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From AI to digital commerce: Impact Council sub-committees will deliberate on key trends

This year, two new sub-committees were added to continue conversations on business and society's greatest opportunities and challenges.

From AI to digital commerce: Impact Council sub-committees will deliberate on key trends
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

What will 2024 bring? In times of great upheaval, it can be difficult for businesses to see the big picture. 2023 showed us that we need to think bigger and faster in innovating across industries, illuminating areas where we still have many deficiencies. 

This year, leaders need to explore from “how might we” change thorny issues to creating and implementing better solutions across the industry backed by advanced technologies. 

Fast Company Middle East Impact Council, an initiative that brings together founders, CEOs, and some of the most creative people in business, will continue a series of conversations through its sub-committees on some of the greatest opportunities and biggest challenges facing business and society.

Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have revolutionized business decision-making processes, which could mean a lot for economies going forward. 

More concretely, GenAI is already being used innovatively in a range of industries, and as the buzz around it gathers more momentum, business leaders and their teams will now have to evaluate the technology and ensure ethical and beneficial AI implementation. 

Regarding this, Ravi Raman, publisher of Fast Company Middle East, said, “Impact Council sub-committees play a crucial role in providing objective analysis, generating recommendations, and facilitating informed decision-making. With their expertise and diverse perspectives, our committee members contribute to generate innovative ideas and propose evidence-based solutions.”

After a successful partnership with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) for a sub-committee on Artificial Intelligence, Fast Company Middle East has renewed its collaboration this year to deliberate on various AI topics as we see the link between responsibility, accountability, and subsequent rewards. 

Speaking about this partnership, Dr. Akram Awad, Partner at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), says, “As we approach the third edition of the AI Impact Council subcommittee in collaboration with BCG, our focus is on the substantive exchange of ideas and the practical application of AI technologies across industries.”

“Based on our latest findings at BCG, 93% of Middle East executives are looking to increase their investments in AI & GenAI over the upcoming year. This figure reinforces the vitality of inviting public and private stakeholders to exchange key learnings and synchronize our AI development efforts at a national level. Reflecting on the insights and progress from previous editions, we are committed to a deeper exploration of AI’s role in addressing complex regional and global challenges as we help guide the conversation towards impact, innovation, and sustainable growth for our Middle East players,” adds Awad.

Over the past decade, e-commerce has emerged as a key driver of economic growth with technological advancements and changing consumer behavior. 

With the Middle East witnessing significant growth in e-commerce, transforming the retail landscape, this year, Fast Company Middle East Impact Council has added a new sub-committee to provide a platform to share insights on the Future of Digital Commerce in partnership with Akinon, a cloud-based headless commerce platform focused on major retailers and consumer brands.

“As the Middle East Region surges towards a digital commerce future, we are thrilled to announce our partnership with Fast Company Middle East for the Impact Council sub-committee on the Future of Digital Commerce. From B2C and B2B enterprises to pivotal verticals like banking and telecommunications, the potential for growth and success knows no bounds. Embracing cutting-edge technologies and navigating the dynamic landscape of digital commerce will unlock limitless possibilities, shaping the future of commerce in the region and beyond,” says Tayfun Topkoc, EVP of Global Growth at Akinon.

The Future of Digital Commerce sub-committee will delve into the significant trends in e-commerce, like “contextual” commerce and sustainability, the role of advanced technologies like AI and AR/VR in making shopping more experiential and convergence of content, investing in the tools and experiences to unite digital and physical operations and cloud-based omnichannel experience platforms.

Apart from the established AI, Climate Change and Sustainability and Future of Payments sub-committees, the new sub-committees announced this year are Future of Digital Commerce and PR & Advertising.  

The PR & Advertising subcommittee will explore the evolving world of the industry to uncover the techniques that drive success and innovative approaches. In this digital era, how can compelling content be crafted using AI-powered tools and data analytics that help brands connect with the audience while taking a more humanized approach? Along with taking a humanized approach, how authenticity in PR & Advertising can help build trust and credibility with clients. 

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