WGS: Themes and Sessions

Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior.

Eight Main Themes

Over three days, the World Government Summit will discuss the future of eight vital sectors: education, healthcare, government action, science, innovation and technology, economy, labor 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.

Further, 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.

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.

Sessions, lectures and awards

The first day of the World Government Summit in Dubai will feature six panel discussions. In the first session entitled, ‘When the World Spoke Arabic: The Forgotten Scientific Heritage of the Arab Civilization’, Physics Professor Jim Al-khalili, Lecturer at the University of Surrey, will discuss the contribution of the Arab civilisation 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.

Interactive lectures

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.

Day two: Rwandan President talks about development experience in his country

On day two, Honorable 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 entitled ‘Why Governments Fail?’ that convenes 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 (du) and Arif Naqvi, Founder and Chief Executive of The Abraaj Group, as well as 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.

The interactive lectures that will take place on the second day of the summit include a talk by Justin Hall-Tipping, Chief Executive Officer of NanoHoldings, who will discuss the future of renewable energy and future challenges to preserving the environment and achieving sustainable development.

Brogan Bam Brogan, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of Hyperloop, will highlight the future of road transport and the possibility of road travel at the speed of sound.

Nicolas Cary, Co-Founder and President of Blockchain, will tackle the issue of the future of digital currency and its evolution to answer the futuristic question ‘The Digital Currency: Is It the Future of Money?’

Two lectures will focus on the future of education. The first lecture will feature Professor Sugata Mitra, Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University, who will talk about the issue of cloud schools. In the second lecture, Peter Diamandis, Founder and Chairman of the Global X Prize Foundation, will speak about the universities of the future and their form and structure.

Author and researcher Christopher Schroeder will conclude the second day’s lectures with a discussion of the Silicon Valley experience, its impact, how it can be replicated and where the next similar project can be located.

Day three: Keynote speakers, sessions on Robotics and the Future of Healthcare

On day three of the summit, Felipe Calderón, former President of Mexico and Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, will deliver a keynote speech addressing climate change as the greatest challenge for humanity.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman of Dubai Ports International, Dubai Customs and Dubai Free Zone, will also deliver a keynote speech addressing the future of smart trade.

Meanwhile, Kathy Calvin, President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Nations Foundation, will deliver a keynote speech on at the World Government Summit.

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Trade and Economic Cooperation of the UAE, will participate together with Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta, and Mahmoud Mohieldin, the World Bank's Senior Vice President for the 2030 Development Agenda, United Nations Relations, and Partnerships, in a panel discussion entitled ‘Transforming the Global Vision into a Reality: Towards Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals’. The session focuses on this global challenge and the means to find solutions and mechanisms to address it.

The final day of the summit will feature interactive panels addressing many futuristic issues. Dr Neil Jacobstein, Co-Chair of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Track at Singularity University will speak about the prevalence of robots and whether they can in fact control the world.

For his part, entrepreneur and author Andrew Keen will discuss the issue of robots from another vantage point, questioning whether robots are the solution to many of the future challenges.

Albert Manero, CEO of Limitless Solutions, will talk about the ‘end of disability’, and discuss the future of prosthetics and the solutions that they will offer in more than one field for people with special needs. Dr Anthony Atala, Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, will highlight the developments in 3D printing of human organs and the huge leap that this can bring about in the field of health care.

In a lecture entitled ‘Celebrate Your 200th Birthday’ Dr Brad Perkins, Chief Medical Officer at Human Longevity, will speak about the developments in the healthcare field and their impacts. For his part, Rohit Talwar, CEO of Fast Future for Research, will discuss in a lecture entitled ‘Will the New Retirement Age Be 100 Years?’ the effect of increased life expectancy on governments, the job market, the policies and laws.

International meetings that discuss Sustainable Development and Future Cities

Within the framework of the World Government Summit, a series of meetings and sessions will be held to discuss ways to implement the global Sustainable Development Goals. These meetings are held in cooperation with the international organizations participating in the summit, especially the United Nations and the World Bank, to discuss the SDGs that have been agreed upon by the international community under the auspices of the United Nations in September 2015 in New York.

