Enthusiastic and optimistic response gathered from participants to Misk Global Forum

Second day of event saw Skype founder and Google chief evangelist engage crowd

 

The Misk Global Forum 2017 concluded today in Riyadh following two days of interactive, collaborative, and innovative discussions and workshops on ‘meeting the challenge of change’ with direct engagement by participants on the main stage, alongside inspiring figures from the worlds of technology and creativity. The Forum provided 70 keynote speeches and sessions to more than 5000 participants and 110 speakers from 75 countries.

Over the course of the two-day event, delegates, speakers, and guests from Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East took part in collaborative discussions, workshops, and panels that examined some of the key issues and challenges facing young people and the world today. Together, ideas and best practices were exchanged and opportunities and solutions identified with young people steering the conversations, including members of MIT’s media lab.

Stefania Druga, 31, from Romania and a graduate student in the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab, spoke of her excitement at seeing so much change in the country and the opportunity to teach people how to program their first robot through Misk Schools.  Commenting on the Forum’s theme and Saudi Arabia as a whole, she said: “It is the first time I have visited the country and I was not expecting to see so many changes and to see how driven people are to make these changes. I believe change is a constant, so it is something we will have to learn how to do around the world. I’m hoping that Saudi Arabia with this new initiative will help pave the way and inspire many other countries and governments to do the same.”

Randi Williams, 23, from the United States and also a graduate student in the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab, said: “We came here to get to know the culture, to try our robots out in a different environment. We worked with children who had grown up their entire life here, and I’d grown up my entire life in the United States so it was interesting to see both the similarities and the differences between the way they approached the robots and the way that children in the United States would approach them.” After spending time with students from the Misk Schools, she also noted that, “these people are quite equipped to meet the challenges that change always brings, so I’m excited to see where this goes in the future.”

In addition to these collaborative discussions, those in the audience and watching online heard keynote speeches from leading global innovators such as Jonas Kjellberg, co-creator of Skype and Gopi Kallayil, chief evangelist for Google. In addition, young ‘Hidden Heroes’ took the stage, including Saudi inventor Meshal Al Harasani, and Nanxi Liu, CEO and co-founder of Enplug from the United States.

Tillmann Heidelk, 31, from Germany and the co-founder and president of Young European Leadership, said: “The Forum last year was very interesting, but the Forum this year is focused on engagement, exchange, interaction, and encouraging people to get out there and not stay on their seats in a big panel and be passive, but to really go deep – as the session says: Deep Dive – to go in Skills Garages and build robots. People can take something home and make a change with the new knowledge they gained. This is why we’re here and it’s exactly the theme of the conference – ‘meeting the challenge of change.’”

Salman Bahabri, 25, from Saudi Arabia, operations manager at the Nota Nota cosmetics start-up, spoke about the growing innovation coming from Saudi Arabia and hopes that the Forum would be a step toward reaching the wider world.  He said: “[In Saudi Arabia] we have been receiving technologies from all over the world; now we have figured out we have to export our own technology. Taking into consideration our culture, we have a lot of advantages people haven’t seen yet. So, I think MGF showed us how Saudi Arabia is going to change and how big the opportunities are to make a change and share our culture with people all over the world.”

Bi Huang, 27, a degree student from China at Harvard University’s Wharton School who has previously worked in management consulting and investment told how, on her visit to the region, “the people I talked with here, the people I interacted with, demystified Saudi for me. It made me extremely hopeful for what will happen in this region.” Drawing on one of the key themes of the Forum, she said: “The public and the private sector are working together to develop this society, to empower different groups of people, and to bring out the best sides of human kind. – just like her Royal Highness Queen Rania said on the first day.”

The Forum also saw the Misk Foundation and its subsidiaries sign a number of agreements with leading international companies on a range of initiatives aimed at providing training, experience, and opportunities to young people in Saudi Arabia. These included agreements with Siemens and Virgin Hyperloop to provide training and experience to young people in the Kingdom, in addition to Misk Foundation’s Manga Productions unveiling agreements with leading Japanese companies Square Enix, Toei Animation, and SNK to bring Saudi creativity to the world. Those attending the Forum were also treated to an exhibition of Saudi art through the Misk Art Foundation’s display of the works of Yusef Alahmad and other young artists from the Kingdom.

