Delegates and visitors at the third and final day of the WGS 2018 in Dubai Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan, Gulf News

Day 3 at the World Government Summit 2018 in Dubai

Follow our coverage of the World Government Summit in Dubai

Global speakers and delegates gathered on Tuesday for the last day of the three-day World Government Summit.

As many as 4,000 delegates are expected to attend the event including heads of governments and representatives of 16 international organisations.

The sixth edition of the annual thought gala is hosting 130 speakers and 120 sessions mostly focused on shaping governments.

The summit will draw to a close with the presentation of awards at the summit venue at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai.

The World Government Summit Award Ceremony is underway

The UAE bagged two awards for having the Best Mobile Government Services during the closing ceremony of the sixth World Government Summit on Tuesday.

Dubai Police’s app won in the Protecting Human Life category of the fifth cycle of the award and The UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation’s app was selected in the Enabling Business Category.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai was present during the honoring ceremony, where he had also honored winners of the Edge of Government Award and the Global Universities Challenge Award.

In the Best Mobile Government Service Award, which received more than 3,000 nominations from 77 countries, it sought to honor pioneers in their race towards solving common global challenges and benefiting humanity.

H.H. Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, presented the winners of the Best m-Government Service Award.

• The winner of the Best m-Government Service Award for the Accessible Government Category is India’s Umang.

• The winner of the Best m-Government Service Award for the Effective Mobility Category is UK’s City Mapper.

• The winner of the Best m-Government Service Award for the Protecting Human Life Category is UAE’s Dubai Police.

• The winner of the Best m-Government Service Award for the Enhancing Social & Cultural Awareness Category is My Hong Kong Guide

• The winner of the Best m-Government Service Award for the Building Knowledge Category is Jordan’s Edraak

• The winner of the Best m-Government Service Award for the Enabling Business Category to Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

• The winner of the Best m-Government Service Award for the Sustainable Living Category is France’s eCO2Mix

• Winner of the Best Government Emerging Technologies Award, are Australia’s National Cities Performance Framework, Tanzania’s portable DNA sequence device, and India’s Aadhaar

• The 1st Place Winner of the World’s Virtual GovHack Award, is Clean Water A.I, second and third place goes to Cycle and Smart Tenders respectively.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is on stage to present the following awards.

• The winner of the Edge of Government Award is Mobilizing Constructions from Kenya.

• The winner of the Global Universities Challenge is the London Business School

Shaikh Abdullah calls for renewed emphasis on education to meet future

When the Gulf pearl industry collapsed in the 20th Century, the UAE adapted and diversified to meet new economic and social challenges, said Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, at the World Government Summit on Tuesday.

And as the world now moves into deepening globalisation, technology and automated technology in coming years, the UAE will once again rise to the challenge to embrace a very different economic future, he said in an address.

In his capacity as chairman of the Education and Human Resources Council in the UAE, Shaikh Abdullah told delegates in the closing hours of the summit that a renewed national effort is needed to bolster the country’s education system to ensure today’s children have the latest skills for the future.

While the UAE ranks first in terms of human capital in the Arab world, Shaikh Abdullah said the UAE’s rank globally is 45th.

In coming years, automation and artificial intelligence is predicted to eliminate more than two-thirds of low-and medium skilled jobs, delegates heard.

“Most of our skills will be useless [in the future] with automation,” Shaikh Abdullah said. “We will witness many failures because many routine and managerial jobs will be substituted by artificial intelligence.  

“We are now discussing an education system that would allow us to be globally competitive,” said Shaikh Abdullah. “Our children, boys and girls, have to know they aren’t only competing against each other, but other students around the world.”

Teaching children in early education years, Shaikh Abdullah said, to acquire new skills such as critical thinking and latest digital skills will help them cope with greater market challenges.

“We have to teach our citizens new skills … and not to settle for skills in the current market that will not equip us for future markets,” he said.

Shaikh Abdullah said what’s needed is to “break old molds, we need a new education system that looks into the future and encourages competitiveness.”

Attracting and securing good, qualified teachers who are prepared for the future are critical to the years ahead, he said.

Delegates speak to Gulf News

Delegates attending the sixth World Government Summit (WGS) said they were optimistic about the future after taking part in over 120 sessions across the three-day event.

