Saif Al Mansouri Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: A new global report will analyse how well, or not, the world will survive the rapid rise and impact of new technology and the knowledge economy, Gulf News can reveal.

In an interview, Saif Al Mansouri, head of the organising committee for the Knowledge Summit, said the new report, titled ‘Forecasting the Future of Knowledge,’ will be revealed at the fifth edition of the Knowledge Summit in Dubai next week.

The annual summit, organised by the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF), will be held from December 5 to 6 at Dubai World Trade Centre.

Al Mansouri, who is corporate affairs adviser to the CEO of MBRF, told Gulf News that disruptive change is the only constant of our times, and countries must anticipate and adopt the innovations or lag behind.

New rankings

Countries around the world will also find out where they rank in the results of the new Global Knowledge Index 2018, which will also be released at the two-day summit.

Last year, the UAE ranked 25 out of 131 in the Global Knowledge Index 2017 — the best performer in the Arab world. Switzerland had ranked number one globally in the 2017 index, followed by Singapore and Finland.

Every year, the results of the Arab and Global Knowledge Indexes are revealed at the summit. Al Mansouri said since knowledge was the foundation and driver of national progress and development, there was a need to “create an accurate and objective measuring tool to track and monitor the status of knowledge around the world, as well as the challenges and opportunities around it”.

He added: “This diagnosis can then support governments and relevant entities to evaluate performance and design plans that drive development across all sectors. These indexes have undoubtedly highlighted the deep correlation between knowledge and development around the world.”

A third report, ‘Analysing the Results of the Global Knowledge Index 2017’, will also be discussed at the summit, providing a deeper, more analytical look into the previous index. All three reports are drafted by MBRF in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Focus on youth

Speaking about the broader agenda, Al Mansouri said the theme of this year’s summit is ‘Youth and the Future of the Knowledge Summit’.

He said, “The youth are a cornerstone in any future plans. The segment plays a pivotal role in building a sustainable knowledge economy and our wise leadership has always prioritised youth issues.”

It is often the youth who are both the key producers and consumers of new content, knowledge and technology, he added.

All the themes and agenda of the summit’s editions are in line with the UAE’s strategic plans, he said.

“With the Knowledge Summit 2018, [MBRF] seeks to implement the UAE’s directions, as well as the objectives of the UAE National Agenda for Youth, which seeks to support Emirati youth and provide them with the necessary opportunities to hone their skills and utilise them to serve their communities, all while driving sustainable development and setting an example to be emulated worldwide.”

MBRF is also looking to meet the objectives of the UAE Vision 2021 to build a competitive knowledge economy.

More information about the Knowledge Summit 2018 can be found on its official website,

Hear from leaders at Knowledge Summit 2018

Princess Sumaya Bint Al Hassan is a leading advocate for science as a catalyst for change. She is president of the Royal Scientific Society, chair of the Princess Sumaya University for Technology, and vice-chair of the Jordan Museum.

Dr Ahmad Bin Abdullah Humaid Bel Houl Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education, UAE. In October 2017, his portfolio was expanded to include Advanced Skills to equip the UAE youth with the necessary skills for the future. Al Falasi is chairman of the Federal Authority for Human Resources, and also of the UAE Space Agency.

Kevin Harrington, the original ‘Shark’ on the hit show ‘Shark Tank’, creator of the ‘As Seen on TV’ brand, and co-founder of the Entrepreneur’s Organisation. Kevin is considered one of the most successful entrepreneurs — he has been responsible for the launch of over 20 businesses that have each had sales over $100 million (around Dh367 million).