The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) concluded its participation in the London Book Fair, which was held recently. During the fair, MBRF, in collaboration with its knowledge partner, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), presented its most important knowledge projects and achievements and highlighted several editions of the Global Knowledge Index and Future Foresight Report.
The foundation has further launched the “KnowTalks Series 2022”, which explores the most current topics in knowledge, featuring a number of notable global speakers and analysts. In addition, the foundation has also conducted in-depth discussions with decision makers and stakeholders in the fields of knowledge generation and sharing around the world, to promote partnerships and collaborations, and continue to support initiatives that improve dissemination. knowledge in societies.
The MBRF Pavilion at the London Book Fair had gained immense popularity, as many attendees visited the pavilion to learn about the foundation’s work and listen to the team’s in-depth explanations of key events, initiatives and projects that have helped MBRF stand out in knowledge. regional and international domain, such as the Knowledge Summit, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Prize for Knowledge, the Digital Knowledge Hub and the Nobel Museum. In addition, visitors have also shown interest in purchasing the numerous publications, booklets and brochures which present the work of the foundation and its global role in the field of knowledge.
The foundation’s participation in the show ended with three round tables, as part of the “KnowTalks Series 2022”. The first session dealt with “Transforming economies through collaboration and innovation”, followed by the second session which focused on “Transforming traditional thinking in the light of uncertainty” and the third session which emphasis on the “Role of Women in Scientific Research”.
Cooperation and innovation
Laurent Probst, Partner, Economic Development, Digital Transformation and Innovation at PwC, participated in the first session, entitled “Transforming economies through collaboration and innovation”. Probst spoke of the importance of promoting collaboration and innovation between countries, in order to raise awareness of future risks and address challenges.
Probst made an in-depth presentation of the Future Foresight Report launched by MBRF in collaboration with the UNDP, on the sidelines of the seventh edition of the Knowledge Summit, held last March. In his presentation, Probst highlighted the importance of determining best practices and methods to improve the transformational capacities of different countries in collaboration and innovation, in light of the risks and challenges, in particular technological risks, health and environment, to ensure their preparation to face obstacles and seize new development opportunities.
Furthermore, Probst said economies are not prepared for future technological transformations and knowledge ecosystems are not strong enough to absorb potential risks in the future. He highlighted how the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of economies and their inability to respond appropriately to disruptions and unexpected changes, as it has impacted all countries to varying degrees. Probst also underscored the critical need for countries to work together, with a collective and innovative approach to dealing with change, to build inclusive nations with stronger immunity to crises.
Transforming traditional perception
The second session, themed “Transforming the Traditional Perception – A Guide for Decision Support Practitioners”, saw the participation of Bruce Garvey, an entrepreneurship professional. It highlighted vital elements of uncertainty, including the state of the crisis, the timing, the evidence available and the preparation for the future.
Garvey noted that the difference between certainty and risk is that risk can be quantified. On the other hand, he said that uncertainty imposes a state of ambiguity and an inability to expect what might happen. “This is due to the neglect of low indices of future risks and challenges, which leads to huge problems. Not to mention that there are other factors that seem more urgent than others. This is exactly what happened with the warnings before the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
He further underlined the importance of not maintaining fixed assumptions and expecting the emergence of urgent variables that could affect plans and agendas. Garvey asserted that weak signals should be viewed as future risks, not with the aim of creating huge change, but to develop an overall awareness and perception that would lessen the severity of the risks. “Decision-makers in institutions also need to manage and understand these signals more seriously and seek help from counsellors. They should also work on continuously updating their information and their expectations for the future, in order to better determine the nature of the risks and their management plans. Everything is likely to change in an instant, with serious repercussions. Contingency plans would not fully mitigate the impacts of the risks, but it would be better than having no plan at all,” he added.
Women in research
The third session, on the theme “Women in Research: Leading Thinking into Action”, addressed the role of women in research and their contribution to the field. Shazia Ginai, CEO of Neuro-Insight in the UK Ltd, highlighted during the session her professional experience in the field of research and market research in various international companies and institutions.
Ginai said that women are not sufficiently represented in the research field because there are only a third of women employed in the sector. This percentage, she explained, is increasingly decreasing in leadership positions due to high quit rates and the fact that women are not sufficiently encouraged to enter the field. She further addressed the huge gender gap in the field, regardless of the challenges of the toxic and hostile work environment for women.
She pointed out that achieving general gender equality requires a huge cultural shift starting in the family and early education, so that careers or leadership positions are not viewed on a gender basis. She also added that men hold a huge responsibility to achieve equality by enhancing women’s participation in both employment and family education.
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