The Change-Makers Forum, hosted by Ericsson, brought together an eclectic group of professionals including the founder of Wikipedia, the CEOs of STC, Etisalat and Du, and the group TV director of MBC yesterday.
The event, which attracted a large crowd of telecoms and media professionals, focused on the changes and opportunities being wrought by modern broadband technology.
Speaking about harnessing the power of social media, Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia, said: “As the internet continues to grow and change at exponential rates, open-source, open-content technology will affect the fundamental ways that businesses interact with customers, distributors, suppliers, and the public in the future.”
Ari Kesisoglu, regional director, Africa, Middle East & Turkey at Facebook, delivered a keynote address confirming one of the recently announced 10 hot consumer trends by Ericsson’s ConsumerLab discovering that social networks may become the preferred way to contact emergency services. “It is critical for businesses and individuals to understand the impact of the technological transformation. If we examine social networking tools, for example, they represent just the beginning of a new era of communication that could lead to unimagined ways of finding and interacting with one another. At Facebook, an organization at the forefront of social media innovation, we recognise that we currently stand on the edge of a new world of limitless possibilities. We know that the future of social networking will take us somewhere exciting,” he said.
Christopher Mikkelsen, Co-founder Refugees United, described his experience in seeing mobile technology change people's lives in many countries around the world connecting thousands of families of refugees. “Before Refugees United, the options for people who were searching for loved ones were very limited, often leaving them disengaged, uninformed and feeling powerless. This is a clear example of how technology can change people’s lives,” he said.
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Delegates at the event shared common themes related to the transformation of business models across industries. One of the industries discussed was transportation whereby Magnus Olsson, co-founder and chief navigator at Careem, presented to the audience how business models are radically transforming enabling new growth opportunities. “I am proud to say that Careem has grown to become one of the leading car booking services in the Middle East. This new business model is changing our society’s economic landscape allowing entrepreneurs to explore brand new business opportunities that we are witnessing for the first time,” he added.
Rafiah Ibrahim, president of Ericsson, Middle East and Africa, said: “ICT is transforming the way people work and communicate. People’s lifestyles are changing; we are using more data to access products and services. And we want the best experience when doing that. And as devices are online and interacting, and as mobile broadband unite with cloud services, every industry that we represent today will find itself in a new reality. At the Change-Makers Forum, we discussed the need to anticipate what the consumer wants, and create consumer needs. In short, when disruption accelerates, we need to anticipate change and act to remain relevant.”
Ericsson’s Change-Makers Forum, was held in Dubai UAE on January 10th, 2016 at the Sofitel, the Palm hotel under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman, and Chief Executive Emirates Airline and Group Dubai Aviation City. The exclusive event was attended by CEOs, CXOs, leading entrepreneurs, and thought leaders.