“Global Thinking Is a Reality, We Have Never Been More Connected”

Reem Bsaiso, ICT & Knowledge Economy expert from Jordan, talks about Leadership as a second nature, especially when citizens participate in the process and shares her own insights around the value of mentoring.

Q: What industry are you in, and why did you pick to do what you do?

A: Knowledge economy for human capital on national policy levels, in support of ICT-based Knowledge Economy and Entrepreneurial Policies and National Training.

Human resources are the basis of everything. Educated humans, who have education, culture, good citizenship, healthy, care for the environment and life on earth, can render positive systems and peace. 

This is not easy to attain, yet simple, after having worked on a global model for more than 10 years, applied it on 14 country projects and then tested and scaled up to reach 100 million youth in 5 years.

I also discovered that educated students cannot be pumped into environments that are more filled with inhibitors than enablers, it is important that education has a calculated investment return, rendering economic growth and job creation. This translates into better life and peace for a new generation, where technology is opening new horizons, never dreamt of before.

What is needed is political will, to mobilize finance into changing lives and systems.

Q: How did you learn to embrace risk-taking?

A: Risk-taking is an instantaneous mental calculation that dwells on all available data, knowledge and passed experiences. Should data be missing from the risk calculation equation, it can be substituted as margin of error and known deviation.

People thought I took decisions in a haste, and little did they know that it was an intricate set of calculations, drawing on all available and missing data.

Risk calculation is a talent and a skill. Once calculated, I jumped into risk-taking especially when the outcomes meant better lives for others, prudently of course.

Q: Think back to ten (or more...) years ago. Did you envision your career as it is today?

A: My career was being built without me knowing, I was immersed into education and training, absorbing knowledge and fighting to make a difference, until I realized that I had started to see the bigger picture and how policies affect each other and that is when I became a speaker, I had something to say to the policy makers and to the entrepreneurs.

Q: What do you wish you had known before taking your first management role?

A: I trusted people due to my nature, and this is wrong. When I hired people I was impressed by their lies (sadly), and now I know that when hiring, it is best to go through professional firms or design a very stringent test. It is our duty not to let unworthy people enter into doors that are supposed to be reserved for humans who are giving and want to make a difference in other people’s lives, and not those consumed with self-interest.

"Risk calculation is a talent and a skill"

Reem N. Bsaiso Founder & Managing Partner Global Outreach

Q: Which leadership skills were the most difficult to develop?

A: Leadership is a second nature, especially when it is based on the participatory approach, buy-in and democracy. It is great to lead, but it is challenging as well, given the human nature, so, it is very important to put the right person in the right place and follow-up on their progress.

Q: Can you tell us about a time when you had a difficult boss? How did you handle the situation?

A: All my bosses as a senior were impressive, but I dare say, when I was CEO I had 2 Boards of Directors (BoD), one was regional and one was international, and One Advisory Board on the level of Heads of State. My BoD would raise the bar for me each year, asking me to reach 10 more countries and millions of students. But then this challenge made me stronger.

Q: Did you have a mentor in life? If yes, what did you learn from him/her? If not, what do you feel you missed out on?

A: Yes, my mentor is so special, Mr Muhammad Muhsin, former Vice President of the World Bank, is my idol, friend, and mentor. I owe him so much. He is so wise with few words that open horizons.

Q: Do you think that the concept of 'global thinking' is important?

A: Global Thinking is a reality, we have never been more connected in our lives. We are jumping from one country to another, as if it is next-door, keeping abreast of events and following-up on them through social media. We have never been closer and mobilization into a better future is a must, by harnessing the power we have.

Q: The world seems to be in flux, what can we do to make it a better place?

A: As a mother, I always want to leave a better world to my children and better children for the world. The basics still hold true, I would want my children to have 3 things: a healthy mind (education, knowledge), a healthy body (healthy style of living away from commercialized foods and drugs), and a healthy spirit (ethics, love and preservation of nature).

Q: What is your motto in life?

A: Leave the world better than you found it.

Reem N. Bsaiso

Founder & Managing Partner Global Outreach

She is an international senior consultant in national knowledge-based economy for human capital policies, for economic growth and job creation, in support of merging ICT (Information and Communications Technologies) and 21st Century Skills in education from policy to results.

Core competencies: Global scalable models and blended learning instructional pedagogy. Her mission is to boost the impact of knowledge enabled human capital by mediating enhancive policies, knowledge enabling environments while boosting KE transfer channels through socio-economic regimes, education, innovation and ICT towards economic growth and job creation. She believes that good education is vital for spreading tolerance, understanding and world peace. Her track record as CEO of a World Bank Initiative includes training more than 4 million students, through scalable teachers’ training models. She was part of the Jordan Prime Ministry National Agenda and started Jordan’s first merging of technology in education policies and national training.

She has been working with the UK-based Brains Innovation Summits Ltd in organizing MENA Innovation Forums across the MENA region. Other appointments include: Advisory Board Member, Global Thinkers Forum (UK) and United Planet (USA), Founder and Managing Partner of Global Outreach, based in Bahrain, Member of the Paris-based UNESCO Advisory Panel of Experts on Debt Swaps and Innovative Approaches to Education Financing, to the Secretary-General (35 C/Resolution 12, General Conference, 2009); Chairman of the Board of Directors of Professionals for Humanity, a non-profit serving medical and other humanitarian situations in Africa and the USA. Nominated for the World Economic Forum (WEF) Social Entrepreneur of the Year for the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) Region 2010, and awarded by the World Bank Institute (WBI) and InfoDev for the EVOKE challenge on global issues and supporting social innovation around the world (Social Gaming): for wining among 10 projects out of 20,000 players, from 150 countries.

She has a Master’s Degree in Advanced Computer-Aided Design from Virginia Tech, USA.


Published: 26/12/2019