Educating for Pluralism Innovation Lab

The Centre recently formed our inaugural Innovation Lab, a group of international education experts that will support our education programming. The Lab will serve as an expert advisory group for our development phase.

Each member will contribute their different lenses to the following initiatives:

• A School Reflection Tool to empower schools around the world to examine how inclusion and equity currently figure in their existing policies and practices, and determine the actions required to model pluralism in policy and practice, at all levels of the school environment.

Online Professional Development comprising 6 weeks of moderated, self-paced, sessions through our forthcoming learning platform, MOZAIKO. Participants will move through our Learning Framework experientially as they collaborate on concrete strategies that support pluralism in the classroom.

Read more about the inaugural members below:

Vanessa Andreotti

University of British Columbia, Canada

Vanessa Andreotti – University of British Columbia, Canada

Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti holds a Canada Research Chair in Race, Inequalities and Global Change at the Department of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She has extensive experience working across sectors internationally in areas of education related to epistemological pluralism, global justice and Indigenous and community engagement. Her research focuses on analyses of historical and systemic patterns of reproduction of knowledge and inequalities and how these mobilize global imaginaries that limit or enable different possibilities for (co)existence and global change.


Adeela Arshad-Ayaz

Concordia University, Canada

Adeela Arshad-Ayaz – Concordia University, Canada

Adeela Arshad-Ayaz is an Associate Professor at the Department of Education at Concordia University in Montreal. She has taught for universities in Pakistan, Canada, and the U.K (external program, London School of Economics (LSE)). Her research is situated at the intersections of political economy, cultural pluralism, sustainability, citizenship, technology, hate speech/counter-extremism, and social justice. In the overall context of neo-liberal globalization, her research examines the dynamics of citizenship, cultural pluralism, and difference in conjunction with the advancements in interactive technologies.

Central to her research is the question of how ‘humans and machines’ interact in topographies of global regimes of power, politics, and economics and how the resultant relationships produce or hinder prospects for collective action leading to reflexive global existence. She is the co-founder of Teaching about Extremism, Terror, and Trauma International Symposium.


Bojana Dujkovic Blagojevic

The European Wergeland Centre, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bojana Dujkovic Blagojevic – The European Wergeland Centre, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bojana Dujkovic Blagojevic holds a Master’s degree in History and has long standing experience in education as a teacher and in-service trainer, and as an NGO project manager. Bojana has acted as a participant, project manager and trainer on numerous projects, with a main focus on education and improving teachers’ capacities. She is the author and editor-in-chief for additional teaching materials in history education, with a special focus on sensitive and controversial issues in the history of the former Yugoslavia in the 20th century. Bojana is a project manager in the EUROCLIO HIP BiH (History Teachers Association in Bosnia and Herzegovina) and a regional project coordinator at The European Wergeland Centre (The EWC) for the Western Balkans region. In 2014, she was appointed as a EUROCLIO (European association of history educators) ambassador. She is a proud mother of two.


Jenny Gillett

International Baccalaureate, Netherlands

Jenny Gillett – International Baccalaureate, Netherlands

Jenny has worked for the International Baccalaureate at their global centre in The Hague for 9 years, where she currently holds the post of Senior Curriculum Manager. Working in the IB’s learning and teaching division, she oversees the development of the Diploma Programme theory of knowledge and philosophy courses as well as leading on central elements such as approaches to teaching and learning. Before joining the IB Jenny worked as a teacher for 7 years at schools in the UK. She is a lifelong learner with a degree in philosophy and theology from Oxford University, 3 MAs and a PhD in philosophy.


Waidehi Gokhale

Soliya, USA

Waidehi Gokhale – Soliya, USA

With 20 years of experience in the fields of psychology, peacebuilding and education, in 2015 Waidehi was appointed CEO of Soliya, an international non-profit that leverages interactive technology to build trust and respect across lines of difference worldwide. As CEO, Waidehi drives the growth strategy behind Soliya’s vision for using technology as a mode to proliferate innovative practices in global education and peacebuilding. She is a leading advocate for the viability of virtual exchange as a means to cultivate hard empathy and shift the way societies deal with difference; from confrontation to collaboration.

Waidehi was born in India, grew up in Hong Kong and has lived and worked in the UK, Singapore, Canada and the United States. Waidehi holds an MA in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, an MA in Counseling Psychology from Boston College and a BA in Literature & Philosophy from the University of York, UK.


Alex Holland

Aga Khan Academies, UK

Alex Holland – Aga Khan Academies, UK

Alexandra Holland is the Academic Development Manager for the Aga Khan Academies. She supports teachers to build International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum programmes relevant to students in the developing world, preparing students to use their education to improve quality of life in local communities. Alexandra works closely with teachers to develop students’ international mindedness through the ‘Aga Khan Curricular Strands’: Ethics; Pluralism; Cultures; Economics for Development; and Governance and Civil Society. In doing so, she works to create curriculum which is deeply rooted in the local context, but supports a global outlook. Alexandra has also taught in South Africa, Hong Kong and the UK. Prior to her time with the Academies, Alexandra was Director of Teaching and Learning, and Chair of African Studies, in the founding faculty of the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg.


