The Asian Business Leadership Forum (ABLF), Asia’s most influential leadership platform, concluded the First ABLF Talks Live Virtual Conclave of 2021 on January 18. As always, the conclave, held at the cutting-edge virtual venue ABLF City, saw rich participation from experts, economists, artists and UAE leaders who spoke about transformative leadership and its role in anchoring a brave new era for the Asian market, especially in the wake of the pandemic.
In his session titled ‘Rethinking Globalisation’, H.E. Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO, Dubai FDI, spoke about the circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 and the challenges and opportunities that accompanied it. He also highlighted how talent was going to make all the difference in the new era. “Talent is a game changer right now for investment companies to take a decision to go to destination A or B. This has been recognised by the UAE as a strategy for the country since a long time,” said H.E. Al Gergawi.
Later in the session titled ‘The Long Road to Economic Stability’, Dr Aaditya Mattoo, Chief Economist, East Asia and Pacific Region, World Bank, evaluated the impact of the pandemic on the livelihood of billions around the world, spotlighting sustainable solutions to stimulate recovery and return to financial stability. He highlighted the current global economic crisis and the challenges for the region in an engaging and informative session.
Dr Ayesha Khanna, CEO and Co-Founder, ADDO AI, Singapore, on ‘The Crisis: A catalyst for a tech-led future’, described the efforts of governments, banks, and international organisations to address the economic ramifications through increased use of technology and responsible use of AI while Gaurav Gupta, Co-Founder, Zomato, focused on how food delivery apps like Zomato stepped up to meet the challenges of the times through upgraded use of technology.
Alisha Moopen, Deputy Managing Director, Aster DM Healthcare, UAE, spoke about the mental health challenges that the pandemic presented but was positive about the situation with the vaccine coming in. “The year has started with positive news of vaccinations which has been fast-tracked by so many countries and the quickest to-market product we have ever seen in the history of mankind. Administering billions of people will require new models, coordination across partners and technology enablers to make this happen as quickly and effectively as possible,” Ms Moopen said. “The pandemic has fast-tracked technological adoption by almost 10 times and has turned the world into one virtual connected platform, bringing people closer together and providing an easy solution to many modern world problems.”
In the session ‘The UN SDGs: A Greater Urgency with Higher Stakes’ that takes a central spot at the ABLF Talks, Kathleen Rogers, President, EARTHDAY.ORG brought in a global perspective to the issue of climate change, opening the floor to a discussion on the responsibility of leaders to ensure environmental literacy, the key to sustainable development, along with with the agenda of embracing a green economy.
In the ABLF Talks session that is dedicated to soft power, ‘Global Storytellers at the ABLF’, Sacha Jafri, Visual Artist, and Humanitarian, spoke with passion about his ‘The Journey of Humanity’ and the global fundraising campaign he has instituted towards the welfare of children around the world. “The world is not technology-oriented, it is humanity oriented,” he said.
The new edition was supported by partners including the Ministry of Economy, SMART IEDEA, Aster DM Healthcare, FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry), Etisalat, Cicero & Bernay PR, Entrepreneur Middle East, Zee, WION, Arab News, MAA and Partners, and CNBC Arabia. The next edition of the Virtual Conclave will be held on February 9, 2021.