Building the Ecosystem & GTF 2012 Agenda


Under the Patronage of

Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah

Global Thinkers Forum 2012: Women Leaders in MENA

October 6-8, 2012 Amman, Jordan

Day 1: Saturday October

Time Event

8.00-9.00 Registration/Arrival of GTF attendees at CUMERC
9.00 Welcome by Moderator: Alia Toukan

Opening- Elizabeth Filippouli, Founder & CEO Global Thinkers Forum

9.15-9.30 Keynote (15’) – Leadership: TBC
9.30-10.00 The Leadership Gap: Repositioning the role of the MENA Woman in Governance & Society (30’)

Global Thinkers aims to identify and celebrate the female Leadership of the Future, with a focus on: Governance, Social Progress, Responsible Entrepreneurship, and Community Development. The invited Women Leaders and conference participants will discuss strategic skill sets for women in the MENA, such as identifying areas of opportunities, improving leadership skills, corporate governance, and successful leadership.

Chaired by: Stephen Cole, Senior Anchor Al Jazeera English

Majd Shweikeh CEO Vtel Holdings Ltd (Jordan)

Valerie Keller CEO Veritas & YGL (USA)

Margery Kraus Founder & CEO APCO Worldwide

Reem N. Bsaiso Senior ICT Consultant Keynote: Entrepreneurs & Society by Fadi Ghandour Founder & CEO Aramex
10.15-10.45 Female Entrepreneurship: Being part of the Ecosystem (30’)

If national parliaments and assemblies do not already provide potential female candidates, experience has shown that the largest and most capable talent pool is – beyond politics – in business, entrepreneurship, arts, civil society and academia. There is no dearth of capable, qualified and highly committed women, with a strong investment in business leadership with attention to society and positive change.

Chaired by: Dr. Usama Fayyad Executive Chairman Oasis500

Jumana Twal CEO/Founder of Bidaya Corporate Communications

Abeer Qumsieh Founder & Director Better Business (Jordan),

Samar Shawareb

Founder & Managing Director – Arabia Weddings Jordan

10.45-11.00 Presentation by Saad Mouasher, Deputy CEO Ahli Bank: Access to Finance for Women Entrepreneurs in Jordan (12’)
11.00-11.15 Keynote (15’) The “Global Street”: Professor Saskia Sassen Columbia University

11.15-11.45 Society- The new MENA societies: problems, challenges and potential (30’)

The lives of Arab women today are complex, diverse and far more multi-faceted than those of the one-dimensional creatures of veiled passivity who inhabit the imaginations of so many Western “experts.” In most Arab countries, women face constricting laws and social customs that hold them back from full participation in their societies. Some, as a result, lead lives of passive submission. But others rage against those institutional obstacles, organize other women to challenge male domination of their public and private lives, and seize every opening, large or small, to move the rights of women at least that one next step. Arab women labour in dangerous factories and un-mechanized fields, they keep families intact and care for their children without access to modern technology; sometimes even without electricity or clean water. But they also fill medical and engineering schools in universities throughout the Arab world; they are creating some of the greatest art and literature of their rich cultures; they serve bravely in overwhelmingly male parliaments; and they organize and fight – with or without men’s consent – for incremental democratic gains, and sometimes for their own rights as women. What are the lives, the diverse roles and the means of overcoming the social challenges that confront women in today’s Arab societies? Is it about feminism? Or women’s education and daily lives? What are women’s views of Islam and women Islamists?

Chaired by: Professor Safwan Masri- Vice President for Global Centers at Columbia University

Humaira Wakili Director Tomorrow’s Youth Organization (Nablus)

Sonja Lokar President European Women’s Lobby

HE Ms. Attiya Mahmood (Pakistan)

Alfinaz Murad General Manager at GroFin

12.00-13.15 Networking & Interviews Opportunity followed by Buffet Lunch
13.15 Keynote (15’) Media & the MENA region: A landscape in transformation- Wael Fakharany Regional Manager, Google Middle East
13.30-14.00 Women & Media in the MENA: Finding our truths, finding our voices (30’)

Let’s get into the issue of finding women’s voices and women’s stories. As women, how do we feel about covering a gender-specific or gender-driven topic? Do we resist the temptation to be called women journalists: would we rather be seen as ‘journalists’? Can men cover women’s stories and would they? Is it realistic to think of sending women into unsafe areas? Are there safety considerations? How can media do a better job of covering women’s stories? What needs to change and how do we effect that change? Does it start with us? The panel aims to take that and develop a statement about covering women’s stories, hearing women’s voices.

