Global Education Initiative

World Economic Forum  – Global Education Initiative

In its six years of existence, the Global Education Initiative has impacted over 1.8 million students and teachers and mobilized over US$ 100 million in resource support in Jordan, Rajasthan (India), Egypt, the Palestinian Territories and Rwanda. Today, the GEI engages over 40 private sector partners, 14 governments, seven international organizations and 20 NGOs with a Steering Board of nine Industry and Strategic Partners (AMD, Cisco, Edelman, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Satyam, StratReal, and SK Group).

When this initiative was launched in Egypt back in 2006, I’ve attended part of the ceremony, my analysis is mainly reflected from the Egyptian track.

Face 1: Market Focus

Egypt Education Initiative (EEI) has 4 tracks; K12, Higher Education, Life Long Learning and Corporate.

 Face 2: Type of Offerings

As the objective is to encourage Public/Private Partnership (PPP model), each commercial vendor supplied and sponsored either an Infrastructure, Content or Service.

 Face 3: Who is the buyer?

The hosting agency is the World Economic Forum, so such initiatives are normally discussed at the presidential level first during the famous Davos WEF summits. In Egypt, EEI is endorsed by the first lady of Egypt (Mrs. Suzan Mubarak) and the beneficiary stakeholders are; Ministry of ICT, MoE and MoHE

Face 4: Global Markets

Clearly such initiative targets developing countries. So far; Jordan, Egypt, Palestine, Rajasthan.  What seems interesting, that WEF is asking piloted countries to extend support to new countries joining the program. This is what’s expected from Egypt to offer for Rwanda.

Face 5: Development of the Market

EEI model is to export best practice facilitated by international private companies (like the Intel Teach program which has been Cubed in this blog) , also capacity building is highly pushed forward to achieve the sustainability strategic objective of this initiative.

Face 6: Learning Technology Competing with Other Forms of Learning

As pointed above, technologies are being introduced as the big picture of integrating ICT in Education as one of the means for Education Reform.  Natural resistance is expected and alternatives are offered by starting with pilot model schools (ready for technology environment) in selected urban geography.


Food for thought; What the press reported when the initiative started that the international companies are engaged in this program for free, I believe there’s no such free lunch. What’s in it for the big guys is still something to debate and research further.

October 6, 2009   1 Comment

Good job EVAs

Just wanted to write a short post to congratulate the fledgling EVAs of ETEC 522 2009.

Well done. Lots of evaluations (tables and prose) and comments on EVA findings. Thanks also for the useful resources that have been posted to support extensions to the content for Module 2.


September 21, 2009   2 Comments

Pitch Analysis for RRU and Recombo

Okay, so here is my evaluation of Royal Roads University (RRU) open courseware and Recombo.  Having been my first time as an EVA I found this to be challanging task.  More research time on both topics is what I would need to go forth with an investment.  Teachers love these little organizational charts!! 

Criteria Recombo RRU
CEO Credibility -Seems to have a solid understanding a vision for what recombo is trying to achieve- Mentions walking away from business in 2005 if he doesn’t achieve results he wants, although it shows that he is focused on results as an investor I would never want to hear that type of negativity during a pitch

-Also it seems that is not the CEO of recombo, which leads me to wonder why he is making the pitch

– We are not formally introduced to a CEO therefore we don’t know who is behind all the ideas of opencourseware- I feel unsure of who will be ultimately accountable for the progress of the corporation/initiative
Management Team – Little is mentioned about the management team besides the former VP of Terra Lycos- Understanding the management team is important because without the right team the company has a critical flaw – No mentioned of a management team, however given that it is RRU is a university its name does provide some credibility
Business Model – I believe Recombo has a viable understanding of where they want to go and I would be interested in hearing more details about Recombo’s plan to improve elearning as they obviously see it as a niche market for their products – RRU seems to not deliver a tangible plan for how they will implement opencourseware.-Will it be all at once or will it increase gradually, how much will it cost and what revenue will it generate, I think RRU is looking to create revenue indirectly through enrolment

