The fifth edition of the Misk Global Forum (MGF) has begun, with people from around the world coming together to discuss The Ripple Effect, examining the individual actions that lead to global impacts that grow and inspire youth.
The MGF brings together new and established innovators, creators and thinkers from around the world to share insights, discuss issues and enable young people to gain actionable skills. Due to Covid-19, this year's annual gathering is mainly taking place online.
In her introductory remarks, Shaima Hamidaddin, the Misk Global Forum's Executive Manager, said: "This year’s MGF is a special edition – a response to Covid-19. The pandemic has swept over us as a tidal wave of change, but there is momentum to build a more engaged, more sustainable, and more balanced future.”
She added: "This year’s special edition of MGF is focusing on ‘the Ripple Effect.’ It’s about how our daily actions amplify each other so that ripples spread out from community to community, country to country, continent to continent to become waves of change around the world. MGF is about ensuring you have the skills, the networks, and the experience to make those ripples."
Other speakers during day one of the MGF included Alain Dehaze, the Adecco Group's CEO. "There is no doubt that the impact of Covid-19 on the world of work will not only dramatically change people’s expectations but also accelerate existing workforce trends," he said. "In other words the world of work will never return to the normal we knew before the pandemic struck.
"We are currently in a unique scenario - on one hand we have large numbers of people unemployed and on the other hand rapidly evolving and growing skills gaps. It shows the importance of reskilling and lifelong learning as a way of staying relevant and up-to-date."
Later on, Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International, Switzerland discussed the topic of waste over haste. He said: "The evidence of the impact we are having on the planet has never been greater. What we should advocate now is a clear set of targets that governments and business need to actually deliver.
"What we need in the next 10 years are carbon neutral, zero net emissions in terms of greenhouse gases. Those are the North Star and the Southern Cross that everyone - government, business, and individuals - should embrace."
The MGF is for the second time hosting the Global Finals of the Entrepreneurship World Cup, one of the world’s largest and most diverse pitch competition and support platform for entrepreneurs and startups of all stages.
Over the course of 2020, 175,000 entrants from 200 countries were narrowed down through national and regional finals to 100 startups.
Throughout day one of the MGF, the remaining 100 startups competed against each other until 10 contestants remained.
The final ten are:
BrightSign - Saudi Arabia;
Ecovery Holdings – Colombia;
Evo&co – Indonesia;
Genecis Bioindustries Inc. – Canada;
FLITE Material Sciences – Canada;
Key2enable Assistive Technology - United Arab Emirates;
Rubitection - United States;
TurtleTree Labs – Singapore;
Vuetech Health Innovations - United States; and
Zafree Papers – Ethiopia.
Details about each individual company can be found on the EWC website here.
These ten remaining contestants will take part tomorrow in a knock-out session in the main plenary of the MGF annual gathering. They are competing for a share of $1 million in cash prizes – $500,000 for first place, $250,000 for second place and $100,000 for third place. In addition, a cash prize of $50,000 will be awarded to one top scoring startup from each of the following categories: idea stage; early stage; and growth stage. There is also a new social entrepreneurship category for this year's competition. Each of the EWC 100 startup finalists will also receive a package of in-kind services valued at $850,000 each.
The other speakers during the MGF's first day included:
Joe Kaeser, President & CEO, Siemens AG;
Cesc Fàbregas, Football Player, AS Monaco FC;
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Former Minister of Finance, Board Chair, Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, Nigeria;
David Rosenberg, CEO & Co-Founder, AeroFarms;
Youngcho Chi, President & Chief Innovation Officer, Hyundai Motor Group;
Michael Peter, CEO, Siemens Mobility; and
Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO, VaynerMedia. -- Tradearabia News Service