They are the indicators of global performance over the next 15 years. This will be the first international meeting to discuss the mechanism of achieving the SDGs that takes place after the conference in which these goals were announced. Ministers from around the world will participate in these sessions in addition to a group of international experts from the public and private sectors. The session will focus on three main areas - implementation, funding and measuring.

The summit will also include the convening of the 11th Annual Meeting of the OECD’s Middle East and North Africa Working Group on Open and Innovative Government. The group will convene directors of electronic and smart governments in the Middle East and North Africa to discuss the preliminary results of a number of studies on digital government strategies in the countries of the region and the findings of the OECD’s open government survey.

In addition, a consultative meeting will also be held with the World Bank experts to discuss the World Development Report. This is the principal World Bank Report on the issue of governance and it will be released in 2017.

Sponsored by Dubai Municipality, a meeting will be held for a mayors and directors of municipalities from several cities around the world to discuss the issue of future cities and how to prepare properly for construction of such cities as well as the prerequisites for this task.

Futuristic Reports and Studies

Several reports will be issued at the World Government Summit in cooperation with knowledge partners from major global scientific research institutions. These reports will be issued during the convening of the summit and throughout the year and include the report on artificial intelligence, evolution of sciences and the future of governments, in cooperation with The Economist.

This report focuses on how artificial intelligence can be used to analyze massive quantities of data that governments have and help predict events based on this data. It will also tackle the issue of integrating and using artificial intelligence in all fields to improve the outputs of vital sectors such as education and health, the future of governments, the genome and attempt to understand how governments will regulate this sector. The session will debate the issue of biometrics and how it can they be kept confidential and used in a safe and appropriate manner.

The summit will also launch a survey on the digital transformation of the government in cooperation with the Deloitte Foundation. The survey will include 1,200 government officials from 70 countries as well as interviews with 140 government officials and international experts. It will focus on the use of the digital technology as the most important factor affecting the delivery of government services. The results of the survey will be announced at the World Government Summit 2017.

The summit will issue a report in cooperation with Harvard Business Review on the next wave of major innovations. The report will explain the innovations and their implementation in governmental institutions.

The Future Education Methods report will be launched in cooperation with Oxford Analytica. The report will examine the re-designing of the methods and future of education where games are used to engage the student in an enjoyable and exciting educational process.

The Best Minister Award

The first day of the summit will honor the winner of the ‘Best Minister in the World’ award. This inaugural award aims to honor the best minister to have led a new and successful government project that resulted in a tangible social impact and can be replicated successfully in other countries.

The selection is based on scientific criteria set by Thomson Reuters, a neutral party for research and evaluation that chooses government personalities and evaluates their achievements. The ministers of the United Arab Emirates have been excluded from participating in order to maintain the neutrality of the award.

The Innovative Teacher Prize and honoring Winners of the Best Mobile Government Service Award

The World Government Summit will also honor the winners of the Emirates innovative teacher prize and the winners of the award for the best governmental service via mobile phones.

The Emirates Innovative Teacher award consists of a cash prize of Dh1 million and will be presented to an exceptional teacher who has made significant contributions to the teaching profession in the UAE.

The winners of the Best Mobile Government Services award will also be honored. There are three levels to this award: global, Arab and national. The competition includes university students in the UAE, in 10 sectors and the awards will be delivered prior to the conclusion of the World Government Summit.

The Museum of the Future Exhibition

The Museum of the Future Exhibition will be open for the first time to the public and offer a chance to view real examples of the most advanced technologies, methods and futuristic tools. The exhibition will be open throughout the duration of the summit from 6:00pm until 8:00pm.

The exhibition will highlight a number of products and distinctive experiences, transporting visitors to the future so that they can experience for themselves artificial intelligence and robotic technologies at work.

Innovative Governments’ Exhibition

This year's summit will feature the ‘Innovative Governments’ Exhibition’, organized by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Center for Government Innovation. It enables governments that have implemented innovative experiences to share their experiences and exchange knowledge and expertise and facilitate government officials in testing new technologies that will help them lead a rapid change in their governments in preparation for the future.