The World Government Summit is an annual event held in Dubai that brings together leaders from government, business and education to discuss solutions to world scale problems, with a strong focus on technology and innvovation.
A delegation from Saïd Business School attended, including Dean Peter Tufano, Dina Dommett, Jan Emmanuel De Neve and current MBA, DPhil students and alumni. A white paper titled Transforming Public Services in the UAE was presented by Saïd Business School to the UAE government during the summit, and Peter Tufano took part in a round table discussion with Deans from business schools across the world.
‘The World Government Summit was a magnificent event that exemplified the spirt of innovation in government, business and society,’ said Peter Tufano. ‘As a School, we produced a white paper on new models of service delivery, our research on happiness measures was central to the discussion of using alternatives to GDP to measure a nation’s well-being, and our work with the Prime Minister’s Office is pushing forward a scenario-planning approach to considering the future of the UAE.’
During the conference itself, the student and alumni delegation entered a ‘University Challenge,’ in which they were tasked with creating a presentation about what a future government should look like.
‘We separated into groups and were given five hours to come up with a presentation that was seven minutes long, with one person presenting,’ said MBA 2015 alumna Alexia Doyamis. ‘The trick was to think outside the box, and our proposal centred on harnessing innovation and managing disruption, as well as using a fresh approach to training for government employees. Sadly, we lost out to the Harvard School of Government. Perhaps that’s not surprising given where their focus lies, but competing was a wonderful experience.’
As well as taking part in the competition, the student and alumni delegation had the opportunity to explore both the conference and the city of Dubai. MBA alumna Justine Gamez said that ‘given the unexpected political and social shifts occurring throughout the world, the conference stretched our thinking to not only react to these changes, but also be better prepared to predict and adjust to them before they happen. There was a common understanding that the complex problems of today cannot be solved by one government or business alone.’ Dphil student Dr. Laurel Steinfield stated that it was ‘a fantastic opportunity to engage with forward thinking practitioners, academics, and government officials.’
‘We heard from the most amazing speakers, including Christine Lagarde and António Guterres,’ said Alexia. ‘I want to move into international development, so it was great to hear the thought leadership coming out of that space.’
‘From the announced set of drone vehicles, to the constant emphasis on innovation, to the speakers from Reid Hoffman (Oxonian, Founder of LinkedIn, and Senior Advisor to the Oxford Foundry) to Elon Musk (Tesla and SpaceX), I came away from the World Government Summit with a sense of the possible,’ said Peter Tufano.