The first 'IHT Global Conversation,' held in Dubai on Wednesday (May 2, 2012) to kick off the 125th anniversary of The International Herald Tribune (IHT), the premier international source of news, opinion and commentary for the global community, presented compelling viewpoints on the post Arab Spring world, with the panelists discussing the region's current developmental challenges, the role of the US and Asia, and the significance of the Middle East on the 'New Silk Road.'
Thomas Friedman, Foreign Affairs Correspondent of The New York Times, who delivered the keynote address, highlighted the challenges in today's 'hyper-connected world,' reminding audiences that the age of 'average is officially over.' To be competitive in the new world order, one has to 'think like an immigrant, create like an artisan, work like a start-up and provide service like a waitress,' and continuously create a unique value add.
On the conference's key topic, 'The Middle East's Role on the New Silk Road,' Friedman observed that the region is witnessing the end of a 100-year-old order and the lid has been thrown open for the winds of change, reminding policy-makers and governments on the need to enable the region's youth to realise their full potential.
Tarik Yousef, Chief Executive Officer of Silatech, Qatar; Nader Mousavizadeh, Chief Executive Officer of Oxford Analytica; and Masood Ahmed, Director of the Middle East and Central Asia, in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) joined Friedman in the panel discussion, moderated by Serge Schmemann, Editor of the IHT editorial page.
The IHT Conversation in Dubai, held at Armani Hotel Dubai in Burj Khalifa, was sponsored by Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), the specialised investment management organisation of the Government of Dubai, and Emaar Properties, the global property developer. Bank Muscat was the supporting sponsor.
The 'IHT Global Conversation' will progress on to Hong Kong on June 15, where it will address the topic 'Can Asia Manage an Asian Century,' and Paris, on October 4, to discuss 'Restoring European Competitiveness on the World Stage.'
The IHT Global Conversation events are open to the public and further details, including ticketing information, can be found at www.ihtglobalconversation.com. The panels will be livestreamed on the IHT Latitude blog and the IHT Rendezvous community site.