Saudi Arabia's G20 presidency in 2020, the first time an Arab and Middle East country has such a mandate, presents a unique opportunity for the entire region to take a global view of its future. The timing could not be more significant, given the paradigm shifts in technology, sustainability and geoeconomic relations globally, which are poised to recast the dice on the trajectories of companies and governments, and deeply affect our private lives.
To respond to this singular context, the World Economic Forum, in partnership with Saudi Arabia's G20 Secretariat, is convening the most relevant leaders from government, business and civil society for a Special Meeting on the Middle East in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The organizing logic of this inaugural gathering will be to provide the region's stakeholders the opportunity to assume a proactive posture vis-à-vis these transformative global trends and shape many of their outcomes in the region and internationally.
It is also a crucial opportunity to rise above the fog of geopolitical uncertainty and the gravitational forces of legacy conflicts and scale up the efforts of the region's outstanding thinkers and practitioners who are committed to a can-do, positive agenda for the region and its people.
A dominant feature of the programme is the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a concept put forward by Professor Klaus Schwab in his 2016 book in which he describes the unprecedented pace and complexity of technological change and the attendant need for industry, government and civil society to work together to shape it.
At the same time, the programme will build on the World Economic Forum's long-standing work on other transformative issues such as reskilling, financial inclusion, climate change, smart cities and the energy transition.