In a world marked by rapid change and unprecedented challenges, leaders who advocate adaptability, sustainability, and innovation stand as beacons of hope. Dr. Dima Rachid Jamali, a prominent figure in the world of transformative leadership, has dedicated her career to reshaping education and championing sustainability. As she assumes her role as Dean of the School of Management at the Canadian University of Dubai, we had the privilege of sitting down with Dr. Jamali for an insightful conversation.
Dr. Jamali, could you share your vision for the future of education?
Dr. Jamali: Certainly. My vision for the future of education is one that revolves around adaptability, sustainability, and youth empowerment. I believe that education is the key to unlocking human potential and driving social progress and justice. To achieve this vision, we need to actively engage learners and provide them with practical experiences. Traditional passive learning is no longer sufficient in our rapidly evolving world.
How do you propose to adapt to this changing educational landscape?
Dr. Jamali: The landscape of education has been transformed by technological advancements and shifting learner expectations. To address these changes, we must incorporate cutting-edge topics, flexible delivery methods, and extensive practical components into our curricula. Learners today seek stimulation and engagement, and we must meet these demands.
Beyond knowledge, what skills do you believe students should develop?
Dr. Jamali: In addition to knowledge acquisition, learners must develop essential employability skills. These include creativity, critical thinking, leadership, adaptability, and soft skills such as effective communication and teamwork. These skills are vital for navigating the ever-changing job market and making meaningful contributions to society.
You mentioned the importance of lifelong learning. How can education support this concept?
Dr. Jamali: Lifelong learning is crucial in our ever-changing world. We should offer customized learning paths that allow students to explore their passions and develop their unique capabilities. Initiatives like those in the United Arab Emirates, where students have more freedom to tailor their education to their interests, are commendable.
Technology is undoubtedly shaping education. How do you view its role?
Dr. Jamali: Technology, particularly Artificial Intelligence (AI), has a transformative role in education. AI can personalize learning experiences, provide mentoring, and help institutions make data-driven decisions. However, we must also address ethical, social, and technical issues related to AI.
What challenges and opportunities do you see in education today?
Dr. Jamali: Several challenges, including resistance to change and the need to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach, are prevalent. However, opportunities exist in stimulating educators and learners to embrace change, and fostering multidisciplinary partnerships between academia and the job market.
You’re a strong advocate for sustainability. How can businesses contribute to this cause?
Dr. Jamali: Sustainability is a shared responsibility, and businesses must play a pivotal role. Through initiatives like the UN Global Compact Network Lebanon, businesses can integrate sustainability into their core strategies, aligning with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ethical stewardship is key, going beyond compliance to drive sustainable progress.
Finally, how do you envision shaping future leaders through your work?
Dr. Jamali: My journey has taught me the importance of adaptability, sustainability, and youth empowerment in shaping future leaders. In my role at the Canadian University of Dubai, I envision an educational ecosystem that equips graduates to lead responsibly, drive innovation, and contribute to a sustainable and prosperous future for the UAE and beyond.
Dr. Dima Rachid Jamali’s transformative leadership in education and sustainability is inspiring. Her vision is actionable, and with leaders like her, we can look forward to a world where education becomes the catalyst for positive global change.