Gulf News spoke to a handful of 4,000 delegates on the final day of the large event who believed the summit gathering has shed light on the latest developments across various fields that would help improve government work and offer better services to help serve societies.

Dr Rakiatou Christelle Kaffa, Minister of Public Service and Administration Reform in Niger, said she saw the event was a knowledge platform where she was able to understand the vision of the world for the future.

“This was my first time to attend the summit, and in my opinion, it’s a great gathering because you get to meet and hear experts coming from different backgrounds, whether scientific, political or financial. It was very impressive and enlightening.”

She added that the summit has given her hope on how her country can encourage youth to continue their education and not drop out of school early. “Perhaps we can do something to change this and keep them at school.”

Another delegate, Thuraya Al Hosani, an English teacher from the Ministry of Education said she enjoyed hearing about all the developments and advancements happening in the UAE in various fields and sectors.

“As an educator, when you hear about the developments in our country, our role is to deliver such thoughts and messages to students. It’s nice to understand the path the country is taking in every field. In one of the sessions a well-known expert spoke about the importance of education and how teachers are the main backbone of the nation’s progress. He also spoke about how there should be continuous dialogue and interaction with students.”

Meanwhile, Abbas Kazmi, Managing Partner, Collegiate Capital, believes there is lots of hope for the region, in terms of developments going on particularly in fields of Artificial Intelligence and technology space.

“There was a very interesting range of speakers this year and many recommendations for policy makers, such as what governments can do not just in areas of business only, but areas of technology, arts, culture, happiness of people,” he said.

Also, Srini Reddy, VP& Business Head at Tech Mahindra, a company that provides IT advisory service to the public sector, said: What was mostly interesting was the way thought leaders are bringing in their own area of specialization applying to various government sectors. The sessions were very thought-provoking and change our regular way of thinking.”

will.i.am at the World Government Summit

One of the popular sessions of the final day of the World Government Summit was a conversation with will.I.am. 

The American musician, singer and rapper and a founding member of the hip hop band Black eyed Peas, participated in the summit to address the session - Access to Technology and Development. 

In 2009, will.i.am launched the i.am.angel Foundation lives through education, inspiration and opportunity. The foundation administers charitable activities and programs targeted towards providing college scholarships (i.am scholarship), college preparation (i.am College Track), and opportunities in STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics).

“I am a techie, not a musician. My instrument is the computer which I use to bring joy to people," he begins.

“With music I was able to take my family out of the ghetto, then I realized my friends are in the ghetto, so I took my money and built schools in the ghetto, to bring them out of the ghetto.

I have seen a huge transformation in our community."

“Governments need to do more to bring education and technology to all communities. Human intelligence should be just as important as artificial intelligence.”

“Every time there is a revolution, there is panic. This is the fourth industrial revolution. Are you an agent of change or are you just a part of the world? I encourage everyone to be an agent of change,” he says.

Dramatic shift for future

Globalisation and emerging technologies are morphing world governments, markets and institutions at such a rapid pace that old-hardware models are failing to keep up with change, said experts Tuesday at World Government Summit in Dubai.

But it’s not too late to meet future challenges for those who step up efforts now to meet the future, they said.

Roberto Azevedo, Director General of the World Trade Organisation, said expected job loss in coming years can be attributed more to emerging technology than globalisation and said his 164-member global group is working hard to embrace change.

Old trade networks and systems used to transport goods around the world are still needed, but Azevedo said, said new digital consumerism is impacting heavily the bricks-and-mortar retail market and its value chains.

"When someone invented the wheel, someone lost a job,” Azevedo said, noting that digital empires such as Amazon are rewriting how people shop and consume goods.

“E-commerce is a reality that is not going to go away, it’s growing faster,” he said. “Business to consumer changes the world completely.”

Malcolm Gladwell, New Yorker journalist and author of five books, also sounded a warning to summit delegates that historic, institutional approaches dating back two or three centuries are not effective enough to meet more modern dilemmas.

“Government institutions are based on models coming from the 19th or 18th centuries,” Gladwell said. “We expect our governments to provide security, enforce elements of law, and prevent disasters and unforeseen events,” he said. “But there has been a dramatic shift in what people want and need from their governments.”

