This October 8-10th, Senior Associate Gez Hayden and Senior Consultant Caroline Jacoby joined nearly 250 school delegates, 14 international school facilitators, eight AISA school facilitators, and 52 associate members at the Indaba Hotel, Conference Centre & Spa in Johannesburg, South Africa for the annual Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA) Conference. AISA has been in existence for 53 years. While 95 additional school delegates attended virtually, this was the first in-person conference that most delegates had attended since the pandemic, and most attended the Gala Dinner.
The AISA event, whose theme was From Surviving to Thriving: Designing for Belonging, Wellbeing and Transformation, welcomed "educators, leaders, co-professionals, sponsors and exhibitors across Africa who share a passion for international education.”
The conference explored what the concept of Global Citizenship means for schools, educators, and students. Gez says, “It challenged us to consider how far we genuinely meet that goal.” A conversation about the meaning of belonging ensued. Educators and students discussed how schools and educators can provide a home that caters to all community members, a home that is genuinely and demonstrably inclusive of diverse members of the community. In the end, belonging is inextricably tied to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
Group sessions covered a range of topics, including Women in Leadership, Service Learning, Strategic Planning, and job-alike sessions for those involved in Admissions; School Business Management; Project-Based Learning; Relational Approaches to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI); Governance; Tech Integration; and Wellness and Wellbeing.
For Search Associates Gez and Caroline, the highlight of the conference was to connect with current and prospective member schools and candidates, and to touch base with those leaders of Africa international schools for whom Gez and Caroline are responsible under the School Associate Plan.