Sharjah FDI Forum experts: Youth should challenge status quo to create change

SOURCE: Emirates News Agency

Experts and business leaders - who took part in a Youth Circle discussion titled ‘The Future of Youth in the Era of Digital Enterprise’ on the sidelines of the Sharjah FDI Forum - have called for youth to challenge the status quo in order to create change.

The Shurooq Youth Council initiative, in partnership with Sharjah Youth Council, brought together leading experts, entrepreneurs and officials with aspiring youth to discuss their future in the digital age.

Speakers included Dr. Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Media City; Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority; Hussain Mohammed Al Mahmoudi, CEO of the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park; Fatima Al Mahmoud, Chairperson of the Shurooq Youth Council; Mo Gawdat, bestselling author and former Chief Business Officer, Google X; Dr. Louis Klein, Dean, European School of Governance; Azeem Azhar, entrepreneur, investor, and the creator of Exponential View; and Sharif Hallaba, co-founder and COO, XLabs.

During the discussion, Al Sarkal emphasised the need to take advantage of the latest technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, AI, and machine learning to serve humanity. He pointed to some of the important experiences that have transformed the lives of peoples and several projects that had impacted society immensely.

He highlighted the use of drones in an African country to transport blood to remote areas blood during emergencies. This had helped save countless lives dependant on the blood and had turned out to be a cost-effective solution, leading to a new business model.

For his part, Al Mahmoudi stressed the importance of technology in development, "Technology today is the core of development. However, we need to develop our own technology in order to excel in the region, not copy it from abroad."

Meanwhile, Mo Gawdat said the technological advancement and disruptions that had occurred over the past few years had been initiated by youth. "Youth are the ones who innovated and made a huge impact around the world. Youth need to challenge the status quo and use their energy to create change."

He pointed out that entrepreneurs were among the richest people in the world and not employees. He emphasised the continuity of learning. "After graduation, we need to keep learning, we need to learn how to learn, and invest in knowledge," said the author.

For his part, Azeem Azhar said that youth in the country had the advantage of a nurturing environment and supportive infrastructure that was required to innovate to benefit the UAE. He said it was important to develop technologies instead of importing them to tackle the issues of the local communities.

At the conclusion of the session, the participants stressed the need to advance the educational systems to cope with the rapid technological advancement in order to fulfil the needs of society and enhance the quality of their lives.