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As described in the Mission Statement, AEF is concerned with initiatives in the fields of education and learning -- the people, the processes, the results and the dissemination of the culture of initiative. Since concern with initiatives forms the basis of its work, there has to be a definition of the concept of "initiative." Reaching consensus on that definition is a work in progress among the participants in the Forum. At this time, the group is considering the following as the critical attributes of an initiative:

  Breaks common molds in its own context.

  Arises from an experiment that involves creativity and thought.

  Builds on/ makes use of the skills, energies, understandings and knowledge of the people involved.

Makes use of ideas from the larger world at the same time as it makes use of ideas from the local culture.
  Can be communicated, even if it does not fit the normal images and forms that people are accustomed to seeing.

Is lead by people who have passion and a high level of commitment to it.

Culture of Initiative

The "culture of initiative" is a new term that was introduced during our fifth annual meeting. It refers to the shared paradigms that are essential for persons to undertake initiatives in their community in the field in which they work. The development of a culture of initiative is essential to encourage people to break the mold in their areas (which could be modern or traditional) and take action to make changes that will result in greater and more valuable learning in Arab countries.


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