The Asian Business Leadership Forum (ABLF), Asia's most influential leadership platform that has historically brought the finest global leaders to the UAE, celebrates its 13th anniversary with the launch of the ABLF TALKS LIVE, a series of 6 virtual conclaves across 6 months, filled with knowledge sharing activities - roundtables, high-level networking, workshops and unique masterclasses, featuring world-renowned policymakers, thinkers and industry leaders in engaging conversations of consequence.
Under the theme ‘Innovative Strategies for a Decade of Challenges: Asia 2020-2030’, the ABLF TALKS LIVE will be held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Cabinet Member and Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, UAE, and in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Economy.
With important subjects in focus every month from October 2020 to March 2021, the ABLF TALKS LIVE will be hosted at the ABLF City, the permanent virtual venue of the UAE-born, global leadership event series that will be powered by the SMART IEDEA virtual platform.
“As the pandemic affects the way people live and work, innovative solutions to bring government and business leaders together as a singular global community to address the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead is an excellent idea. I am delighted that the ABLF, as a UAE-based global leadership platform, is pioneering a virtual leadership series - the ABLF TALKS LIVE,” said His Highness Sheikh Nahayan, the ABLF presiding Patron since the platform’s inception in 2007.
The ABLF TALKS LIVE will be an ongoing year-long programme designed to stay on the pulse of the global economy and help shape a better future for Asia. Following a half-day format to be held every month for 6 months, each ABLF TALKS LIVE session is poised to engage more than 100 global speakers and over 30,000 curated participants from across 33 Asian nations – strategists, experts, students and influencers, high-profile individuals and investors including the ABLF Alumni and Partner Network who manage cumulative revenues of over $1.5 trillion.
The inaugural Virtual Event on October 6, 2020 features a keynote address by the Patron as well as engaging sessions with; H.E. Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Cabinet Member and Minister of Economy, UAE; H.E. Eng Suhail Faraj Al Mazrouei, Cabinet Member and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, UAE; Hon. Joy Kabatsi, Minister of State for Transport and Cabinet Member, Uganda; H.E. Younis Haji Al Khouri, Undersecretary, Ministry of Finance, UAE; H.E. Dr Tariq Al Gurg, CEO, Dubai Cares, UAE; Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO; Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director, World Economic Forum; Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director, Expo2020 Commissioner General Office; Khalfan Belhoul, CEO, Dubai Future Foundation, UAE; Dr Preetha Reddy, Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited; Jay Walder, CEO and Board Member, Virgin Hyperloop One; and Mustafa Bosca, Managing Director and Partner ME, BCG.
Set to host online debates and discussions among leadership icons across the public, private and social sectors, the ABLF TALKS LIVE will serve as the premier platform to identify solutions for today’s socio-economic issues, explore growth opportunities, enable innovation and disruptive technologies and address the challenges of the people of the region.
“Through the ABLF TALKS LIVE, the UAE Ministry of Economy looks forward to taking part in ABLF’s endeavour to further the discourse on the future of the global economy and facilitate intra-Asia multisectoral collaboration. For more than a decade, the ABLF has demonstrated the significant role of Asia as the power centre of global growth.,” said H.E. Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Cabinet Member and Minister of Economy, UAE.
The launch of the ABLF TALKS LIVE comes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as the ABLF has fast-tracked the leadership platform’s digital presence as a sustainable alternative to its ‘in-person’ event format. Engaging its strong, inclusive and ever-expanding networks, the ABLF continues to play a catalytic role in ensuring that the critical issues that threaten Asia’s progress are not left unaddressed.
"While 2020 has been a year of unprecedented global challenges, the ABLF continues to innovate and transform amidst the current socio-economic, cultural and technological zeitgeist. We strive to inspire, encourage, advise and offer solutions to policymakers and industry leaders to adapt to the new market conditions and thrive in the global marketplace,” said Malini N. Menon, Co-Founder and President of the ABLF, “As always, the response to the new season and the pivot to the virtual medium has been received well. We hope to pick up on the quality of the virtual experience by upgrading the webinar/webcast solutions to a more advanced interface, which is what has been done. This enables multiple engagements concurrently at the event with single virtual ecosystem through SMART IEDEA, our technology company that is managing some of the UAE’s large format, high-profile events currently”
The ABLF City, the permanent virtual venue of the ABLF, has been designed with the help of top architects and virtual designers and offers a creatively envisioned space contained within an island inspired by the iconic buildings of Asia as an acknowledgment of the influence of the region’s formidable soft power. Accessed by a virtual bridge that pays tribute to Dubai’s celebrated Tolerance Bridge, the ABLF’s Dome, the central feature of the City is a salute to one of Asia’s iconic Performing Arts centres. The virtual Atrium leading to the Congress Centre and the Auditorium are dedicated to the UAE’s leadership legacy, the late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Father of the Nation and Founding President of the UAE, and the late H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Former Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and the immense wisdom of their leadership that has established the UAE as a shining star among the global firmament of nations.
As an acknowledgement to the historic peace accord that was signed on September 15, 2020, led by the UAE, and to welcome Israel, the ABLF City will also pay tribute to the leadership of the UAE through several features that will celebrate this time. The grand reveal is scheduled for 11:30 AM on October 6, 2020.
The current state of the global economy will be explored in Session 1: ‘The Long Road to Economic Stability’ while the interdependence that currently exists between the Asian region and the global economy will be covered in Session 2: ‘Rethinking Globalisation. The New Future.’ The impact of the pandemic on the UN SDGs will be tackled in Session 3: ‘The UN SDGs: A Greater Urgency with Higher Stakes’. Session 4: ‘The Crisis: A Catalyst for a Tech-led Future’ will look into the role of technology in bridging conversations between governments, organisations and individuals in the age of the pandemic. Session 5: ‘Future of Mobility’ will engage global industry leaders in a key conversation on smarter mobility options for the new economy. The state of banks and financial institutions as spending habits are changing and market needs are evolving, will be discussed in Session 6: ‘Fast-tracking Financial Inclusion for the Digital Economy’. The need for resilient leaders as governments and businesses explore the tools available to stay afloat amidst the crisis, will be examined in Session 7: ‘A Time for Resilient Leadership’.
Among the notable members of the ABLF network who have participated in past editions are H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Mother of the Nation, UAE; H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airlines and Group; H.E. Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Former Prime Minister, Malaysia; H.E. Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, UAE, and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau; H.E. Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Cabinet Member and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and CEO, ADNOC; H.E. Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Group CEO and Managing Director, Mubadala, and Chairman, Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority; H.E. Mona Al Marri, Director General, Dubai Media Office; Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Trusts; Gopichand P. Hinduja, Co-Chairman, Hinduja Group of Companies, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group, India; and Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, Chairman and Managing Director, Serum Institute of India.
Partners at the ABLF TALKS LIVE include Etisalat, CNBC Arabia, Cicero & Bernay Public Relations and Entrepreneur Middle East.