Dubai has just issued a $5 million Global Challenge

Dubai has just announced at World Government Summit a new global challenge in best self-driving transport solutions, with a total prize purse of $5 million.

The winners in different categories - such as start-ups, large firms and research institutes- will be awarded in October 2019 during the first Dubai World Congress in Self-Driving Transport. 

The contest will be held once every two years.

The announcement was made during a press conference at the summit on Tuesday.

Participants at the press conference included participants will included Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Directors, RTA; Dr Aref Al Hammadi, Deputy Director, Khalifa University; and John Rossant, Chairman of New Cities.

The initiative will be held in association with Khalifa University and New Cities, a non-profit organisation that studies the impact of disruptive technology on cities.

DEWA is looking towards the future

Major innovation undertaken by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has placed Dubai in good stead to meet the future, said the utility provider’s top manager on Tuesday on the final day of World Government Summit.

In the opening address of the morning, Saeed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of Dewa said “we were able to raise electricity production to 8.6MW efficiency … without new assets, new turbines, new plants or more fuel.”

Al Tayer said the new Dh50 billion Mohammad Bin Rashid Solar Park project now under construction will provide 5,000MW of clean energy, adding generating capacity to Dubai’s power grid and reducing “6.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions.”

Dewa, to build a concentrated solar power project using thousands of mirrors will direct collected sunlight to a 260-metre tower, the tallest in the world, said Al Tayer.

Live streaming: How Day 2 unfolded

Training is essential and tech should serve humanity

Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, believes that students do not graduate from school ready for the modern world and training is essential. “I will not abandon the budget for the training of students and graduates in my company, even if they do not work in the post.”

People need to get practical training in a curriculum that mirrors a field job, education today is narrow and not enough to prepare people for the hi-tech jobs of tomorrow.

On Artificial Intelligence
“Technology, unless it serves humanity is without purpose. Our purpose is to help the world run better. And we need these modern technologies.”

McDermott continues, “I believe in augmented humanity, where the machine, computer and humanity work together to serve the greater good”

McDermott touches on Dubai and investments in Police Robots. “These robots can serve the greater good. There is a purpose for this, and it is to serve humanity and not to harm humanity.

It’s a good thing to automate processes to provide safety for humans. Where robots can intercede. You don’t replace humans, there will be more opportunities for the humans.

The humans should do the more sophisticated, judgement-oriented work. The grind can be done by the machine.”

“Don’t fight it – lean into it.”

A surprise guest at the WGS 2018 news bunker

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, breezed quickly on his annual tour through the media centre in the basement bunker at Madinat Jumeirah, home to the World Government Summit.

Leading an entourage, Shaikh Mohammad made an inspection of more than 100 journalists at work who are assembled in a sea of laptops and camera gear.

Shaikh Mohammad stopped to shake hands with surprised bystanders.

Journalists and public-relations staff whipped out their smartphones for an impromptu media scrum of sorts with cameras flashing as Shaikh Mohammad passed through the human crush.

"Was that Shaikh Mo?" queried one bespectacled young reporter hammering away so hard on her computer that she didn't even notice the clamour in the room.

Stunting hurts future job prospects

In coming years, 150 million people will leave their jobs around the globe while 300 million young people will be searching for work, says Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank.

“The problem of creating new jobs is with us right now,” Kim said at World Government Summit on Monday.

By 2030, the gap is expected to widen to 182 million people looking for jobs that may not be available as artificial intelligence and automation wipe out low-skilled jobs that are waning long since the advent of the industrial revolution, he said.

And as the world becomes more interconnected digitally through the internet and social media, increasing aspirations by everyone around the world, a lot of people may be in for major disappointments in the years ahead unless governments act now to head off the problem.

“What happens when aspirations go up and all the jobs go away?” asked Kim. ”Fifty per cent of all jobs today will be eliminated by automation. Sixty-five per cent of all primary students will do jobs that don’t exist today. How we train people will have to change.”

Invest in your people

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince are currently attending the "Importance for Governments in Investing in Human Capital" session by Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank.

"In Singapore you finish secondary school and have the equivalent of five more years than students in Malawi and Ghana," says Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank.

"Oman spent on educational spending and they saw a huge difference in educational outcome."

