Global Entrepreneurship Network partnership

As we continue to build new connections and strategic relationships around the world, we are delighted to announce a partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Network.

Announced at its tenth annual Congress in Istanbul on Tuesday, the partnership will help aspiring entrepreneurs to start and grow new businesses around the world.

It will offer programs that test and validate entrepreneurs’ ideas, while enabling them to reach their potential through access to a global network of collaborators, mentors and investors, by identifying the key components of healthy startup ecosystems.

Jonathan Ortmans, GEN’s President, said: “GEN is dedicated to better understanding what interventions are needed to create environments that allow entrepreneurs to flourish. Through this partnership with the Misk Global Forum, together we will equip innovative young minds with the tools and resources they need to succeed.”

The new partnership will complement our ambitious development plans, including our aim to create employment opportunities for 20 million people and develop five million youth entrepreneurs by 2030.

Misk Global Forum at TED 2018 - Jason Redmond / TED

How do we give youth the skills they need to thrive in a rapidly-changing future economy?

That’s what we discussed  at TED 2018 in Vancouver, working with the Institute for the Future as we continue to grow & build connections and partnerships around the world.

We worked with the Institute for the Future to create an interactive session that sparked debate and discussion on how education and training should innovate to enable young people to thrive in a rapidly-changing future economy.

Photo: Jason Redmond / TED

Feedback from this event, along with others, will culminate in the presentation of the Institute for the Future’s findings at this year’s annual Misk Global Forum in November.

Ideas discussed at the event included:

  • The need to help young people to be comfortable with uncertainty, with experimenting and with failing;
  • The need for young people to be very self-aware to respond creatively to situations;
  • How to provide young people with the skills needed to navigate technological change in a way that mitigates negative impacts, ensures social and emotional intelligence and reduces stress;
  • The immediate need to shape the way technology affects young people and the economy rather than being reactive;
  • The skills that might emerge naturally and how young people, due to their comfort with change, might teach older generations to better navigate developments.
    Photo: Jason Redmond / TED

Dylan Hendricks, Director of the Institute for the Future’s Future 50 Program, said, “At the working lunch we’re announcing our partnership with the Misk Global Forum to develop a set of Global Future Skills for youth. We’ll be holding workshops similar to the one we held here at TED in Nigeria, Germany and Saudi Arabia in order to further our research and develop this work. It will culminate in us reporting back at the Misk Global Forum’s annual event in Riyadh in November where we’ll publish a toolkit that aims to provide young people, educational institutions, businesses and others with an accessible way to grapple with the scope and speed of change in the knowledge economy and to provide practical pathways for moving forward.”

 Photo: Jason Redmond / TED

 Lisa Choi Owens, Chief Revenue Officer and Head of Partnerships at TED, said of the event:

“TED is proud to partner with an organization that not only envisions a youth-driven future but is taking active, measurable steps to ensure that this future becomes a reality.”

Misk also continued its innovative Tomorrow’s Jobs art project during TED2018. Misk has commissioned a concept artist to create two pieces of art depicting jobs of the future, inspired by the debate during the working lunch.

Photos by Jason Redmond / TED.

Global Youth Index

More than half (57%) of young people around the world are unfamiliar with the concept of the future economy, new research has revealed. The Global Youth Survey, undertaken by Populus on behalf of the Misk Foundation, shows that young people around the world are not fully aware of the economic changes and challenges of the new economy that are already shaping how people will live, learn and work.

The survey also found that more than half fear they are not sufficiently tech-savvy to access opportunities that will come from technological progress in areas such as data mining, machine learning and blockchain.

Interviews were conducted with 21,000 young people between the ages of 16 and 35 in 21 countries around the world – the 19 nation-state members of the G20, and Nigeria and Pakistan due to their large and growing young populations.

The research, unveiled at Misk Global Forum, showed that 59% of young people are positive about the impact on technology on work, with only 4% believing that technological change is a challenge to their generation. The study also revealed that young people are increasingly ready to 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.”

Tomorrow's Jobs competition

We were delighted to be part of this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the world’s biggest gathering of leaders and thinkers. 

During the event, Misk Global Forum hosted a high-level debate themed around “tomorrow’s jobs”, a lively discussion moderated by CNN’s Richard Quest concerning employment and job creation, the changing economy, government and leadership and global engagement.

During the debate, music star and entrepreneur will.i.am gave his ideas from the audience of how to inspire young people, saying, “it’s not just teaching – you have to give young people a cause, encourage them and make them believe they can solve their own problems with these skillsets.”

