DUBAI: Imagination and ideas are the commodities of the future, UAE’s Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future Mohammed Al-Gergawi said during the opening speech at Dubai’s World Government Summit on Sunday.
“Whoever owns these ideas and this imagination, will own the future,” Gergawi said, adding that “the wars of the future will be on ideas.”
Gergawi highlighted many factors that have put governments in the backseat of development as private sectors invest more and more into research and development programs.
“Government, in their old form, cannot impact on the future, the private sector now impacts the future and we see this in the different economic and livelihood sectors,” he said.
The Emirati minister also touched on data protection, he said private companies know “when we eat, when we sleep, when we wake up, where we travel and even how many beats our heart’s beat.”
Speaking alongside Gergawi was the World Economic Forum’s executive chairman Klaus Schwab who also spoke of the danger of a global system “spinning out of control.”
“Global growth is slowing down, but global risks are increasing,” Schwab told a packed conference hall at Dubai’s Mina A’Salam hotel, “it is a system under stress, and the consequences are very dire.”
Schwab spoke of the need to move forward with globalization, and to be “more sustainable, more inclusive, to be a more multi-stakeholder globalization, and to be re-moralized.”
“All stakeholders of society must play a role in globalization, not just governments,” Schwab said.
On Saturday, the International Monetary Fund’s chief, Christine Lagarde, spoke of the challenges facing the Middle East, with rise in corruption, poor governance and lack of transparency.
The World Government Summit, in its seventh edition, runs for three days of high-level discussion and debate by world thought leaders from the worlds of public policy, business and entertainment.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan, actor Harrison Ford and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri are among 4,000 delegates who will attend the three-day event, along with Estonia’s prime minister Jüri Ratas and President of Rwanda Paul Kagame.
Apart from the politicians, the summit also brings in more than 30 global organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.