Vietnam is an important example - over 18 per cent of their budget to education and GDP per capital put them in lower to middle income but in the PISA (Programme from international Student assessment) test they scored the same as Germany.

Arianna Huffington, Founder of Thrive Global, speaking at the session titled 'The 3rd Women’s Revolution'

“The way we are working is not working,’’ says the founder of Huffington Post Arianna Huffington.

Speaking to delegates on Sunday at World Government Summit, Huffington said there is a major health crisis in the world in which people are taking better care of their phones, than they are of their own bodies.

A self-declared burnout victim, Huffington said smartphone owners know how much battery power they have left in their phones but usually have no idea how much battery power they have left inside their own bodies.

“We need to move away from being always on,” she said. “Here in the UAE, we have children here that are spending more than five hours a day on social media … we have data that shows any child who does that is likely to suffer from depression.”

Overloaded filtered reality of “a friend’s life” on social media creates a social-media envy that is harmful to children and adults alike that needs to be countered with better phone hygiene, she said.

In this part of the world, Huffington said “two out of three health care problems are related to stress and depression.”

Ariana Huffington quoted His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, saying: "Man is at the heart of creativity and innovation, so we must feed ourselves and care about our health."

Huffington explains that while A.I. may become more intelligent than we are, but they will never be able to outshine our creativity, compassion, empathy, or passion.

And that these qualities will soon define our future.

She adds that happiness consists of wellbeing and wisdom, we need to learn to tap into this wisdom to redefine our future.

$40m to create world's first synthetic life form

"Science used to be all about discovering and now it is all about creating," said Juan Enriquez, co-founder of Synthetic Genomics Inc. and co-author of the book Evolving Ourselves.

"We have been choosing and creating things for a very long time based on what we need and prefer. We are now building full genomes," Enriquez said.

He said it cost his company $40 million and five years to create the world's first synthetic life form.

Make flu vaccine in a week instead of a year.
"You can give me a vial of a flu sample, we can create a flu vaccine and produce it while it is being flown to a certain place! Similarly, human bones can now be made.

It shouldn't surprise us if in the next decade or two we can regrow our body parts," says Juan Enriquez

Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince, is here at Dubai 10x session

“10x will increase employment by 10 per cent in the UAE and as you know most developed countries don't have the rate of 5 per cent,” says Aisha Bint Buti Bin Bisher, director-general of Smart Dubai.

Abdullah Al Karam - Chairman and director of KHDA says, “The Rahhaal project started with the story of a citizen. This Emirati mother came to us and said, “I spend half my time in Abu Dhabi and half in Dubai, why can't I have my child spend half his time in a school in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.”

Of course this was a strange situation but we tried to help the boy Hazza. Now he has friends in his school in Abu Dhabi and in Dubai and even teachers from the schools started interacting with one another.”

This left to the Rahhaal project where instead of learning through schools and only certain subjects student will be able to learn specific subjects that they want to learn.

Professor Stuart Russell on Future Cities & A.I

In the city of the future, it effectively becomes free to move around the city and you will probably have no car. Mass transit systems will also become better, probably, because feeders will be much more efficient than you driving to a station.

Need a pen? Print it!
3-D printing will revolutionise manufacturing and it is not just plastic - Materials like metal, glass, and semiconductors can all be 3-D printed. So, we don't have to have shops anymore.

Impact on employment 
We should expect significant job loss because essentially, we have been using humans as robots.

Professor Russell - "People say: 'We'll just train everyone for the jobs of the future and have a billion data scientists.' Well, the world does not need a billion data scientists. When all the basic material needs are met by a very small number of humans running automated factories, what we are going to be doing is working with each other to improve each other's life. The problem is - we are not very good at it."

How do cities become intelligent?
With sensors and cameras everywhere, satellite imagery and the Internet of Things are making it possible to do a lot of things. Dubai is already at the forefront of smart cities.

Lastly, from Professor Stuart Russell:
"But we now face what can be called the Midas challenge - where robots might do exactly what we have asked them to do, without considering human values, ethics and sentiments."

Robots could be your housekeepers in the future, but the moment THIS happens, the robot industry might be over. Professor Stuart Russell talks about the very real challenges that we could face with robots. 

Hate folding clothes?

Robots will soon be helping you! But watch out, they'll also be unbeatable at board games!