On the final day of the forum, the Misk Foundation hosted the Misk Saudi Voyage that allowed participants to experience and enjoy the very best in Saudi Arabian art, food and music.

Following the debate at Davos, we launched our Misk Tomorrow’s Jobs competition, posing the question: what do you think tomorrow’s jobs will be like?

It’s a global issue and we’re looking for your best ideas on the future of jobs – find out more about how to enter here.

Diane Greene at Misk Global Forum

Women and young people will lead Saudi Arabia’s drive to embrace a digital future, a leading technology entrepreneur told Misk Global Forum.

Speaking at the Misk Global Forum event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Google Cloud’s chief executive Diane Greene said, “the excitement and embracing of change is so palatable here. I’m very optimistic about what’s possible here.”

During her first visit to the Kingdom, Greene expressed how impressed she was by young people and their enthusiasm for change. She also spoke of how the country already had female experts and leaders in the field of technology, who would find no difficulty in becoming part of the future of Saudi Arabia.

The Misk Global Forum was first held in 2016 and is the flagship 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. 

Last year’s event was attended by more than 5,000 participants and comprised of two days of interactive, collaborative, and innovative discussions and workshops on ‘meeting the challenge of change’. Greene was joined by other speakers including HM Queen Rania of Jordan and Bill Gates, the co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Thanks to Misk Grand Challenges, a new partnership between Misk Global Forum and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, you could receive a $100,000 grant if you’ve got an idea that could change the world.

Over the next three years, Misk Grand Challenges will launch new challenges every six months, offering 100 innovators across the globe grants to develop their ingenious ideas in order to tackle issues all around the world. 

One of the themes of these challenges is “global citizenship” and we are looking for bright ideas for how young people can help deliver the Sustainable Development Goals. These goals were established by all 193 world leaders in 2015 and are a commitment to ending extreme poverty, averting catastrophic climate change, tackling inequality and ensuring no one is left behind, all before their 2030 deadline.

The six goals are:

  1. No poverty
  2. Zero hunger
  3. Good health and well-being
  4. Quality education
  5. Gender equality
  6. Clean water and sanitation

More than ever, young people have the tools and skills afforded by technology and connectivity to learn about, connect with, and act on the issues that affect them. But the Global Goals will only be reached in the voices, skills and ideas of youth are listened to. 

We’re looking for global citizens – people who are aware of, and understand the wider world and their place in it – who are committed to reaching these Global Goals and have a revolutionary idea to achieve one or more of them.  

Does this sound like you? Find out how you can apply.

The Misk Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are pioneers in empowering youth and preparing them for success.

To this end, we are thrilled to be coming together to offer grants of $100,000 to some of the bright young minds of tomorrow.

We are seeking young innovators and leaders who are ready to tackle global challenges head on, such as the challenge of education, and ensure that every child receives a 21st-century tuition.

It is vital that children around the world are offered a quality education that goes far beyond 20th-century learning, and encompasses modern skills that are essential for success.

Leadership, social skills, critical thinking and creativity will become the backbone of education in the years to come and we are searching for young minds with ideas to revolutionise the traditional education system.

The challenge is real: current school systems throughout the world are struggling to achieve even basic learning outcomes – we must therefore think beyond small improvements and completely transform schools.

Do you have an innovative idea that will transform education to guarantee success in the future? Misk Grand Challenges could make that idea a reality.

Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see your groundbreaking ideas become reality – find out how you can apply

  • 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.” 

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. 

At Misk Global Forum, people from all walks of life and professions come together to share ideas – last year, the star of TV show Cake Boss Buddy Valastro came to the event, and naturally brought his baking skills with him.

Uniting old world design with modern inspiration, Buddy created one of his cake masterpieces especially for Misk Global Forum at Carlo’s Bakery in New Jersey, and couriered it all the way to Saudi Arabia.

The world-renowned baker and TV star followed with his colleague Mauro on a 12-hour flight from New York to Jeddah, on the coast of the Red Sea.

Buddy particularly wanted to see how cakes are made in Saudi Arabia, so visited Munch Bakery, a family-owned bakery like his own, where he met the employees, commenting that, “the integrity of the work that you guys do here is phenomenal,” and tried a variety of cakes, including their ‘Munch Melt’ speciality with rosewater and pistachio.

The cake delighted Misk Global Forum and Buddy was also able to speak at the conference to the young leaders about how he built his business, and inspired the audience with his 20-year career. Finally, he was able to personally meet the next generation of business leaders from around the world, and learn of their own hopes and ambitions.

You can watch the episode of Cake Boss in which Buddy visits Misk Global Forum on TLC in Saudi Arabia at 20:40 on 29 October.