The TRENDS Research and Advisory pavilion concluded the first phase of its participation as an Executive Partner in the fourth edition of the Aqdar World Summit, which was held on the sidelines of the Expo 2020 Dubai.
Dr. Mohammed Abdullah Al-Ali, CEO of TRENDS, spoke at Aqdar’s main panel discussion, where he addressed the theme “The Role of National and International Institutions in Promoting Positive Citizenship”.
This was the first time that TRENDS participated with an independent pavilion in the Aqdar World Summit, which was held this year under the slogan “Positive Global Citizenship: Enabling Sustainable Investment Opportunities”. Over the course of three days, TRENDS presented its most prominent publications, research, studies, and activities. It also highlighted its global projects and initiatives aimed at empowering young researchers.
Over the course of three days, the TRENDS pavilion was visited by a number of Their Excellencies, officials, researchers, university students, delegations from pavilions participating in the Summit, and members of the public. They were briefed by TRENDS’ officials on its vision, research, publications, activities, and the services it provides. Visitors praised the work of TRENDS and expressed the need for such centers that enrich knowledge, have vision, and adopt the language and values of tolerance, coexistence and human fraternity.
His Excellency Hussain Al-Hammadi: TRENDS Research and Advisory is a prestigious and visionary research center
The first visit to the TRENDS pavilion at the Aqdar World Summit was paid by His Excellency Hussain bin Ibrahim Al-Hammadi, Minister of Education, and Her Excellency Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, both of whom expressed their appreciation for TRENDS’ publications, and its endeavours to disseminate knowledge and empower young people. His Excellency Al-Hammadi praised TRENDS, stressing that it was one of the most prestigious and visionary research centers.
Her Excellency Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid expressed her admiration for the research efforts carried out by TRENDS and expressed her desire to learn more about the center’s work and activities.
Visitors to the TRENDS pavilion included delegations from the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Department of Support at the Ministry of Interior, the Social Support Foundation, and the Manhal Platform.
Discussing research cooperation
Throughout the Summit, the TRENDS delegation also communicated with a number of institutions, including the Ministry of Possibilities, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the Jaheziya Foundation for Training and Consultations, alongside a number of international research centers, to discuss opportunities for cooperation and partnership in the field of scholarly research.
Three TRENDS researchers participate as speakers at the Aqdar World Summit
Knowledge and digital empowerment and its role in global citizenship
In his talk, Mr. Sultan Majed Al-Ali, Deputy Head of the Scientific Research Sector at TRENDS, addressed the issue of knowledge and digital empowerment and its role in promoting global positive nationalism. He said that the term “empowerment” has become a slogan for the most important movements of development and modernity in human societies, that it denotes the process of directing the exploitation of resources in a responsible manner, and that the uses of the term have expanded to encompass many fields. He added that it is now employed in every process intended to enhance the sharing of available resources such as knowledge, information, digital literacy and others.
Mr. Al-Ali then addressed knowledge empowerment and the importance of striving to empower human societies through the sharing of knowledge and information. He also addressed digital empowerment, defining it as continuous training in communication technology in order to develop national competencies in the production of digital educational content and to build a talented generation capable of creativity and innovation.
He explained that with the advent of digitization, we have seen an explosion of information, a growth in intellectual production, and an increase in the importance of information as a vital strategic resource, but that despite the promising prospects of communication technology in this digital age, we have witnessed reduced human contact as a result of this technology and have been exposed to an array of problems due to its misuse.
Mr. Al-Ali said that this has led to the emergence of the terms, “digital citizenship” and “digital education”, which refer to the responsible use of technology to protect users from the potential dangers of using technology, especially among young people and children, adding that these terms also encompass the use of communication technology to solve world problems.
He went on to propose ways to promote global citizenship through these two concepts, saying that one solution is to adopt mechanisms that encourage individuals to master knowledge and digital literacy skills, through reading and learning. He also stressed that building a generation that is passionate about exploring and learning is a necessary beginning to understand the challenges facing us in today’s world.
He pointed out that Expo 2020 constitutes an important platform for the kind of knowledge exchange and digital empowerment needed to address world problems, and that governmental and non-governmental initiatives such as the Aqdar Program can contribute to highlighting the importance of promoting global citizenship through fruitful dialogue with various representatives of the countries of the world with a view to creating a better world.
Understanding global citizenship drives positive action
TRENDS researcher, Rahaf Al-Khazraji, presented a working paper entitled “Concepts of global positive citizenship in addressing crises and disasters (the Corona pandemic)”, in which she defined global citizenship and explained that it requires individuals to understand social, environmental, economic, and political issues from a global perspective.
She stated that the ability of young people to change the world and live in a peaceful and tolerant country enhances their sense of global citizenship, which helps them to understand their obligations and responsibilities not only to their countries, but also to the world.
Ms. Al-Khazraji added that understanding the idea of global citizenship is critical, especially in this exceptional time and in the era of Covid-19, in which the world is facing the worst global health and economic crises it has known in its history, noting that the importance of this understanding lies in that it pushes people to act. In order to help the world overcome the pandemic, she said it is essential for citizens to cooperate with their governments by complying with laws and precautionary health measures to reduce infection rates around the world.
She concluded that understanding global citizenship makes us realize that one simple act can positively or negatively affect global efforts to combat the pandemic, adding that the UAE’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic locally and globally also constituted a major example of cooperation.
Harnessing creativity for the sake of both the environment and development
Dr. Mohamed Afifi, Senior Fellow at the Department of Economic Studies at TRENDS Research and Advisory, talked about the role of private companies in promoting “sustainable investment” opportunities.
He started his presentation by defining sustainable investment and explaining its different types. He then explained the differences between sustainable and unsustainable investments, and the link between these two types of investment in terms of sustainability and whether they complemented each other or competed with one another.
Dr. Afifi then went on to talk about the economic status of companies and their different classifications, followed by their types in terms of local and foreign; small, medium, and large; and agricultural, industrial and service-providing.
Lastly, he discussed the role of private companies in creating sustainable investment opportunities. He talked about how to create sustainable opportunities, the role of the national private sector in creating sustainability, and the role of foreign investment in transferring and localizing sustainability. He cited notable experiences and lessons learnt from the past, and stressed that for a future brimming with sustainable opportunities, we must work together toward a greener future.
He explained that the main problem facing any economy in generating sustainable investment opportunities is the intense conflict between profit and the environment. Dr. Afifi recommended allowing for the creation of a private sector – both local and foreign – that would offer sustainable investment opportunities.
Dr. Afifi concluded by saying that the digital transformation age has brought with it many benefits and opportunities for sustainable investments, and that we need to harness creativity for both the environment and development for a more sustainable future.