UAE CEOs paired with students in leadership development program

A student workshop in progress during the CEOx1Day program.
Updated 29 August 2019

UAE CEOs paired with students in leadership development program

A contingent of business leaders from 16 UAE-based companies — ranging from Alabbar Enterprises, Dubai Airports and Dubai Opera through to The Lego Company and Nestle Middle East — have been paired with some of the country’s brightest young undergraduates in a development program designed to give the students insights into the working life of a CEO.
Managed by international executive search consultancy Odgers Berndtson, the CEOx1Day program, now in its second year, will match third- and fourth-year undergraduates from six leading UAE universities with CEOs from a diverse range of sectors. During a full working-day, each student will shadow their designated CEO to learn from today’s corporate leaders.
Carefully chosen from over 200 applicants, the final 16 students were selected following a multi-phased assessment and interview process, which included personality profiling, telephone interviews, group work, case studies, and one-on-one interviews with Odgers Berndtson’s consultants.
“Selected students will have the opportunity to shadow leaders from a range of sectors, all of which have vital roles to play in the UAE’s ongoing industrial and economic development,” said Mark Houghton, managing partner at Odgers Berndtson, Middle East. “The finalists shone through the selection process and we have high hopes that this year’s CEOx1Day will be a positive and rewarding experience for what is an accomplished 2019 cohort.”
Currently studying at the American University of Sharjah, Heriot-Watt University Dubai, Middlesex University in Dubai, the University of Wollongong in Dubai, New York University Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi University, the 16 finalists have already received guidance from the Odgers Berndtson team on recruitment processes, team building and presentation skills.
Several of the CEOs involved in the scheme have already hailed it as a mutually beneficial experience.
“This is reverse mentoring in action,” explained Houghton. “Past students have told us how the scheme has brought the reality of business to life and seeded great respect for the CEOs in some of the tough day-to-day decision-making they have to undertake. Conversely, the CEOs say the students have given them new perspectives on a number of issues which have led to several innovative measures being pursued.”
The CEOx1Day shadowing will run from September through until the end of the year.


Line-up for FIKR17 conference in Saudi Arabia announced

Updated 13 November 2019

Line-up for FIKR17 conference in Saudi Arabia announced

The Arab Thought Foundation has announced the agenda of this year’s annual conference, FIKR17, in partnership with King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture “Ithra”, held under the theme “Towards a New Arab Thinking.”
The conference will be held in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia between 2-5 December 2019.
FIKR17 will bring together high-level officials, politicians, intellectuals, and media personalities led by Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, President of the Arab Thought Foundation, and Arab League Secretary General Mr. Ahmed Aboul Gheit. Over the course of FIKR17, these thought leaders will provide deep understanding and paths to solutions for key questions facing the Arab World and its future, including:

  • What are the challenges of technology, science and modern approaches to knowledge?
  • Where are we currently from renewing our societies and social concepts?
  • Where does the Arab individual stand within the international system, and how does he tackle the subject of globalization while defending an interactive identity that is open to the world?
  • Where are Arab intellectuals in their attempts to renew the Arab thought, and in building a renewed philosophy capable of making contributions to the global effort of contemporary thought?

Conference Program Details
Monday, December 2: FIKR17 will open with a formal ceremony at 7:00 pm, including a speech by Professor Dr. Henry Awit, Director General of the Arab Thought Foundation, followed by a speech from the representative of “Ithra”, the Lead Partner of the conference. It will also include speeches by Arab League Secretary General Mr. Ahmed Aboul Gheit and HRH Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, President of the Arab Thought Foundation.
Tuesday, December 3: FIKR17 will start with an opening session titled “Arab Thought and Innovation Prospects,” followed by the first general session entitled “Today’s world…tomorrow’s world: transformations, challenges, and visions”.
In addition, four specialized sessions will be held under the following headlines:. Delivering new educational policies to help build a new Arab Thought, The role of social and human sciences in renewing Arab Thought, New perspectives on the concepts of state, citizenship and participation, Pluralism and the culture of tolerance and social peace.
Wednesday, December 4: The conference will continue with four specialized morning sessions covering the topics of ” Towards a new understanding of growth, Industry and manufacturing:analysis of pillars for development, Digital Economy, The role of civic society in renewing Arab Thought.
In the afternoon, the second general session will be held on the “4th Industrial Revolution” followed by reports on youth discussion groups.
Thursday, December 5: The conference will conclude with detailed reports on the specialized sessions. At 12:00 pm, the third general session titled “Arab Intellectuals and Their Role in Arab Thought Renewal” will be held, followed by the closing remarks.