Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation launches ‘KnowTalks’ series at London Book Fair
London: As part of its role as a leading institution in consolidating knowledge in regional and global societies, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) in collaboration with its knowledge partner, the United Nations Program Development (UNDP), is participating in the London Book Fair – one of the oldest international exhibitions in the world – hosting more than 20,000 publications.
The foundation pavilion highlights MBRF’s knowledge programs and projects in collaboration with strategic partners, including various Arabic and English editions of the Global Knowledge Index report and the Future of Knowledge Foresight report. It also features the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Prize, the Digital Knowledge Hub, Nobel Museums, and previous Knowledge Summit sessions.
Jamal Bin Huwaireb, CEO of MBRF, said, “The foundation seeks to consolidate its global leadership and continue its tireless efforts to cooperate with entities and organizations around the world by supporting and participating in major knowledge initiatives and events. . It maintains its active role, on a global scale, in the field of knowledge, in line with its vision to promote the diffusion of knowledge in societies to foresee the future and embrace innovation and knowledge entrepreneurship, contributing thus to the sustainable development of humanity.
“MBRF’s agenda at the London Book Fair includes the launch of the ‘Knowtalks’ series, which will continue throughout this year in collaboration with UNDP. The Knowtalks are the result of the foundation’s tireless efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic to continue working to explore opportunities and challenges to build knowledge societies,” he added.
The 2022 ‘Knowtalks’ series which was launched at the MBRF pavilion, aims to explore important current knowledge questions. The series has seen the participation of a group of eminent speakers and global analysts, who will present a range of innovative and different ideas on topics with global impacts, in collaboration with UNDP.
Day one of the 2022 “Knowtalks” series featured two panel discussions. One of them, entitled “Part-Human, Part Machine”, saw the participation of Dave Katz, co-founder at Intuizi and Learning Doctors.
Talking about the ideas of researchers and specialists giving more than 22 years to the future, Katz said: “In 2000 it was expected that people would become part human and part machine over the next 20 years. We were all shocked at the thought of this. Everyone expected us to have silicon chips in our brains after 20 years. This changes the human definition, but so far this has not happened although serious attempts are being made by scientists.
He explained that what distinguishes humans from other living creatures is conscious and creative thought, thanks to brain activities. “It is good to think differently about the nature of humanity in the future, a natural consequence of human evolution,” he said, adding that the world is keeping pace with an accelerated update aimed at to integrate technology in many fields, then in the In the near future, humans will not be far from becoming parts of machines.
Katz claimed that scientists so far have not been able to make a qualitative change in inserting microchips into the human body. But he expects there will be a breakthrough in the next 20 years, especially given the efforts of developers and scientists in brain techniques. He then reviewed the gradual development of mobile phones in recent years, which have become a major player in human life.
Katz gave a presentation on the difference between silicon brains and natural “organic” brains, noting that the integration of these two types in the future would advance human civilization’s ability to rid the world of challenges, due to silicon brains’ extended ability to collect data and information, process big data and extrapolate results, which would be combined with the creativity and intuition of organic brains.
He pointed out how the human race is about to witness a significant transformation over the next 40 years. He said, “A new reality will be shaped, where people will consider ethics and the collective interest due to the great conscience they have, which will help create a good future for the benefit of all.
“ICT for knowledge-based economies”
The second session, entitled “ICT for knowledge-based economies”, was presented by Tech4i CEO Paul Foley, who spoke about the importance for governments to facilitate access and use of internet among families in societies, given the positive implications this has on economies.
Foley reviewed studies by the European Commission on indicators of household Internet use and the increase in their level of coverage. He mentioned how they have allocated about 30 billion euros to help families access the Internet and underlined the importance of information and communication technologies (ICT) in communication and their valuable contribution to the suppression geographical barriers.
Foley also talked about how ICT has evolved since the start of the third millennium. He said: “Things have changed very much and there is now what is called the digital economy, which is essentially based on ICT. Along with social media, digital banking, healthcare, and buying and selling, it also allows us to experience journalism and newspapers. Therefore, no one should be excluded and everyone should have guaranteed internet access.
Foley noted how ICT has provided great opportunities for businesses of all sizes, helping them develop innovative products and services and access many different geographic markets. He said: “The world has been blessed with the internet for the past couple of years as it has played a major role in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. Considering the 25-30% increase in internet usage per week, steps should be taken to create more initiatives, legislation and policies to increase internet access. The global commitment to guarantee access to Internet services for all is the need of the hour.
Foley further stated that ICT provides a lot of important information about the nature of user behavior, which benefits businesses and telecommunications companies, creating positive implications for the digital economy. Investment in the sector would be sustainable and yield good results, especially because the sector serves as the backbone of all sectors, enabling governments and policy makers to take appropriate decisions.
He said, “Knowledge is essential to accomplish many projects and tasks, but some industries and projects depend on productivity rather than knowledge, turning knowledge into a relative process. Countries need to develop indicators and measure available data and information with clear strategies, to rebalance and recognize the importance of the sector to government and the need to use it well, given that the sector is based on profits and The well-being.
Finally, Foley underscored the importance of gender equality in the ICT sector, noting that the sector was confined to men, but over time women have assumed key roles. He believed there was an urgent need for equality and opportunity for women.