Riyadh event seeks to unify global efforts to develop human capabilities

Riyadh event seeks to unify global efforts to develop human capabilities
Riyadh event seeks to unify global efforts to develop human capabilities

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: The Saudi capital is set to host the first edition of the Human Capability Initiative on Feb. 28 and 29, an event seeking to empower and uplift capabilities for all. 

Touted to be the first-ever global cooperative platform designed to unify international efforts and enrich the global dialogue on the challenges and opportunities for developing human capabilities, HCI is being held under the patronage of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 

According to the HCI website, the event will explore opportunities in various areas including skill development, the future of work, education, talent, and technology. 

It will also bring together policymakers, thought leaders, investors, and entrepreneurs to catalyze international collaboration and maximize resilience, explore opportunities, and promote innovative policy design and solutions.

Global approach

The event will be held under the theme “Future Readiness,” and it will bring together 6,000 experts and decision-makers from around the world and more than 150 speakers from government, private, and nonprofit entities and national and international think tanks.

Speaking to Arab News, Anton Stepanenk, partner and associate director in Education, Employment, and Welfare for the Boston Consulting Group, said that forums like HCI will act as a cornerstone for identifying and scaling solutions for the benefit of Saudi Arabia and globally. 

“As all nations and all education businesses around the world are now working their way to come to terms with a new reality — extract all the value but avoid the pitfalls of using technology, global conferences such as HCI targeting global and national cooperation become an absolute cornerstone in identifying and scaling solutions for the benefit of Saudi Arabia and all learners in the world,” said Stepanenk. 

He added that HCI will witness various strategies being adopted to maximize international collaboration and engagement among policymakers. 

“On top of tools, old best practices exchange, and collective reflections on trends, risks, and opportunities, a few particular ways to collaborate with the comprehensive engagement of all stakeholders stand out — collective foresight into the future of the economy, work, and learning, design sessions to generate collaborative projects and initiatives, the launch of more permanent vehicles such as think tanks, global memorandums to name a few,” said Stepanenk. 

Prominent speakers

Some of the prominent speakers at the event are Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih, and Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Ahmad bin Sulaiman Al-Rajhi. 

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Alkhorayef and Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal Alibrahim will also speak at the event. 

Other prominent speakers at the event include Minister of Education Yousef Al-Benyan, who chairs the executive committee of the Human Capability Development Program, Princess Haifa bint Mohammed Al-Saud, the Kingdom’s vice minister of tourism, and Princess Nouf bint Mohammed, CEO of the King Khalid Foundation. 

The event will also feature several noted personalities from diverse sectors who will spearhead dynamic discussions centered around human capability development to prepare individuals for the challenges and opportunities of the future.

“HCI reflects Saudi Arabia’s vital role as a global convener to unleash human capabilities potential to drive progress and prosperity, not just within our borders, but across the globe. We are honored to welcome the world’s leading minds to HCI, bringing together the expertise and ingenuity we need today to drive future readiness,” said Anas Al-Mudaifer, CEO of the HCDP. 

He added: “HCI’s speaker lineup showcases the collective impetus across sectors to contribute to a sustainable global agenda that pioneers solutions for human capability development. Through collaborative dialogue, the insights and collaborations born here will ripple outwards, leaving a lasting impact and helping create a better tomorrow for all.” 

In January, HCI, in a press statement, revealed the names of insight partners for the event. 

According to the statement, some of the noted insight partners for the event are Bain & Co., IE Business School, KPMG, Kearney, LinkedIn, Oliver Wyman, and PwC. 

Talking about the theme of the forum “Future Readiness,” Stepanenk said: “Governments tend to be cautious in implementing innovations in the education space, and for a good reason. The best way forward would be to design and test innovative policies in neutral waters, such as global initiatives and projects.” 

He added: “The outcomes of these initiatives will then be appropriately measured, and results will be made available to the HCI stakeholders and participants as potentially recommended courses of action or future international guidelines.” 

Vision 2030 goals 

Organizing an event like HCI is a part of Saudi Arabia’s broader strategy outlined in Vision 2030 to empower the people of the Kingdom with sufficient opportunities for the future. 

The HCDP is one of the Saudi Vision 2030 realization programs dedicated to empowering Saudi citizens and elevating their global competitiveness.

“At the heart of Vision 2030 is a commitment to the nation’s most valuable asset: the people. Recognizing their potential and aspirations, Vision 2030 is dedicated to fostering an environment that nurtures talent, facilitates growth, and empowers everyone,” according to the HCI website. 

Stepanenk noted that forums like HCI will effectively address the intersectionality of skills, future work trends, education systems, talent development, and technology advancements to foster human capability development. 

“A fundamental way to address intersectionality is to involve stakeholders in co-creation sessions — foresight, workshops, and hackathons- and ensure the continuity of initiatives and ideas after the conference. This can be achieved by creating and advancing a global framework of the Future of the Workforce that the Human Capability Initiative can be a launch pad for,” said Stepanenk. 

It was in November 2023 that the Kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the launch of HCI. 

Following the launch, Al-Benyan said that the event is expected to act as a global cooperative platform that will catalyze international collaboration, enrich global dialogue in human capability development, and contribute to the development of human skills and a prosperous global economy. 

“The conference will discuss challenges facing human capabilities development in light of global changes and the most important skills required in the future global labor market, in addition to the impact of rapid developments in the digital and economic fields on human capabilities,” said Al-Benyan. 

He also added that HCI will address several crucial topics that will help drive new conversations on shaping policy, elevating private-public-third sector partnerships, and catalyzing investments at a global level in developing human capabilities.

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