KDSL Global interviews Luke Meinen of Level 5 Bahrain


Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview with Luke Meinen, Manager of Level 5 Bahrain. This is an initiative of International School Services, a nonprofit that leads schools, facilitates recruitment and provides best-in-breed learning solutions.


Tell us about LEVEL 5. 

First and foremost, LEVEL 5 is a nonprofit that hosts creative learning experiences for students, educators and the wider community on a myriad of topics that aim to spark innovation and creativity in education.

The first LEVEL 5 opened in Shenzhen, China four years ago and has proved to be a successful platform to help educators shift practice, design real-world, experiential learning, and ignite passion within students in the creative spaces. With the success of LEVEL 5 China, we saw the opportunity to expand this endeavor into the MENA region opening LEVEL 5 Bahrain at Riffa Views International School.

Our professional learning workshops focus on three categories; making, contemporary pedagogy, and innovative leadership. This wide range of events will help us provide a new type of professional learning for region. These workshops are available for educators, community members and students as we recognize the power of young and old working and learning together.

During the 2019-2020 school year, we will host 12 full weekend workshops, night events, and single day weekend learning experiences. These events will be facilitated by both local and international educators and artists from around the world.

For a full listing of events, workshops and learning experiences, check out www.thelevel5.org/bahrain. For any questions, please reach out to level5bh@iss.edu.


Tell us about the new space with the Riffa Views International School.

The creation of LEVEL 5 has been a process that has taken a full year to complete as we knew we wanted this space to reflect the school community it resided in. We were gracious enough to have been given a beautiful space with huge amounts of natural light as a blank canvas.

In order to leverage the ideas of the entire RVIS community, we invited staff, students and parents into the space to help us co-create this new space. We loosely followed a Design Sprint model to rapidly ideate, prototype and test ideas from all who participated. You can read about this process in detail here Co-creating Authentic Change. This helped us gather the best ideas from the entire community to begin the process of designing this new agile space.


For LEVEL 5 to be successful, it requires a completely agile space that can be reconfigured to meet the needs of any type of workshop or learning experience. Utilizing prior successes of the LEVEL 5 China, research from the Stanford d School and a plethora of other resources we designed the space around this concept. Writable surfaces for ideation everywhere, agile furniture, smooth transitional flooring and caster wheels on EVERYTHING have helped us create this flexible space.

Actual construction of the space took three months to complete (time lapse of construction), and it was launched in late May of the 2018-2019 academic year. Along with this beautiful new physical space, we will also be out fitting it with a host of creative tools like 3D printers, laser engravers, microcontrollers, traditional fabrication tools, and much more. These will be for students, parents, educators and community members to use design, create and test new and innovative ideas.

During the day, LEVEL 5 will be open to the RVIS community and students to use. We are not using it as a traditional space to host scheduled classes, but more as an open space that can be booked by the teachers. The hope is to have these ideals and innovative practices flow into classrooms rather than being isolated in the space. Our aim is to help inspire the students in our school by providing them with the same type of learning experiences that happen during our professional learning workshops both inside LEVEL 5 and out.



What strategies do you use to activate the Bahrain educational community?

Over the past year, another focus for LEVEL 5 Bahrain has been to activate the educational community across the island by building collaborative relationships between schools. In Bahrain, the relationships that have been built up between schools are often competitive in nature through sports, competitions, and other events. There were pockets of collaboration, but we wanted this to grow as we know that when educators share knowledge and practice, everyone wins, especially the students.

With this in mind, we began to systematically create opportunities for sharing, collaborating and learning that were open to all educators on the island regardless of what school they taught at. We created a What’s App group to share ideas and learning opportunities, promoted an existing Facebook group, started a shared hashtag (#bahrainedu) to deprivatize the great things that were happening in classrooms around the island, and started events called #TeachmeetBahrain to provide opportunities to physically meet up and share.

In just a year, some great things have happened, and I believe that this will continue to grow as more people engage in these opportunities to collaborate. For a detailed look into this, you can find the steps we took here; Activating Your Educational Community.




