Forward Thinking: 700 Global Experts Converge on Dubai to Shape a New Global Future

12 Nov 2016

Oliver Cann, Head of Media Content, Tel.: +41 79 799 3405; Email:

  • World Economic Forum brings together over 700 world-leading experts in Dubai for its first-ever Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils
  • Purpose of the meeting is to develop ideas and strategies to prepare the world for the Fourth Industrial Revolution; topics include smart cities, robotics and the future of mobility
  • The meeting is co-chaired by Mohammad Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future of the United Arab Emirates
  • More information here:

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 12 November 2016 – The inaugural Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils opens Sunday in Dubai, bringing together more than 700 experts from around the world to generate ideas and solutions to prepare the world for the challenges and opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

With experts comprising leading figures from global business and academia, public figures and heads of international organizations, the meeting’s focus on future preparedness will address a wide range of topics, from game-changing emerging technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles, to “systemic” challenges such as the future of the environment, economic growth and cities.

“As the Fourth Industrial Revolution picks up speed, we must develop new and creative ways of driving economic growth, bringing our communities together and fostering cooperation to tackle the challenges we face head on as a shared humanity,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

“His Excellency Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future and Co-Chair of the Annual Meeting of Global Future Councils, said: “Our region has played a major role in shaping the future of the world for centuries. Today, the forward thinking and vision of our leadership have succeeded in positioning the UAE as a hotbed for innovation, where planning for the future is at the very core of Government. This makes the UAE the ideal destination to host the inaugural Global Future Councils, which strive to find and implement real solutions for the challenges of the future, and flag future opportunities that we can all benefit from. Through this partnership with the World Economic Forum, the UAE is creating a platform where we can share our future-focused approach with our international partners.”

In addition to generating ideas to tackle challenges and seize opportunities, outcomes from the discussions of the 35 Councils meeting in Dubai will shape the programme of the 47th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, in January 2017.

The meeting in Dubai will see a high level of collaboration between the Forum and the Government of the United Arab Emirates. The country will be represented on each of the 35 Councils, ensuring that knowledge and ideas captured during the meeting are directly channelled into projects to prepare for the future. The United Arab Emirates is also contributing to a special workshop on future preparedness, which is being held on Monday 14 November.

Notes to Editors

The host broadcaster for the meeting is Dubai TV, an affiliate of Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI).

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All opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Economic Forum Blog is an independent and neutral platform dedicated to generating debate around the key topics that shape global, regional and industry agendas.

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