Digital wellbeing summit at Ithra to confront technology’s dangers, advantages

The second Sync Summit is scheduled for may 22 and 23, and Ithra will be buzzing with all things that merge technology and wellness. (Supplied)
1 / 6
The second Sync Summit is scheduled for may 22 and 23, and Ithra will be buzzing with all things that merge technology and wellness. (Supplied)
Digital wellbeing summit at Ithra to confront technology’s dangers, advantages
2 / 6
The second Sync Summit is scheduled for may 22 and 23, and Ithra will be buzzing with all things that merge technology and wellness. (Supplied)
Digital wellbeing summit at Ithra to confront technology’s dangers, advantages
3 / 6
The second Sync Summit is scheduled for may 22 and 23, and Ithra will be buzzing with all things that merge technology and wellness. (Supplied)
Digital wellbeing summit at Ithra to confront technology’s dangers, advantages
4 / 6
The second Sync Summit is scheduled for may 22 and 23, and Ithra will be buzzing with all things that merge technology and wellness. (Supplied)
Digital wellbeing summit at Ithra to confront technology’s dangers, advantages
5 / 6
The second Sync Summit is scheduled for may 22 and 23, and Ithra will be buzzing with all things that merge technology and wellness. (Supplied)
Digital wellbeing summit at Ithra to confront technology’s dangers, advantages
6 / 6
The second Sync Summit is scheduled for may 22 and 23, and Ithra will be buzzing with all things that merge technology and wellness. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 20 May 2024
Follow

Digital wellbeing summit at Ithra to confront technology’s dangers, advantages

Digital wellbeing summit at Ithra to confront technology’s dangers, advantages
  • Event at Ithra will have over 110 digital experts, 70 speakers from 20 countries

DHAHRAN: After a two-year hiatus, the second Sync Digital Wellbeing Summit 2024 returns to the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, or Ithra, this week for discussions and debates by world-leading experts.

Scheduled for May 22 and 23, Ithra will be buzzing with all things that merge technology and wellness, and will feature 110 digital experts and 70 speakers from 20 countries.




The second Sync Summit is scheduled for may 22 and 23, and Ithra will be buzzing with all things that merge technology and wellness. (Supplied)

“The Sync Summit 2024 is not just another conference. It’s a platform for meaningful discussions, critical reflections, and collective actions for a better digital future,” said Wadha Al-Nafjan, head of digital wellbeing at Sync. “As we navigate the digital paradox, it is vital to recognize our responsibility in shaping the world we want to live in.”

Topics including algorithmic homogenization and identity loss, AI’s impact on the creative industries, and misinformation will be tackled under the theme “Confronting the Digital Paradox.”




The second Sync Summit is scheduled for may 22 and 23, and Ithra will be buzzing with all things that merge technology and wellness. (Supplied)

The summit will be held at the Ithra headquarters in Dhahran, with a live stream available.

Day one, organized around the sub-theme “Cuts Both Ways: Wrestling with the Tensions of the Digital Era,” includes seven panels, two fireside chats and two keynote talks.

It’s a platform for meaningful discussions, critical reflections, and collective actions for a better digital future.

Wadha Al-Nafjan, Head of digital wellbeing at Sync

Day two, centering on the sub-theme “A Digital Renaissance: Shaping Our Relationship with Digital for a Better Future,” will have eight panels and three keynotes. In addition, it will have the Sync Spotlight series finale, for which creative influencer Omar Farooq will screen his new documentary, “The Dark Side of Japan.”

Although there was no summit last year at Ithra, the Sync team conducted extensive research globally that led to some compelling findings.




Wadha Al-Nafjan, Head of digital wellbeing at Sync

According to their research, 81 percent of those surveyed are concerned about the unsolicited collection of their personal data, 53 percent struggle to maintain boundaries between their work and personal lives, while 66 percent believe that the internet needs more regulation. About 73 percent of participants think social media was designed to be addictive.

Furthermore, the average time spent online daily has gone down, compared with 2021. About 68 percent claim to understand AI, 87 percent think technology is allowing people to work and study more flexibly, and 91 percent use digital devices to access resources including books and tutorials.




The second Sync Summit is scheduled for may 22 and 23, and Ithra will be buzzing with all things that merge technology and wellness. (Supplied)

“Never before has the world been so connected to everything and everyone. We know technology has improved our lives, but it also has the painful potential to distract and harm,” Ithra said in a statement to Arab News. The summit’s activities are geared toward “ensuring that we as humans come together to keep digital technology in check and working towards the greater good, safeguarding its future, and our own.”

The event will bridge the gap between academic research, industry practices, and end-users regarding digital wellbeing through a variety of sessions.

Sync Spotlight

A series of sessions will run in parallel to the two-day Sync Summit stage program, offering greater interaction between speakers and audience members.

Sync Action Forum

The worldwide Gen Alpha Forum, an initiative developed by Sync Research with McCann Worldgroup, will see the community expand to include Saudi Arabia parents of Gen Alpha children, as well as educators, and other Gen Alpha stakeholders.

Majlis

In partnership with Johns Hopkins, which has a local hospital at Aramco, the Majlis will host three sessions exploring digital wellbeing with educators, researchers and students.

The Plaza

The gamified experience will dive into the findings compiled by the Sync Research team through the lens of three projects which were developed with partners Horizon Group, PSB and McCann Worldgroup.

Sync Immersive

In this interactive journey, the organizers promise to provide a three-step experience designed to impact participants’ emotions and understanding, while guiding them into navigating the complexities of digital ethics.

