U.S. President Obama Opens the World Government Summit - Day One Recap

Feb 08, 2016, 17:59 ET from World Government Summit

More than 3,000 attendees address global challenges and solutions shaping tomorrow's societies

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Feb. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The World Government Summit (WGS) commenced here today, welcoming 3,000 attendees from 125 countries to Dubai's Madinat Jumeirah Hotel.

U.S. President Barack Obama opened the Summit by video conference, underscoring the importance of the event and the need for global collaboration. To highlight the Summit's theme, 'Shaping Future Governments,' President Obama said: "Our countries can learn from each other … We can make our governments even more responsive and accountable for our successors."

Additional highlights from day one include:

  • His Excellency Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the WGS, delivered a keynote emphasizing that "human beings will always pursue happiness; therefore, the message of all governments should be the happiness of humanity."
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, drew parallels between the United States in 1960s, which was termed the 'Time of Technological Hope,' and present day United Arab Emirates (UAE).
  • Leading a discussion on the 'Forgotten Legacy of Arabic Science', Jim Al-Kalili, an Iraqi-born British professor of physics at the University of Surrey, said: "We need to regain a sense of curiosity and encourage a spirit of open and rational inquiry, one that was depicted in the Golden Age of Islam."
  • Tim O'Reilly, Founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, addressed citizen engagement and smarter public services, noting: "People's perception and expectation for service have expanded tremendously … many governments around the world are shifting towards providing new platforms for citizen engagement."
  • In the session, "Are We Safe in a Digital World," Rod Beckstrom, Cyber Security Expert and former President and CEO of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), highlighted doomsday scenarios, today's threat landscape, and how cyber-attacks can disable industrial and defense systems.
  • Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, delivered the session, "The Dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution," noting that "Governments must put the whole emphasis on the development of human capital…Capitalism in some ways has been replaced by talent-ism."

About the World Government Summit

Since 2013, the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has hosted an annual event on the future of government. For additional details, go to: https://worldgovernmentsummit.org/. Follow us on Twitter at @WorldGovSummit; #WorldGovSummit.


SOURCE World Government Summit