October 31st was a memorable day for Italy and for the world of education, thanks to the triumph of Daniele Manni, outstanding teacher, at the GESS Education Award 2023, which was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This incredible achievement is a tribute to her pioneering role in educational innovation.
Daniele Manni, the first Italian teacher to win the prestigious award
Among 100 finalists in 9 different categories, Daniele Manni was the first Italian teacher to win the GESS Education Award. This award, the Special Jury Award for innovation, was awarded to Manni for his extraordinary commitment to helping students to create startups and for his revolutionary conception of a student-centered school.
Daniele Manni, the IT teacher at the “Galilei-Costa” Institute in Lecce, is a figure who has made a difference in the lives of his students. In addition to computer lessons, Manni introduced a extraordinary approach to entrepreneurship education, inspiring young minds to bring innovative ideas to life and turn them into successful businesses. His influence, however, extends far beyond the classroom.
Manni was selected among the finalists by a international jury for his extraordinary contribution. He introduced a unique four-year experimental path in Italy, focused on self-entrepreneurship, promoting a student-centered vision of school. Its “Student-Centric School” is an innovative idea that highlights the talents, passions and aspirations of each student, transforming the school in a place of personal growth.
Furthermore, Manni's impact is not limited to Italy. He was a world finalist at the Global Teacher Prize in 2015, he took the podium at the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Teaching Awards in 2018 and 2020 and was the first Italian teacher to win the Global Teacher Award in 2020.
An excellent teacher, but also a mentor to his students
Manni is not limited to being an exceptional teacher; he is also a valuable mentor for social startups created by his students. Projects such as Mabasta, which fights bullying, Etica Etnica, which offers support to female students in Afghanistan, ECOisti, an initiative for sustainability education, and Sportzine, promoting accessibility to sport, have left an indelible mark. These social startups demonstrate the extraordinary potential of young people when they need to be inspired and guided in the right direction.
This recognition is an honor not only for Daniele Manni but for the whole Italian education system. Her commitment to inspiring and shaping the minds of the future is an example of how a dedicated teacher can make a difference. Manni is a beacon of innovation and inspiration, and her contributions to the world of education are invaluable.