Raya Bidshahri

Raya Bidshahri is a serial entrepreneur, author, futurist, educator and keynote speaker. As the Founder and CEO of Awecademy, Raya is one of the world’s leading experts in alternative models in education, the future of work and exponential innovation. She has been featured by the BBC as one of the 100 most influential and inspirational woman globally and is a member of the Bett Global Education Council.

Strategy
World
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About

Raya Bidshahri

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Past speaking engagemens
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Raya is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Awecademy, an award-winning organization that offers future-focussed and wisdom-based education. She is a founding member at SciFest Dubai, a city-wide science festival which serves to celebrate science through the arts. Raya is also the Co-founder of Intelligent Optimism, a global movement with 500.000+ followers that aims to inspire a better future for humanity through evidence and rationality. Finally, she is the co-founder of Cafe Scientifique, a social meetup group to talk about science, technology, innovation and the future.


Raya has been keynoting at conferences for the last 9 years - since she was 16 - and brings a much-needed youth perspective to discussions about the future of our species.  Raya speaks about the implications of exponential technologies on the future of work, education and humanity at large. She infuses into her talks a sense of cosmic perspectives, moonshot thinking, existential awareness and intelligent optimism. also, Raya is notable for her ability to take audiences through an inspiring vision for a radical model of education that can contribute to positive civilization-level change.

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Raya Bidshahri

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Education in the Day After Tomorrow

In a world of accelerating change due to exponential technologies, the global education system is ripe for disruption. What does the world “school” mean in a world where the only constant is change? How often do we learn something that leaves us awestruck?

During these talks, Raya Bidshahri outlines how and why we urgently need to overhaul our educational policies, curriculum, pedagogy, mindsets and school models for the Exponential Age. She takes audiences through a vision of the school of the future: no classes, no exams, no school buildings, but a model that is based on personalized learning, interdisciplinary curriculums, purpose-driven accomplishments and project-based training. The talks also explore examples of such “schools of the future”, including the Awecademy Learning Hub.

Mindsets for Exponential Innovation

Often, radical innovation stems from mindsets, more than it does from technical skills. Also, we tend to get so preoccupied with our issues here on earth that we forget that we are part of a grand cosmic arena. What if we start by zooming out of our planet and observe our actions and values through a transcendent lens?

Raya gives audiences a wider outlook and explores the power of existential awareness in kickstarting innovation and human progress. These talks involve a deep-dive into mindsets that catalyze innovation --- including exponential thinking, abundance mindset, intelligent optimism, cosmic perspectives and critical thinking.

COVID-19: Opportunities for Alternative Models of Education

The focus of this talk is to summarize the radical changes in education over the last 6 months and examine the opportunities that COVID-19 has exposed, with the use of case studies.

There is a recap of what has and hasn't worked with distance learning approaches around the world, and the lessons learned. It explores the need for radical imagination, to design and execute alternative models of education.

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Lieve Pattyn
Sales & Marketing Director EG Stada Group

The tour founded relationships with interesting people I otherwise would've never met, and that's what nexxworks is great at.

Ann Viaene
Founder Sparkz

The mix of speakers and content was perfect

Wouter Blomme
Chief Development Officer at Upgrade Estate

It was truly an eye-opening experience that both enriched my network with amazing people and helped me shape the further direction of my career.

Peter Vindevogel
CEO The Park

A spontaneous smile on our face! That is what happens when we look back at our experience tour. The things you hear, see and learn are a source of inspiration and motivation for the future. We have already implemented some of these in our current strategy and operations.

Emile Maes
Head of Retail Filou & Friends

Nexxworks helps to facilitate innovative out of the box thinking. They will expose you and your teams to a different level of thought leadership, which in turn will help you and your people develop a different thinking ethos for the future.

Paul Roberts
CEO Digital Ventures Cartamundi

The nexxworks inspiration series helps us to imagine the future together with all the teams worldwide, and make the bridge to our day-to-day challenges as well.

Veerle Lauwers
Director Digital Strategy & Transformation at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners

The nexxworks inspiration sessions were that mindblowing, that I invited my global team to taste, smell and learn via a similar experience.  

Mona Nair
Vice President, Skin Health & Head NA R&D at Johnson & Johnson

Meeting today’s companies and speakers brought us refreshing energy and perspectives to our challenges today.

Margaret Mitchell
Global VP People & Organization at Mars.inc

This experience showed how short-term planning and long term planning are both needed. The China visits were truly inspiring in how they execute on that. 

Tom Ward
Chief E-Commerce Walmart US

It’s so important to step outside the day-to-day business. We are the only ones who can moderate this back to our teams and translate what we’ve learned to accomplish our daily goals. 

Kathryn McClay
CEO at Sam's Club

To new travelers, I hope you feel some of the same excitement, anxiety, and concentration. May you learn the way we did. 

Kosta Peric
Deputy Director Financial Services for the Poor at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

We’ve seen great concepts and initiatives from other companies, that made us think outside the box.

Hannelore Raes
Co CEO at AGRISTO NV

We want to make sure that the wonderful company that our family started, remains relevant in a fast-pace changing world.

Filip Wallays
Co-CEO at AGRISTO NV

I view the nexxworks membership as a combination of inspiration, practical insights, and networking with peers.

Ivy Vanderheyden
VP Marketing L&R at Wolters Kluwer

You can find

Raya Bidshahri

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Raya Bidshahri

thoughts in words

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10 Customer Experience for 2023 (and beyond)
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December 8, 2022
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AI for climate: towards environmentally responsible research and innovation
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December 5, 2022
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What's behind the rise and return of the middle manager?
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December 1, 2022
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