Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF), a leader in the dissemination of knowledge and supporter of development efforts in the world, has announced the programme agenda and list of speakers at its Knowledge Summit 2015. The second Summit will be held from December 7 to 9, 2015, at Grand Hyatt Dubai.
This was announced at a press conference held at the Emirates Towers, Dubai, in the presence of HE Jamal bin Huwaireb, Managing Director of the Foundation, and Yakup Beris, Regional Programme Coordinator – Bureau for Arab States, United Nations Development Programme, and media representatives.
The officials explained that the second Knowledge Summit follows the directives of UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, declaring 2015 as the ‘Year of Innovation’ and the Foundation’s commitment to take part in the UAE Innovation Week that will be held from Nov. 22. Accordingly, the Foundation has embraced ‘The Way to Innovation’ as the theme of the Summit.
Addressing the audience, HE Jamal Bin Huwaireb said that “The Knowledge Summit has further enabled the exchange of knowledge since its first edition was held last December. Today, the Summit has established its credentials as a leading platform to discuss the most innovative solutions in the transfer, dissemination and localization of knowledge in Arab communities.”
During the first edition, the event was named as the “First Knowledge Conference” and was launched in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The presence of His Highness added significant value to the event, and drew international attention, especially with the launch of the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Award, the first award of its kind in the region to honour major contributions in the dissemination of knowledge.
Bin Huwaireb said: “In response to this remarkable success and the positive feedback about the first edition from thought leaders and experts in the field of knowledge at the regional and international levels, and based on the directives of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of MBRF, this major knowledge event has taken on a bigger stature this year as an annual summit of knowledge.”
“As the Knowledge Summit, the event will attract the most important and influential figures in the knowledge domain from both inside and outside the country. An elite lineup of keynote speakers and panelists will shed light on the status of knowledge and discuss opportunities in developing innovative solutions in the field. The Summit will also be a platform to review the best practices in the localization, dissemination and transfer of knowledge,” he added.
On the Knowledge Summit’s agenda, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation noted that the speakers have been chosen based on the best practices in the areas of innovation and knowledge, and with a view to keeping pace with the aspirations of Arab societies in light of current events. During the three days of the Summit this year, the various sessions will focus on areas that have the most impact on sustainable and positive flow of knowledge.
“Innovation in education will be one of the top priorities this year, considering its significance to the progress of the society, especially since the quality of education is closely linked to social development,” said HE Jamal bin Huwaireb.
“Information technology is another key pillar that has transformed the society on an unprecedented scale, and plays a significant role in the development of major projects. Scientific research is also a major pillar in view of its role in the progress of societies and nations. Research has led to the development of technology and helped raise human capabilities. We are also witnessing innovation in the field of media and film industry, which is another focal area this year,” HE added.
HE Jamal bin Huwaireb said that the list of speakers and guests reflects the Foundation’s keenness to invite pioneers of science and knowledge who have a track record of research and academic achievements in areas related to the topics of the various session at the Summit. In addition, thought and opinion leaders and knowledge influencers from regional and international levels have also been invited.
Mr. Gordon Brown, former British Prime Minister, and Mr. Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple Inc, are among the most prominent international speakers at the summit. It will also host some of the Arab pioneers of knowledge such as HE Dr. Labib Khadra, Jordanian Minister of Higher Education, and His Excellency Mr. Elias Bou Saab, Minister of Education and Higher Education of Lebanon.
HE Jamal bin Huwaireb said that the Summit will witness a number of major events, the most important of which will be the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Award for 2015 that will honour an international figure for his or her contributions to the dissemination of knowledge.
“By choosing ‘The Way to Innovation’ as the theme of the Summit this year, we are keen to launch various innovative projects and initiatives that support the development of knowledge in the region. Accordingly, the Foundation – in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme – will unveil the results of the Arab Knowledge Index, which will highlight the real status of education in the Arab region and indicate the state of knowledge economy and information technology in each country. The index also takes into consideration the specific context, needs and challenges of each country in the region,” said HE Jamal bin Huwaireb.
He explained: “The Arab Knowledge Index has six sub-indices that measure Pre-University Education, Higher Education, Vocational Education & Training, Research & Development, and Innovation, Information & Communications Technology, and the Economy, thus giving a broad perspective and understanding of the status of the knowledge economy.”
HE Jamal bin Huwaireb added: “Our cooperation with the UNDP for the Knowledge Summit will also lead to the launch of the Arab Knowledge Portal, a new initiative of its kind which will establish a digital platform to spread knowledge. It will be a reference hub for researchers, professionals, students, stakeholders and the general public, providing significant data and material on knowledge-related topics.”
Mr. Yakup Beris, Regional Programme Coordinator, Regional Hub- Bureau for Arab States of UNDP, said: “The Arab Knowledge Index is important to us as it helps in identifying better ways to enable human beings to access knowledge that truly matters for better opportunities to improve their lives. We foresee youth at the center of this vision. That is why through the three earlier Arab Knowledge Reports, we have been emphasizing the importance of effective integration of youth in the transfer and localization of knowledge. The index would also allow us to propose ways for improving the enabling environment that allows youth to acquire all necessary skills and values to become active members of their society and contribute to its development.”
He added: “The Arab Knowledge Portal, entitled ‘Knowledge 4 All,’ is an interactive electronic platform that consists of a big collection of datasets on the Arab region, from various reputable and credible sources. It is characterized by the ease and speed of getting information. It also specializes in the diversity in the tools of visualizing data. This knowledge portal contains a wide collection of publications, and will enable the user to publish their own publications, after quality control is effectuated. We wish the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation all the success in this and other important knowledge initiatives they are leading and look forward to continuing our strong partnership.”
The first edition of the Knowledge Summit had discussed the most important issues faced by the countries of the Arab region. It also examined best methods to put better solutions for the integration of Arab youth in the production, transfer and localization of knowledge process. At the event, the Arab Knowledge Report and the Report of the United Arab Emirates were launched. The key outcomes of the reports were also discussed.
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, and the United Nations Development Programme also launched the Arab Knowledge Index, which aims to monitor the reality of knowledge in the Arab world on a regular basis, and its development in each of the Arab countries, and the extent of its investment in the development and well-being of people in the Arab world.