As the MBRIF continues to work closely with innovators to support their growth, on June 2nd, we launched a virtual event under the theme of “Re-imagining the Future of Education and Work”–the first event of ‘Industry Event’ series.
The Industry Event is an invite-only event that provides a platform to connect MBRIF members and alumni to the ecosystem, by inviting industry leaders and relevant members to engage in discussions, and to connect 1-on-1 in a speed networking format. Each industry event is based on a cluster or “theme”, to ensure commonalities between industry leaders and MBRIF members.
The first virtual industry event focused on the cluster ‘Learning and Development’, especially in light of the recent disruption caused by Covid-19 over the broad spectrum of learning and development in the education sector and workforce. The virtual event welcomed five highly regarded industry leaders from American University of Sharjah, GEMS Education, LinkedIn, Microsoft, and Mubadala. Six of the relevant MBRIF alumni and members joined including: Englease, Excel@Uni, Key2Enable, Kinteract, RealEDU, and Teacherly.
According to the latest report by the ILO, “Covid-19 and the World of Work”, there has been a 10.5 percent decline in working hours (equivalent to 305 million full-time jobs) and 80 percent of learners are kept out of educational institutions due to country-wide closures. Due to such unforeseen circumstances, individuals were alerted, and great attention was directed towards lifelong learning through digital and online skills.
During the virtual event, the industry leaders and MBRIF members engaged in a fruitful discussion about the current situation of learning and development. A polling question was posed to the audience and asked, “What are the key issues facing the current learning and development?”. 80 percent of respondents believe that traditional educational systems are key to widening the skills gap between the education system and labor market. Some of the industry leaders discussed the importance of collaboration amongst different stakeholders such as the private sector, public sector, academia, and startups to ensure effective and feasible decision-making takes place to future-proof the future generation of labor market entrants. In another polling question that asked, “What are the barriers in government, private sector, and startup collaboration?”, 83 percent of startups and industry leaders attendees rated ‘slow decision-making’ as detrimental factor to collaboration.
After an interactive and insightful discussion, the industry leaders were allocated dedicated breakout rooms, where every MBRIF member had 10 minutes to interact with each industry leader one-to-one to pitch their solutions and discuss potential ways of working together. The speed networking virtual rooms were energetic and were found to be quite valuable by all attendees, providing the members with networking and pitching skills while establishing connections with five industry leaders.
The MBRIF Industry Events are contributing to the innovation ecosystem with crucial and relevant discussions, while, showcasing the innovation efforts established in the United Arab Emirates. It’s about bringing the ecosystem together for a more innovative future in the UAE.