Misk Global Forum bridges the generation gap to encourage positive change
With its theme of “Generation Transformation,” this year’s Misk Global Forum set out to make an impact on a global scale by encouraging intergenerational conversations that can pave the way for positive change, according to a senior research manager at the Misk Foundation.
“‘Generation Transformation’ is the idea and mindset that it is not just one generation that is driving change, it is actually everyone coming together; boomers, generation X, millennials, generation Z, coming together to create meaningful and impactful change,” Amani Alkhiami told Arab News.
The two-day Misk Global Forum at the King Abdulaziz International Conference Center in Riyadh, which concluded on Thursday, is the flagship global event of the Misk Foundation. Established in 2016, the forum brings together industry experts, new and established leaders, entrepreneurs and creators of all ages to discuss innovative ways of meeting the challenges associated with change.
The discussions during this year’s event were described as “multigenerational dialogue to break barriers and inspire change,” on topics such as embracing transformation, sports for all, gender equality, quality education, philanthropy, happiness, and money.
“All of us are responsible; we all have a seat in the car, driving change, but what we are trying to do with Generation Transformation is we are putting young people in the driver's seat, pulling and pushing for change and driving for change with all of the other generations, together,” Alkhiami said.
“We, as the younger generation, need to stop blaming the older generations for the mistakes of the past but, rather, help them and take their hands to really work together to build the future that we want.”
She added that various activities designed to encourage and empower such intergenerational conversations and exchanges of ideas will continue after the conclusion of the forum.
This year’s event included skills labs with workshops and sessions to help young people develop their skills, expertise and talents.
“We have two skills labs and each skills lab hosts about 10 different workshops,” Alkhiami said. “We have topics (such as) looking at things in creative ways, we have podcast-making, we have things on computer design and coding and development, so there are so many … different things and we made that by design, to make sure that there is a place for everyone.”
A “Meet the Leader” initiative at this year’s forum was designed to give delegates the chance to hear and be inspired by the firsthand accounts and experiences of people who are already making an impact.
“‘Meet the Leader’ provides unique conversations with key leaders from our country, but also globally; listen to them and really learn from their wisdom in this generational dialogue,” Alkhiami said.
Another part of the forum, called the Majlis, provided an opportunity for more personal and intimate dialogue on subjects such as mental health and well-being, and understanding your presence in real life and the virtual world.
“We also have the Founder’s Cafe, which looks at the founders of businesses, entrepreneurs, how to get started and how to develop yourself, and how to move from an idea to an activation to actually building your business,” Alkhiami said.
The Misk Global Forum also offered career clinics that were open to all attendees interested in discussing ways to develop or expand their careers.
“Our career clinics are really a ‘pod’ for people who need support to understand where they can go in life,” Alkhiami said. “They can bring their resumes and sit down with a career coach to help them figure out where they need to go.”
All of the initiatives and sessions were designed to help pave the way for positive change through intergenerational conversations and the sharing of expertise, wisdom and perceptions, she added.
“The fact that young people are coming together for dialogue, to network and to listen and to become better listeners and better active change-makers, that in itself is the outcome of this forum,” Alkhiami said.
“We really looked at the global conversations around the world, the issues facing young people today, and the biggest issue was that generations weren’t talking to each other and every generation has been blaming the other generations for what they have said.”