Chaired by: Randa Habib, Director MENA AFPF

Lindsey Oliver International Commercial Director Bloomberg TV

Shahira Amin Journalist

Hoda Abdel Hamid Correspondent Al Jazeera English

14.00-14.15 Keynote (10’) Science & Innovation for a Sustainable Future: HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan (VM)
14.15-14.45 The importance of Science & Innovation for development (30’)

For a country to advance, the best way forward is the use of STI (Science Technology and Innovation). For STI in Jordan, EHSC is the conduit and point of reference for achieving advancement through STI. What are the global experiences of “what went right” for some countries on STI and its role in development and “what went wrong” for others? The key role of EHSC as an enabler and incubator of new ideas and the intersection of Innovation and Entrepreneurship activity that helps create high growth tech startups in Jordan and the region. Transferring innovation to our communities.


Chaired by: Salim Amin, Founder & CEO Africa24

Dr. Odeh Jayyousi VP Science & Research at the Royal Scientific Society Eng.

Omar Hamarneh CEO El Hassan Business Park

Ms. Seren Shahin Director of the Drivers of Change Institute

Dr. Wejdan Abu Elhaija Acting Dean of King Abdullah II School for Engineering

14.45-15.00 Keynote: The Collaboration Imperative: Chris Cramer Head of Insider, Reuters
15.00-15.45 There is growing recognition of the need for collaboration in order to tackle complex problems or/and provide solutions for progress and development. Corporations need to collaborate with government, with customers, with NGOs, with stakeholders – and even with competition. In order to survive and thrive, each of them requires the environment of a collaborative ecosystem. So how do we foster this reality?

Chaired by: H.E. The British Ambassador to Jordan Mr. Peter Millett

Balsam Al Ayoub & Lulwa Al Ayoub Entrepreneurs/Kuwaiti Fencing Champions

Khalid Alkhudair -Founder & CEO

Shada El Sharif Green Buildinings Council

15.45-16.00 Keynote (15’) – The Future of MENA: Dr Hayat Sindi, Founder & President i2nstitute
16.00-16.30 Finding the Leaders of Tomorrow: what is the Climate for Change & Development post-Arab Spring? (30’)

The current trailblazing leadership generation will, in due time, be replaced by other generations of competent women leaders. There is no better time than now, in the “Arab Spring” era, to arrange a conference for Women, bringing the present generation of pioneering leaders together, with leadership from other parts of the world, and with the best and brightest of the young women, who will be the future generations of leadership. So, where do we look for capable, success-orientated and pioneering women in the MENA World?

Panel co-produced with Stanford University (AMENDS) & Leaders of Tomorrow

Chaired by: Rana Sweis Executive Committee, Leaders of Tomorrow. Reporter New York Times (Global Edition)

Rawan Da’as AMENDS Fellow

Sarah Abu Alia Founder and Project Director at ArtMedium

Alaa Mufleh AMENDS Fellow

Fida Taher, Founder and CEO of

16.30-16.45 Closing remarks/ Announcement on Workshops Day 3 & GTF 2013
17.00 Departure of bus for International Speakers & Delegates

Day 2: Part 2 Oasis500 & GTF 2012 Awards Ceremony & Dinner

19.00-22.00 6th Oasis500 Angel Network Event
19.00-22.00 No patronage statement

Global Thinkers Forum 2012 Awards in Excellence

Honorary Awards for:

  • Excellence in Global Thinking- Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah
  • Excellence in Leadership: Margery Kraus – Founder & CEO APCO Worldwide
  • Excellence in Life – Arianna Huffington President & Editor-in-Chief of HuffPo Media Group
  • Excellence in Media –HRH Princess Rym Ali of Jordan
  • Excellence in Philanthropy-Marianna Vardinoyannis UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador
  • Excellence in Positive Change- Deema Bibi, CEO INJAZ
  • Excellence in Science –Dr Hayat Sindi Founder i2stintute
  • Excellence in Innovation- Nabila Ramdani, Journalist
  • Excellence in Entrepreneurship- Khalid AlKhudair, CEO
  • Excellence in Cultural Understanding- Dalia Mogahed, Author & Director Gallup Centre for Muslim Studies
  • Excellence in Gender Equality –Sonja Lokar, President European Women’s Forum
  • Excellence in Pioneering- Zaha Hadid, Director Zaha Hadid Architects

22.00Closing Remarks


Day 3: Monday October 8


Session 1:9am: Arab Women’s Voice via Social Media Organized by Think Media LabsSummary of the Workshop:Women are a powerful force for change, social betterment, improving communication, and boosting the economy. Social Media’s core is about sharing and connecting, and as such women dominate Social Networks in terms of both numbers and quality content. This workshop will empower you to: identify the Social Network that is most suitable for your needs, learn advanced tips on managing your Social Media activity, get insight from case studies, and build your own digital persona.Topics Covered in the Workshop:

  • How to use Facebook as a powerful communication tool to empower you, your organization, and to keep in touch with family and friends.
  • How to use Pinterest to express yourself in a graphical way.
  • How to use Twitter to communicate with peers and likeminded individuals to share experiences.

