UAE's Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the World Government Summit (WGS) Organization Mohammad al-Gergawi launched on Tuesday the activities of the summit’s eighth edition at the Expo 2020 Dubai at the Dubai Exhibition Center.
In his opening remarks, he highlighted how governments need to adapt to an accelerating speed of change that will challenge regulators’ ability to keep pace.
“The WGS reflects the vision of the UAE leadership that the future belongs to those who explore its opportunities, prepare to address its challenges and keep pace with its changes,” the minister explained.
Gergawi gave ‘three readings of the future’ centered around the acceleration of change, citing ‘frightening and major acceleration of inflation over the last few years’, and a war in the heart of Europe, among other challenges, including regulating cryptocurrency and tackling climate change.
"Speed of change will be bigger than we expect, there are no givens when dealing with the future," adding: "We thought that globalization was the destiny of humanity, the world was getting smaller, and we believed that treaties and agreements had brought nations closer together. Now, that certainty was being tested."
The scientific, economic, social and technical developments achieved during the past decade exceeds those attained in 100 years, Gergawi noted, saying that the achievements in the past two years further exceed the past decade and the future pace will be even faster.
“The digital economy has increased eight folds in the past two years, amounting to $4 trillion, while remote learning has increased 11 folds, telemedicine increased by 154%, and its market value will reach $400 billion over the next five years.”
Gergawi added that the number of devices connected to the Internet will double from 26 billion by the end of the last decade to 50 billion in just two years.
Regarding the partnership between governments and private sector companies in the future, Gergawi said for hundreds of years, governments have been the main tool for developing societies and driving the wheel of growth, but a very large part of the developments and changes that human societies are currently witnessing are led by the private sector.
"Public-private partnerships are not a choice" he said in this regard.
The minister concluded by reminding the WGS2022 audience at Expo 2020 Dubai of the role of the conference in analyzing how technology and other key drivers will change the future of governments, and to assist governments in determining priorities, tracking challenges, and understanding the paths forward.