The World Economic Forum (WEF), in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy and Planning of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, will host an Open Forum alongside the Forum’s Special Meeting on Global Collaboration, Growth, and Energy for Development, scheduled to take place in Riyadh on April 28 and 29.

This public event aims to foster dialogue among thought leaders and the broader public on various topics, including environmental challenges, mental health, digital currencies, artificial intelligence, the role of the arts in society, modern entrepreneurship, and smart cities. It will provide an opportunity for students, entrepreneurs, young professionals, and the general public to discuss these critical issues, said a Saudi Press Agency report.

“Under Saudi Vision 2030, Riyadh has emerged as a global hub for thought leadership, action, and solutions, promoting the exchange of knowledge and innovative ideas,” said Faisal F Alibrahim, Minister of Economy and Planning for Saudi Arabia.

“Hosting this year’s Open Forum in Riyadh underscores the city’s increasing influence and role on the international stage and will further enhance the Open Forum's 20-year legacy.”

“We eagerly anticipate welcoming and convening thought leaders and entrepreneurs to engage with the public on future-oriented themes, for which Riyadh is uniquely positioned as a global focal point for innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainable development,” he added.

Head of Swiss Public Affairs and Sustainability at the World Economic Forum Michèle Mischler remarked: “Involving the Saudi public in Open Forum sessions fosters diverse perspectives, enriches global dialogue, and empowers collective solutions for a more inclusive and sustainable future.”

Building on the success of the Open Forum at the Annual Meeting 2024 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, the forum is introducing its publicly accessible, open-debate format to Saudi Arabia for the first time. Since 2003, the Open Forum has brought together leaders from various backgrounds: government officials, artists, civil society leaders, entrepreneurs, and multinational company CEOs.

The sessions are designed to engage a diverse global audience and facilitate the exchange of a wide range of ideas, experiences, and stories on pressing and controversial issues.

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