TIME: 1:05 PM to 1:25 PM

The skills gap in our economy is growing by double digits year over year, according to surveys of HR leaders, creating a drag on economic productivity and efficiency. At the same time, social media usage has grown to hours per day on average, wasting valuable time on activities that in the aggregate harm society, damage our mental health (especially amongst the young), and sow the seeds of political polarization and division.

Is there a way to address both of these pressing problems at once?

Tariq Fancy, the founder and CEO of Rumie, will discuss how their open microlearning technology is built to address both challenges at once. By allowing people to build their skills through short (5-7 minute), mobile-first microlearning courses, all created through remote 21st century digital volunteerism by leading companies, non-profits and expert volunteers, Rumie provides an alternative and socially-useful way to get a dopamine rush during those short ‘boredom periods’ that occur throughout the day – and which social media companies have built algorithms to expertly exploit.

Rumie was founded in 2013 to use technology to make learning fun and easy for underserved communities globally. Since then it graduated from the Silicon Valley accelerator that also produced Airbnb and Dropbox (Y Combinator), won Google’s national impact challenge, has grown to over 30 countries, and is subject of an in-depth Harvard Business School case study taught globally in business schools today. Rumie is a registered charity in the US and Canada and, much like Wikipedia, Rumie Learn is a free and open resource that is available to anyone and everyone


Tariq Fancy
Founder & President – Rumie Initiative

Tariq Fancy founded The Rumie Initiative after a notable career at the intersection of finance, technology, and emerging markets. His successful business career and unique decision to found Rumie has been chronicled in extensive case studies published by both Harvard Business School and INSEAD Business School.

Prior to Rumie, Tariq led a successful career in finance, beginning as a Palo Alto-based technology investment banker in the group that led the IPOs of Google, Amazon, and Cisco. He next joined NYC-based private equity firm MHR Fund Management, where he became the firm’s youngest partner in 2006 after leading numerous successful turnarounds of technology companies. He subsequently spent two years at CPP Investment Board in Toronto, Canada, helping to create and invest in new credit strategies for the growing platform.

One of Tariq’s prior investments warrants special mention: In 2004, after multiple trips to Central and South America and months of due diligence, Tariq led early work to bring mobile phones into emerging markets as a ‘leapfrog’ innovation – back when the idea of the masses from Cairo to Calcutta skipping landlines altogether to go directly to mobile phones sounded far-fetched to many. Tariq sees a similar ‘perfect storm’ of market forces enabling a pragmatic, market-based solution to global education that will usher in another watershed moment in international development. Since being founded in 2013, Rumie now has projects in over twenty countries.

Tariq has appeared on CNBC, BNN, the CBC, has spoken at the United Nations, and guest lectures at Harvard Business School. In 2017, he was named one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40.

Tariq holds an Honors B.A. with distinction from Brown University in the US, spent one year studying at Oxford University in the UK, earned a master’s degree in Economics and Public Policy from Sciences Po Paris (L’institut d’études politiques de Paris) in France and an MBA with distinction from INSEAD in France and Singapore. Tariq was born and raised in Canada to parents who immigrated from Kenya and speaks four languages