Even before Hakeem Subair first arrived in Canada, in 2012, he hasn’t stopped trying to make a difference in society. With an extensive banking background in Nigeria, he was eager for his family, especially his children, to live in an environment where there wasn’t a limit to what they could achieve. Already foreseeing the challenge in finding a school, he encountered a more critical roadblock: the teachers in Nigerian schools were themselves academically impoverished – barely able to comprehend a typical curriculum, much less educate. To solve the problem, he came up with a unique solution: he started his own school.

The 1 Million Teachers Project has been announced as the first team to compete at The Breakout Project. As the founder of the initiative, Hakeem’s mission is to build a world-class online teacher certification program and train one million teachers in 365 days. If successful, by the end of the one year-plan, Hakeem’s team will be certifying as many as 10,000 teachers per day in countries including Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Pakistan and many in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Breakout Project
Over 48 hours, teams will compete in Canada’s biggest social innovation event. Participants will work around the clock to kickstart year-long social good projects designed to improve our community, society and planet. Thousands of attendees will rally behind teams while millions more will show their support online through social media and live stream video. Each social enterprise team competes to raise both human and financial capital required to take their project from idea to reality – in just one year.

Attendees, visionary speakers, mentors and citizens online will watch, participate, learn and connect unlike ever before and all in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary. This experience will be broadcast live in a reality TV format and streamed online so more than just spectators can participate sharing knowledge, donating time and capital and creating connections to support the teams they believe in.

The 1 Million Teachers Project Mission
Today, education remains an inaccessible right for millions of children around the world. More than 72 million children are not in schools while 38% of children in schools are not learning the basics of reading and math.

Every education system is only as good as the teachers who provide the hands-on schooling. Studies have confirmed their critical role in improving education-quality and learning-outcomes for children. Moreover, in the new world economy, education is humanity’s best hope for a sustainable society that further fosters caring and responsible citizens. While the failure of Nigeria’s education system deeply affected Hakeem, he also understood that this academic crisis was likely universal. Without the right tools for teachers, students would never stand a chance at achieving a high-level performance; their world could never, would never move forward.

He never gave up.

Hakeem Subair & Canada
Now, studying, living, and working in Canada has been an unsurprising blessing for Hakeem. He has long believed that in terms of innovation and opportunity, Canada ‘punches above its weight’. A young country still creating itself, Canada actively welcomes immigrants like him who lead with an unquenchable passion for progress.

Canada has a broad and deep pool of knowledge that other innovators can draw from. The country’s commitment to the continuous welcoming of talented, brilliant minds from all around the world has become a part of our culture. Hakeem manifests the proof that diversity is a prime source of Canada’s strength to drive innovation for the betterment of society.

Hakeem Subair & The Breakout Project
The Breakout Project is an event designed to provide Hakeem with the essential resources that his team will need to develop such a massive project quickly. Talent across disciplines – curriculum and subject matter experts, educational psychologists, graphic designers, and business developers – will be required to provide expertise and time. He will also need funding, connections and awareness, and will use The Breakout Project as the vehicle to make all this happen at a pace not available in any form to date.

Grant Goodwin, CEO, Innovate Kingston, comments: “The Breakout Project sparks game-changing ideas and opens new possibilities for innovation by engaging diverse people from our community, online, and beyond. It’s a platform for ideas, created for innovators, thinkers, doers and interested citizens of social good. We believe in Hakeem’s mission as is relates directly to our core values”.

About The Breakout Project
Combining a business conference with a hackathon in live reality TV / e-sports format, The Breakout Project is a new, immersive innovation experience that allows global visionaries – including Patagonia’s, Jeff Johnson; Co-founder Real Ventures, JS Cournoyer, Tara McCallan; Happy Soul Project, Kaj Arnö, Global tech expert – mentors and attendees to participate, learn and connect unlike ever before. Over 48 hours, teams will compete in Canada’s biggest social innovation event.

Participants will work around the clock to kickstart year-long social good projects designed to improve our community, society and planet. For more details visit: www.thebreakoutproject.com.

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About Innovate Kingston
The Breakout Project is the brainchild of Innovate Kingston. A non-profit organization, Innovate Kingston was created by eight entrepreneurs with extensive experience in the high-tech sector, established specifically to encourage the creation of rapid-growth businesses in the Kingston region.