The conference opened with a keynote speech by Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan who spoke of the importance of “technology with a heart” which brings benefits to all. The first day also saw addresses from speakers such as Diane Greene of Google, Allen Blue of LinkedIn, and David Kenny of IBM. The government of Saudi Arabia also announced a new small and medium enterprises licence for the Kingdom to encourage entrepreneurship and foreign investment.

The Misk Global Forum was first held in 2016 and is the flagship ongoing platform of the Misk Foundation, a non-profit philanthropic foundation established by HRH Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to discover, develop and empower Saudi youth to become active participants in the knowledge economy. 

Her Majesty Queen Rania delivers keynote address at Misk Global Forum 2017

“Our priority should be employing technology to empower entire societies”

Other speakers include science and technology entrepreneurs from across the world, and political, business, and innovation leaders from Saudi Arabia.

 

The Misk Global Forum 2017 was launched today in Riyadh with a keynote address by Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan who discussed using technology to empower young people.

This was followed by further speeches and panel discussions by global leaders from across the spheres of science and technology, art and creativity, and politics and business, including announcements of a number of ground breaking enterprise and entrepreneurship initiatives. These included Diane Greene, Board Member of Alphabet and Vice President of Google Cloud, and Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, His Excellency Abdullah A. Al-Sawahah.

In her keynote address, Her Majesty Queen Rania spoke of the vital importance of expanding the hope found at the Misk Global Forum to the world at large. Reflecting on her recent work with Rohingya refugees, Her Majesty noted that innovation was not alleviating their suffering – nor was it for many people around the world. She stated: “I believe we need to re-evaluate our motives behind acquiring technology… our priority should be employing technology to empower entire societies.” On this theme, Her Majesty concluded by calling on those present to strive to empower young people, calling them “our source of pride,” and to “provide them with opportunities to realize their potential and achieve their ambitions. Let us inspire them to feel that the future is theirs.”

Her Majesty’s speech was preceded by a speech by Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), His Excellency Abdullah A. Al-Sawahah, who opened the first day of the Forum. He stated: “The only constant is change.” During his address, the minister highlighted the importance of international, regional, and domestic partnerships and collaboration to driving innovation, announcing in this context a collaborative project between MCIT, the Misk Foundation, and Mohammed bin Salman Colleges called ‘Digital Transformation Leaders’’. The Minister said: “Combining the ecosystem that the MCIT can bring through partnerships with google and other leading technology players… can accelerate and advance the entrepreneurial journey of the 30 innovative young Saudis.”

In a subsequent panel discussion with Diane Greene, Vice President of Google Cloud and board member of Alphabet, the Minister and the audience heard of the importance of introducing more digital tools to accelerate people’s understanding – not only of the world around them but also of what is possible.  Greene also highlighted the importance of following the lead of young people, saying: “When you open things up for young people they get very creative and start to dream.”

Across the rest of the first day, forum guests and delegates, in addition to those viewing online, have seen and participated in a range of speeches, panel discussions, and workshops. Among these were such leaders as Allen Blue, co-founder of LinkedIn. who looked at new ways of working and creating. He encouraged young entrepreneurs to be unafraid of challenges, stating: ““it is OK to fail a few times on your way to being successful.”

Speaking on one of the key areas of the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution,’ David Kenny of IBM commented on changes to intelligence both human and artificial, noting: “every two decades or so, there’s a major shift which changes the way we think,” and that we are currently living through one of those shifts.

The Forum’s pre-event ceremony on 14th November was opened by Bill Gates who announced ‘Misk Grand Challenges’, a new partnership between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Misk Foundation. In a panel discussion following Mr Gates’s speech, members of Saudi Arabia’s political, business, and academic communities discussed new innovations in the Kingdom. His Excellency Khalid Al Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources, noted to his compatriots and the world that, “Vision 2030 is your passport to opportunity.”

The Misk Global Forum will continue tomorrow, 16 November, for its second day and see further keynote speeches, panel discussions, and workshops by its speakers, guests, and delegates.

  • Memorandum of Understanding will provide internships and exchanges, R&D collaboration, alongside digitalization and Industry 4.0 support
  • New agreement expands on 2016 MoU on internships

The Misk Foundation and Siemens Limited today signed a new Memorandum of Understanding at the Misk Global Forum greatly expanding their collaboration which is developing opportunities and empowering young people in Saudi Arabia.

The agreement will see the pursuit of three new initiatives covering; an R&D fellowship scheme that will send Saudi students to key Siemens’ R&D centres abroad; building capability within the Misk Academy, the foundation’s professional skills training institution, for courses in advanced “Industry 4.0” digitalization and automation solutions; and an expansion of the existing Misk- Siemens internships scheme to include Siemens operations in the US and the UK along with a fivefold increase in the number of participating students from Saudi Arabia.

