Sharjah: An eminent panel of speakers will address the 10th edition of International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) set to take place on September 26 and 27 at the Expo Centre Sharjah, the Sharjah Government Media Bureau announced on Monday.
The line-up of speakers includes Dr Nayef Falah Al Hajraf, secretary general of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf; Hessa Buhmaid, UAE Minister of Community Development; Omar Sultan Al Olama, UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence; Adel bin Abdul Rahman Al Asumi, Speaker of the Arab Parliament; Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary General of the Arab League; Philip Hammond, British politician and former Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Dr. Fahad Al Shulaimi, President of Gulf Security and Peace Forum, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, former President of Estonia; Nart Bouran, chief executive officer of International Media Investments; Prof. David Halpern, chief executive officer and Board Director of the Behavioural Insights Team, among others.
Saeed Al-Attar, chair, UAE Government Media Office; Dr Abdullah Al Maghlouth, Director-general of the Center for Government Communication, Saudi Arabia; Al Saad Al Menhali, Editor-in-chief of National Geographic; Rashed Al Falahi, first Chief Storytelling Officer, UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR); Timothy Armoo, Founder and Chief Executive of Fanbytes; and Maqsoud Kruse, Strategic Communications Advisor at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs will also be present.
This year the two-day forum will be held under the theme ‘Historic lessons, Future ambitions’. There will be seven panel discussions, five inspirational talks, seven training workshops and 12 interactive sessions.
A total of 31 informative and insightful debates will be led by global leaders and experts. A key highlight of the 10th edition will be the announcement of IGCF’s 10-year vision.
Winners of the Sharjah Government Communication Award will also be announced during the forum.
IGCF will be conducted under the patronage of HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. The 2021 edition will focus on the historical experience of government communication, discuss its current realities, and envision its future, in addition to reviewing mechanisms, tools, and changes in public perceptions.
The International Government Communication Centre (IGCC), a subsidiary of Sharjah Government Media Bureau, outlined details of the packed 2021 agenda during the press conference on Monday.
Tariq Saeed Allay, Director General of SGMB, acknowledged the role of UAE media that constitute the essence of IGCF 2021 during a press conference held on September 6 at the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park to announce the date of the forum.
“We have all followed the sharp changes in cultural, economic and social sectors worldwide. The central focus of the 10th edition of IGCF is to monitor the role of government communication amid these transformations and measure its ability to lead and influence their results, drawing on the lessons of history to create a stable and prosperous future.”
He added that the inspirational talks, training programmes, discussions and live interactive sessions in the forum agenda will equip nations with the indispensable tools and knowledge to shape their future-readiness in the event of any crisis.
IGCF’s 10-year vision
Allay also unveiled the 10-year plan of IGCF. The forum will mark a ‘Government Communication and Media Day’ every year, launch a professional license project for government communication, issue a refereed scientific journal in the field of government communication, and develop indicators to measure the impact of communication on the positive practices of the public.
He also announced that the forum would establish the Arab Network for government communications, issue a guide to crisis management and a second guide for professional controls and ethical standards in government communication.
Topics under discussion on the first day of the event include ‘How to break the hold of conspiracy theories?’, ‘The efficacy of communication messages... A cross-disciplinary collaboration involving behavioural science and data analytics’, and ‘Nature of storytelling and function in discourse’.
On the second day the panel session includes the topic ‘The future relevance of government communication tools: An assessment’; ‘Government communication methodologies & their impact on collective awareness’; and ‘Who defines the rules of the game? Content platforms or creators?’ and Viewer versus Entertainment: Who is watching who?”.
Interactive platforms and brainstorming sessions
Several interactive platforms and brainstorming sessions will be held on the sidelines of the forum designed to initiate conversations around integrating youth in the decision-making process alongside key stakeholders. The main sideline activities at IGCF 2021 includes ‘The Fifth Generation of Ideas’ as part of the Arab Youth Forum; a debate on influencers’ role titled ‘Infodemic’; ‘Misleading news in the time of the Coronavirus’, as well as a session for journalists, titled ‘Journalism’s prospects’.