Jusoor 6th Annual Global Conference

Syrian Youth Innovation Laboratory: Building Bridges to the Future

Saturday 5 October 2019, London, UK


About the Conference

Join us in London for Jusoor’s 6th Annual Global Conference: Syrian Youth Innovation Laboratory – Building Bridges to the Future. Since 2012, Jusoor has run successful conferences in New York, London, Los Angeles, Berlin, and Toronto. Over the last five years our network has grown to over 130,000 individuals in over 45 countries. We are proud to keep up the tradition of holding our annual conferences in a different city every year. By doing so, we reaffirm our commitment to establishing a global Syrian community that is focused on helping Syria whilst also building bridges of understanding and hope to communities around the world.

The UK has resettled 11,000 Syrian refugees and has a thriving community of young Syrians. As the Syrian conflict enters its eighth year, thousands of Syrians have been forced to flee their homes for refuge in other countries. Young Syrians have had to put their education or careers on hold, losing valuable years of their lives to instability and poverty.

Jusoor 6th Annual Global Conference aims to provide a space to inspire young Syrian diaspora, where they can share and cultivate ideas and to engage corporations, non-profit organisations and community organisers. The conference will engage with established Syrian communities in the UK and around the world so that we can collectively learn from challenges, scale successes and unlock potential opportunities available to young Syrians.

The Annual Conference plays a key role in our mission by gathering Jusoor-sponsored students and alumni, entrepreneurs, and network members in one location and connecting them to industry experts, academics and board members, to exchange and cultivate ideas and foster partnerships in the area of rebuilding a strong Syria.


The Conference will be held at Edmond J Safra Lecture Theatre, King’s College, Strand, London WC2R 2LS

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How to get there: King’s College is closest to Temple tube station, but is also in walking distance of Convent Garden, Embankment, Charing Cross and Trafalgar Square.

Syrian Youth Innovation Laboratory – Building Bridges to the Future

The Syrian Youth Innovation Laboratory Conference brings together a young Syrian diaspora and provides them with a platform to be inspired, build network communities and give space to develop their own perspective and voice. The conference puts emphasis on intercultural dialogue and cooperation, youth-led initiatives and education to provide a generation with constructive tools, insights and contacts to prosper.

We will focus on the challenges and opportunities facing young Syrian diaspora in four solution streams: Education; Peacebuilding; Entrepreneurship and Private Sector Engagement.

With input from key experts and a panel of aspiring young Syrian entrepreneurs, artists and professionals, we will develop a network of experts who are working on these key issues related to Syrian youth and will inspire practical solutions to the challenges faced.Young Syrians will be invited to share their innovations in any of the four streams, receive peer feedback and conference attendees will together discuss ideas and directions for the next generation of global Syrians.

Education A bright future for all

The right to an education is not a certainty for many Syrian children and youth. Yet education repeatedly shows up in statistical data as of great importance to developing a prosperous and peaceful society. Within refugee communities, education is a stimulant of change that allows young people to realise their potential.

We will explore innovative ways of accessing education for Syrian refugees including what support systems there are across the globe that mentor and encourage young Syrians to move forward and reach their educational goals.

We will showcase new technologies that allow Syrian refugees to use their skills gained through education to earn money and go further with their education. Specifically bridging degrees and training courses that transfer and integrate into host communities.

Entrepreneurship and Private Sector Engagement – Syrian refugees are resilient, resourceful, entrepreneurial and investable

There will be a learning platform at the conference offering open dialogues on ‘How to’ hacks within career development, including effective communication for greater visibility and awareness, securing stakeholder buy in, advocating responsible corporate inclusion and intercultural communication skills for effective regeneration projects and programs within the private and public sector.

The conference will also have networking opportunities where connections can be made to key educational institutions and civic organisations of interest to audience members as well as private companies offering training schemes in their sector.

Peacebuilding – The Role of Syrian Youth as agents towards Peace-building

We recognise young Syrian people’s resilience and positive contributions as agents of change within a fractured society. The role of Syrian youth towards peace building can be reflected in their capacity to collaborate together, despite the political divide, and toward improving each others lives. We will be providing a creative platform to explore how we can effectively:

  • Celebrate each other’s successes
  • Assist each other to access education and cultural heritage
  • Enhance each others opportunities for employment
  • Contributing to each others livelihood

The ultimate goal of this forum will be to identify the multifaceted and diverse ways in which Syrian youth are engaged in peacebuilding practices and how youth empowerment can facilitate future guardians of peace.

Youth Empowerment -‘A Call to Action’

We will explore how youth engagement networks that create constructive dialogue between young Syrians, governments and civil societies are working, with special interest in how social media and technology can provide easy access to youth communities.