The new MoU builds on the agreement signed at last year’s Misk Global Forum which led to the creation of an internship scheme to Siemens operations in Germany for young Saudis undergraduates.

In September, the first engineering students returned from Siemens internships organised as part of the initial Misk-Siemens MoU.

The students completed several assignments over the course of 10 weeks in Siemens’s Energy Management and Mobility divisions in Germany.

The students from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), Alfaisal University, and King Saud University were mostly in their third and fourth years of bachelor degrees in industrial and electrical engineering. The next internship will be held in Germany in 2018.

Discussing the internship scheme, HE Al-Asaker said: “We have a simple but powerful mission at Misk: to empower Saudi youth so that they can become active participants in the knowledge economy. We achieve this in part through our focus on education with the Misk-Siemens Internship Program a leading programme in this programme of work.”

Misk and Siemens’ collaboration is in line with the Misk Foundation’s dedication to the empowerment of Saudi Arabian youth, the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which is transforming the Kingdom’s economy, and Siemen’s position as a global technology powerhouse, which has been present in Saudi Arabia for nearly a century.

  • Partnership will train Saudi young people on tech skills and new hyperloop system
  • Virgin Hyperloop One and Misk will drive ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ job creation in the
    Kingdom
  • Virgin Hyperloop One will provide one hour connections to cities within the Gulf region

The Misk Foundation and Virgin Hyperloop One today announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on providing training, education, and professional opportunities to Saudi youth.

The announcement was made at the Misk Global Forum, which is being held Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from 15 to 16 November.

The agreement is intended to seed long lasting economic, social, and innovation benefits for the Kingdom by developing a highly skilled knowledge-based, cutting edge workforce in an innovative area of growth.

This is central to Misk’s mission to empower Saudi youth to become active participants in the knowledge economy.

Virgin Hyperloop One will develop a new transportation network within the Gulf that will bring unprecedented connectivity to the region. When completed, its network will enable people to travel between most cities in the region in less than one hour.

It will be a significant contribution to making Saudi Arabia a global leader in land transportation, alongside other plans to develop its aviation and maritime logistics in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform agenda.

Josh Giegel, co-founder and CTO of Virgin Hyperloop One, said: “Through this partnership with the Misk Foundation, we hope to empower the youth of Saudi Arabia, cultivating the next generation of technology innovation and developing an economic mega region.”

The key elements of the MoU include:

1. Collaborating to create ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ job opportunities in engineering, business strategy, operations, construction, and software/hardware technology.

2. Jointly developing both university-level and college-level training curriculums for the hyperloop system, alongside an international internship framework for Saudi students. The university-based program will also produce research for professors and students suitable for use in both academic and industry White Papers.

3. Working together to establish a new certification program for the operation and maintenance of Virgin Hyperloop One a year in advance of the system’s launch.

The MoU was signed at the Misk Global Forum, which brings together emerging and established innovators, entrepreneurs, and thinkers from around the world, alongside young people from Saudi Arabia, to meet the challenge of change.

The second annual gathering of the Misk Global Forum, the international platform of the Misk Foundation, opened with a keynote speech from Bill Gates and has included speeches by Allen Blue, co-founder of LinkedIn, and Jonas Kjellberg, co-creator of Skype, alongside discussions and workshops with leading international thinkers, leaders, and innovators from the worlds of science and technology, art and creativity, and business and politics.

Young people around the world are not fully aware of the economic changes and challenges of the knowledge economy that are already shaping how people will live, learn and work, according to research announced today at the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh.

The topline findings from the Global Youth Survey, undertaken by Populus on behalf of the Misk Foundation, revealed that 57% of young people around the world are unfamiliar with the concept of the knowledge economy.

On top of this, more than half fear that are not sufficiently tech-savvy to access the opportunities that will arise from the rush of technological progress in areas such as data mining, machine learning, and blockchain.

Yet the world of technology is central to young people’s lives: Globally, 88% of 16-35s use social media and are as likely to cite limited internet access as they are issues like addiction or cyber-bullying as problems.

The survey, which interviewed young people in 21 of the world’s leading economies, also revealed stark differences between emerging economies and the G8.

In Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and the USA, 95%+ of young people regularly use social media, yet in India, Nigeria, Indonesia and Pakistan, fewer than 30% have internet access, with those three countries alone representing a quarter of the world’s population.

Divisions are also evident between young people in urban and rural environments and between those with high and low incomes. With young graduates from urban areas, and those with high incomes, better able to access the education and networks that will equip them for the knowledge economy, the research suggests that we run the risk of the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ entrenching social divides – not ending them.

However, encouragingly, the research also showed that a clear majority of young people (59%) are positive about the impact of technology on work, and just 4% believe that technological change is a challenge to their generation.

Instead most young people are confident that they are prepared to face the changes and will be able to adapt to the disruption brought about by wide-ranging technological advances. This is supported by findings that further suggest that most young people have an attitude that will help them embrace change, with 65% describing themselves as open-minded and three in five regarding themselves as adaptable.

Shaima Hamidaddin, Executive Manager at the Misk Foundation, said: “This research serves to underline the importance of developing and empowering young people all over the world – not just in Saudi Arabia. Meeting the challenge of change brought about by the fourth industrial revolution will not be easy, but young people the world over have the potential and the attitude to meet it. The Misk Global Forum is providing a platform for young people from around the world to draw on this open-mindedness and eagerness to learn to connect with established leaders and innovators so they can experiment, explore, and map what their futures can look like.”

The research analysed 21,000 interviews with young people between the ages of 16 and 35 in 21 countries. These comprised the 19 nation-state members of the G20, along with Nigeria and Pakistan due to their large and growing youth populations. Questions focused on young people’s own perceptions of their skill base, preparedness, and confidence and optimism, providing a unique look for policy makers, educators, and researchers at how young people view their own futures.

The Misk Global Forum officially opened on Wednesday evening with a keynote address from global philanthropist, Bill Gates, who announced a new partnership with the Misk Foundation, ‘Misk Grand Challenges’. The opening day saw speeches by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordon and Allen Blue, co-founder of LinkedIn among many others. A host of announcements are being made during the gathering, all in support of the Misk Foundation’s mission to discover, develop and empower young people to become active participants in the knowledge economy, across education, culture & the arts, creative digital media, and technology.

Saudi Arabia is encouraging the world’s entrepreneurs and inventors to start up in the Kingdom, with the introduction of new entrepreneurship licenses aimed at encouraging growth in the small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector.

The new licenses, which will allow overseas entrepreneurs to establish a business in Saudi Arabia for the first time, were announced today at the Misk Global Forum annual gathering in Riyadh by Monsha’at, Saudi Arabia’s SME authority, the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA), King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) and the Economic Cities Authority (ECA). 

“The new licensing initiative is designed to help build up the private sector, particularly SMEs, and move away from an over-reliance on oil revenues.: said Dr. Ghassan Ahmed Al Sulaiman, Governor of Monsha’at. 

“This initiative, inspired by Vision 2030, will help Saudi Arabia attract the best minds in the world, transferring knowledge, expanding the economy, increasing the contribution of small- and medium-sized companiesto GDP and creating jobs for Saudis. 

“We launched this at the Misk Global Forum’s annual gathering because it’s a global event bringing young leaders and established innovators together to focus on innovation and the knowledge economy.” 

How do we help young people around the world meet the challenge of change? Ahead of Misk Global Forum 2017, our Secretary General Bader Al Asaker has written this important article for CNN:

Young people are facing the challenge of a disrupted employment market in every corner of the world, and these changes are happening at an unprecedented pace and scale.

The previous industrial revolutions of steam, electricity, and digitalization brought their own changes and disruptions. But the much-heralded “fourth industrial revolution” is now blurring the lines between physical, biological, and digital spheres. And unlike the other phases of change, this process of change is happening at an exponential, rather than linear, rate.

This disruption is unquestionably creating significant challenges for countries, societies and individuals. But equally, if not arguably more so, it is also creating significant opportunities. Some of these opportunities we can’t yet envisage, but it is clear that many lie in the growth of the knowledge economy, where intellectual ability and technical understanding, analytical skills and creativity are prized over more traditional capabilities such as physical labor.

Both the fourth industrial revolution and the knowledge economy are changing the professional demands put on young people. And they will continue to do so in ways both predictable and unforeseen.

These pressures and challenges are global — and so must be the solutions.

