Complex Made Simple

Top CEO Conference & Awards deals with imperative issues of the Arab world

Various burning issues ranging from ‘The Execution Challenge’, to ‘Bureaucracy’, ‘the Private Sector’ and ‘Maintaining Momentum’, will be taken up during the Top CEO Conference & Awards event at King Abdullah Economic City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, this Wednesday.

In its fourth edition, the Top CEO Conference & Awards promises an exceptional opportunity to network, brainstorm and exchange tangible ideas.

This two-day conference began on Tuesday with the first edition of Arab Women Forum.

“The Top CEO Conference is a platform for insights exchange and networking. Currently, a plethora of changes are taking place in different sectors and the theme of this conference is very appropriate – ‘paradigm shift’,” said Martin Roll, a leading business and brand strategist, during his opening of the Top CEO Conference on Wednesday.

Read: Arab Women Forum’ kicks off in Saudi Arabia

Breaking the ice

While speaking about the massive transformation that this region is currently undergoing, Julien Hawari, Co-CEO, Mediaquest Corp, the organizer of the Top CEO Conference & Awards, said that this conference offers a rare chance to panelists and attendees to draft a roadmap towards a more sustainable future.

“There has been a profound change in the region and the impact of this change is reaching across the entire globe. We are seeing that new models are emerging. The scenario (of development) is becoming very competitive and at the same time we are observing that the playing field is not very balanced in the region. Therefore, we have to find out how we can take the projects from the strategy level to perfect execution,” said Hawari.

“We also have to find out how to save the weakest link in society. The Arab world needs to have a very a strong social fabric model without adding any further layers of bureaucracy,” added Hawari.

Read: Are crises, change and agility things humans have power over in their DNA?

Perennial issues

Centralized government, red tape and bureaucracy haven’t allowed the public services sector realize its maximum potential in the Arab world.

There’s a consensus among regional leaders that there is an opportunity here to rethink the system and remove the hurdles at the administrative level by cutting down red-tape and making admin business-friendly so that the public sector can thrive. The marvels of the Fourth Industrial Revolution can also play a crucial role in this technological shift of public services.

The Top CEO Conference will take on the issue of bureaucracy in this region and analyse it in depth.

“The fundamental change should be in the mindset. There should be focus on productivity and delivery. Megaprojects need careful monitoring and craftsmanship. They also require a professional approach. Unfortunately, bureaucracy is the enemy of progress,” Khaled Almaeena, Managing Partner, Quartz-Communication Company, told TRENDS.

Conventionally insulated from the peripheral trends, the public services are no more immune from the wave of transformative technology.

An OECD study outlines the political imperative for improving the efficiency, effectiveness and governance of public services design and delivery through digitization.

Related: Arab Women Forum attracts best minds, promises stimulating sessions

Challenges ahead

At a time when the region is witnessing sporadic growth, tough fiscal conditions and unemployment challenges, the public service sector can be the lifeline to infuse new life into the economies and give it the much-needed impetus to not just survive but thrive, provided it earns its freedom from  administrative control and secures clarity on policies.

Business leaders want the authorities in the Arab world to ensure efficiency, prevent waste and transparently share the flow of expenditures and revenues.

However, there are some burning questions that need to be answered such as:Is transformation at the administrative level, coupled with blockchain, facial recognition, crypto-currencies and other new technologies a solution to drive the transformation of public services towards a technological environment?

And how can this transformation be achieved? How will this technological shift impact employment rates and the overall economy as more and more public sector jobs become automated?


TRENDS is a sister company to AMEinfo