Held under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of Hamdan bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU)



Prof. Ahmed Ankit

Dean of Research and Doctoral Studies | Morocco

Ahmed Ankit’s areas of interest for research include Applied Linguistics, Communication, e-learning and Education Leadership. He is the Dean of Research and Doctoral Studies at Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He was the Dean of Education at the American University in the Emirates and previously the Vice President for External Relations and Cultural Affairs at Ajman University, UAE, where he supervised collaborative projects with international organizations [...]

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Mr. Akef Al-Aqrabawi

CEO | Jordan

AKEF FAKHRI AL-AQRABAWI CEO, INJAZ Al-Arab Vice President- of the he parent institution Junior Achievement World Wide for the Middle East/ North Africa Countries Akef is the CEO of Injaz Al Arab, the largest non-profit organization in the region that leverages entrepreneurial expertise and harnesses it to train and mentor the younger generation of Arab youth by encouraging the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in business. Injaz Al Arab operates in 13 Arab countries. Prior to taking [...]

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Ms. Anita Nouri

CEO / Business Development Director | United Arab Emirates

Anita Nouri is a Founding Partner and CEO of Green Energy Solutions & Sustainability LLC a Dubai based company targeting landfills in the region. Landfills are a reality in the UAE and throughout the GCC and at the very least need to be degassed. Landfill gas can provide a renewable energy source that provides stable power to the national grid and support the diversification of energy sources. The Al Qusais Landfill is the GESS flagship project. In 2011 GESS pioneered the first landfill gas to e [...]

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Ms. Anwaar Al Shimmari

Director - Design Department, Chief Innovation Officer | United Arab Emirates

Anwaar Al Shimmari 18 years’ multi discipline experience in Architecture, urban planning, engineering, and infrastructure has put her in a short listed professional expertise in the region. She had the privilege to work in Federal government, local government, and private sector, which strengthen her capabilities in dealing with stakeholders and decision makers. She holds a BSc in Architectural Engineering, 2 master degrees in Urban Planning and Transportation Planning, and she is a PhD candid [...]

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Mr. Bilal Sabouni

Managing Director for the Middle East, Africa & Turkey | United Arab Emirates

Based in Dubai since 1999, Bilal is the regional Managing Director for the Middle East, Africa & Turkey at the New York knowledge services firm GUIDEPOINT. GUIDEPOINT is a leading business intelligence organization with a proprietary network of nearly 600,000 specialty advisors based in +190 countries. GUIDEPOINT represents these industry and subject-matter experts and deploys their expertise, on-demand, for focused client consultations around the world. Prior to joining GUIDEPOINT, Bilal was [...]

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Mr. Darshan Dagli

Director of Connected Buildings | United Arab Emirates

Deploying world best IoT technologies like Machine Learning, Predictive Maintenace, Mobile apps and helping customers to transform their building operations, improve asset management, improve energy efficiency to optimize OPEX and ensuring their facilities are secured with Cyber Security.

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Mr. Davide Capitanio

Geo Lead for Ventures Middle East | Italy

Ciao, my name is Davide Capitanio, the Geo Lead for Ventures Middle East, and I am thrilled to be connected with our Ventures global community. I joined Accenture 8 years ago and am leading the Innovation & Ecosystem Business Strategy. My cross-industry experience at Accenture has allowed me to develop expertise in Customer Experience Design, Shared Services, and Operating Models. Combining my passion to deliver projects through Design Thinking with a foundation in agility, I am excited to bring [...]

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Ms. Dorothy Gordon

Chair - UNESCO Information for all Programme | Ghana

Dorothy Gordon is the Chair of the UNESCO Information For All Programme and Board member of the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education. She has worked in the field of international development and technology for over thirty years and is recognised as a leading technology activist and specialist on policy, education, technology and society in Africa. Her work as a leader, manager, consultant and speaker has taken her to over 100 countries. She is a strong advocate of the ROAM [...]

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Mr. Essam Disi

Director of Strategy and Policy | United Arab Emirates

Essam Disi is the Director of Strategy and Policy at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Est. for SME Development (Dubai SME). His main roles and responsibilities are to formulate long-term plans and support policies for SME development, in addition to executing strategic initiatives to support the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Dubai. Mr. Disi is a member of, the Dubai 2021 plan team and the Dubai 2030 Industrial Strategy team. He is also a member of the judging panel of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Award for Y [...]

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Mr. Hussain Al Fardan

Head of Innovation Centre, Strategy & Corporate Excellence | United Arab Emirates

Hussain has over 20 years of experience in employee engagement, Innovation and Business Improvement with proven interpersonal and leadership skills. He is experienced in all aspects of Innovation both internal and external within the organization, with demonstrable success in Building Innovation Culture within a Governmental environment. Hussain has developed and delivered innovation culture method that is now used by many government departments across the UAE to develop employee driven creativi [...]

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Mr. Jeff Yousef

Partner | United Arab Emirates

Jeff has nearly twenty years of operational and consulting experience holding senior management positions in leading international companies across several countries. He specifically specializes in public sector with a focus on privatisation/PPP and reform. Recently, Jeff has become more engaged in sustainability both within Oliver Wyman and with different clients in the gulf region. Jeff has authored many white papers on PPP, SDG’s and privatisation in the region and has presented at various [...]