Prof. Stuart Russell, Professor of Computer Science and electrical engineering at UC Berkeley, gives us a sneak peak of what the future will look like.

The future is super-intelligent (and a little scary)

Dr Roman Yampolskiy talks about the concerns with A.I.

Artificial intelligence is the future but there are serious concerns, according to Dr Roman Yampolskiy, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Louisville, who spoke at the World Government Summit.

"We are seeing an increasing number of cyber attacks and the most attacks don't focus on systems but rather people and I am not the only person who has these concerns."

Apart from human errors, that can happen at different steps, there is also a very real threat of malevolent designs of AI.

"An aspect of my work is that I am trying to mitigate some of these threats."

There are now a lot of efforts by non-profits and governments, trying to set up some sort of a framework.

Artificial intelligence will be a tool not a master of the future

According to Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Director, Wired Magazine, “The advancements in Artificial Intelligence will lead to yet another industrial revolution, which will create more jobs in the future,”

His comments came during a morning session that discussed the inevitability of Artificial Intelligence and how governments can influence its development, including the technologies coming in the next 20 years and their impact on people.

Kelly said that as machines are being made, they are going to be engineered in a way that makes their cognition exceed human cognition in certain dimensions.

“These machines will be specialized and have variety of intelligence that exceeds ours. We are making many different types of AI minds, which will have many different types of thinking and almost none are like humans. The fact that they don’t think like us is the main benefit,” he said.

Pointing out the advantages of them being able to think differently, he said: “This would be the engine of a new economy and engine of all innovation. Alien intelligences help us think different. We will be working with them not against them,” he said.

A few other takeaways:

 In the future we will be able to upload and download our experiences - moving from the internet of information to the internet of experiences. 

 Data infrastructure that focuses on moving and storing data to run virtual reality and similar systems will prove advantageous for business in the future.

 It is important for governments to collect and understand human data, so that they be ready for future mass-scaled collaborations.

 We are at the beginning of these changes, the greatest products in the 25 years have not been invented yet.

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels talks about why human evolution will lead us to Mars

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels - Why begin with Mars? It's our closest neighbour and we can reach Mars in only three months.

Mars is a little cold but somewhere between the habitable range. But one thing that is a cosmic conincidece is that the daily cycle at Mars is 24 hour and 40 minute, which is very close to the Earth, and everyone could use the extra 40 minutes in a day!

"The challenges to a Martian future? Creating the resources like water, making the land 'Earth-like' and protecting human beings from radiations. But it can be done," says Bjarke Ingels.

Global governance 

Gulf countries who have found stability through statehood are leading the way into the future as examples for other countries in the Arab world, said a top political scientist and economist at World Government Summit on Monday.

In a conversation, Francis Fukuyama was asked by Dr Anwar bin Mohammad Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, how do we establish an economic model without using liberal DNA.

Fukuyama said that he thinks “the Gulf gets the liberal part right. You don’t have democratic accountability, the elections part. The Gulf has shown the rest of the Arab world what’s possible…if you have a rule of law, you can have economic growth.”

Multilateral architecture in changing world

Multilateral government policies are not always lofty, surreal realms out of touch with the society which they govern, delegates heard on Monday at the second day of World Government Summit in Dubai.

Some very real international programmes can make a tangible difference in people’s lives, especially in times of disaster, said a top United Nations official.

Achim Steiner, Administration of the United Nations Development Programme, is an expert on the environment and was appointed to the UN’s lead development agency early last year.

In an opening address to some of the 4,000 delegates attending the sixth annual World Government Summit, Steiner pointed to the continuing drought conditions in Ethiopia since the 2015 El Nino effect on the region which has left 8.5 million people in dire straits.

In comparison to the billion-dollar economies of the Davos sphere, Steiner told delegates, within 24 hours of the Swiss economic forum, he travelled to Ethiopia where the conditions are dismal.

“This drought is far worse than any drought in history,” he said, adding that thanks to disaster management plans in place by the UN and a multitude of relief agencies, countless lives were saved from famine and drought.

“In this case, we averted famine … food and government support was able to avert disaster so often seen,” Steiner said.

New satellite to monitor UAE

Everything from air quality to marine conditions will be gauged from space, says Dubai Municipality head.