As noted by the World Economic Forum, it is predicted that two-thirds of children in the early stages of school today will gain employment in roles that don’t exist at the moment. The rise of automation will fundamentally alter almost all professions. Adaptability, creativity, an entrepreneurial mind-set and strong social skills will all be as critical as the more analytical skills traditionally demanded by science, technology and engineering professions.

The risks inherent in this process of exponential change are high. So how do we ensure our children are not left behind?

In Saudi Arabia, where well over half the population is under 30, we fully recognize that comprehensive action is imperative. We are seizing the moment to equip our young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to not just meet these challenges, but to rise above them and excel.

By ensuring that our education system prepares its students for the modern world and that the world of work beyond school welcomes our ambitious young people — of both sexes — we are opening new avenues of life in the Kingdom for all our citizens.

And by helping to unleash the potential of young people in this way, we are ensuring that our society also develops into one that supports entrepreneurs, welcomes creativity and embraces innovation.

All this is in keeping with the vision of moderation and tolerance, opportunity and empowerment recently voiced by His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

And our program is not just domestic. We are also acting internationally because we know that global partnerships and collective action are necessary to meet the challenges that all this change will bring.

It is for this reason that we launched the Misk Global Forum in 2016 — and will hold its second event this month in Riyadh. Through this platform, we want to develop and harness a global network that can help clarify and define approaches that can assist young people in shaping their futures.

At the forum we are collaborating with emerging and established leaders, creators and thinkers to explore and experiment with ways to meet this challenge of change and empower young people across the world.

Research we have commissioned highlights the significance of the challenge: 57% of young people in 21 of the world’s leading economies across every continent are unfamiliar with the term “knowledge economy,” half fear that they are not tech-savvy, and similar percentages expressed concern over their employment prospects.

However, young people are also optimistic, excited, and open-minded about these changes. They recognize that even as some forms of work are rendered obsolete, new forms open up — particularly in the technology spheres.

They are themselves pioneering new ways of learning — making use of social media and other tools — to learn new, real-world skills beyond the classroom that prepare them for the changes ahead. And they are also driving new, more flexible ways of working that encourage a greater, healthier balance between life and work.

It is therefore incumbent on us to listen to our young people as much as guide them. They are the future of every country, and whether that future is bright or dark depends on the degree to which we can assist them in preparing to embrace and thrive in the modern world, rather than reject it and get left behind.

The Misk Global Forum is just one part of Saudi Arabia’s dedication to this future. A future where education is built to nurture critical thinkers and innovators, problem solvers and creators, and supports learning throughout an individual’s working life. Where business environments foster new ideas, and translate them to enterprises with ease, and a jobs market that provides for opportunity, flexibility, and portfolios of income generation. And, where communities and societies are sustainable, vibrant and supportive.

We are proud to welcome international thinkers and young people into our country to express ideas, collaborate together, and listen to each other. And we look forward to sharing the forum’s developments and conclusions with the global community.

In doing so, we hope to develop a global plan to bring all these strands together, helping all young people around the world in meeting the challenge of change.

Originally posted on CNN.com, 13th November 2017.

 The Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz “Misk” Foundation organizes the second session of Misk Global Forum under the theme of “Meeting the Challenge of Change” in November 15-17, 2017 in Riyadh. Many distinguished entrepreneurs and business leaders around the world are participating in the Forum, including Bill Gates, the Co-chair of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Jonas Kjellberg, the Co-creator of Skype, and Allen Blue, the Co-founder of LinkedIn. The Forum also welcomes leaders from the world’s leading tech companies, such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, GE, and Intel.

Speakers of Misk Global Forum also include Matteo Renzi, Former Prime Minister of Italy, Sal Khan, Founder & CEO of Khan Academy, Adam Aron, CEO and President of AMC Entertainment, and Yosuke Matsuda, President & Representative Director of Square Enix Holdings Co.

Shaima Hamidaddin, Misk Global Forum Program Lead, commented, “Our main goal is to empower youth. In this year’s session, we focused on selecting a critical and significant topic to influence youth and help them meet the current challenge of change, so they can achieve their objectives in the future. In addition to hosting an elite group of speakers, the Forum also offers a unique opportunity for young leaders, inventors, and creators to interact with renowned global leaders and inventors. Throughout the interactive sessions, youth from all over the world can discover, experience and experiment new concepts and insights to meet the challenge of change.”

The Forum’s program includes diverse sessions covering four main aspects: living, learning, working and contributing. The Forum presents an in-depth look into a range of important topics, including the impact of artificial intelligence on jobs in the future, how to empower youth to develop and execute new creative projects, means to reserve our environment, fostering learning for life, women empowerment, new ways of contributing, and a thorough look into space industry.

