Regional and global thought leaders to address first INSEAD NAA UAE Leadership Forum in Dubai

October 29, 2019  

Prominent regional and global thought leaders and influencers will address the region’s first INSEAD NAA UAE Leadership Forum, to be held in Dubai on 31 October 2019. Organisers of the Forum, the INSEAD National Alumni Association (NAA) in the UAE and the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO), said that leading policymakers, high-ranking government officials, business leaders and academics are among the speakers who will share their perspectives on regional issues at the Forum.

The one-day event serves as a platform for sharing diverse ideas on promoting sustainable economic growth and creating a brighter future for the region. Speakers will engage in a dialogue on vital topics ranging from the economy, society and culture to technology, entrepreneurship and innovation.

The INSEAD NAA Leadership Forum will take a deeper look at the economic and social shifts taking place regionally and globally and explore how countries in the Middle East can ride these waves of change to bring more prosperity to the region.

Her Excellency Mona Al Marri, Director General of the Government of Dubai Media Office said: “The region’s first INSEAD NAA UAE Leadership Forum will bring together a host of experts, innovators and influencers who are at the frontlines of shaping the future of our region. Consistent with our aim of creating a platform for rich dialogue and knowledge exchange at the event, we have brought together speakers representing a wide diversity of insights and viewpoints on the issues driving the region’s growth. The speakers will explore unique solutions and fresh strategic approaches that can contribute to the sustainable development of our societies.”

Elias Aad, President of the INSEAD National Alumni Association (NAA) in the UAE commented, “Organising this event is part of the objective of INSEAD NAA UAE, the largest and most diverse INSEAD alumni network in the Middle East, to provide a platform for engagement and dialogue that promotes exceptional leadership and innovation in the region. We look forward to benefiting from the wisdom and insight of a diverse set of thought leaders at the Forum. The speakers will bring a range of perspectives on the critical issues impacting growth in the UAE, the region and the world, in addition to new ideas for working together to find solutions for our region’s most pressing challenges.”


Her Excellency Sarah Al Amiri, UAE Minister of State for Advanced Sciences will participate in a fireside chat at the Forum. Her session titled ‘The Better Half: Role of Women in Transforming the Region’ will discuss the UAE’s experience in raising women’s participation in science and technology and diverse other fields.

HE Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC), will deliver the keynote address of the event in a session titled ‘A New Vision for the Future’. In his address, Bin Sulayem will outline the UAE’s national vision to advance growth and foster an innovation-driven economy, and share DP World’s role in transforming Dubai into a key enabler for global trade. Elias Aad, President of the INSEAD National Alumni Association (NAA) in the UAE, will deliver the opening note at the Forum. 

HE Khalfan Belhoul, Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai Future Foundation, and Marjan Faraidooni, Chief Pavilions and Exhibitions Officer at Expo 2020 Dubai, will speak in a panel titled ‘Connecting to the Future - Embracing Change in the Business Landscape’. The session will explore the UAE’s readiness for change at three levels – business enterprises, government, and civil society - and the long-term impact of Expo 2020 on the country’s economy.

A session titled ‘Innovation Nation: The Changing Face of Investment’ will see Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO, Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI) and Aqil Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer at Nakheel, engage in a discussion about the strategies that the UAE and Dubai are adopting to direct investment towards innovation.

Hala Badri, Director General of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, will speak in a plenary session titled ‘Reshaping the Future Through Culture and Creativity’. Badri will shed light on Dubai’s new culture strategy and the role of culture in creating an innovation-driven economy.

In another panel named ‘The Chosen Ones: Industries Transforming our Region’, Osman Sultan, CEO of Du will join Ramez Shehadi, Managing Director of Facebook in the Middle East, and Olivia Bellingham, Senior Vice President - Strategy, Analytics, Pricing and M&A MEA, Mastercard and Moza Al Marri, Executive Director - Director General’s Office, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), to discuss the potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics on our future and the ways in which next-generation technologies are revolutionising various economic sectors.

Experts from leading media organisations will share their insights in a session titled ‘Accelerating the Media Revolution’. Mohammed Ali Harissi, Deputy Bureau Chief and News Editor for Gulf and Yemen at AFP, Daleen Hassan, Bureau Chief, EuronewsNBC in the UAE, and Sam Barnett, CEO of MBC Group, will discuss how new media technologies are transforming the way we connect and share content both in the region and the world, and the ways in which governments can work with the private sector to accelerate the introduction of new media technologies.

Additionally, in a session titled ‘Game Changers: How New Technologies Will Drive Growth’, Philip M. Parker, a Professor of Marketing at INSEAD and the INSEAD Chaired Professor of Management Science, will speak to the audience about the evolution of economic growth drivers and the role that AI will play in a fast-changing business and consumer environment. Fadi Adra, Partner at Strategy& and a member of the global consultancy’s Public Sector practice, will present the UAE’s and the region’s growth expectations over the next few years as well as the prospects for key sectors in a session titled ‘The Economic Outlook: Prospects for the UAE and the Region’.

One of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools, with campuses in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, INSEAD has consistently been ranked among the world’s top three business schools. The INSEAD National Alumni Association in the UAE has the largest and most diverse alumni network in the Middle East.


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