Congress Debate Session

Empowering youth through quality education: accomplishments, challenges, and areas for closer collaboration between the Global North and South

Chair: Karen Seashore Louis


  • Karima Kadaoui: Co-Founder, Executive President, Practice Researcher Tamkeen Community Foundation for Human Development, Social Innovation Platform
  • Dr. Marie Jose Berger : Professor Emeritus, University of Ottawa
  • Darleen V. Opfer, Ph.D: Vice President and Director, RAND Education and Labor

Professor Karen Seashore

Professor Karen Seashore

Karen Seashore is Regents Professor; Robert Holmes Beck Chair of Ideas in Education at the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota. Her research centers on school improvement and reform, school effectiveness, leadership in school settings, and the politics of knowledge use in education. Current projects include research-practice collaboration and the application of positive psychology to larger social settings. Her most recent book “Positive School Leadership” co-authored with Joseph F Murphy (2018) draws on the strengths of relationships among staff and the broader school community to communicate and instill shared values and a common mission.

Karima Kadaoui

As a Tamkeen Community Facilitator and researcher for over 10 years, I have the privilege to witness how the belief in human potential and unconditional love co-create the conditions for the emergence of ecosystems of social cohesion and social well-being.

My Tamkeen Process story started in 2007 with my lived experience research together with those of my Tamkeen co-founding colleagues and friends’. It entailed bringing together my personal growth process, my 25 years of working experience in the private sector as a big 5 management consultant, in the public sector as an advisor to a Minister in the Moroccan Government and in various defining experiences in the social sector. The most defining experience of all; being the mother of two daughters.

Our social innovation platform Tamkeen co-creates, with its partners – the multi-scale education system and neighborhood communities – the conditions for the emergence and evolution of their co-created Tamkeen Process for systemic impact. The Tamkeen Approach emerged and morphed with the growth of our courage and that of our partners, to dive into our perceptions and into our understanding of the deep meaning of our human potential: the humanity that defines us, connects us, and transcends us. Meaningful human relationships arise that shape perceptions, shared intentions, new common directions, and co-created actions, on the foundation of a beautiful shared essence. New horizons of possibilities open up. No one knows the shape of what will emerge, we all learn together to trust the emergence and preserve the essence.

It is liberating, beyond what words could ever express, to have realised, after all these years, that in fact, we are just learning, as a society to BE WHAT WE ARE by weaving together the conditions for the emergence of the ecosystem of our social cohesion and well-being. A beautiful metamorphic societal symphony!

Professor Emeritus Marie Josée Berger, PhD

Marie Josée is a seasoned and passionate leader in education who has made a lasting difference in Canada’s educational community. She has worked in university and school board settings in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and internationally, holding a variety of positions: Dean, Associate Vice–‐Principal, Full Professor and Professor Emeritus, Director of Educational Services and Teacher.

Through her management experience, she has had the opportunity to grow and nurture the talents of over 70 full time and 240 part–‐time professors, as well as those of 3,000 students, in large and bilingual Faculties of Education. Furthermore, she supported the University Administration by maintaining responsible budgets and finding cost efficiencies.

Her research in areas such as standardized testing, evaluation, learning strategies in minority settings, literacy and numeracy has put evidence into practice for countless Canadians, including anglophone and francophone students and teachers, new immigrants, refugees, Haitian evacuees, principals, school board administrators and government officials at the Ministry of Education, as well as other key communities across the world.

As a resident of Ottawa and Toronto, Marie Josée is proud to carry on her contributions to learning through special projects and lecture series. She believes that educators’ primary responsibility is to be accountable to government, parents and students by delivering and enhancing the quality of their instructions. Continued learning through the measurement of outcomes is of benefit to everyone.

Professor Darleen V. Opfer

Professor Darleen V. Opfer

Darleen Opfer is vice president and director of RAND Education and Labor and holds the Distinguished Chair in Education Policy at the RAND Corporation. She was director of research and senior lecturer in research methods and school improvement at the University of Cambridge’s (England) Faculty of Education. Professor Opfer has conducted policy research studies for several local, state, and national governments on issues that affect teachers and schools, including recruitment and retention, professional development, and impact of policies on teacher practice. Professor Opfer served as an advisor to the National Council for Education Research and Training, India. She also served as a consultant for the U.S. Agency for International Development, working on the Increased Access to Quality Education and Training Initiative in South Africa. Opfer is the author of numerous books, reports, and journal articles and has presented to practitioners, researchers, and policymakers worldwide. Opfer holds a Ph.D. in education policy studies from the University of Virginia and B.A. in education from Stetson University.