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It’s often difficult to comprehend the scale of changes that have shaped and determined our society since the turn of the millennium alone, and the reality is that the pace of change is only going to hasten in the near future.

Every year, it seems as if quantum leaps in technologies, the advances in artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, the Internet of Everything (IoE), blockchain networking and the very way we communicate and interact with each other is undergoing a radical shift.

For governments that are trying to stay ahead of this curve, or at least keep pace with it in an attempt to put it into context and take effect to improve the lives of every citizen, it’s a challenge.

For those at the very top echelon of global companies and organisations — and many are indeed key drivers in this increasing rate of change — putting innovations into context, bringing their developments into concrete practical use, and interfacing with other decision-makers, governmental and societal stakeholders, is a key process.

Simply put, the World Government Summit currently underway in Dubai offers a unique opportunity for those key decision-makers and stakeholders to gather, communicate, learn and facilitate changes that will impact our daily lives — and are already starting to do so now.

Imagine a jet-lagged and weary air passenger arriving in Dubai, getting off the plane, collecting luggage and then walking out to get a taxi. No passport checks, no visas issued, no security concerns.

From theory to reality

The ability of governments to communicate and share information, the ability of facial-recognition technology to accurately identify individuals, the ability of an array of biometric and other transponder-based technologies to work together — all make a traveller’s arrival seamless, secure and already a reality at Dubai Airport.

The ability of governments to communicate and share information, the ability of facial-recognition technology to accurately identify individuals, the ability of an array of biometric and other transponder-based technologies to work together — all make a traveller’s arrival seamless, secure and already a reality at Dubai Airport.

- Gulf News

That’s a system that was first theoretically raised at a previous gathering of the summit, and is now a reality. How about skypods that link the skyscrapers of our cities, meaning there’s less traffic, less carbon footprint, less damage to our environment.

These concepts are on display now at the summit, and how long too before they become as commonplace is as taking a ride in a building’s lift.

But it’s not just technology that’s the focus of the summit. Right now, the globally connected marketplace and trade system that has stood so many so well, is also under threat.

Trade tariffs are unsettling the free flow of goods, so too the ideas of populism and ultra-nationalism. Understanding the ramifications of this new geopolitical environment affects us all too.

And with 4,000 delegates, heads of state and Nobel laureates now congregating in Dubai, just how the issue of climate change is tackled will impact us all — and our children.