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‘KnowTalks’ Series 2022 explores economic diplomacy and transforming education at Frankfurt International Book Fair

Frankfurt, October 20, 2022

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) held two panel discussions at the Frankfurt International Book Fair 2022, as part of the ‘KnowTalks’ series organised in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The discussions were organised on the opening day of the international book fair, which is being held in Frankfurt, Germany, from October 19 to 23, 2022, under the theme ‘Words Connect Worlds’, featuring 7,500 exhibitors from over 100 countries.

The ‘KnowTalks’ series 2022 addresses today’s pressing issues and global challenges in the knowledge landscape, in addition to finding innovative ideas and solutions to them, assisting decision-makers in making informed decisions to resolve these issues and drive the nations’ progress. This series is a collection of knowledge seminars and discussions held with the participation of several knowledge experts, policy makers, scholars, philosophers, and academics from various parts of the world.

Economic Diplomacy in a Fragmented World

The first session of the panel discussion was based on the topic ‘Economic Diplomacy in a Fragmented World’, which was attended by Abdo Medlej, Economic attaché to the Lebanese Embassy in the Federal republic of Germany, and Anthony Fakhoury, Project and Research Analyst at UNDP. It focused on the role economic diplomacy plays in fostering international cooperation and collaborations.

Medlej explained that the key purpose of economic diplomacy is to address and make decisions regarding several critical issues that have a significant impact on international economic relations. It helps improve the trade and economic relations between countries as well as enables countries to expand their exports to various other key global markets, thereby helping countries solidify their market position at various international forums.

Medlij emphasised that a fragmented world indicates that no individual power can dominate the world. Power resources are no longer exclusive to one nation, which has led to connectivity and collaboration between various nations to share these powers. A few international organisations are also actively contributing to the development of a safe environment for international cooperation.

He further highlighted that the main objectives of economic diplomacy are to introduce communication channels, promote collaborations with other countries, foster bilateral and multilateral trade relations, and encourage sustainable economic development. This can be accomplished by signing trade agreements, drawing in foreign direct investments (FDI), and supporting large-scale development projects that improve the economic environment as well as the trade and investment infrastructure.

Medlej concluded the session by emphasising that in order to have a beneficial impact on the quality of life, as well as economic growth, it is essential to foster public-private partnerships.

Transforming Education to Future-proof Workforce

The second session titled ‘Transforming Education to Future-proof the Workforce’ was attended by Dr. Janina Beilner, Senior Vice President Education Services & Workforce Solutions, Customer Services for Siemens Healthineers, wherein she highlighted the value of education and the necessity of fostering a culture of learning at the workplace.

Beilner emphasised the fact that over 604 million people around the world will soon be above the age of 65, which raises the issue of lack of skilled experts or professionals globally. She underlined the significance of continuing to learn regardless of one’s age, as individuals must constantly broaden their knowledge. She further emphasised the need for employing hybrid work culture that incorporates advanced technologies in order to significantly enhance the upskilling of the workforce. In order for employees to advance professionally and contribute their knowledge to the growth of the workplace, it is also essential that we foster a culture of learning at work.

Furthermore, Beilner pointed out that the pandemic has had a significant impact on the learning process at workplace, opening up new virtual prospects and emphasising the value of combining the real and virtual worlds for the finest educational and training practices.

In addition to these panel discussions, MBRF further organised two other panel sessions. The first session highlighted the Digital Knowledge Hub, an integrated platform that enables access to knowledge content and digital information sources, and the second session featured a discussion that focused on translation, titled ‘The Potential of Scientific Translation into Arabic – Pursuing the Golden Age’.

The Frankfurt International Book Fair this year is hosting over 4,000 events, panel discussions, and seminars featuring prominent figures from the industry.

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