More than 100 speakers confirmed for Future Investment Initiative 2018 in Riyadh

Updated 28 September 2018

More than 100 speakers confirmed for Future Investment Initiative 2018 in Riyadh

  • Speakers will shed light on the most pertinent trends shaping the global investment landscape
  • FII is a global platform focused on identifying future trends and opportunities

JEDDAH: The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) on Thursday announced more than 100 global investors, CEOs and disruptive innovators who will speak at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) 2018, which begins in Riyadh on Oct. 23.

Focusing on three core themes — investing in transformation, technology as opportunity, and advancing human potential  — the three-day event will explore a number of subjects, including how leaders from business and government can develop a collective vision for the future, how venture capital is changing the future of innovation, and how immersive technology is changing the way we live, work and create.

FII is a global platform focused on identifying future trends and opportunities, defining the future of industries and discussing how investment can contribute to overall global prosperity and development. FII speakers will shed light on the most pertinent trends shaping the global investment landscape.

Speakers announced so far include David Bonderman, Chairman and Founding Partner of TPG Capital; Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase; Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock, Inc.; John M. Flint, Executive Director and Group Chief Executive of HSBC Holdings PLC; Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber Technologies Inc.; Christine Lagarde, President of the International Monetary Fund; Kai-Fu Lee, Chairman and CEO of Sinovation Ventures; Tong Li, CEO of Bank of China International; Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop One; Jean Lemierre, Chairman of BNP Paribas; Kanetsugu Mike, President and CEO of MUFG Bank LTD; Zanny Minton-Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief of The Economist; Rajeev Misra, CEO of Softbank Vision Fund, SB Investment Advisers; Steven Mnuchin, United States Secretary of the Treasury; Lubna S. Olayan, CEO and Deputy Chairperson of Olayan Financing Company; General David Petraeus, Chairman of KKR; Jeremy Weir, Executive Chairman and CEO of Trafigura Group Pte Ltd; and Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone.

Commenting on the announcement, Jamie Dimon said, “I am looking forward to attending the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh to discuss innovation in technology and what it means to all of us. Overall, technology is the greatest thing that has ever happened to mankind. Artificial intelligence, big data and machine learning are helping JPMorgan Chase reduce risk and fraud, upgrade service, improve underwriting and enhance marketing across the firm. We know technology has been a great force, and for the benefit of all of us, that force should not be left unleashed.”

“Political, economic and technological changes pose individual challenges for all businesses and governments, but the most intractable problems require a truly global response,” said John M. Flint. “The public and private sectors have no choice but to work together to maximize the benefits of human ingenuity while managing its disruptive impacts. Sharing ideas and sharpening our focus on the problems we have in common are essential steps toward building a sustainable economy for all.”

Rajeev Misra said: “FII is a unique event that brings together visionaries across business, government and technology who are collectively shaping the future of global investment. We share a common ambition to create an ecosystem that harnesses the world’s most transformative technologies, to the benefit of humanity. Through the Vision Fund, we are striving to bring many of these businesses to the Middle East, which we believe will support innovation, job creation and unlock new economic opportunities. We look forward to sharing our insights with the FII community.”
Further updates about the 2018 program, partners and speakers are available at

Culture documentation by Saudi ministry to help dispel misconceptions

Updated 22 October 2020

Culture documentation by Saudi ministry to help dispel misconceptions

  • Dia hopes the documenting process will be done professionally and without bias

JEDDAH: Saudi artists welcomed the Ministry of Culture’s first-of-its-kind 16/13 initiative, documenting the diversity of Saudi culture and art through a visual library.
The library will display 16 aspects of culture and heritage through photography and videography that represent the 13 regions of the Kingdom.
Researchers will go around Saudi Arabia to meet creatives, and study their work, for inclusion in the initiative.
“This is an important step for the Kingdom, and it’s a global one to document visual art, whether works of art or cinema,” Dia Aziz Dia, Saudi artist and sculptor, told Arab News.
He added: “It’s important because this creates a database and can be used as a reference to study and compare paintings, photography, sculpting and various types of art, how they differ from one region to the next.”
It could also let government bodies discover art worthy of being put into museums for display, said Dia.
“It’s a good way to document history as well, and to study works of art and the standards of art here,” he said. “It’s on a global level and it’s done everywhere in the world, from England to the US.”
Dia hopes the documenting process will be done professionally and without bias.
He also said it was not easy to compile these works. “It’s an elaborate process to be able to get hold of all the works across the Kingdom. It’s an operation that requires organization, extensive studying and the cooperation of the Society of Culture and Arts and artists as well.”
Saad Tahaitah, documentary filmmaker and photographer, told Arab News that the initiative was promising. He was exposed to it through Saudi photographer Nawaf Al-Shehri, who has been traveling to help with the documentation process.
“The ministry’s been doing an incredible job; they’re (Nawaf and his team) going around the Kingdom and filming content for an actual library,” he said.
Tahaitah has worked on numerous short films on his own to depict the culture and heritage of Asir region, in the southwest of the country. He said he would not trade it for any other place and wished only to film in his hometown.
“I got into documentaries because I wanted honest storytelling. I didn’t want to write a script and hire actors, although that works for some,” he said. “The way I’ve been doing film is to let the person I’m filming go about their day and I let my camera roll.”
Tahaitah started documenting Asir because he wanted to dispel the misconceptions about it, and the stereotypes created through media like “Tash Ma Tash,” the famous Saudi comedy show.
“Asir is full of natural beauty and scenery to capture. It’s diverse in its sights and the people who live in it. Every once in a while, I realize there’s a thing I never noticed before and I film it, and I’ve lived here all my life. The way of life here, simply, can inspire you,” he said.
He added: “We don’t have one particular dance or only sit and dine in a huddle. In a way, I just wanted to showcase the reality of Asir because I love it.”
He said that this initiative could correct inaccuracies shared about certain areas in the Kingdom.