Global Leaders Need to Embrace Digitization to Deliver True Value

INSEAD Alumni Leaders Forum held in the UAE discusses wide-reaching effects of technology disruption

Middle East
04 September 2016

Arabic Version 

INSEAD Alumni Association in the UAE held its first Alumni Leaders Forum in the United Arab Emirates on September 21 at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The event, attended by more than 250 delegates including alumni from INSEAD and other leading business schools, key government officials, influencers and prominent business leaders, focused on changes brought about by disruptive innovation and the transformative effect of technology and innovation in everyday life.

Simran Kaur, President, INSEAD UAE Alumni Association opened the event outlining the National Alumni Association’s objective to maintain an active alumni network in the United Arab Emirates through business and social activities, with the aim of extending the INSEAD experience in the community and contributing towards a forward-thinking and skillful workforce in  the region.

Declan Fitzsimons, Adjunct Professor of Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD spoke about how the idea of leadership is evolving in an increasingly complex world. He also shed light on INSEAD’s Global Innovation Index (GII) and the UAE’s strong position in it - UAE ranked 41st globally and the highest in the region.  According to the index, the Northern Africa and Western Asia region shows its highest average scores in ICT access and ICT-driven business model creation, as well as in e-government, and productivity growth. Fitzsimons said, “In an era of the digitization of everything, it is important for leadership across the world to account for this wave of technology disruption that presents risks and opportunities and is changing the way people both produce and consume goods and services. The ones who triumph will be those that ride this wave. Dubai is among those who are trailblazing such a form of engagement. It is crucial for global leadership to be involved similarly if they are to make any impactful contribution for a more equal and happier world.”

In his opening keynote speech, H.E. Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber, expressed his appreciation for Dubai’s role as a hub for startups that are furthering local innovation and entrepreneurship stating, “Dubai has made considerable headway in its vision to become the smartest city in the world and a knowledge-based economy, as outlined in the Dubai Plan 2021. As Expo 2020 approaches, we can look forward to the various initiatives that the Government is implementing through its pro-active and entrepreneurial approach that has created a culture of openness, transparency and collaboration, encouraging engagement from the community. To complement this, Dubai Chamber has adopted a comprehensive strategy to stimulate innovation within the organization and the business community as well.”

He also provided an overview of the Chamber's various entrepreneurial programmes that support SMEs, such as Tejar Dubai and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Innovation Award.

Zeina Sleiman, Associate Director Institutional Relations and Alumni Affairs at INSEAD added, “The Alumni Forum has proven to be a great platform for knowledge transfer and in promoting cross-pollination between industries, while bringing together leading experts from across industries, and functions in the business. Such a multifaceted platform connects business leaders and influencers to promote engagement and knowledge sharing.” Similarly, the celebration of Global INSEAD Day earlier this month brought alumni together to celebrate the shared INSEAD experience and the INSEAD spirit worldwide.

The forum was hosted by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and sponsored by UAE Exchange, Philips, Mundipharma. The agenda included roundtables and panel discussions which gave participating executives the opportunity to share their thoughts and experiences on topics such as digitization, artificial intelligence, Industry 4.0, fintech, online retail, autonomous vehicles, digital healthcare and entrepreneurship. 

About INSEAD, The Business School for the World

As one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools, INSEAD brings together people, cultures and ideas to develop responsible leaders who transform business and society. Our research, teaching and partnerships reflect this global perspective and cultural diversity.

With locations in Europe (France), Asia (Singapore), the Middle East (Abu Dhabi), and now North America (San Francisco), INSEAD's business education and research spans four regions. Our 165 renowned Faculty members from 41 countries inspire more than 1,300 degree participants annually in our MBA, Global Executive MBA, Specialised Master’s degrees (Executive Master in Finance and Executive Master in Change) and PhD programmes. In addition, more than 11,000 executives participate in INSEAD Executive Education programmes each year.

INSEAD continues to conduct cutting-edge research and innovate across all our programmes. We provide business leaders with the knowledge and awareness to operate anywhere. Our core values drive academic excellence and serve the global community as The Business School for the World.

Contacts for press

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