Provided by academic experts from the most influential institutions such as MIT, workshops are also offered for the Forum’s attendees to gain new skills and deep knowledge in youth development. To find out more about Misk Global Forum, please visit http://miskglobalforum.com

We are excited to introduce you to the four main themes of this year’s Misk Global Forum, which is all about how young people can best meet the challenge of change in 2017.

This year’s event will look across the spectrum of challenges, examining the opportunities that exist within each, in these four broad categories:

Living

From health and wellbeing to media consumption and smart investing, what will it take to lead the good life over the long term?

Working

In the age of intelligent machines, what new working structures will emerge?

What is the payoff between more traditional forms of employment and the more dynamic freelancing opportunities that are becoming increasingly prevalent?

Learning

When change is constant, how best to integrate the right lifelong learning subjects and practices in order to achieve success?

Contributing

How can people engage with their communities to deliver wider and more sustained positive impacts?

By exploring these four categories and all the questions that arise from them, our audience of young leaders, innovators, policy makers and thinkers will be able to explore in depth the challenges facing young people in today’s changing world.

We’re delighted to announce some of the world-class speakers for this year’s Misk Global Forum.

This year’s event will welcome speakers ranging from world leaders to tech pioneers, and includes:

Bill Gates, co-chair and founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

HM Queen Rania of Jordan

– Renowned international educator Sal Khan, founder of the Khan Academy

– Co-founder of LinkedIn Allen Blue

– Founder of Skype Jonas Kjellberg

– Former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi

First organised in November 2016, the two-day event was designed to focus on a variety of formats, culture and technology for young Saudis and Arab youth in partnership with the brightest minds in the world.

This year’s event features an outstanding range of world-class speakers – and you can tune into the livestream here on 15 and 16 November.

We will be announcing more details of our lineup of world-class speakers in the runup to the event, so make sure you follow our social channels including FacebookTwitter and Instagram for all the latest.

Matteo Renzi

Misk Global Forum is delighted to be welcoming former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to this year’s event.

He is perhaps best known for becoming Italy’s youngest prime minister at the age of 39, having previously held the title of Mayor of Florence.

His background is in law, having graduated with a law degree – he then worked briefly in marketing before turning his attention to politics.

Matteo Renzi currently serves as the National Secretary of the Partito Democratico (Democratic Party) in Italy, and we look forward to hearing his take on the challenges facing young people around the world in 2017.

He will be joined at the event by other world-class speakers including HM Queen Rania of Jordan, co-chair and founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Bill Gates and renowned educator Sal Khan.

We are excited to welcome Bill Gates, founder and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to this year’s Misk Global Forum.

In 2000, Bill and Melinda Gates created the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the philanthropic organization dedicated to fighting inequity and helping people lift themselves out of poverty.  

The Bill & Melinda Gates foundation is guided by the idea that giving the most disadvantaged people the tools, education, and the latest in science and technology, can empower them to transform their lives.  

The Gates Foundation also inspires people to take action to change the world, by working hard to implement changes in public policy, attitudes and behaviours that can improve people’s lives. At Misk Global Forum we will explore how we can all help young people meet the challenge of change, and we look forward to hearing his sharp insight.

Bill Gates will be part of a lineup of world-class speakers at Misk Global Forum, including former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, TV personality Larry King and HM Queen Rania of Jordan. 

We are delighted to welcome Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan as one of our speakers at this year’s Misk Global Forum.

Internationally, Her Majesty Queen Rania is an advocate for tolerance, compassion and dialogue between people of all cultures and backgrounds. Her efforts to simultaneously challenge stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims, and promote greater understanding and acceptance between people of all faiths and cultures, have won her global recognition.

She is committed locally to breathing new life into the public education system, empowering communities and women especially through microfinance initiatives, protecting children and families, and driving innovation, technology and entrepreneurship, especially amongst young people.

Her passion is education. She believes that all children should have access to quality education and not only to stimulating classrooms and modern curricula, but inspiring teachers and technology that can connect them to the world. She has advocated access to education in forums and gatherings internationally, with her work and efforts to improve the learning opportunities for children being recognised at the highest levels.

In addition to Her Majesty Queen Rania, we have many other world-class speakers at the conference including international educator Sal Khan, LinkedIn co-founder Allen Blue and former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. We look forward to being inspired by their work.