By attending this Workshop you will learn:

  • Social media strategy for business use
  • Social media strategy for personal use
  • Facebook privacy and other advanced functionalities
  • Pinterest engagement
  • Twitter etiquette

Workshop Facilitator:

Ayman Itani, Founder and CEO, Think Media Labs

Session 2: 9am: Taking your talent online: how to become a working professional from your home! Organized by Tasmeemme.comSummary of the Workshop: Whether you’re an individual or a company, you can share and sell your work online, make money while working from home, find the right person for your project, and connect with other designers.Topics Covered in the Workshop:

  • Profiles & Portfolios: the creative talent needs a platform to publicize their professional experiences and showcase their work and skills
  • Recruiting: how to post jobs, specifying the job location, budget, experience, and required skillset, in order to locate the best creative talent, whether on a full-time, part-time or freelance basis.

By attending this Workshop you will learn:


  • How to promote your skills online
  • How to create your cv & portfolio
  • How to bid successfully
  • How much money can you earn
  • How to network, connect and expand your professional network by interacting directly


Workshop Facilitator:

Noor Al Fadl


Session 3: 11.30am Women Journalists covering Dangerous Zones: Stay Safe Organized by the International News Safety InstituteSummary of the Workshop: Among other things, participants are taught weapons risks, target awareness,personal security, pre-deployment planning and dealing with hostile crowds and riots. Basic first aid may include casualty assessment, airway, CPR, wounds and bleeding, fractures and burns.Topics Covered in the Workshop:

  • Reporting in hostile environments
  • Minimizing risks in conflict zones
  • Staying in touch
  • Clothing & Culture
  • Sexual Aggression


By attending this Workshop you will learn:

  • How to prepare for dangerous reporting
  • How to weigh risks
  • How to stay safe
  • How to deal with danger
  • How to stay in touch

Workshop Facilitator:

Hannah Storm, Deputy Director The News Safety Institute


Session 4: 10 am How to raise Funding for your start-up: a step-by-step approachOrganized by EfactorSummary of the Workshop:Topics Covered in the Workshop:

  • Do you really need Funding? Bootstrapping vs. External Funding
  • Self-financing: The thing with Bootstrapping
  • External Funding: Type of Funders

By attending this Workshop you will learn:

  • How to engage with Funders (do’s & don’ts)
  • What to pitch? Business Plan & Slide-decks
  • Cash Flow Statement
  • Term sheets
  • Q&A

Workshop Facilitator:

Eva Hukshorn Director & Partner Efactor

Session 5:12.00pm Education in Knowledge Economy or KE for Human Capital

  • How can we mobilize an entire country into a knowledge producing one, towards economic growth and job creation (now everyone wants / needs an enabling environment to increase / facilitate chances of success of new business)?


  • A bit on defining knowledge economy, knowledge transfer, knowledge absorption.
  • The importance of the Human Element in All formulas as a knowledge transfer channel


  • Where does Education stand?
  • How can we mobilize other factors to serve education?


  • A bleak look at unemployment in the MENA: figures and numbers; the urgency to create jobs


  • Do we have all the other factors or not?


  • How do we train our people for KE (cost effective models)?


Zooming in on the needed skills and secrets of a successful methodology


Who should attend : any leader or person with leadership skills in any sector: socio-economic / innovation (R&D, S&T) / education / ICT

What one learns : to think of an entire country making money out of knowledge (more than half of its GDP) and how all need to work together to attain growth and job creation

Organized by Reem N. Bsaiso & Hams A. Madanat




Session 6: 12.30 pm Emotionally Intelligent Leaders Great leaders are made, not born!Leadership is a requirement to any successful business because the nature of good leadership is that it provides important direction to an organization. The absence of leadership is dramatic in its effects. Without leadership, organizations move too slowly, stagnate, and lose their way.But the one thing that Leaders need in order to be Leaders is: Followers.
Forcing people to be your followers will never work, but there are things that you can learn, practice, and do that will make people willing to follow you.

  • Do you want to improve your leadership?
  • Do you want to affect what other people do—to help them accomplish important goals?
  • Do you want to point the way in your organization?
  • Do you want to climb the promotion ladder to positions of higher authority and greater pay?

Leadership will make these things possible!

Workshop facilitator Dr. Suhail Jouaneh


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