The fourth edition of the World Government Summit, under the title ‘Shaping Future Governments’, will begin on February 8 and run until February 10, 2016 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at the Madinat Jumeirah.
The summit will be attended by more than 3,000 participants from 125 countries, including top dignitaries, leaders and experts from the government and private sectors across the world. The US President Barack Obama will address the summit on its first day with a keynote speech via closed-circuit television. The US will participate as the annual guest of honor at this year’s event.
Sheikh Mohammed will conduct a conversation with his 10 million followers on social media platforms titled "Dialogue of the Future." During his interaction he will answer questions on his vision for the future of the government, education, health, cities and other vital sectors.
The World Government Summit will be attended by a number of heads of states, governments and international organisations.The World Government Summit is a knowledge-oriented forum that convenes representatives of academic institutions and scientific research centres and university students, who are invited to share their future visions and aspirations. The summit presents and discusses more than 70 topics highlighted by top speakers at the main and interactive sessions attended by a number of leaders, decision-makers, ministers, CEOs, leaders of innovation, officials, experts and entrepreneurs.
Over three days, the World Government Summit will discuss the future of eight vital sectors: education, health care, government action, science, innovation and technology, economy, labour market and human capital management, development and sustainability and the cities of the future.
The current edition of the summit will witness changes to the sessions by making them shorter and more focused, giving room for dialogues in a more interactive manner, and developing smart e-platforms as well as a special application for the summit. The events will feature a number of keynote speeches and dialogue sessions.
Summit will explore horizons of the future: Gergawi
Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the World Government Summit 2016, stressed that the summit in its fourth edition will explore horizons of the future, guided by the wise vision of the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God protect him), and under the leadership of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid that places the well-being of mankind at its core through adopting an innovative approach and proactive philosophy.
Al Gergawi said that Sheikh Mohammed had directed the summit be stepped up to a new level, exploring the future across significant sectors, and attempting to answer tomorrow’s questions today, while generating knowledge to enhance the readiness of governments to face the challenges of the future in the short, medium and long terms.
He noted that this will constitute a key developmental and cognitive contribution by the UAE to the world, and a platform working throughout the year to improve the services from which nearly seven billion people can benefit.
Al Gergawi explained that the UAE’s hosting of this global summit reflects its prominent position in the international arena and its influential role in vital community areas as part of its mandate to improve people’s standards of living through the promotion of sustainable development in the world.
The minister added that the World Government Summit has now become an international organisation with global goals, working throughout the year, publishing future-focused research and studies, launching development indicators, as well as collaborating and sharing insights with partners from around the world on the best practices to ensure the advancement of the world and prepare it for the future.
Moreover, the minister mentioned 10 key changes in the summit structure this year, including: transforming the summit to an international organization, answering future questions today, providing studies all year round, having concerted discussions, providing an electronic knowledge platform, offering mechanisms to build connections, launching the ‘Edge of Government’ exhibition, introducing a yearly guest of honor, and introducing the ‘Best Minister in the World’ award.
The World Government Summit 2016 will witness the release of a number of specialised future-oriented reports as well as the opening of the Museum of the Future and the launch of the Edge of Governments exhibition. It will honour the winners of the ‘Best Minister in the World’ award, ‘Best Mobile Government Service’ award, and ‘Innovative Teacher’ award. The summit will also see the hosting of several associated international meetings on the sidelines.
In his speech highlighting the ability of developing countries to advance, the President of Rwanda Paul Kagame will share the experience of his country in saving one million citizens from poverty. Leading international organisations, including the United Nations, Gulf Cooperation Council, League of Arab States, World Bank, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, and World Economic Forum, will participate in the Summit.
During the first day, a keynote address entitled ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution’ will be delivered by Professor Klaus Schwab, President and Founder of the World Economic Forum. Moreover, the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and the OECD Secretary-General Jose Angel Gurria will deliver keynote addresses. Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Interior will speak in a main session titles "Doctrine of Integration" during which he will discuss the vision UAE adopted in unifying efforts and integrating capabilities to shape a better future.
