Queen Rania Speaks at Le Web and Calls on the Online World to Speak out for the 75 Million Children Out of School Today

December 11, 2009

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department- Paris)  As social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, increasingly bridge the gap between the digital and offline worlds, the question Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah asked the audience at Le Web, Thursday, is whether the real time web can bring real world change.

Delivering a keynote address at Europe’s number one technology event, Her Majesty asked over 2000 entrepreneurs, bloggers and developers how we can leverage the power of social media to alleviate social challenges in the real world - especially the state of global education.

Queen Rania spoke of the vast potential of social media, describing it as, “a platform to collaborate and a mouthpiece to mobilize.”  She went on to say that we are at a “tipping point” when it comes to using online advocacy as a tool for social change.

Urging online activists to act on behalf of 75 million children who are still being denied an education, Her Majesty stated: “You are the ones who can help link online activism to reality, to finally make life-streaming life-changing.”

As co-founder and global co-chair of the 1GOAL education campaign, whose partners include FIFA and the Global Campaign for Education (GCE), Her Majesty also discussed what the campaign is doing to ensure every child receives access to education by 2015.

“With the latest online tools and tactics, 1GOAL will tap the energy and excitement of next year’s World Cup in South Africa leaping from the web to the world, enlisting volunteers and gathering supporters,” Her Majesty told participants attending the event in Paris.

Reiterating that for millions of out-of-school children – education represents an opportunity to live healthily and escape poverty, Her Majesty further explained what the 1GOAL campaign seeks to achieve in the run-up to the 2010 World Cup:“By the end of the most watched sporting event of 2010, we want 30 million signatures supporting 1GOAL. We want 30 million people demanding their leaders don’t just talk, but act to make education for all a reality.”

The Queen also told the audience that the 1GOAL campaign, which kicked off in August, has already attracted world-class football stars and global leaders. They include UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, South African President Jacob Zuma, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Ghanaian President John Atta Mills, Michael Owen and Thierry Henry- amongst others.

Aside from encouraging attendees to sign their names on a virtual petition at www.join1goal.org, Queen Rania also challenged the audience to dedicate their brand, homepages, resources, and products to 1 DAY for 1 GOAL, part of 1GOAL’s creative efforts to spread its message throughout the online world next year.

With MySpace already pledging to publicize 1GOAL on their site for a day, Her Majesty urged others to follow suit: “Whatever plan you hatch, do it online, and do it big.  Try to reach as many people as possible, so that offline, leaders have to listen. Have to act.”

In honour of Her Majesty being the first Arab to speak at Le Web, the organizers put together the first regional panel of entrepreneurs which included Rabiea Ataya, Founder and CEO of Bayt.com and Habib Haddad, co-founder of Yamli.com.

Following the event, Her Majesty met with a group of social media executives, including Loic and Geraldine Le Meur, co-founders of Le Web, Jack Dorsey, Twitter Founder and Chairman, Ian Dodsworth, Founder and CEO of TweetDeck, Inc, and influential bloggers to introduce them to the 1GOAL campaign.

Le Web started in 2005 with only 250 attendees, and has since grown to host 2300 participants who gathered in Paris, from 46 different countries.