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Ms. Julanne Minster

Senior vise president global alliances and strategic partnership | USA

Joining Delos almost three years ago as Vice President, Business Development, Julanne brings 20 years of leadership growth in international business development, marketing and corporate relations within the real estate, finance and hospitality arenas. Through her experience of living and working the past 13 years across China, Hong Kong and South East Asia, Julanne helped launch the Delos Asia Pacific business. Focusing on the strategic growth in the region overseeing the firm’s global allianc [...]

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Justice(R) Muhammad

Mr. Justice(R) Muhammad Khan

Counsel | Pakistan

Justice(R) Muhammad Farrukh Irfan Khan recently retired as a Judge of the Lahore High Court, Pakistan after serving for nearly 10 years. He is currently Of Counsel at United Trademark & Patent Services (UTPS), a leading Intellectual Property law firm in the MENA region. Prior to his elevation, Justice Khan was the Chairman and Managing Partner of UTPS and has been recognized globally as a leading Intellectual Property Law Practitioner. In 2007 and 2008, he was named one of top 20 Most Highly [...]

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Mr. Khalifa Alhebsi

Senior Project Manager Performance and Government Excellence Sector | United Arab Emirates

Khalifa is a Senior Project Manager in the Prime Minister’s Office. Khalifa holds a Master of Science in Organizational Excellence from the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University and currently he is enrolled in the PhD Program in Total Quality Management in HBMSU. Also, he holds Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering Management and Higher Diploma in Electronics Engineering from the Higher Colleges of Technology. Khalifa has experience in various projects related to organizational excellence [...]

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Dr. Mansoor Al Awar

Chancellor | United Arab Emirates

Chancellor of Hamdan Bin Mohamed Smart University. Dr. Mansoor Al-Awar is also the Chairman of the Governing Board of the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE). Dr. Al Awar has started, built and led several innovative enterprises, like: • Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU), the region’s first university with smart learning approach. • Innovation Arabia, the annual scientific conference with a focus on innovation in the Arab world. • First Qua [...]

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Dr. Omyma Shehata

TQM Expert, Lecturer, Trainer | United Arab Emirates

Over thirty (30) years of combined solid and in-depth experience in total quality management, excellence, ISO standards and quality improvement processes She has attained a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Master degree in TQM from the Arab academy for science, technology and maritime transport on the years 2002 and 2010 respectively. Dr Omyma has joined HBMSU 7 years ago as quality and accreditation Manger in the academic affairs divisions and worked as well as an Associate faculty in the B [...]

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Mr. Samir Al Aref

Regional General Manager | United Arab Emirates

Samir Al Aref, general manager for the Middle East region

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Dr. Souma Alhaj Ali

Director for Excellence and Governance | Jordan

Dr. Souma Alhaj Ali is an Associate Professor in Industrial Engineering-Artificial Neural Network and Robotics; she is currently the Director for Excellence and Governance in HBMSU. She has a strong record of achievement combining skills in diverse areas of Industrial Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, and Quality and Excellence. She held many positions in the public and private sectors including the Assistant Dean of Engineering for Industry Relations and ABET, the Director of the Center of [...]

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Mr. Steve Scott

Executive Advisor UK, Europe & Middle East Infrastructure Investment & Economics | United Kingdom

Steve is an urban economist and planner with over twenty-eight years’ consultancy experience specialising in economic development, urban planning and city development. Working in the interface between economics and planning, he regularly leads multi-disciplinary teams to deliver urban solutions in cities and places worldwide, for both public and private sector clients. His ethos is to underpin innovation with solid analysis and research so that the outcomes of development for the community a [...]

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Ms. Thea Myhrvold

Founder and CEO | United Arab Emirates

Thea is the proud founder and CEO of GetBEE and TeachMeNow. Passionate about making knowledge and expertise accessible to all. Digitally transforming education, healthcare and consulting. Thea has spent nearly a decade in her entrepreneurial journey, and truly knows what it takes to scale and execute from a simple idea to a global business. With both Arabic and Norwegian heritage, her international experiences and perspective has shaped how she aims to scale global impact. From coding one o [...]

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Mr. Troy Tolle


Troy is a visionary and champion of cloud computing, pushing the envelope for what can be achieved through online learning. As the CTO of DigitalChalk, his vision leverages emerging cloud technologies with Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality to provide platforms that are used by corporate and academic institutions around the globe. A sought-after industry pioneer, Tolle collaborates with the largest cloud providers shaping their offerings and actively pursues the creation and adoption of [...]

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Dr. Wasseem Abaza

Assistant Professor, Strategy and Entrepreneurship Director, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center | United Arab Emirates

Dr. Wasseem Abaza is an Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at Zayed University and the Director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center where he manages the University’s innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives. He has conducted workshops on topics such as Sustainable Innovation and Positive Organizational Development for organizations such as the Dubai Police and the Al Ahli Holding Group and was recently voted one of the Top 100 Leaders in Education by the Global F [...]

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Mr. Xavier Anglada

Managing Director Accenture Digital Lead, MENA and Turkey | Spain

• Xavi has 22+ years of combined strategy consulting and operational experience in the Digital, FinTech, high tech, media and telecommunications industries in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, leading large teams of professionals and effectively steering P&L in operations. • He has extensive experience as an advisor to top executives of leading groups across multiple domains including: corporate and commercial strategy, business and operational transformation, analytics and org [...]

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Dr. Hamad Alawar

Expert in Forensic Gait Analysis at the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology | United Arab Emirates

Expert in Forensic Gait Analysis at the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology

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