Archana Iyer

Teach for All, India

Archana Iyer – Teach for All, India

Archana leads the cross-network initiative at the Global Learning Lab at Teach For All to understand how we best enable students to be leaders who shape a better future for themselves and all of us. She is also a part of the Education 2030 project focusing on student agency in pursuit of individual and social well-being. Prior to this work, Archana led the development of Firki – a bilingual, open-source training platform for teachers in low-resource, high-need communities in India. She began her journey with the Teach For India Fellowship where she taught a grade 5 class in a severely underserved, government school in Mumbai. When not at work, Archana can be found negotiating with her toddler or reading furiously to meet her yearly reading challenge goal.


Matthew Johnson

MediaSmarts, Canada

Matthew Johnson – MediaSmarts, Canada

Matthew Johnson is the Director of Education for MediaSmarts, Canada’s center for digital and media literacy. He is the author of many of MediaSmarts’ lessons, parent materials and interactive resources and a lead on MediaSmarts’ Young Canadians in a Wired World research project. He has contributed blogs and articles to websites and magazines around the world as well as presenting MediaSmarts’ materials on topics such as copyright, cyberbullying, body image and online hate to parliamentary committees, academic conferences and governments and organizations around the world. He has served as on expert panels convened by the Canadian Pediatric Society, the Ontario Network of Child and Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatric Services and others, consulted on provincial curriculum for the Ontario Ministry of Education, and been interviewed by outlets such as The Globe and Mail, BBC News Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, Radio Canada International and CBC’s The National.


Rose LeMay

Indigenous Reconciliation Group, Canada

Rose LeMay – Indigenous Reconciliation Group, Canada

Rose LeMay is the CEO of the Indigenous Reconciliation Group, a company created to support capacity in organizations to increase cultural competence in their employees, and to facilitate excellent frontline delivery to Indigenous clients. She brings over 20 years of experience to the IRG in mental health and health systems development. With experience working in both the public and private sectors, Rose is able to facilitate complex and nuanced discussions on the topic of reconciliation and change management, including the role we all have in building an equitable vision for Canada. This vision is one Rose shared with Indigenous leaders around the world as founding international chair of the Wharerātā (fare’eh rata) Group, an international network of Indigenous leaders and their allies working in mental health and addictions.


Isabelle LeVert Chiasson

Canadian Commission for UNESCO, Canada

Isabelle LeVert Chiasson – Canadian Commission for UNESCO, Canada

Isabelle LeVert-Chiasson is the Education Program Officer with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO). Her role includes the national coordination of the UNESCO Schools Network (ASPnet), engaging Canadians in UNESCO programs in Canada and abroad, providing advice to various levels of government related to the UNESCO Education Sector, and supporting the permanent delegation of Canada to UNESCO. Isabelle has over 10 years of experience in the field of community and international development, with expertise in project management, partnership development, and monitoring and evaluation. Her work in the field of education has focused primarily on the themes of sustainable development, global citizenship education and youth engagement. She has worked both in Canada and abroad with organizations including World University Service of Canada (WUSC), Heartwood Centre for Community Youth Development, United Way, Katimavik, and Canada World Youth.


Destine Lord

Inclusion and Anti-Racism Consultant, Canada

Destine Lord – Inclusion and Anti-Racism Consultant, Canada

Destine Lord is a consultant, communicator, connector and facilitator working toward the elimination of racism in Canada. For the last 10 years, she has worked across the country, in both the private and public sectors, facilitating workshops and training sessions related to risk management, change management, Indigenous reconciliation and building awareness of Indigenous culture within mainstream organizations. Destine has been to a number of First Nation and Inuit communities as an ally and relationship builder. She is certified in change management through Prosci Solutions and has an Honours degree in Mass Communication from Carleton University and a Master’s degree in Journalism from Bond University. She is a news junkie and very interested in how the media can shape our perceptions about the world and people around us.


Ayaz Naseem

Concordia University, Canada

Ayaz Naseem – Concordia University, Canada

Dr. Muhammad Ayaz Naseem holds a Ph.D. in Comparative and International Education from McGill University, Montreal. Currently he is a Professor of Education at Concordia University.

His research interests are situated on the cross section of education in pluri-cultural societies, peace education, social media as spaces for peace education, teaching about extremism, terror, and radicalization, and citizenship education. In 2013-14, he held the First Georg Arnhold Research Professorship on Educating for Sustainable Peace at Georg Eckert Institute in Braunschweig, Germany.

He has published widely including six books and over fifty articles and book chapters. His research has been funded by the SSHRC, FRQ-SC, Public Security Canada, Humboldt Foundation (Germany), and Georg Arnhold Foundation (Germany).


