No matter where we look, the youth is changing the world. Whether it’s revamping the fashion industry, initiating discussions about climate change, or increasing representation in films, this generation of young people is making a lasting impact on an international scale.
The Misk Foundation, a non-profit philanthropic organization established by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, recognized this potential and began the Misk Global Forum. The conference is centered around empowering local youth under the age of 35 to become active participants in social, economic, and cultural world development and encouraging open discourse between the leaders of today and tomorrow. Focusing on future skills, entrepreneurship, global citizenship, and employment to help drive positive social change, the forum aims to cultivate young leaders through exciting talks, workshops, and majlis-style group discussions. In previous years, more than 3,500 delegates attended the Misk Global Forum, listening to 130 speakers from 85 countries, including HM Queen Rania of Jordan and Bill Gates.
This year marks the fourth edition of the annual forum, bringing renowned speakers from around the globe to Riyadh on November 12-14 for this interactive platform, including Vogue Arabia’s Editor-in-Chief Manuel Arnaut, who will be moderating a session. Vogue Arabia’s managing editor Alexandria Gouveia, commercial director Rana Hatem, and fashion director Katie Trotter will also be hosting a Vogue masterclass, giving an exclusive inside glimpse into the fashion behemoth.
According to the World Economic Forum, 65 percent of children starting primary school today are expected to have a job that is yet to exist. With the theme of the foundation’s 2019 flagship event being Work Reworked, the forum will specifically explore upcoming transformations in the workforce pool, how developing technology will affect the current workflow, and implementing new trends to redesign the workspace in an effort to equip youth with the skills needed to tackle the changing professional realm.
“We thought it would be really interesting to talk about how work is being reworked, how the jobs of today are not going to be here tomorrow, how we need to enhance and elevate what makes us human,” says Shaima Hamidaddin, executive manager of the Misk Global Forum.
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With the rise of artificial intelligence and other machine-learning tools, some feel threatened their jobs will become redundant, but Hamidaddin explains that although we should become more digitally adept since technology will infiltrate every facet of the workplace, this also gives humans the opportunity to capitalize on the traits that make us, in fact, human.
“Maybe the redundant, labor-intensive jobs are going to go out—but what makes us human is the innovation and creativity,” said Hamidaddin. “That’s what we should be doing. So it’s shifting that focus: don’t be afraid that jobs will change; you need to focus on how you can prepare yourself.”
Not to be missed is the Entrepreneurship World Cup, the largest global start-up pitch competition, featuring 110,000 entrepreneurs from 180 countries vying to be the world’s best young entrepreneur. A multi-disciplinary competition with startups from all walks of life including energy and education, to robotics and retail sectors, the 107 winners from the national finals held in 100 different countries ahead of the forum will compete at the global finals during this two-day event for the opportunity to receive life-changing investment opportunities, an international network of mentors, and other indispensable resources to bring their innovative ideas into fruition.
The 2019 Misk Global Forum takes place November 12-14 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.