Arab education and business leaders meeting in Dubai called for better policies to foster innovation to tackle unemployment and other major challenges.
The three-day 2022 QS Higher Ed Summit: the Middle East and Africa opened on March 1 under the theme “Innovation Enabling Environments”.
In his opening speech, Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, chancellor of the United Arab Emirates University and adviser for cultural affairs at the U.A.E. Ministry of Presidential Affairs, said, “The primary mission of university is to stimulate critical and creative thought and to enable problem solving.”
In a policy discussion panel, Salah Khalil, a social entrepreneur, said the cost of failing to provide people with new work skills had been hugely underestimated.
Khalil is the founder of Macat International, a company that measures and develops critical thinking skills.
“The latest reports by the World Economic Forum, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Ernst and Young point to global-scale crises that are going to take place in 2030,” Khalil said. “The narrative is like this: If 85 million people from the global workforce—which is 3.7 billion people—do not get a form of skilling and upskilling, it will cost the world 8.5 trillion dollars.”