Podcast

The booth experience will serve both as a studio to record live podcast episodes hosted by Mo Gawdat, formerly of Google, and as a multi-functional space for hosting media interviews. Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Islam, host of the English-language podcast, The Mo Show, will also be present.

Other notable speakers this year include US data scientist and AI specialist Rumman Chowdhury; Saudi Arabia athlete, FIFA World Champion and owner of an esports team, Abdulaziz Alshehri; and Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak.

One May 21, Ithra will host the Global Digital Wellbeing Assembly, a gathering of experts from across the Kingdom and the globe to discuss the guiding objectives and roadmap for a new digital wellbeing society.

Registration is now open and attendance is free.

 


KSrelief chief discusses aid efforts in Gaza with Palestinian ministers

KSrelief chief discusses aid efforts in Gaza with Palestinian ministers
Updated 5 sec ago
Follow

KSrelief chief discusses aid efforts in Gaza with Palestinian ministers

KSrelief chief discusses aid efforts in Gaza with Palestinian ministers

RIYADH: The general supervisor of Saudi aid agency KSrelief, Abdullah Al-Rabeeah on Wednesday discussed the situation in Gaza with the Palestinian minister of health, Majed Abu Ramadan, and minister of social development, Samah Abdul Rahim Hussein Hamad.

Their meeting took place during “Call for Action: Urgent Humanitarian Response for Gaza,” an international emergency conference that began in Jordan on Tuesday.

They discussed “the delicate humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and ways to deliver aid to those displaced there,” the Saudi Press Agency reported. They also exchanged views on the main topics addressed by the conference.

The Palestinian ministers thanked the Kingdom, as represented by KSrelief, for the aid and assistance it has provided to the people of Gaza to help alleviate their suffering during the current humanitarian crisis. They expressed their sincere appreciation in particular for support provided by Saudi authorities to healthcare efforts in the territory.


Saudi crown prince apologizes for not attending G7 summit in Italy

Saudi crown prince apologizes for not attending G7 summit in Italy
Updated 14 min 39 sec ago
Follow

Saudi crown prince apologizes for not attending G7 summit in Italy

Saudi crown prince apologizes for not attending G7 summit in Italy

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman apologized for not attending the G7 summit set to take place on Friday in Italy due to “commitments related to supervising pilgrimage,” the Saudi state news agency reported on Wednesday. 

Developing...


Saudi leaders send condolences to Kuwait’s emir over victims of deadly fire

Saudi leaders send condolences to Kuwait’s emir over victims of deadly fire
Updated 32 min 53 sec ago
Follow

Saudi leaders send condolences to Kuwait’s emir over victims of deadly fire

Saudi leaders send condolences to Kuwait’s emir over victims of deadly fire
  • 49 people were killed by a blaze south of Kuwait City that broke out around dawn on Wednesday in a 6-story building housing nearly 200 foreign workers

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Wednesday sent a message of condolence and sympathy to the emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, following a fire that killed and injured dozens of people in the country.

The king wrote: “We learned of the news of the outbreak of a fire in the Mangaf region, and the deaths and injuries that resulted from it, and we send to Your Highness, to the families of the deceased, and to the brotherly people of the State of Kuwait, our warmest and most sincere condolences.”

He also wished those injured a speedy recovery, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent similar messages of condolence to the emir and Crown Prince Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah.

Forty-nine people were killed when the fire ripped through a building housing nearly 200 foreign workers on Wednesday, the Kuwaiti government said. The blaze, which broke out in the six-story building south of Kuwait City at around dawn, left dozens injured, the health ministry added.

(With AFP)


Saudi Arabia extends condolences after fire in Kuwait kills 49

Rescuers arrive at the site of a building that caught fire in Kuwait, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP)
Rescuers arrive at the site of a building that caught fire in Kuwait, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP)
Updated 12 June 2024
Follow

Saudi Arabia extends condolences after fire in Kuwait kills 49

Rescuers arrive at the site of a building that caught fire in Kuwait, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP)

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry extended the Kingdom’s condolences and sympathy to the families of those killed in a fire that ripped through a building in Kuwait on Wednesday.

The blaze, which broke out in a six-story building in the Mangaf area, south of Kuwait City, killed 49 and left dozens injured, the Kuwaiti health ministry said. 

The Saudi foreign ministry expressed the Kingdom’s solidarity with the government and people of Kuwait and its best wishes for the security and safety of Kuwaiti citizens and residents. 


Saudi authorities arrest 26 Hajj permit violators

Saudi authorities arrest 26 Hajj permit violators
Updated 12 June 2024
Follow

Saudi authorities arrest 26 Hajj permit violators

Saudi authorities arrest 26 Hajj permit violators
  • Offenders were attempting to transport 102 people

RIYADH: Authorities in Saudi Arabia arrested 26 violators of Hajj regulations at the entrances to Makkah after they tried to enter without a valid permit, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Interior announced that the Hajj Security Forces had arrested nine residents and 19 citizens, who had attempted to transport 102 people on Tuesday.

The seasonal administrative committees of the General Directorate of Passports issued 26 administrative decisions against them, including a prison sentence for a period of 15 days for each carrier, and a fine of SR10,000 ($2,666).

The fine will be multiplied by the number of each violator transported, and the expatriate violators will be deported and prevented from entering the Kingdom, according to the legally specified periods after the execution of the sentence. Five vehicles used for transportation have also been confiscated.

The Ministry of Interior has called on all citizens and expatriates to abide by Hajj regulations and instructions so that pilgrims can enjoy safety, security and comfort while performing their rituals.