28 Feb 2022


Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation to put spotlight on significant trends in health, economy, society, and environment at Knowledge Summit

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF), in collaboration with UNDP, is set to discuss the most significant health, economic, social, and environmental trends at the seventh edition of the Knowledge Summit.

The event will take place at the Expo 2020 Dubai on March 14 and 15 with the theme “Knowledge: Protecting People and the Planet through Pandemics” with the participation of a wide range of experts, leaders, and government officials from around the world.

The details of the seventh edition were announced during a press conference held in the presence of H.E. Jamal Ben Huwaireb, CEO of MBRF; Mr. Khaled Abdel Shafi, Director of the UNDP Regional Hub for the Arab States; Dr. Hany Torky, Chief Technical Advisor of the UNDP Knowledge Project, and numerous members of the media.

H.E. Jamal bin Huwaireb said: “Here in the UAE, we are back on solid ground and filled with optimism as we look with renewed hope of rapid recovery from this crisis. Thanks to the prudent measures and initiatives under the direction of our wise leadership, we are holding a once in a lifetime special edition at Expo 2020 Dubai, the world's largest event since the beginning of the health crisis, and one of the most notable major global events after the pandemic.”

His Excellency added: “Today, we announce the launch of the Knowledge Summit 2022, where we will be joined by experts, leaders, decision-makers, pioneers, and stakeholders from all over the world. During the two-day gathering, the participants will engage in constructive discussions on the role of the knowledge industry in combating global problems such as climate change, supply chain crisis, food insecurity, and poverty.  Furthermore, it will focus on understanding what hinders our way to global recovery from the COVID-19 and its variants. Apart from the pandemic, participants will work on reviewing legal practices in the context of a post-pandemic world, as well as the role of media during crises, and the future of education in the metaverse era.”

He also confirmed that the summit will further hold talks from March 16 to 18 on key topics of interest for Arab youth and other young people across the world. Some of the topics of the sessions include leadership youth training, job prospects and the state of the labour market, as well as other issues relating to water security and economic, social, and environmental development. These sessions will take place for the first time on a virtual platform and can also be accessed through the MBRF website.

H.E. Huwaireb expressed his appreciation to all government and private entities and institutions who are sponsoring the summit and playing a key role in the success of world's most notable knowledge event.

Mr. Khaled Abdel Shafi said: “The Knowledge Summit 2022 will see the launch of the Foresight Report in its third edition. The results of the two foresight reports on the future of knowledge for 2018 and 2019 showed that economies were not ready for future changes, and their knowledge systems were not capable of absorbing risks in the future. This failure or delay is a missed opportunity for these countries, especially that the Covid-19 pandemic revealed the fragility of economies and their inability to respond adequately to unexpected disturbances or shifts. This only confirms the accuracy of the findings of the Foresight Report and the strength of its predictive model.”

He continued: “This year's report focuses on examining the transformative capacities that enable countries to continue to grow in the face of shocks and sustain growth gains. The report covers 40 countries and focuses on three current risks (health, environmental, and technological) based on an analysis of social media and large data in addition to traditional data, with a view to measuring the transformative capacities of countries, the most important of which are capacities for cooperation and innovation.”

“The seventh Knowledge Summit will discuss many issues, including the importance of accelerating the efforts to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In these critical times, we cannot divert resources and efforts away from achieving the SDGs as the response to the pandemic cannot be separated from actions taken to achieve those goals. It will also discuss how to support countries in reassessing their priorities,” Dr. Hany Torky added.

He noted that the Knowledge Summit presents a global platform to discuss the results of the Global Knowledge Index 2021 which included 154 countries, including 16 Arab states. This year, the Knowledge Summit will feature a comprehensive and scientific review of its methodology with the participation of a team of consultants from leading international organizations and the academe. He further cited that the Knowledge Index 2021 features 155 indicators selected from over 40 international sources and databases, such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Bank, the International Telecommunication Union, the International Monetary Fund, the Economic Cooperation and Development Organization, the International Labour Organization, among others.

Dr. Torky remarked: “The Summit will also see the launch of the Future of Knowledge Report which features four key chapters. The first is themed around the global, technological, health, and environmental risks and the challenges that come along with it, providing an analysis of the role of transformative capacity in taking on these risks, and the key aspects of knowledge and skills that underlie this transformation. The second chapter sets out the methodology for analysis, detailing data collection tools, the analytical framework, and approaches. The third chapter focuses on the key results of analysis at the global level in terms of innovation capacity. The final chapter presents a set of recommendations and concluding observations.”

The Knowledge Summit’s latest edition focuses on the role of knowledge in addressing global challenges, exploring the potentials and opportunities it offers to protect humanity within the framework of the MBRF’s goals. The MBRF aims to promote knowledge and empower communities in the region and the world, considering it as key to finding faster and more accurate solutions to health, environmental, economic, and social challenges, and provide a clear road map and a better future for sustainable development.

The two-day summit will feature several broad themes which include ‘Knowledge Drives the Future’, ‘Web Education 3.0 - The Metaversity’, ‘The Role & Impact of Media During Crisis: COVID-19’, ‘Pandemics and Their Impact on Climate: A Double-Edged Sword’, ‘Food Security: Between Sustainable Supply Chains and Self-Sufficiency’, ‘Fighting Poverty’, ‘Mental Health and Pandemics’, ‘Young Entrepreneurship’, and ‘Social Progress Index’.

The summit’s virtual sessions will explore several topics with themes such as ‘Successful leadership during crises: community transformation and innovation leadership’, ‘Job restructuring and recruitment processes’, ‘Flexible infrastructure: a profitable long-term investment’, ‘Water security: the basis for economic, social, and environmental development’, ‘Education based on sustainable development: qualification of youth change makers’,  ‘Management of big business information and data from a fourth generation perspective’, and ‘Coexistence and homogeneity in maritime space’.

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