A new data-collection satellite will monitor a wide array of information across the UAE to help government make better decisions, said Hussain Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality.

Speaking at the opening session of the second day of World Government Summit, Lootah said the satellite is critical to the future of Dubai Municipality which will rely more and more on digital data to meet the needs of its citizens.

Everything from air quality to marine conditions will be gauged from space, Lootah said.

Constant monitoring should reduce environmental issues.

“Of course, the future will focus heavily on information and data. Information is the cornerstone to taking the right direction,” Lootah said. “The more information we have, the more capable we will be.”

As it happened: Day 1

Global Inspiration Platform: 'Zayed the Inspirer' launched

Lt-Gen Shaikh Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, has launched "Zayed the Inspirer", a global platform of inspiration.

Named after the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the platform, www.zayedtheinspirer.ae, marks the centennial anniversary of the birth of the UAE founder and inspirational leader.

It was launched under the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The platform acts as a global database for inspirational stories from all over the world — and a source of inspiration for all mankind.

"I found that the UAE holds a title and that title is the 'Land of Inspiration'," said Lt-Gen Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, as he launcheed 'Zayed the Inspirer' global platform at the World Government Summit 2018 in Dubai on Sunday.

"The Emirati inspiration is inherited into our leadership, who pass it on to our people," he said during a WGS plenary session.

“The UAE has always served as a launch pad for trailblazing initiatives that positively impact the citizens' lives, such as souq, careem, and SellAnyCar,” said Shaikh Saif.

Christine Lagarde: Countries need to “fix the roof”

Countries should not focus on the recent market slump but on the imperative of change going forward and the need to “fix the roof”, said Christine Lagarde, managing director International Monetary Fund during the sixth World Government Summit (WGS).

Read more of Lagarde’s speech during the session titled “Using the Global Recovery to Create a Fairer World” here.

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Dubai is the city of the future 

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist and Director of the Hayden Planetarium, is at the conference talking about the Future of Colonizing Space.

"Everything is in place to bring a force of nature onto the ambitions of the next generation. I know what that feels like, I experienced that and it has faded across the ocean for me and I'm delighted to see a resurgence of that here in the Middle East. This is drawing what is already a legacy" referring to the contribution of Arabs to the fields of science and mathematics.

Robert DeNiro on Trump and Climate Change

Oscar-winning American actor Robert DeNiro had some harsh words for the revised climate change stance by the leadership in his own country and its ecological record over the past year in remarks to the World Government Summit on Sunday.

Read more on this here.

Modi addresses WGS 2018

UAE Leaders hailed the visit of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On twitter, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said: “We are happy to welcome Modi’s visit to the UAE as an honorary guest of the World Government Summit (WGS). India has a development experience that spans thousands of years and has a consolidated globally competitive future. We are pleased to learn from their experience as they present their expertise to 140 governments that are present at WGS.”

Meanwhile, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, tweeted: “Pleased to have listened to Modi’s speech at the WGS as he spoke about India’s successful experience in adopting innovation in the government’s work methodology and the importance of harnessing technology to serve humanity. The summit is a meeting point in which countries contribute their ideas to serve progress and humanity.”


Modi's address:

"Dubai is a miracle, transforming from a desert to a futuristic metropolis.

In India mortality rate has reduced by one third, as an example of technology improving life in last 25 years.

But technology is sometimes used as tools of destruction, not development.

The 6 R's of environment friendliness are Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover, Redesign and Remanufacture - all of this leads to another R - Rejoice.

The goal of human existence is not just progress, but the creation of happiness. Happiness is man's greatest wealth." 

He gave the example of depletion of ecology by urbanisation as well as radicalisation. He also listed various digital and technological advancements under his government in India such as biometric registration of people and farmers being able  to sell through portals online.

"India mars orbiter costs less per kilometre than a taxi ride - 7 rupees per kilometre compared to 10 rupees per kilometre."

Modi concluded his address by outlining his priorities - online distance education for poor people in remote places, and solar energy storage facilities.

Shaikh Mohammad and Modi at the World Government Summit

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of International Monetary Fund

"Regulation of activities, not entities, and on a cross national basis is crucial to anticipate where the next crisis will come from - will it be shadow banking? Crypto currency? It is much harder to do it, but more important bcause money  knows no boundaries , money moves around.

