Since the launch of Saudi Vision 2030 last year by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, the focus on entrepreneurship, youth and philanthropy has been at the forefront of much of development and excitement inside the Kingdom. This week, the MISK Global Forum will gather thousands of people from across the globe in Riyadh, who want to help expand these horizons and opportunities within Saudi Arabia.
Established in 2016, The MISK Foundation is a non-profit philanthropic foundation established by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to discover, develop and empower Saudi youth to become active participants in the knowledge economy. So, it should be no surprise that one of the world’s leading philanthropists – Bill Gates – will be attending and speaking at the the highly coveted forum.
Meeting the challenge of change has been at the forefront of The Gates Foundation since it was founded in 2000, and is said to be the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world. Its motto is, “All lives have equal value. We are impatient optimists working to reduce inequity.” Of his charitable work, Bill Gates, who has personally donated $28 billion of his own money said, “Effective philanthropy requires a lot of time and creativity. The same kind of skills and focus building a business requires.”
That’s exactly the idea behind the MISK Global Forum – by bringing young leaders, creators and thinkers together with established global innovators to explore, experience and experiment with ways to meet the challenge of change.
The list of those attending this year’s forum reads like a who’s who of some of the best known people in the world. They include Queen Rania of Jordan who’s efforts to simultaneously challenge stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims, and promote greater understanding and acceptance between people of all faiths and cultures, have won her global recognition. From the areas of business, those attending include leaders of Linkedin, Skype, Twitter and Google, as well as officials from some of the best known universities in the world including Harvard and MIT.
As they gather for the two-day event in Riyadh, this year’s participants will look across the spectrum of challenges in this change, unearthing the wealth of opportunities that exist within four key areas: health, working, learning and contributing. Some of the questions they hope to answer include, What is the payoff between more traditional forms of employment and the more dynamic freelancing opportunities that are becoming increasingly prevalent? When change is constant, how best to integrate the right lifelong learning subjects and practices in order to achieve success? How can people engage with their communities to deliver wider and more sustained positive impacts?
The MISK Global Forum is really a gathering for Saudi youth, so the audience of future young leaders, innovators, policy makers and thinkers, and truly explore the in depth challenges young people face in today’s changing world. It’s no coincidence Bill Gates once said, “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” This week Riyadh will be the place to help empower future generations, and perhaps most importantly of all, help those with dreams to fulfill them. It was after all Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman who said this during an interview last year with The Economist, “My dream as a young man in Saudi Arabia, and the dreams of men in Saudi Arabia are so many, and I try to compete with them and their dreams, and they compete with mine, to create a better Saudi Arabia.” This conference and gathering is a step in that direction.