Development sector leaders—practicioners, funders, and thinkers—gathered in Washington, D.C. in June for the Devex World annual conference. The event featured an energizing and far-ranging agenda of discussions spanning topics from clean water to leveraging AI and satellite imagery for development. Teach For All’s CEO, Wendy Kopp, participated in a panel entitled “Storytelling and Movement Building” with Amel Karboul, CEO of Education Outcomes Fund for Africa and the Middle East, and Phyllis Costanza, CEO of UBS Optimus Foundation, and moderated by Devex reporter Sophie Edwards. Their discussion focused on new approaches to addressing the global education crisis and ensuring that children are in school and learning.
Among the solutions raised in the discussion were innovative financing models, which all agreed were necessary. In addition to increasing financing capacity, however, Wendy emphasized that "we must also focus that same energy on building leadership capacity in education.” She shared the story of Teach For India’s progress in the city of Pune, where a burgeoning movement is taking hold as a result of the energy, commitment, and innovation of alumni leaders, community members, teachers, policymakers and local organizations who are working collectively to improve education outcomes and life opportunities for students.
Wendy also discussed the need for more funding mechanisms for leadership capacity development, highlighting Teach For All’s partner in Uganda as an example. “In the current global development structure, programs like Teach For Uganda are not getting the funding they need,” she said, noting that this year the organization is able to recruit just a small fraction of the local leaders needed to transform education in their country. “The challenge is massive,” she explained, “but that means there is massive opportunity.”