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The World Changing Ideas Summit reinforces the need to future gaze

In the 2022 summit, the visionary leaders inspired and guided us toward a better future and actionable steps

The World Changing Ideas Summit reinforces the need to future gaze
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

The inaugural World Changing Ideas Summit 2022 showcased the potential for positive change when visionaries, innovators, and experts who deeply understand society and strive to create positive and lasting change united to tackle pressing issues. The event ignited important conversations and actionable steps.

The second edition of the World Changing Ideas Summit will take the conversation forward. The summit on November 2 in Dubai will encourage innovation and creativity, new ideas and approaches, and how we can push boundaries.

For the first time, founders of the biggest unicorns of the region will come together on a panel for a discussion on scaling startups and visionaries will share their insights on a future aligned with our aspirations.

Another highlight of the event will be in-depth discussions on gigaprojects and sustainable mobility solutions. Expert panels will delve into the complexities and implications of gigaprojects, shedding light on their planning and execution, while also addressing the pressing need for sustainable mobility solutions in the region.

The World Changing Ideas Summit has transformed into a platform where visionaries and thought leaders converge to shape our future trajectory. This annual event draws attendees from diverse backgrounds and is a platform to explore innovative and collaborative strategies for future global challenges.

Last year, H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Minister of Talent Attraction and Retention, emphasized the need to “unleash Trade 2.0” at the World Changing Ideas Summit. 

He called for a reimagined approach to global commerce and the role of technology, sustainability, and inclusive growth in shaping the future of trade.

Reshaping the future was the theme for the World Changing Ideas Summit as luminaries such as Dr. Patrick Noack, Executive Director of Future Foresight & Imagination, Dubai Future Foundation, and Justin Peyton, Chief Transformation Officer, Wunderman Thompson shared their insights, adding, “Collective thinking has the power to solve problems better.” 

The event also raised a critical question: what do we want the future to look like? This raised a debate on stage, with input from thought leaders like K D Adamson, futurist and ecocentrist. She said, “Many people want you to believe that the future is a technology problem. Even though it’s possible, that’s not the only focus point.”

Another important topic of discussion was the global challenge of sustainable food production. The summit featured discussions with experts such as Professor Mark Tester, co-founder and chief scientist of Red Sea Farms, and Christine Gould, CEO of Thought for Food, on innovative agricultural practices, technology-driven solutions, and the role of sustainability in ensuring food security for a growing global population.

“We can design a new system with the help of the largest youth population alive in history, which brings to the table a unique set of attributes, making them perfect agents for change around these global systemic challenges,” Gould said.

With biotechnology and nanotechnology available for deployment, there is a real potential for addressing the food sector’s current crises. 

“We’ve got amazingly powerful weather predictions today, increasing farmers’ ability to manage growing and harvesting crops. With these weather predictions being almost accurate, they now know what to plant because they know they will get it off before the weather conditions worsen,” added Tester. 

The concept of human-machine collaboration also emerged as a prominent discussion at the summit. Experts highlighted the transformative potential of integrating human knowledge and expertise with artificial intelligence and automation. However, barriers to widespread adoption were also acknowledged.

“The problems with the world are not going to be solved by one person coming up with a great idea but by collective intelligence. But we’ve built models designed to reward individual intelligence and individual input and protect IP around that,” said Justin Peyton, chief transformation officer of Wunderman Thompson. 

“Collective thinking has the power to solve problems far better than anyone individually,” added Thompson. 

Ethical concerns, appropriate skill development, and regulatory frameworks were identified as crucial aspects to address for the realization of effective human-machine collaboration.

An important theme for the event also focused on the region’s commitment to transitioning towards renewable energy, promoting circular economy practices, and fostering innovation for sustainable development.

When speaking about sustainability, Aamer Sheikh, CEO of PepsiCo Middle East, said it is essential to consider a fundamental question, “What we consume on this Earth, how are we giving it back to make it net neutral?”

This question laid the foundation for discussions highlighting the significance of united visions and cooperative endeavors. He added, “There is so much we’re taking from fossil fuels to water to how we grow our food and use those resources. Sustainability involves looking at how we leave this planet better than we found it. That means being evangelical about it on a personal and professional level.”

The second edition of the World Changing Ideas Summit on November 2 at the Museum of the Future in Dubai will pave the way for a more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable world. 

The second edition of the World Changing Ideas Summit will be held on November 2, 2023. Click here to register.

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