Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF), in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), organised a workshop on the Third Arab Knowledge Report at the headquarters of United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) in Paris on June 3, 2015.
The workshop, held in the presence of ambassadors, academics and youth from French universities, was the third in a series of workshops lined up in key Arab and international capitals as part of MBRF's preparations for the second edition of the First Knowledge Conference 2015.
The speakers at the workshop included Dr. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO; Jack Lang, President of Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA) and former French Minister of Culture and Education; Saif Al Mansoori, the Corporate Affairs Advisor of MBRF; and Yakup Beris, Regional Programme Coordinator at UNDP's Regional Bureau for Arab States.
The workshop was also addressed by Prof. Eric Fouache, Vice-Chancellor of Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi; Dr. Badr Aldden Arodaky, former Deputy-director of IMA and a prominent writer and literary expert; Prof. Joseph Dichy, Lumiere-Lyon2 University, CIDEA Secretary General; Nada Al-Nashif, Assistant Director-General for Human and Social Sciences, Dr. Najoua Ghriss, Associate Author and Core Team Member; and Inaam Kachachi, writer and journalist.
In an opening speech, Dr. Bokova stressed the importance of fostering knowledge in the region stating "The integration of the youth in the transfer and localisation of knowledge in the Arab world will remain a key priority in the current times as well as in the future."
Speaking on the occasion, Saif Al Mansoori said, "This workshop comes within MBRF's plans to contribute to sustainable development in Arab communities through the transfer and localisation of knowledge. This is the third workshop that follows similar events organised in Jordan and New York to discuss the findings of the Arab Knowledge Report."
He added, "We are pleased to have the support of a distinct group of specialists in the field of knowledge who have come forward to offer their opinions and experiences in this initiative. This workshop has offered an opportunity to discuss the role of youth in the exchange, transfer and localisation of knowledge and the challenges in this process. The outcome of this workshop will support our preparations for the next First Knowledge Conference 2015, and contribute to strengthening its position as one of the most important international events in the field of knowledge."
On the occasion, Jack Lang commended the efforts to organise such knowledge initiatives, stating that culture, education and knowledge offered the remedy to extremist tendencies.
Highlighting two main features of the Arab Knowledge Report, Yakup Beris said the report has responded to the need for an evidence-based approach by offering quantitative and qualitative evidence relying on more than 30 background papers and an extensive database. Secondly, the report has been built on the basis of a participatory approach using the expertise and voices of more than 600 experts and 5800 university students, Beris said.
"The report has been prepared with a belief that a society that connects with knowledge and drives its economy with innovation is more likely to achieve its development objectives. We foresee youth as the primary agent to make this happen and eventually contribute to the creation of inclusive and resilient societies," Beris stated.
Dr. Najoua Ghriss presented the findings of the Arab Knowledge Report, followed by a question and answer session that drew considerable interaction and engagement from the audience on the outcomes of the report.
The event also included a panel discussion that explored the exchange, transfer and localisation of knowledge in the context of European and Arab institutions. The panel discussion witnessed the participation of Prof. Eric Fouache, Dr. Badr Aldden Arodaky and Prof. Joseph Dichy. The session, moderated by Inaam Kachachi, looked at the roles of the various sectors and the main challenges in the production and transfer of knowledge, including areas such as translation and language development. The panel discussion concluded with closing remarks by Nada Al-Nashif.
The Third Arab Knowledge Report highlights the effective integration of youth in the transfer and localisation of knowledge as one of the most pressing issue facing Arab societies. The report explores the current status of Arab youth in relation to skills and values required for the effective integration of knowledge and their contribution in cultural, political and social arenas.