Posted on April 5, 2018
The third power talk breakfast hosted Rana el Chemaitelly who talked about her vision to reform the public educational system, using technology for the creation of job opportunities through encouraging local production and exports.
“Having a vision with a smart strategy will enable anyone to accomplish any goal they set themselves to. The same thinking applies to the Lebanese parliament. This is how we catalyze change,” emphasizes Chemaitelly. With her long experience in both operations and academia, Chemaitelly stresses on the importance of modernizing the educational system, ultimately preparing new grads for the ever-competitive work market. She went on to stress the importance of strengthening the public education sector to match the level of private eduction. “My role in the parliament will allow me to work on such plans with the support of lawyers, mentors and consultants whose expertise will ensure an integral plan.”
An entrepreneur herself, Chemaitelly understands and stresses on the importance of creating an ecosystem that supports entrepreneurs and on setting national plans to reinforce entrepreneurship: “Believing in our innovative youth, encouraging startups launching in different realms of technology and investing money in SMEs will allow us to create hundreds of jobs. Instead of exporting brains, why don’t we import factories to produce our innovations and export our technology to the world?”
With a background in mechanical engineering and management, Rana created The Little Engineer, an “edutainment” center for engaging young minds in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through hands-on learning activities to unleash their full potential in pre-engineering skills while highlighting robotics, renewable energies, aviation and space, working in parallel on youth leadership and presentation skills. The Little Engineer works with ministries of education in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to integrate the program in school curricula.
For The Little Engineer initiative and business plan, Rana was recognized as one of MENA’s most promising entrepreneurs in 2009 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was awarded the “Coup de Coeur Femme” by Medventures for the Mediterranean in 2010. In 2011, she was selected for the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program and won the Cartier Women’s Initiative Award for the MENA region. In 2012 Rana won the Green Mind Award and in 2013, The Little Engineer signed a strategic partnership with Airbus Middle East to deliver regional workshops for youth. In 2016, she partnered with Airbus Foundation to expand her social programs at the global level starting in Africa. She is a Vital Voices GROW fellow, and selected as one of the leaders for Vital Voices 100 in 2016. In 2017 she was selected as global ambassador by Bank of America as a woman in leadership. In 2017, being among the leaders, as a woman in Technology, she was selected by the Department State for the Techwomen Program taking place in the Silicon Valley in San Francisco for 5 weeks.
Rana is committed to being a voice of change in the Arab world by investing in young minds and preparing future leaders for the challenges. At the same time, she is working to empower women in her community, country and around the world.