contribute back to society, and leave a legacy," said Tharani.
Representatives from Amna Bint Wahab Secondary School for Girls, Newton International Academy, Stafford Sri Lankan School Doha and Vision International School also attended the event.