Focus on ‘Shaping Future Governments’ at the WGS-2016

Hundreds of leaders from around the world converge in Dubai for the World Government Summit 2016

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Hundreds of leaders from around the world are converging in Dubai for the World Government Summit 2016, which gets underway on Monday (Feb. 8, 2016). Key speakers and contributors from 125 countries include government representatives, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and heads of multilateral organizations are attending the event. Prominent representatives of the academia and the public and private sectors will also be in attendance. The theme of this year’s summit is “Shaping Future Governments”, and the agenda is focused on global challenges and solutions around delivering government services.

U.S. President Barack Obama will open the Summit via video-conference, it was announced on Friday. Other leading speakers at the summit include Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda; Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank; Jose Angel Gurria, Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); Kathy Calvin, President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Nations Foundation; Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum; and Nabeel Al Araby, Secretary-General of the Arab League.


Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, will host the Summit. He will conduct a social media conversation on the “Dialogue of the Future” with his 10 million followers, where he will answer questions on his vision for the future of government, education, health, cities, and other vital sectors. The Summit will include the Museum of the Future, which will showcase new technologies that can support government services, and the Edge of Governments exhibit, which will highlight 15 case studies on Governance 2.0.

It will also honor the winners of the “Best Minister in the World” award, “Best Mobile Government Service” award, and “Innovative Teacher” award. After the summit, organizers will release several research reports and surveys. Since 2013, the government of the UAE has hosted an annual Summit that brings together government officials, thought leaders, thinkers, policy makers, and private sector executives to discuss the best ways to develop the future of government. However, the Summit is not just about governments and also about what constitutes a government, the people.

Future of education

Among the key areas that will come up for discussion during the World Government Summit is the future of education. When the World Spoke Arabic: The Forgotten Legacy of Arabic Science will be a session dedicated to the subject this year. To be held on the first day of the summit, this session will discuss how conflict and turmoil in the Middle East have made it too easy to overlook the Golden Age of Islam, when stable and prosperous Arab civilizations produced the greatest scientists, mathematicians and innovators the world had ever seen.

This session explores the forgotten legacy of an era when “Arabic Science” led the world in discovery for mankind. It challenges today’s leaders to imagine and create conditions for a new age of opportunity for Arab youth. Related to this is the subject, “When the World Spoke Arabic: The Forgotten Legacy of Arabic Science”, which will look for answers to questions such as what was the Golden Age of Arabic Science? What are some of the key contributions of Arabic Science to mankind? And what was the environment and conditions that caused and sustained the Golden Age?

Equally important are questions such as why did it end and what stopped Arabic Science from evolving? Experts and analysts participating in this debate will look for ways to revive this legacy in today’s Arab youth? They would grapple with ways to create the circumstances and find some final notes and comments to give the youth of the Arab region.

Play to learn

Gamification of learning has tremendous potential in changing the education field. It maximizes enjoyment and engagement through capturing the interest of learners and inspiring them to continue learning. In this session, we explore how gamification can be used to deliver meaningful learning experiences to students and how it would change the future of education.

Paul Andersen, Founder of BozemanScience, is an educational consultant working with schools around the world, will get into the skin of this debate. His specialties include gamification, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), educational technology, blended learning, and effective classroom design. Before becoming a consultant Paul taught science in Montana for 20 years. Paul has also created hundreds of YouTube science tutorials that have been viewed millions of times by students around the world. Paul was the Montana Teacher of the Year and he was a finalist for National Teacher of the Year.

Another related sessions – How a Cloud Based School will Change our Education? – will explore how schools can leverage the right technologies to be relevant in the 21st century and share key insights from experiments of Self Organized Learning Environments. The questions likely to be answered during this sessions are what is the concept of cloud-based school learning? Is it the future of learning? What are some of the interesting experiments and lessons learned?

Future of robots

What adds another layer to the Summit this year is its renewed focus on technology for the future. For instance, the session “Are Robots Really the Answer?” will raise some critical questions related to it. “Why is the age of robots different from the industrial revolution and automation? Would it lead to better productivity or value destruction in our economy? Will robots take over jobs? Or will they redefine available jobs for human beings?

Author and commentator on digital revolution, Andrew Keen, will try and make sense of this world of robots. Keen is executive director of the Silicon Valley innovation salonFutureCast. In 2015, he was named by GQ magazine in their list of the “100 Most Connected Men”. Keen will rub shoulders with many other high-flyers of his industry – such as Christopher M. Schroeder who will speak on “Building the Next Silicon Valley”. Schroeder is an American entrepreneur, advisor and investor in interactive technologies and social communications and is among a host of others who are set to make their presence felt at the summit this year.

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