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RIYADH: With its theme “Transformation of Generations”, this year’s Misk Global Forum aims to have an impact on a global scale by encouraging intergenerational conversations that can pave the way for positive change, according to a director of senior researcher at the Misk Foundation.
“’Generation Transformation’ is the idea and mindset that it’s not just one generation that is driving change, it’s actually everyone coming together; baby boomers, millennials, millennials, generation Z, are coming together to create meaningful and impactful change,” Amani Alkhiami told Arab News.
The two-day Misk Global Forum at the King Abdulaziz International Conference Center in Riyadh, which concluded on Thursday, is the Misk Foundation’s flagship global event. Established in 2016, the forum brings together industry experts, new and established leaders, entrepreneurs and creators of all ages to discuss innovative ways to address the challenges associated with change.
Discussions at this year’s event have been described as a “multi-generational dialogue to break down barriers and inspire change”, on topics including embracing transformation, sport for all, gender equality , quality education, philanthropy, happiness and money.
“We are all responsible; we all have a seat in the car, driving change, but what we’re trying to do with Generation Transformation is put young people in the driver’s seat, pull and push for change and drive for the change with all the other generations, together,” Alkhiami said.
“We, as a younger generation, need to stop blaming older generations for the mistakes of the past, and instead help them and take their hands to really work together to build the future we want.”
She added that various activities designed to encourage and strengthen these intergenerational conversations and exchange of ideas will continue after the forum concludes.
This year’s event included skills labs with workshops and sessions to help young people develop their skills, expertise and talents.
“We have two skill labs and each skill lab hosts around 10 different workshops,” Alkhiami said. “We have topics (like) looking at things creatively, we have podcasting, we have things about computer design and coding and development, so there’s so much… different stuff and we’ve got it. ‘ve done by design, to make sure there’s a place for everyone.
A “Meet the Leader” initiative at this year’s forum was designed to give delegates the chance to hear and be inspired by the stories and first-hand experiences of people who are already making an impact.
“’Meet the Leader’ offers unique conversations with key leaders from our country, but also from around the world; listen to them and really learn from their wisdom in this generational dialogue,” Alkhiami said.
Another part of the forum, called Majlis, provided an opportunity for a more personal and intimate dialogue on topics such as mental health and well-being, and to understand your presence in real life and the virtual world.
“We also have the Founder’s Cafe, which examines business founders, entrepreneurs, how to start and how to grow, and how to go from idea to activation to actually build your business,” Alkhiami said.
The Misk Global Forum also offered career clinics open to all attendees wishing to discuss ways to develop or expand their careers.
“Our career clinics are really a ‘module’ for people who need support to understand where they can go in life,” Alkhiami said. “They can bring their resume and sit down with a career coach to help them figure out where they need to go.”
All initiatives and sessions were designed to help pave the way for positive change through intergenerational conversations and the sharing of expertise, wisdom and insights, she added.
“The fact that young people come together to dialogue, network and listen and become better listeners and better active agents of change is in itself the result of this forum,” said Alkhiami.
“We really looked at the global conversations around the world, the issues facing young people today, and the biggest issue was that the generations weren’t talking to each other and each generation was blaming the other generations for what they had said.”