We will explore how youth led initiatives can have a direct impact on government policies and the promotion of governing laws that integrate human rights and peace led practices. Young people should be an integral part of reform and humanitarian change – they are currently reforming the world, building communities, developing technology and sustaining economies.


We’re excited to announce after the morning panels we will be having Design Thinking expert Fiona Myles take a Masterclass for conference attendees on the Design Thinking method of problem solving. Read more about Design Thinking. 

In the afternoon we will be holding Innovation Laboratory Breakout Groups, where you will be breaking into smaller thematic groups to use some of the Design Thinking techniques introduced by Fiona to ideate possible innovations to challenges  discussed in the morning, guided by panelists and Jusoor board members.


Groups will be working on the below challenge statements. If you would like to work on one of the below in particular please let us know by replying to this email.

Please start thinking about the following questions, and what different profiles of Syrian diaspora may face such challenges.

  • How might we better support the young Syrian diaspora build community in order to create a strong global network of Syrians working together and supporting one another?
  • How might we better support young Syrians to improve their English language skills so they can access education and employment opportunities?
  • How might we support young Syrians to build their career, in particular connect to opportunities in the workplace after university, so they can use their education?
  • How might we better engage the private sector in supporting Syrian youth in education/career development/entrepreneurship so that more young Syrians have opportunities?
  • How might we advocate for education decision makers to better incorporate peacebuilding into curriculum so that young Syrians?
  • How might we better support young Syrian diaspora connect to information and support about global education opportunities to enable them to succeed in applying to tertiary education?
  • How might we better support young Syrian diaspora to ensure they have access to support through their entrepreneurial journey?


8:30 – 9:00 Registration

9:00  Welcome Address

9:10  Keynote Address

9:30 – 10:15 Building Foundations: Agents of Change. Panel on Education and Peacebuilding

10:15 – 11:15 Future Leaders: Changing the World, Bridging the Gap. Panel on Private Sector Engagement and Entrepreneurship

11:15 – 11:45 Coffee Break

11:15 – 13:15 Design Thinking Address and Workshop: Breakout into four groups for plenary discussions led by panel members with strategy and design thinking methodology incorporated.

13:15 – 14:15 Lunch

14.20 – 16:30 Innovation Laboratory Workshops

16:30 – 17:00 Coffee Break 

17:00 – 18:00 Innovation Laboratory presentations, closing remarks

Conference Objectives

  • Strengthen the Jusoor network through creating new connections between young Syrians and community supporters and fostering self-led project initiatives.
  • Learning, sharing and knowledge mobilization among conference participants.
  • Creating a collaborative space that aims to tackle challenges and produces solutions.
  • Producing digital story-telling bites to populate an online global library of best practices. This can be utilized to engage participants and Jusoor stakeholder beyond the actual event.
  • Contribution to buy into the Jusoor vision and supporting its global mission beyond the conference.


120 Syrian scholars, alumni and young professionals (Jusoor scholars and alumni in Europe, Saïd and Asfari scholars and alumni, Syrian Youth Assembly, Chalhoub scholars, plus any additional applicants, eg, Chevening, Campus France, DAAD), plus representatives from other NGOs working in similar fields, and thought leaders from Syria and similar countries that have undergone the postwar rebuilding process.


Program Highlights

Keynote address: The conference will commence with an address from a high-profile inspirational speaker coming from refugee roots into a key leadership role in society, talking through their life path, motivating the audience to set their goals high and achieve great things despite (or even because of) their experience fleeing from war.

Building Foundations: Agents of Change Panel on Education and Peacebuilding

Future Leaders: Changing the World, Bridging the Gap: Panel on Private Sector Engagement and Entrepreneurship

Exploratory Sessions: Participants take a deep dive into the topics discussed with the experts on the panels, identify challenges faced by the sector and analyse how the context has been changing over the course of the eight year conflict and celebrate successes, and access scalability.

Innovation Laboratory Innovation Laboratory will look at innovative solutions to the challenges faced by young Syrians by inviting entrepreneurs, developers and innovators to share their innovative solutions to social problems. Innovation Laboratory at the conference will be addressing three main categories Education and Learning, Career and Economic Development and Community and Peacebuilding Development. Come witness their pitch presentations and engaging feedback and Q&A session between participants and our expert judge panel for the day.

Meet Jusoor’s Global Conference Partner

Capital Guidance was founded more than fifty years ago by a small group of families with deep roots in the Middle East.

Today, with offices and businesses extend across Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and North America. Capital Guidance deploy their capital and that of investors in financial investments, real estate, and pioneering operating companies.

Capital Guidance provide leadership, governance, strategic counsel, executive team recruitment and development, investment analysis, and corporate development and advisory resources to the businesses Capital Guidance manage.

Jusoor is sincerely grateful for Capital Guidance’s support for our 2019 conference.

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