The second edition of the World Changing Ideas Summit will be held on November 2, 2023. Click here to register.
Are you looking for positive news and ideas that will get you thinking? Fast Company Middle East’s World Changing Ideas Summit is bringing in leaders, experts and futurists who are dreaming big and working to change the world for the better, focusing on the environment, emerging technologies and innovation.
The second edition of the World Changing Ideas Summit, to be held on November 2 at the Museum of the Future in Dubai, will spotlight creative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges, fostering meaningful dialogue centered around the ingenuity necessary to make the world more equitable and sustainable.
The summit spent more time thinking about solutions rather than problems, moving towards a reinvigorated world that is better positioned to positively impact people’s lives. Building on last year’s summit, this year’s World Changing Ideas will consider ways to lay the foundations for a more effective Middle East that can deal with today’s challenges as well as new threats in the future.
CAN THE REGION BE A GLOBAL UNICORN HUB?
The panel Scaling Startups: Does the Middle East Have What it Takes to be a Global Hub will be a highlight.
Poised for explosive growth, startups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region continue to attract robust investor interest, showcasing sustained vitality in entrepreneurial activity. Driven by the rise of emerging sectors like healthtech, edtech, and fintech, the digital economy for MENA is expected to surpass just over $500 billion by 2030, which many reports say will be accompanied by more unicorns.
The experts, the biggest startup founders in the region, will delve into what makes the region the preferred destination for foreign investors and global talent. This is besides growing mergers and acquisitions activity in the region.
But for the region to be a global hub for startups, regulation and government initiatives across the region will need to unlock investments and drive growth. Currently home to only six startups with a valuation of above $1 billion, what can help startups achieve scale?
FUTURE: MAN VS MACHINE
Everyone is talking about AI. AI everything, everywhere, all at once, is inevitable. Experts estimate we are still quite a few decades away from achieving human-level AI and the associated singularity. However, progress is accelerating. Some of the world’s largest tech companies are investing heavily in AI and making breakthroughs at an incredible pace. As computing power continues to double every few years, AI systems get smarter and smarter. The Singularity in AI: How close are we? panel will present a first-hand account of companies tackling how AI can solve complex problems and interpret knowledge from huge datasets while outsmarting human intelligence.
TOWARD A DIFFERENT ENERGY
Energy transition is an evolving pathway to achieving a climate-safe future. The summit will highlight the carbon-free fuel that could revolutionize how we power vehicles and provide an eco-friendly alternative to gas-guzzling vehicles, as major automotive companies reveal plans to discontinue the production of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles. The Energy in Motion panel will question renewables’ enormous and exciting potential. As the cost of producing renewable hydrogen continues to decline, it’s poised to transform the transportation industry in the coming decades.
In the Middle East, several landmark giga-projects are established to increase non-oil revenue as part of the diversification strategy driven by technology, innovation, and sustainability. Saudi Arabia, the GCC’s largest economy, has ramped up giga-projects, over a dozen, that are expected to drive year-on-year growth across the infrastructure and construction sectors and impart new technologies.
The same strategy is applied to other countries in the region to create jobs and diversify the economy while introducing advanced technologies. The panel Giga-projects In Gulf will dwell on whether the rewards outweigh the risks.