DUBAI: Olympic medalists, political leaders, Nobel laureates and global CEOs are among speakers due to take part in the fourth edition of the Future Investment Initiative (FII), a two-day event that will embrace a hybrid format for the first time when it starts on Wednesday.
Jamaican eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt is one of the star speakers among the 150 names set to take part in the event, organized under the theme “The Neo-Renaissance.”
Travel restrictions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic mean some speakers will attend in person in Riyadh, while many others will participate virtually from hubs in New York, Paris, Beijing and Mumbai.
Other high-profile speakers announced in recent days include Sen. Matteo Renzi, former prime minister of Italy; Kevin Rudd, former Australian prime minister; Alberto Fernandez, president of Argentina; and Bruno Le Maire, French finance and economy minister.
FII is described as an international platform for debate between global leaders, investors and innovators. In 2019, 24 investment deals worth $20 billion were announced at the event, as the Saudi Arabian economy opened up to foreign investment.
Richard Attias, CEO of organizing body the FII Institute, told Arab News that pandemic restrictions mean the 2021 event will be “totally different” from the first editions.
“But we still need to carry a message of optimism, a message that the global economy should not stop and cannot stop. This is why we are hosting this conversation in a unique format.
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“The conversation will be about the rebirth of the global economy. In fact, this rebirth will be the neo-renaissance of the global economy. I hope this renaissance will positively affect all sectors. Under the leadership of the FII Institute, speakers and participants will discuss how the investment world, the sports industry, the sustainability industry — how all these industries will be reinvented.”
Attias said that the two-day event will embrace “first time ever” conference technology, “which is bringing together all participants in a virtual world.”