Sharjah: Experts and business leaders who took part in a Youth Circle discussion titled ‘The Future of Youth in the Era of Digital Enterprise’ on the side-lines of the fifth edition of Sharjah FDI Forum which kicked off yesterday (Monday), have called for youth to challenge the status quo in order to create change.
The Shurooq Youth Council initiative, in partnership with Sharjah Youth Council, brought together leading experts, entrepreneurs and officials with aspiring youth to discuss their future in the digital age.
Speakers included HE Dr. Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Media City (Shams); HE Marwan Bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq); HE Hussain Mohammed Al Mahmoudi, CEO of the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP); Fatima Al Mahmoud, Chairperson of the Shurooq Youth Council; Mo Gawdat, bestselling author and former Chief Business Officer, Google X; Dr. Louis Klein, Dean, European School of Governance; Azeem Azhar, entrepreneur, investor, and the creator of Exponential View; and Sharif Hallaba, co-founder and COO, XLabs.
During the discussion, Al Sarkal emphasised the need to take advantage of the latest technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning to serve humanity. He pointed to some of the important experiences that have transformed the lives of peoples and several projects that had impacted society immensely.
The Executive Chairman of Shurooq highlighted the use of drones in an African country to transport blood to remote areas blood during emergencies. This had helped save countless lives dependant on the blood and had turned out to be a cost-effective solution, leading to a new business model.
For his part, Hussain Mohammed Al Mahmoudi stressed the importance of technology in development, “Technology today is the core of development. However, we need to develop our own technology in order to excel in the region, not copy it from abroad.”
Meanwhile, Mo Gawdat said the technological advancement and disruptions that had occurred over the past few years had been initiated by youth. “Youth are the ones who innovated and made a huge impact around the world. Youth need to challenge the status quo and use their energy to create change.”
He pointed out that entrepreneurs were among the richest people in the world, and not employees. He emphasised the continuity of learning. “After graduation, we need to keep learning, we need to learn how to learn, and invest in knowledge,” said the author.
For his part, Azeem Azhar noted the young population of the UAE and its current infrastructure. He said that youth here had the advantage of a nurturing environment and supportive infrastructure that was required to innovate to benefit the country. He said it was important to develop technologies instead of importing them to tackle the issues of the local communities.
Dr. Louis Klein highlighted the rich culture and history of the UAE, saying: “Youth need to use their history and culture to innovate and help their communities. Youth is about experiencing and exploring the unknown and working on making the world a better place.”
Talking about environment for innovation, Sharif Hallaba said youth should surround themselves with people who will give them a whole new view, be able to expand their horizons and make a positive change in their environment.”
At the conclusion of the session, the participants stressed the need to advance the educational systems to cope with the rapid technological advancement in order to fulfil the needs of society and enhance the quality of their lives.
The 5th Sharjah FDI Forum will highlight FDI trends at regional and international levels, and shine light on vital sectors in need of more investments, such as renewable energy, healthcare, and technology. The forum will also discuss the potential impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution on the growth rate of world economies, sustainability and social stability.
© Press Release 2019