Nuqat, one of the region’s largest creative platforms, made an impactful return this week with its annual conference under the theme “The Seventh Sense Powering the Creative Economy”. The Kuwait-based non-profit organization was founded in 2009 by Lebanese Wakim Zeidan and Kuwaitis Sara Al Nafisi, Hussa Al Humaidhi, and Dana Al Hilal to harness the development of creativity, foster dialogue and enrich communities with new ideas.
Currently under way at Kuwait’s Amricani Cultural Centre, the seventh edition is packed with talks and panel discussions by illuminating speakers from the likes of Her Excellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs of the United Arab Emirates and Chairwoman of the Media Zone Authority-Abu Dhabi, who talks about cultivating a creative economy through developing talent and recognizing inspiration. Also on the agenda is Nolan Bushnell, the co-founder of Atari, who takes the audience into the future by touching on the possibilities of virtual reality. In addition to the talks (which are all accessible via livestream), interactive workshops, concerts, and entertainment are set in place during the week-long forum.
Nuqat’s goal is to invest in the most sustainable resource, the human mind; to solve problems pragmatically; and create independency from depending on tangible materials that can diminish with time. Speaking to Vogue Arabia, Sarah Al Nafisi says, “The aim is to shift the perception of value from something tangible into the intangible. We want to start the conversation for various industries to integrate creative thinking as its core, and see it as a way to address issues not from a specialized point of view, but a comprehensive one.”
Certainly, since its establishment, Nuqat has gained a vast following that draws in a diverse mix of attendees from across the Gulf and the Middle East. Last year, the conference saw an attendance of over 4,000 and this year that number is expected to double. “The turnout was insane. Nearly all the talks we’ve had was a full house with about 600 attendees per lecture,” shares Hussa Al Humaidhi.
Nuqat’s dream team are particularly struck to see people transform right in front of them. “One girl who worked in public relations has been attending the conference every year since 2010, and through Nuqat she started to follow her passion, which was photography,” Reminisces Al Nafisi. “She became a professional street photographer, had her own solo gallery last year, published a book a few months ago, and now she’s doing her MFA.”
The conference’s emphasis on sparking curiosity and igniting a flame to pursue one’s creative passion is paramount. “There was a group of Bahraini girls that came up to me after one of the talks and told me that after last year’s conference they quit their jobs and started their own business. They also said that Nuqat changed their life and their view on life,” says Al Humaidhi with a beaming smile.