26 October 2015 

International

A major summit labelled the world’s biggest brainstorming meeting is calling for innovative thinking to tackle global challenges.

The summit on the Global Agenda 2015 opens in Abu Dhabi, which is hosting the meeting for the third time, and looks at the impact of the technology age on decision making worldwide.

Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, said in the opening plenary of the forum’s eighth summit on the Global Agenda: “The new technology age, if we shape it and contribute to it in a responsive and responsible way, can catalyse a new cultural renaissance that will enable us to feel a part of something much larger than ourselves – a true global civilisation.”

But, added Schwab, this preparation requires thinking about the key global challenges “in an integrated way, with the public and private sectors working together: the best minds in the world. That is how we can define the issues in a strategic and proactive way and create possible solutions and action.”

Entrepreneurship and nimbleness will be important attributes of success in a world where changes are coming not in small waves but like a tsunami, Schwab argued. An important task is to ensure that the fast pace of innovation is matched by agility in setting rules, norms and standards for this evolving new world.

He added: “In the future it will not be the big fish that eat the small fish; it will be the fast fish that eat the slow fish.”

The Summit on the Global Agenda 2015 brings together more than 900 thought leaders and experts from business, government, civil society, academia and the media, who are among the members of the forum’s network of over 80 Global Agenda Councils. They are focused on finding innovative solutions and approaches to key global challenges, such as achieving inclusive growth and addressing climate change and natural resources security.

“Innovation is the driver of efficiency and sustainability,” said co-chair and minister of economy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sultan Saeed Nasser AlMansoori, in outlining the UAE’s drive to create a national culture of innovation. He stressed the need for collaboration.

“Solutions to some of the pressing global challenges lie in sincere partnership between rich and poor nations; between large, small and medium-sized enterprises; and between global organisations and specialised entities.”