Mohammed bin Rashid attends opening session of the Annual Meeting of WEF’s Global Future Councils – UPDATE

DUBAI, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, attended the opening of the third Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Future Councils which started today in Dubai. The event, which brings together nearly 700 top experts from 70 countries, features 38 councils each focused on a specific future issue.

The session was also attended by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Dubai Future Foundation; H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai; H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation; Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future and Co-Chair of the Global Future Councils, and Borge Brende President and Member of the Managing Board of the World Economic Forum, WEF.

The purpose of the Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils is to convene the world’s best network of experts to identify new ideas and models that can be applied to critical global challenges.

Mohammed Al Gergawi, said in his opening speech that the current edition of the Meeting will look at future global developments and develop likely scenarios for various future sectors.

He praised the partnership between the UAE and the World Economic Forum. “Inspired by its leadership’s vision, the UAE has become a leader in futuristic sectors. The UAE government seeks to implement the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid to make the future a reality by visualising it, designing and executing it. The vision of His Highness constantly inspires us to imagine the future and to build it,” Al Gergawi said.

Al Gergawi said that the youth are keen to work towards finding solutions for tomorrow’s challenges. They are looking for a conducive environment that will allow them to achieve their dreams. They need mentoring to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the economy of the future. He also said that technological breakthroughs will bring opportunities worth $70 trillion in just 10 years, according to estimates. Governments and individuals should be ready to take advantage of them.

“The future belongs to those who can imagine it, shape it and implement it. In today’s world, governments cannot create the future on their own; it is important to involve everyone including the private sector, the youth, international partners and others in creating policies.”

On the power of emerging technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to bring about a more inclusive and sustainable future, Al Gergawi said: “The collective mind facilitated by technology is much smarter than the individual mind. The wisdom of the crowd is a common saying; this wisdom is multiplied a thousand times with technology.”

Al Gergawi highlighted four priorities the first of which is collective design to build the future. He said the government should work collaboratively to build the future and enable all players and partners to benefit from big data and artificial intelligence in order to ensure a better future; the second priority is the development of legislations through an organised and proactive approach.

He said that outdated legislations cost the world economy $4 trillion. He highlighted the world’s first legislative lab which aims to test future legislations on futuristic technologies such as those related to 3D, autonomous cars, genetics and other sciences.

The third priority, he said, is related to increasing efficiency and productivity of governments. Advanced technologies increase productivity of government services by a minimum of 20%. The UAE is a pioneer in this domain as it is considered the world’s most efficient country in financial spending and technology usage. The fourth priority, he said, is globalisation. Gergawi noted that some countries are resisting globalisation and becoming more protective and launching commercial wars.

He said the world has reached a point of no-return when it comes to globalisation, as we live in an era of globalised data, knowledge, talent and ideas. Thanks to globalisation, opportunities have increased. Digital transactions are expected to create $4 trillion over the next two decades. Supported by the forces of globalisation, companies such as Google, Amazon and Apple have changed the world, he added.

Al Gergawi concluded his speech by conveying a message from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed to delegates. “The UAE will remain an important destination every year for you. It will remain a key platform for discussions and debate on the future of humanity. It will remain a model and an open lab for everything new in the world.”

Borge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum, told participants: “Globalisation cannot be stopped, but it can be improved. It should be more inclusive, sustainable and job creating. We need to stop seeing trade as a weapon but instead see it as a strong, positive force for inclusive, poverty-eradicating growth.”

“Globalisation’s future is no longer about physical trade. It is about knowledge, information and technology. Digital trade already accounts for 12% of international trade, and data flows are predicted to increase another fivefold by 2022. The result will inevitably be not less globalisation but more, different, globalisation,” he continued.

The Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils brings together nearly 700 world-class experts from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds. Comprising senior politicians and public figures, leaders from business, civil society, academia and the arts, their role at the meeting is to generate new ideas and creative solutions aimed at solving the most critical challenges. This year sees the introduction of a number of new councils, representing new areas of focus for the Forum’s activities throughout the year. These include the Global Future Council on Biodiversity and the Bio-economy, which aims to protect nature through innovative technology and business models; the Global Future Council on the New Social Contract, whose mandate is to rethink the future of work, education and gender parity; and the Global Future Council on Advanced Energy Technologies, which has been charged with developing ways to accelerate global energy transition.

Source: Emirates News Agency