500 intellectuals from over 30 countries have descended on Bahrain to participate in the Arab Thought Foundationâ€™s FIKR conference, the annual think-tank that strives to make a change to the Arab world not by force or arms but those of thought.
These gatherings have identified and provoked a lot of thought in what needs to be changed in our societies in order for us to progress and integrate within the global community in an intrinsic and binding fashion. This yearâ€™s conference is not different, it challenges the participants to discuss various aspects which are germane to this regionâ€™s future and propose strategies through which we can ascend into a new Arab economy through which our transformation and shaping of this new era could be undertaken. The conference theme of â€œArab Strategy for the Global Eraâ€ boldly plants the stake in the ground and invites the illustrious participants to keep that goal at the forefront of their minds.
Within the central theme of the conference, the areas of Energy, Investments, Media, Technology and Social Responsibility will be focused on as they all directly contribute to this new Arab economy and collectively provide a major impact to the way forward for all of our governments and societies.
The conference started today at the Ritz Carlton with a day-long Innovation Workshop which was open by invitation to our future leaders; those between 15 and 30 and were addressed by an excellent panel with varied backgrounds and each of which a leader in his or her field. The interesting thing about this, and one that is very indicative of how this conference is different, is that groups created from this workshop have been invited to present their solutions and innovative thoughts to close the whole conference with a very real possibility that one or more ideas might be chosen by those present for actual funding and transform it from an idea into a product. If this actually happens, then this will shows that this conference has transcended the â€œtalkâ€ and crossed the border into real action.
I look forward to my participation in this conference. My session is about education in the Arab world and specifically about the effects of digital technology and the digital readiness of the Arab world.
I am extremely humbled and fortunate to be joined on the panel by:
- Haitham Obeidat, Factory of International and Political Studies, International Studies Department of Middle East an Far East Studies, Jagiellonian Univeristy (Poland);
- Iman Al-Hindawi, Founder and CEO, Middle East Center for Culture and Development (Jordan);
- John Davies, VP, Sales and Marketing, General Manager, World Ahead Program, Intel Corporation (USA); and
- Nasser . Alardah, REgional Program Development Manager, Relief Organization – Schools Online (USA)
I am also thrilled to let you know that this event will be covered by five Bahrain-based bloggers so please also check their blogs for updates and their take on the conference.
Those who will cover the conference are:
- bint Battuta of Bahrain
- Ù‡Ø°ÙŠØ§Ù† Ø§Ù„ØØ±ÙˆÙ
- Yagoobâ€™s Dome
- Ammaro.com; and
- Eyad who used to be human