Sharjah: Emphasising the power of actions over words, HE Kim Campbell, former Prime Minister of Canada, has hailed the ongoing 11th International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) as “an action that speaks very loudly of Sharjah’s openness and commitment to bringing people together to find solutions to global challenges.”

Speaking at the popular Inspirational Talks series on the opening day of IGCF 2022 at Expo Centre Sharjah, the first female PM of Canada, asserted that what the world needs are “effective governments capable of solving problems, mobilising systems for positive outcomes, and introducing knowledgeable policies that benefit communities.”

In a talk titled “What kind of government does the world need?’ Campbell spoke of the need for embedding long term thinking to benefit future generations and to employ rational thinking in governance by acknowledging the limitations of commonly held biases.

She quoted astronomer Royal Martin Rees who said: “If we are to solve the multiple crises we now face, we need long-term, rational, global thinking, guided by values science alone cannot provide.”

The former PM of Canada continued: “The policies that science cannot provide are the policies of the heart that offer a sense of dignity and a sense of belonging to people. The UAE’s  Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence and Sharjah’s recent move to a four-day week to enable more family time for its residents are powerful messages of what the nation values.”

She reiterated: “Countries today face numerous challenges of living in divided and multicultural societies, and the UAE and Sharjah’s actions are making all nationalities feel respected and empowered. It tells people that their lives are important,” she concluded.

The power of words

In his talk titled, ‘Leadership with influence’, global speaker and author Mohammed Abdullah Al Qahtani, referenced his personal growth story of overcoming speaking challenges to becoming the first Arab to be crowned ‘World Champion of Public Speaking’ in 2015 at an international speech competition.

A teacher’s words - “you are worthless” as he stumbled over words instilled the feeling that he wouldn't be an achiever and forced him to retreat into ‘silence’ until a peer extended a hand of support and that gave him hope, he explained.

Like teachers, leaders are role models and a source of inspiration to people, and “a successful leader is not one who awards others for their achievements; it is a person who believes in you even when you do not believe in yourself,” said Al Qahtani, who urged the IGCF audience to be mindful of their words as they can inspire and fuel success of the listener or have a deep negative impact.