Luke Meinen Pic

Luke Meinen is the manager of LEVEL 5, Bahrain where he coordinates events and workshops and facilitates learning experiences. Over the past year, he has worked to co-create this new space with the Riffa Views International School community. He is also working to activate the education community in Bahrain through the organization of TeachMeets, collaborative groups and social gatherings for educators and leaders.


Prior to joining LEVEL 5, he worked as an elementary educator for nine years in East Asia, Africa and the Middle East designing authentic learning experiences for his classes and colleagues. He enjoys fabrication, playing basketball, surfing and spending time with his family in his free time.




KDSL Global Managing Director selected as a judge for the GESS Education Awards 2020



We are thrilled to announce the 7th annual GESS Awards, whether you’re a teacher, supplier or anyone in education this is your chance to celebrate excellence in the education industry.  The Gala will take place on 26 February 2020 in Dubai at the H Hotel. KDSL Global Managing Director Kevin Simpson has been selected as a judge for the awards.

What are the Awards?

The awards highlight and reward the quality and diversity of educational products, resources, services and people as well as the best educational establishments and the most dedicated members of the teaching profession. The GESS Education Awards aim to encourage the raising of educational services & product standards throughout the industry and aims to be recognised throughout the sector as the accolade of excellence.


For more information on GESS Education Awards visit https://www.gessawards.com
Meet the team of judges here https://www.gessawards.com/judges



KDSL Global interviews Ibrahim Olaekan Salami of Paradise Planet Earth.


Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview Ibrahim Olaekan Salami, Founder of Paradise Planet Earth. Paradise Planet Earth is for everyone who seeks to find paradise right on their doorstep. It’s not just an idea or a concept, but a movement with a mission, driven by planting seeds of kindness everywhere and finding beauty in the souls of people and in the arms of nature.


How many unique destinations has Paradise Planet eEarth promoted so far?

So far we have explored and promoted Abuja, Muscat, Salalah, Lagos, Uganda, Seychelles, Madagascar, Nairobi, Zanzibar and Accra in Ghana.

Do you plan to work with any other non-profit/ government organisations for a better reach?

We are always willing to collaborate with other NGO’s and people who have our same values and mission. During Ramadan when we were distributing rice to widows and kids, we collaborated with a local farm in Nigeria so that we could add to the economy while feeding the less fortunate.  We have also collaborated with an organization in Nigeria who is into beach cleaning, sea turtle rescues and planting trees.


What do you expect from your customers after their trip? Do you expect them to care for the environment and show some empathy?

Nature is the center point of every Paradise Planet Earth activity. The questions that fuel us are about how we can live as one with nature and how can we give back to mother earth. Our customers gain new self-awareness and love and respect for nature after their trips with us. During our trips, we sow seeds of kindness in the hearts of our customers that keeps on growing and they do their bests to help nature and humanity in every way they can from then on.

Our trips include soaking the beauty of nature, physical and mental activities that help in personal growth and giving back to the communities we visit. The question we leave in everyone’s mind is what are we leaving behind for future generations?

To learn more visit http://paradiseplanetearth.com/.


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Ibrahim Olaekan Salami is a dedicated realtor, entrepreneur and philanthropist with years of experience in real estate and real estate investment. He also has a penchant for humanitarian services, caregiving and nature, which has led him to found Paradise Planet Earth, an organization set up to contribute to the protection and conservation of the earth through giving back to the society.

Through this organization, he has been able to reach different persons in need including women and children across different countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. Focusing more on Africa at the moment. In a recent visit to Kenya, the organization donated clothes, food and school supplies to kids who were in dire need of these. Not long ago, a similar gesture was extended to residents of a slum in Lagos, Nigeria. These show of kindness have previously been done as well in Uganda, South Africa, Oman and a few other countries. He’s keen on visiting more countries to do more.

His love for nature and it’s beauty is extraordinary and this, he has expressed by his recent adoption of a baby elephant who was orphaned by poachers in Kenya and the adoption of a palm tree in Nigeria, which is geared towards protecting Mother Earth. Previously, he has helped in the rescue of an endangered specie of sea turtle and is presently helping to create awareness to locals on the need to safeguard these beautiful creatures.

Ibrahim is an advocate of love and encourages every individual to see themselves as a global citizen and do the little they can at every point to build a better society and a better environment.