The first day will feature six panel discussions. In the first session titled, ‘When the World Spoke Arabic: The Forgotten Scientific Heritage of the Arab Civilisation’, Physics Professor Jim Al-khalili, Lecturer at the University of Surrey, will discuss the contribution of the Arab civilization and the challenges facing the leaders of the Arab World today in providing opportunities and adequate conditions to motivate the youth to innovate and occupy advanced positions in the civilization of the future.
In the second panel discussion, Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson, lecturer, interlocutor and presenter of many scientific programs, will discuss how the sciences of today shapes the technology of tomorrow.
Peter Schwartz, futurist and Senior Vice-President for Strategic Planning at Salesforce, will highlight how governments prepare for the unanticipated future.
The fourth panel discussion will feature a debate between Joe Kaeser, President and CEO of Siemens, and Saeed Mohammed Ahmed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), on clean energy innovation.
Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and Dr. Nabil Elaraby, Secretary-General of the Arab League, will participate in a special session entitled: ‘Preparing for the Future: Five Things That Arab Governments Should Address Now." This special session will be moderated by author and journalist Abdulrahman Al-Rashed.
The discussion panels will conclude with a debate involving experts in the field of technical sciences and history on the future effects of 3D Printing and how it will rewrite history.
The first day will also feature interactive lectures. In the first of these lectures features, Jennifer Pahlka, Founder and Executive Director of Code for America, will discuss computer programing as a language of the future and the importance of its inclusion in educational curriculum.
Paul Anderson, Founder of Bozemanscience, will speak about the innovative use of playing in education and its impact on the curricula and on transforming students from recipients to participants in the educational process.
Derek Muller, Physicist, Director and owner of Veritasium, one of the most popular scientific channels on You Tube, will highlight the role of social media in shaping the future of education.
Tim O'Reilly, Founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, will speak about the next generation of governments and how they can be transformed into more innovative ones.
Arun Sundararajan, Professor of Information, Operations and Management Sciences at New York University, will discuss the impact of the economy of communion on governments and what governments should do to keep up with this future economic pattern.
Rod Beckstrom, Cybersecurity Expert and former President and CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), will speak about the dangers of the digital world and the means to address them.
On day two, Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, will give an exclusive interview to John Defterios of CNN on Rwanda's experience in the field of development after the civil war that tore it apart. President Kagame will speak about his experience since taking office in 2000 and how Rwanda managed to achieve an annual economic growth of 8 per cent, which resulted in lifting million of its citizens out of poverty.
He will also highlight how Rwanda became an attractive prospect for businesses, how it increased its tourism revenues five-fold and how it achieved the second millennium development goal by increasing the enrollment ratio in basic education. President Kagame will further discuss the political empowerment of women, and reducing the neonatal mortality rate.
Sessions on day two will include a panel discussion titled ‘Why Governments Fail?’ The panelists include Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, and Dominique de Villepin, former Prime Minister of France, and Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank, and Dr. Mahmoud Jibril, former Prime Minister of Libya.
In two special sessions, journalist Turki Aldakhil will converse with Dr Khalid Bahah, Prime Minister and Vice-President of Yemen about the challenge to governments with regards to development, while Egyptian journalist Muhanad Alkhatib, of Sky News Arabia, will discuss ‘Egypt's Readiness for the Future’ with Sherif Ismail, Prime Minister of Egypt.
The agenda also includes keynote speeches by Ahmad bin Byat, Chairman of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company PJSC (du) and Arif Naqvi, Founder and Chief Executive of The Abraaj Group, as well as His Excellency Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.
A discussion panel featuring Nicholas Negroponte from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will address the intriguing topic on the ‘Future of the Future’.
Another panel discussion entitled ‘Reverse Brain Drain’ will feature a number of personalities of Arab origin who excelled in universities and in Western scientific and academic institutions. It will discuss the transformations and effects of the brain drain and how emerging markets can attract talent and expertise that contributes to their development. Journalist Muntaha Al-Ramahi from Al Arabiya will moderate this panel discussion.