- UAE educators gather at Visa’s Innovation Center in Dubai to discuss role of the education sector in enabling students to play key roles in support of the UAE government’s innovation drive
- Discussion centered around key themes: quantifiable metrics to measure innovation; the role of education in driving innovation; and how the private sector can support students in their path to becoming successful professionals and entrepreneurs
Dubai, UAE; 1 March, 2018: Visa (NYSE:V), the world leader in digital payments, concluded its UAE Innovation Month series with a panel discussion this week in its Innovation Center in Dubai. Entitled Empowering Tomorrow’s Innovation Leaders, the discussion centered around quantifiable metrics to measure innovation, the role of education in driving innovation, and how the private sector can support students in their path to becoming successful professionals and entrepreneurs, and playing key roles in the future in support of the UAE government’s innovation agenda.
The panelists included Dr. Nada Mourtada-Sabbah, Secretary-General of the University Leadership Council (ULC); and, Dr. Imad Hoballah, Provost of American University of Dubai. Visa’s Andrew Torre, Regional President for the Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa region, moderated the discussion.
Andrew Torre, Regional President Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Visa said: “This event is the final one in our UAE Innovation Month series, and it’s probably the most important one because it’s about the people and the skills that will be needed to create the smart cities of the future. We all have a role to play in the UAE government’s innovation agenda and events such as today’s are helpful in bringing us, our partners and like-minded organizations together to explore ways we can effectively support the government’s efforts. It is fitting we are in Visa’s innovation center to come together to talk about how we innovate because we created these spaces all around the world to facilitate dialogue with clients, and partners to imagine and develop new solutions together.”
Key recommendations that emerged from the interactive discussion include providing students more learning opportunities and experiences outside the classroom, promoting the practice of mentoring, and encouraging interdisciplinary approach to solving problems.
“The ongoing dialogue between academia, industry and public officials is absolutely key to driving the innovation agenda which is a foundational pillar of the UAE knowledge economy of the future. The ULC is privileged to be able to collaborate with leaders of industry, such as Visa, university presidents, and thought leaders in keynote panels for strategic deliberation on technology and innovation. The feedback from our senior students and graduating cohorts is particularly useful in understanding the needs and aspirations of our future generations of young leaders,” said Dr. Nada Mourtada-Sabbah, Secretary-General of the University Leadership Council (ULC).
Ammar Al Malik, Executive Director of Dubai Internet City (DIC), commented: "We are delighted to see our business partner Visa focusing on and supporting the next generation of innovators. Research presented by McKinsey at the recent World Government Summit found that an estimated 45 per cent of existing jobs in the Middle East could be automated today, affecting more than 20 million full-time employees and $366.6 billion of wage income1, so developing the right skills for the future will become vital to future proof our economies. Creating an innovation conducive environment and ecosystem is essential to enable companies and individuals to innovate and grow. At DIC, we aim to support, complement and work hand in hand with our business partners to further drive technological innovation in Dubai and the region.”
UAE Innovation Month, which took place over February 2018, is one of the largest innovation festivals in the world and a consolidated effort by government, the private sector and individuals to help create a widespread culture of innovation in the UAE. Throughout the month, Visa hosted a series of engagements in support of the UAE government’s effort, bringing together some of its partners and like-minded organizations to discuss and share insights on topics related to the government’s innovation agenda. These include:
- Kick off to the month with an industry wide Visa eCommerce Summit, focusing on how the latest in payments technology can boost the UAE’s and MENA region’s eCommerce sector.
- Launch of Visa’s global study - Cashless Cities: Realizing the Benefits of Digital Payments - which found that increased usage of digital payments, such as cards and mobile payments, could yield a net benefit of up to US$2.2 billion (AED 8.08 billion) annually to consumers, businesses, and government in Dubai.
- Visa also participated in a media-hosted panel discussion last week that looked at how the public and private sector can collaborate to develop a real-time connected digital ecosystem for the UAE.
At the close of this week’s event, the visiting students and professors were also provided an immersive tour of Visa’s Innovation Center, one of the company’s five global state-of-the-art technology facilities that serves as the innovation hub for Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The center is where Visa collaborates with public and private entities to design, build and implement the latest innovations in payments technologies. It is also Visa’s global center of excellence for Smart Cities, a key pillar in Visa’s smart city and innovation strategy, where Visa and its partners design and solve for challenges faced by smart cities across the world.
About Visa Inc.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit www.visamiddleeast.com, www.visanewsmena.tumblr.com or follow us on Twitter @Visamiddleeast.
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