Focus on young people, especially in this region because 60 per cent of the population are under 25 years old. 60 percent feel you get where you need to get because of who you know and feel society will not provide them with a job.
So, AI needs to be geared not towards the billionnaires but towards the youth.

People don’t like VAT but if you ask them Do you like nice roads, hospitals, security etc, then of course they do

[On #MeToo]  It is a critical message that it is not just about women because men have been subject occasionally - and every occasion is one too many - and now we should move from the emotion and anger which was important at that time and move towards action. So, now we have to be #YOUANDME.

On the burden of proof now shifting to men and not on the the accuser - a lot of times allegations were not picked up in societies, we need to move into action. What does that mean? At the IMF, we have a system where we have a mediator and other officials that are outside the hierarchy to mediate and find solutions.

They can go to you if you are the boss and the expectation is that you will sit down and talk and if you don't we will know about it.

There are 'peers for respectful workplace' who are trained to listen and enable the emotional plea get out to the surface.

We [the IMF] simply don't tolerate it."

Watch: Cigarette butts can give scientists your face

What is 10x? Amer Abdul Raoof, Director of Dubai10x explains

Entertainment breaks at WGS involve networking and music

The Best Minister in the World has been announced

Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia, was announced as the Best Minister in the World during the sixth World Government Summit on Sunday.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai presented the award to Indrawati for her efforts in fighting corruption and increasing transparency in the government with the help of her team.

French Prime Minister Edouard Phillipe on transformation

History remembers leaders who transform and reform their constituencies for a better tomorrow for citizens, said the French Prime Minister Edouard Phillipe at World Government Summit this morning.

The great French leader Napolean, for example, is not remembered just for conquering a vast swathe of Europe but also for his foresight to look ahead to a brighter future for his country, he said.

“What stays in our memory two centuries later is his capacity to reform laws and civilian society in France,” Edouard told delegates.

“The good governments are the ones who out building blocks for those who follow them,”he said.  In order to bring about transformation, you need a vision, a method, so that the transformation is incarnated in someone.”

Princess Haya launches humanitarian logisitics data bank

Humanitarian agencies around the world will be able to coordinate relief efforts thanks to a new centralised platform to give latest data in the wake of disasters and emergencies, said Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, Chairperson of International Humanitarian City.


الأميرة هيا بنت الحسين تلقي الكلمة الرئيسية في #القمة_العالمية_للحكومات . . الأميرة هيا بنت الحسين: فخورة بالإعلان عن اكتمال عمل وإطلاق "بنك البيانات اللوجستية للخدمات الإنسانية" . . الأميرة هيا بنت الحسين: "بنك البيانات اللوجستية للخدمات الإنسانية" سيتولى عملية تجميع البيانات بحسب احتياجات المناطق المنكوبة وضمان مساعدتها بسرعة . . الأميرة هيا بنت الحسين: يشرفني باسم دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة ان اضع "بنك البيانات اللوجستية للخدمات الإنسانية" بين يدي العالم في خدمة الإنسانية . . الأميرة هيا بنت الحسين تعلن عن اكتمال عمل وإطلاق "بنك البيانات اللوجستية للخدمات الإنسانية" خلال إلقاء كلمتها الرئيسية في #القمة_العالمية_للحكومات . . ‏Main address by @hrhprincesshaya, Chairperson of International Humanitarian City. #WorldGovSummit

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In a main address at the World Government Summit on Sunday morning, Princess Haya launched a new Humanitarian Logistics Data Bank project to help agencies “share in real time,” she said. Princess Haya thanked more than 70 organisations which have contributed to the data base.

“This achievement was not done by one group but thanks to all parties who helped make this project a reality,”she said.

Relief supplies such as vaccines, clothes, shelters and food can be parachuted into crisis more quickly thanks to the new data platform.

Officials from the United Nations and other world relief agencies were on hand to watch the signing of the letter of intent to form the new logistics data bank.

David Beasely, Executive Director of the World Food Programme, thanked His Highness Shaikh Mohammad, UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai and Princess Haya for the commitment.

He thanked Shaikh Mohammad for his vision and hope that will help save lives around the world.

