This year the forum will be held from September 15 to 17 at the Kempinski Hotel Muscat. MENA Innovation 2019 (mena-innovation.com/2019/), will be held under the patronage of H H Sayyid Shihab bin Tariq al Said, Advisor to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and chairman of The Research Council (TRC). It will be hosted by the Oman’s Ministry of Higher Education and organised by Brains Global.
Speaking exclusively to Muscat Daily , Brains Global founder and CEO, John Glassey said, “It is, as always, a privilege collaborating in productive working sessions with my colleagues in governance forming the MENA Innovation 2019 steering committee in Oman.”
He added, “The changing nature of industry driven by perpetual transformation is having a massive impact on both the Omani and MENA regional job markets. Conversely, we live in a world where fresh economic growth is driven by small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs; therefore, empowering the potential of youth and youth culture is necessary to ensure a vibrant and stable economic future.
“We’ve charted an agenda here to host a truly exceptional event in September, one which will, by design, map out a direct correlation within the sultanate and greater MENA region’s pathway to economic prosperity through meaningful public-private partnerships (PPP), collaborations embracing the latest in ICT innovation to fuel the ambitions of our next generation.”
The forum will draw together over 15 regional ministers of education, higher education and ICT from Oman and across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and leaders in industry from around the world. It will showcase both public and private sector best practices in collaboration so as to ’future-proof’ and forge tangible solutions today to the challenges of tomorrow inherent within a rapidly digitising education infrastructure.
Following a keynote address from H E Dr Rawiyah bint Saud al Busaidiyah, Minister of Higher Education, during the opening ceremony on September 16, panels over the course of MENA Innovation 2019 will foster debate and dialogue on the critical issues pertaining on how best to empower and equip youth from across the region with both the skills and technologies necessary to flourish and spur future creativity within what has been deemed the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
In addition to the MENA Innovation-branded venue format of hosting pre-scheduled meetings between government, civil society officials and industry leaders, the forum’s agenda includes discussions on driving innovation in higher education and scientific research, investing in technological education and digital skills for regional entrepreneurship, ICTs for delivering the Fourth Industrial Revolution in MENA, the importance of active learning in MENA schools, advancing greater inclusivity and diversity in education and transformation through critical thinking in education and scientific research.
The MENA Innovation steering committee further revealed exciting additions to its agenda, including the hosting of a creative and energetic ‘Young Innovators Special Session’. ICT innovation-driven technologies presentations from five Omani young innovators and five MENA regional young innovators will be a key component of the final day of the event; an opportunity to showcase the brightest and best MENA has to offer, and, in step with the tradition of Brains Global, presented to the absolutely most appropriate stakeholders within government and industry, on-site and in-person.
The Government of Oman has ultimately committed to enhancing cooperation with the private sector to achieve the ambitious goals laid before the sultanate in realising its Oman Vision 2040. It also seeks to implement a unified national strategy to unlock the immense potential of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to drive the nation’s long-term economic development.
The organisers of the forum will play their role in ensuring contemporary education fosters a more conducive climate for entrepreneurship and job creation, building a foundation of sustainable economic growth capable of contributing to GDP development.