Daniel Otieno

Kenyatta University, Kenya

Daniel Otieno – Kenyatta University, Kenya

Dr. Daniel Otieno is an educator in the Department of Educational Management Policy and Curriculum Studies at Kenyatta University, Kenya. He holds a PhD in Educational Administration and lectures on Educational Management/Leadership, Educational Research, Monitoring and Evaluation and use of ICT in Education.  He has published articles in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters on values-based leadership, digital literacy, blended learning and strategic management. His current research focus is on internationalization, virtual academic exchange in education, pluralism, social inclusion and sustainable development. He is a certified Life Coach and an Erasmus + Virtual Exchange facilitator in Connect program, COIL, and Sharing Perspectives. He is lead consultant at the Center for Values Education, an organization that advocates for values and equality in organisations.


Lynette Shultz

University of Alberta, Canada

Lynette Shultz – University of Alberta, Canada

Dr. Lynette Shultz is Professor and Director of the Centre for Global Citizenship Education and Research at the University of Alberta, Canada as well as co-editor of the Journal of Contemporary Issues in Education. She has published widely on the topics of education policy, democracy, and social justice, and global citizenship with a particular focus on the geo-politics of knowledge. She has conducted research and taught in many countries. She is currently is working on a Global Classroom project with high school students in 21 countries to develop effective ways to engage youth in the important issues of our time. She contributes her time to several projects for UNESCO and other organizations working to support education for social justice and global citizenship.


Nafisa Shekhova

Aga Khan Foundation, Switzerland

Nafisa Shekhova – Aga Khan Foundation, Switzerland

Nafisa Shekhova is the Global Lead, Education with the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF). Nafisa has been with the Aga Khan Development Network for over 18 years in key education roles in Afghanistan, East Africa and Geneva. Nafisa was the Regional Education Programme Manager in East Africa for five years and prior to that in Afghanistan for over five years. Nafisa has over three years of teaching experience. She holds a Master of Education from Melbourne University, Australia and a Bachelor of Arts in teaching English from Khorog State University. Nafisa is fluent in English, Russian and Tajik.


Steven Stegers

EuroClio, Netherlands

Steven Stegers – EuroClio, Netherlands

Steven Stegers is the Executive Director of EuroClio, the European Association of History Educators, where he has worked since 2006. He has led several projects in which educational resources are being developed as part of a collaborative process. He has worked in Europe, the Black Sea region, Central Asia, North Africa and the Middle East. Steven has managed the development of Historiana, which is a free award-winning online educational resource designed for and with history educators. He has been involved as an expert for several intergovernmental organizations and the International Baccalaureate.


Sharon Stein

University of British Columbia, Canada

Sharon Stein – University of British Columbia, Canada

Sharon Stein is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Her research brings critical and decolonial perspectives to the role of universities in society, with an emphasis on the challenges of decolonization, internationalization, and sustainability. She is particularly interested in addressing these challenges in ways that interrupt common colonial patterns of engagement, including: paternalistic and extractive relationships between dominant and marginalized communities; simplistic solutions to complex problems; and ethnocentric imaginaries of justice, responsibility, and social change. She is a founding member of the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures Collective, and founder and convener of the Critical Internationalization Studies Network.


Nayla Tabbara

Adyan Foundation, Lebanon

Nayla Tabbara – Adyan Foundation, Lebanon

Dr. Nayla Tabbara is Director of the Institute of Citizenship and Diversity Management and founding member of Adyan Foundation for Diversity, Solidarity and Human Dignity. She is also co-president of Religions for Peace. She holds a PhD in Science of Religions from École Pratique des Hautes Études (Sorbonne-Paris) and Saint Joseph University (Beirut) and is a university professor in Religious and Islamic Studies. She is also a Muslim woman theologian and has publications in the fields of Islamic theology of other religions, Islamic feminism, education on interreligious and intercultural diversity, Qur’anic exegesis and Sufism. She works on curricula development (formal and non-formal) on multifaith education, inclusive citizenship and freedom of religion or belief. She has received the Gold Medal of the French Renaissance Award as well as 3 awards for her book L’islam pensé par une femme (Bayard, 2018).


Aniqah Zowmi

Canadian Commission for UNESCO, Canada

Aniqah Zowmi – Canadian Commission for UNESCO, Canada

Aniqah Zowmi has a passion for mainstreaming diversity and inclusion at all levels of government and civic organization. She serves in multiple roles: she is currently the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Leading Change Canada; a Regional Focal Point for the United Nations Major Group of Children and Youth (MGCY); and a Youth Advisor to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO).

Zowmi served as a Lead Author for the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education and Peace for Sustainable Development’s publication, a Youth-Led Guide on Preventing Violent Extremism through Education, which was launched at the UNESCO Annual General Meeting in 2017. Zowmi holds a Master of Arts in Social Justice and Equity Studies from Brock University, focused on the intersection between social enterprise and feminist and anti-colonialist theory.