Prime Minister of the Republic of France, Édouard Philippe in Dubai for the World Government Summit.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad, UAE Prime Minister, Vice-President and Ruler of Dubai, has just arrived at the World Government Summit’s main plenary hall for the main address of the morning.

The address to 4,000 delegates attending the session will be delivered by Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, Chairperson of International Humanitarian City.

Princess Haya is also United Nations Messenger of Peace.

Angel Gurria, Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) speaks at the World Economic Summit.

Governments around the world must find more solid middle ground to boost their economies and bring up the least of its citizens to a better quality of life, said Angel Gurria, Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in a panel discussion at the World Economic Summit.

Gurria said in the third morning session that governments are running the risk of voters abandoning the basic tenets of democracy as countries grapple with growing populism and a widening gap between haves and have-nots.

Some countries seem to be on the verge of giving up on electoral process and governance.

"Why did we lose Brexit? Why, because 60 per cent of youth didn't believe they needed to go and vote,"Gurria said.

“We’re struggling with democracy, looking at the different forms, the different ideals,” he said.

He argued that many world governments missed the boat to help the lower ranks of its voters’ roll call in the last 10 years since the 2008 world economic crisis.

He said fragmentation could be worse in future if the needs of the more vulnerable elements of society are not met.

“We left too many people on the outside of the process,”Gurria said in a discussion with moderator CNN presenter Richard Quest. “We have to go back and take a look at how we get them back on the bandwagon.”

Gurria said governments “need a balance of growth and inclusiveness.”

"The idea that is governments open up and become more democratic that they will fall, is a false dilemma,”” he said.

'Computers will be so cheap, they will cost a penny'

One of the world’s most popular physicists, Professor Michio Kaku, says few can imagine the ease of living and simple wonder the future will bring to unsuspecting citizens of today and tomorrow.

In an address on Sunday’s opening of the World Government Summit, Michio said science will prevail in a fourth wave of discovery at the molecular level combined with highly sophisticated technology.

“Computers will be so cheap, they will cost a penny,” Michio told summit delegates. “They will be available everywhere and anywhere.”

Technology will bring us internet-enabled contact lenses, cars without steering wheels, digital wallpaper that will take questions and MRI medical machines the size of mobile phones.

"In the future we will talk to the wall to receive medical care,”said Michio, a popular personality seen on science-related telelvision shows for decades around the world.

2018 time of great change: WEF chairman

The year 2018 will be a time of great change around the world, said Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Chairman of World Economic Forum, in the opening address at World Economic Summit on Sunday in Dubai.

“Never before has the speed of change been so great as in 2018,”Schwab told some of the 4,000 summit delegates attending in the main hall.

He encouraged everyone to meet the change and lauded UAE and Dubai officials for a great assembly of movers and shakers in the annual summit.

World Government Summit opens

A stellar line-up of global luminaries gather Sunday morning for the first full day of the three-day World Government Summit 2018, now in its sixth annual edition.

More than 120 sessions from February 11 to 13 will focus on the summit theme “Shaping Future Governments”.

As many as 4,000 delegates are expected to attend the event including heads of governments and representatives of 16 international organisations.

“The World Government Summit is a global platform dedicated to shaping the future of governments worldwide, a knowledge centre at the intersection between government, futurism, and technology,” said organisers in a statement.

Related story: Happiness on the agenda at summit

Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, Chairman of the World Government Summit, said the event “has become a permanent knowledge platform available to all governments and their activities throughout the year.”

He noted that through “the World Government Summit, we seek to create new models of international cooperation.”

The summit includes six global forums that will focus on unifying efforts to create a better future and a safe world that is blessed with peace, prosperity, and sustainability.

Modi to deliver inaugural speech

India has been named guest country at this year’s event, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver the inaugural speech of the guest country on day one.

A special delegation from the subcontinent will then showcase the country’s developmental experience in a special section titled ‘From India to The World’, which features streams on technology and innovation and India’s service sector. These special sessions will highlight innovation in vital sectors including healthcare, medicine and education.

French Prime Minister Edouard Phillipe will also address delegates in a keynote speech on Sunday

Under Indrawati’s mandate, Indonesia achieved tangible results in reducing poverty, improving the standard of living, reducing public debt and boosting transparency on public transactions.