Leading figures to talk world’s future at Saudi forum

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman. (Twitter/Saudi Arabia Energy Ministry)
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Updated 21 October 2020

Leading figures to talk world’s future at Saudi forum

  • The event comes as part of the international conferences program held during the G20 Saudi Presidency

RIYADH: Renowned speakers will discuss the world’s future on Nov. 8 and 9 at the International Conference on Giftedness and Creativity.

The event is organized by the King Abdul Aziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba), and the G20 Saudi Secretariat.

The event comes as part of the international conferences program held during the G20 Saudi Presidency, and will be held under the patronage of King Salman and inaugurated by Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz.

The two-day conference consists of four dialogue sessions, with two each day. The central high-level inaugural session is titled: “Imagine the Future: Empowerment of Youth to Shape New Future Horizons,” and will feature Minister of Energy Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, Minister of Education Dr. Hamad Al-Asheikh, and Henrietta Fore, UNICEF executive director.

The conference will also include three keynote speakers: Michio Kaku, US theoretical physicist, futurist and science communicator; Neil deGrasse Tyson, US astrophysicist, cosmologist, planetary scientist and science communicator; and Gerd Leonhard, a futurist and author specialized in the interaction between humans and technology.

The first day concludes its activities with a second dialogue session titled “The Digital World – How will it change the identity of the future?” with Dr. Abdullah Al-Ghamdi, chairman of the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority; Eng. Nadhmi Al-Nasr, CEO of NEOM; Anthony Salcito, vice-president of worldwide education at Microsoft; and Hong-Eng Koh, global chief government industry scientist at Huawei.

The second day of the conference begins with a session titled “The Future of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.” The list of panelists includes Jonas Kjellberg, co-founder of Skype; Adam Cheyer, co-founder of Siri Inc. and formerly a director of engineering in the iPhone group at Apple; Dr. Esther Wojcicki, vice chair of the Creative Commons advisory council and Andreas Weigend, former chief scientist of Amazon.com.

The second day’s second session is titled “Global Visions – How they shape the future of humanity?” It will feature Sally Krisel, former president of the US National Association for Gifted Children; Lianne Hoogeveen, president of the European Council for High Ability; Noriah Ishak, former president of the Malaysian National Gifted Center; and Andreas Schleicher, director for the Directorate of Education and Skills at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Mawhiba is the leading international establishment in the field of discovering, adopting and empowering talents, and it has discovered more than 161,000 talented Saudi students and expanded its work overseas.

It has achieved international successes by achieving 339 international victories in worldwide scientific competitions.

Mawhiba is aware that moving towards an economy independent of oil requires raising a generation capable of finding solutions to the problems of the future. The establishment has developed its methods based on the latest scientific means and practices to invest in the potential of talented individuals and empower them.


Hybrid learning is the future, says Saudi deputy minister of education

Updated 22 min 37 sec ago

Hybrid learning is the future, says Saudi deputy minister of education

  • Al-Sudairy said the ministry adopted online education systems to ensure the continuity of education, and protect students and teachers from contracting the virus

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s deputy minister of education has highlighted hybrid learning as the “path to the future.”

Dr. Mohammed Al-Sudairy said distance or e-learning should no longer be viewed simply as a response to emergencies but as a strategic option for the future.

He was speaking at a workshop titled “Measurement of operational efficiency of college education in the light of COVID-19” organized by King Faisal University.

Highlighting measures taken by Saudi education authorities in the wake of the pandemic, Al-Sudairy said the ministry adopted online education systems to ensure the continuity of education, and protect students and teachers from contracting the virus.

“The decision ensured social distancing and the quality of education,” he said, adding that the ministry harnessed all its capabilities to act quickly.

Al-Sudairy said that online education began for all educational grades at the same time. The ministry achieved great results as students and teachers continued to interact online in a safe environment and without any loss to the academic year.

The ministry, public and private universities, colleges, and the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation were able to shift to online education within one day of the decision to suspend physical attendance at school, he said.

Adapting to the virtual reality ensured the needs of teachers were met, while also increasing operational efficiency of university education and higher education.

Al-Sudairy said the online-learning system is not new. “Universities started making investments in e-learning in 2007,” he added.

The deputy minister called for the adoption of modern technologies and enhancement of teachers’ capabilities in terms of presenting interactive content on electronic platforms.