Ghida Ibrahim talks about becoming a One World Ambassador and building the Rafiqi platform. Her online solution leverages AI to connect refugees to opportunities. It was featured by TechCrunch as one of the most innovative new projects using tech to help refugees and NGOs.
I work as a data scientist for Facebook, I am a Tech for Good entrepreneur and a data science and machine learning trainer. I am an alumnus of the at the Ecole des Ponts business school which I attended when I was doing a PhD in computer science at Telecom ParisTech and Orange Labs.
I heard about One Young World (OYW) a year ago through friends who are One Young World Ambassadors. OYW is a global community of young leaders working towards advancing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) globally and within their local communities. OYW’s mission strongly resonated with me and what I hold myself accountable to achieve, through my day job and the many activities and communities I am engaged in.
I have been fortunate to have colleagues at Facebook put my name forward as one of the Facebook Delegates at the OYW and privileged to have an empowering manager who sponsored me to attend the OYW summit in the Hague in October 2018. The summit was inspiring and energizing. It was so powerful to see more than 1500 change makers in one place, bonding and exchanging knowledge and best practices, and learning from Nobel prize laureates like Professor Muhammad Yunus and Kailash Satyarthi about how to drive sustainable change.
I came back from the summit motivated and determined to use my skills as a data scientist and engineer and my privilege as an employee of Facebook, a company with many resources and an incredible impact potential, to drive change. My focus till the next OYW summit in London is twofold.
First, as we move rapidly towards the fourth industrial revolution, the ability to understand and summarize data and to perform predictive and descriptive analytics are the main sought-after skills for operating and thriving in an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven world. So far, the knowledge of these skills has been limited to a subgroup of tech people usually working in the tech capitals of the world. My goal is to democratize this knowledge, through spreading it within communities and countries that are underrepresented when it comes to the AI global map.
So far, I have leveraged communities that I am part of in order to deliver in-person introductory workshops around data science and machine learning to 600+ people in the Middle East, Europe and India. I also facilitated a partnership between Facebook Developer Circles and Edraak (largest MOOC platform in Arabic) through which in March 2019, I will be shooting the first MOOC in Arabic around Data Science and Machine Learning. It is expected to reach more than 70k students and professionals in the Arab World.
My second focus is around fostering refugees’ inclusion in society and in the workforce through Facebook-driven initiatives. A first step would be to allow more refugees to benefit from Facebook trainings in digital marketing, tech literacy and entrepreneurship. While driving new initiatives within Facebook to support refugee created and focused NGOs and startups through providing free ads, marketing expertise and advisory around topics such as web design and development and analytics.
This focus is fostered by my experience as a part-time entrepreneur when I built Rafiqui in my free time. The platform leverages AI to connect refugees to opportunities and was featured by TechCrunch as one of the most innovative new projects using tech to help refugees and NGOs.
Setting these two objectives for myself on top of other personal and professional commitments is both ambitious and challenging.
However, having gone through a challenging PhD including completing a Doctoral Program in Management at the École des Ponts business school, I have learned a lot about being entrepreneurial, pushing my boundaries and managing my time and priorities better. I am excited to finally put in practice some of the tech and entrepreneurial knowledge that I acquired during my time in academia, not only to excel at my job and but also to drive more widespread change within my organization.
If you are interested in contributing to democratizing data science and machine learning knowledge to help prepare for an AI-driven future, or helping individual refugees and refugee-focused NGOs through mentorship, advisory and investments, please get in touch through Linkedin