– opencourseware appears to be an altruistic venture and therefore is free to the user

Competitive Products Considering the eagerness of publishers to get into the corporate training market I believe there is a huge market to be captures in the near future – RRU does not explain the target market they will be pursuing for example what age demographic
Market readiness – Considering that computing is headed towards more integration everyday, the need need to translate information between programs is and will become more important and the market for Recombo’s products is ready for solutions – Since RRU does not mention what it would consider to be a success we don’t know what RRU’s exact goal is we need to see exactly where they want to go and how they are going to measure their success
Technical  innovation – Recombo makes no points about whether any of their technology is available only from them, however they may be leaders in their ideas – I see RRU as getting “on board” with this idea rather than having a technology which is unique to their institution
Exit Strategy – Recombo seems unclear about an exit however an IPO is mentioned and acquisition by IBM, however according to Brad it would need to have the right price – Destination is unclear, I am not sure how I see how I will get a return on my investment
Overall investment status – Although Recombos seems to have a sound plan and idea for an emerging market I would need to do more research into the IT industry to understand more about other perhaps similar opportunities before investing in Recombo.  Also I would prefer to hear about more about the sales in the company and its operating costs. – Granted that RRU and opencourseware sound like a wonderful altruistic idea for improving learning opportunities for everyone I would not directly invest capital in this venture as it is very unclear how I will generate a direct monetary return in the future.

September 21, 2009   5 Comments

Ammar as EVA for Recombo 05, Ingenia and RRU


Coming late made me think of presnting it differently for a change, hope it’s not that distracting for you 🙂

Here it’s ;

ETEC522 – Pitch Pool Ammar Al-Attiyat as an EVA




September 20, 2009   2 Comments

EVA of Ingenia and Recombo by Barbara Mair

A lot has been said in the blog about these two companies.

I would add that the CEO of Ingenia comes across as a very credible person in the education field although since the venture is taking place in Vietnam she is not focusing enough on her credibility in this market. In the case of Recombo, the CEO is highly knowledgeable about his product that has now become a service and i believe he would profit from being a little less technical in his pitch and a little more market driven.

As several of you have expressed neither one of the CEOs goes into the management team enough to judge if they are the right team for what they are trying to do, again Ingenia would benefit by explaining the partnership with the company who knows Vietnam well and telling us if anyone on her team has in depth knowledge about doing business in Vietnam. In the case of Recombo going from 12 to 24 people in a short time without outlining what these bring to the table could be dangerous and a source of cash burning.

Both business models could be successful given the right conditions, although i am not convinced by either of them as they stand in these pitches, they both will evolve although Recombo could be close if this lighthouse customer is as successful as they anticipate.

In the case of Recombo they have evolved from being a product driven company to a service company recognizing the pain and solving a business need for their partner. They are staying focused on developping this “distribution channel” for their products and services and i believe this will help them evolve further in understanding the end customer’s needs and adapting to them, they do sell the uniqueness of their products for the market they are addressing. Ingenia on the other hand has not found the uniqueness of their products, we do not know what the competition looks like in the market they are going after, Vietmam and they have had no success in their own local market. So it is to be seen whether they do have the right products.

I believe that Ingenia could be successful but i would not invest in it until i saw more proof of their ability to do business oversees in Asia.  Recombo i believe has got the product/service right although they are not clear on the exit strategy whether they are building up a company to sell or to expand to other customers or partners…. Looking at these as an EVA, of the two companies ithink Recombo is a surer bet.

September 18, 2009   1 Comment


Just a quick point that many of you are putting too much weight on the personality of the pitchperson rather than the substance of their pitch.  This is entirely reasonable – we are humans after all – but remember that both honest and dishonest people can be very good at conveying trust in situations where better caution might be waranted.   Angels and Venture Capitalists are unanimous that successful investments begin with the ability to both “like” and “trust” the pitchperson, but obviously their due diligence has to go deeper than this.   Try to look beyond the words and image to form an impression of the enterprise that is being described.  Could you also like that entreprise???

September 16, 2009   No Comments