Oliver Cann, Head of Media Content, Public Engagement, Tel.: +41 79 799 3405; Email: Oliver.Cann@weforum.org
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 13 November 2016 – Rapid technological change and the intensity of global threats such as global warming and water stress require that the international community focus on the future and how to address these pressing challenges, Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, the United Arab Emirates Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, told participants in the opening plenary of the World Economic Forum’s inaugural Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils.
“It is important to define our challenges,” Al Gergawi said. “We are launching a global discussion on the future of the vital sectors, and will attempt to forecast what the future will bring. We have a responsibility to the next generations to answer the questions of the future and come up with the needed frameworks to overcome these challenges.” Quoting H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and the Ruler of Dubai, who was present in the session, Gergawi remarked: “The future is not something we wait for, but something we make.”
In his welcoming remarks, Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, said that “responsive and responsible leadership is so crucial to see that innovation is harnessed for improving the state of the world.” He identified four deep transformational forces that are unsettling the world: the Fourth Industrial Revolution; the slower growth of the global economy; the transition from a unipolar to a multipolar world; and the greater difficulty people have in searching for identity and distinctiveness.
To respond to these transformational forces, the world needs to pursue five goals, Schwab proposed: Close social gaps by promoting entrepreneurship for the social good; recognize that technology is driving enormous economic and social change; develop new ways of agile cooperation to be sure that innovation is the source of social progress; accept that there are no simple responses or any one grand unifying policy; and define common values such as respect for the dignity and equity of human beings. Concluded Schwab: “We really have to demonstrate that we are a global community. The problem we have is not globalization, but the lack of global governance and the inclusive means to address global issues.”
The inaugural Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils 2016, taking place in Dubai on 13-14 November, brings together over 700 top thought leaders from the World Economic Forum’s Network of Global Future Councils, comprised of 35 groups of experts from academia, business, civil society, international organizations and government. Minister Gergawi is Co-Chair of the meeting.
The Global Future Councils will generate ideas and solutions that influence the future global, regional and industry agendas and feed into the programme of the Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, in January 2017.
Notes to Editors
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