Monday 27, February 2017 by Jessica Combes

INSEAD: Middle East Talent Networking Forum brings together region's brightest minds

INSEAD, one of the world’s leading business schools, its fourth Talent Networking Forum in Dubai, under the theme, ‘Entrepreneurship & Digital Transformation for Sustainability & Innovation’.

The event saw the attendance of more than 500 delegates including MBA students, Executive MBA participants, alumni and stakeholders.

“The increasing strength of the Talent Networking Forum reflects a payoff from INSEAD’s strategy of incrementally building a solid presence in the UAE and the Middle East, bringing our top-ranked programmes to the region without any compromise in quality. The excellent match between our globally-minded graduates and the talent needs of the area have led to a thriving alumni network,” said Miguel Sousa Lobo, Associate Professor of Decision Sciences, Director of the Middle East Campus, INSEAD, referring to the Forum’s track record of matching students to the best suited employment opportunities.

In his opening remarks Dietmar Siersdorfer, CEO, Siemens Middle East and UAE, discussed the importance of innovation, the regional impact of digitalisation and its potential to stimulate sustainable economic growth. “digitalisation is a key driver of economic diversification in the Middle East, and in this sphere we believe the region has the potential to be world-leading. It is a catalyst for disruptive business models, inspiring change and enabling businesses, industries and countries to reach new levels of competitiveness. The combination of digital skills and the region’s well-established culture of innovation are key to realising the opportunities presented by digitalisation.” Siemens is a global leader in energy, infrastructure and industrial technology, and uses digital tools to bridge the physical and virtual worlds, creating value from data. The company recently announced it was working with Etihad and Strata in the UAE to produce the region’s first 3D-printed part for aircraft interiors. 

Noor Shawwa, Managing Director, Endeavor UAE delivered the first keynote for the day on the subject ‘Demystifying Entrepreneurship’. He later moderated a panel on entrepreneurship that was headed by Bilal Ballout, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, BMB; Ambareen Musa INSEAD MBA'07D, Founder & Chief Executive Officer,; Michael Lahyani, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Propertyfinder Group; Magnus Olsson, Co-Founder, Careem. 

Pedro S. Cardoso, Senior Vice President, Head, Multichannel, CRM and Digital Transformation, Emirates NBD; Alan Gordon, Marketing Lecturer and Honorary Chairman, EMDI Institute of Media and Communications; Stacy Holland, Vice President Digital Experience, du; Yousef Khalili INSEAD EMBA'14D, Senior Partner, neXgen Group; Charbel Sarkis, Sector Lead, Telecom, Technology, Retail and E-Commerce, Google MENA discussed Digital Transformation as part of the second panel of the day. Juan Jose de la Torre INSEAD MBA'08J, Digital Transformation Leader, IBM Middle East and Africa moderated this session. 

Sami Mahroum, Director, Innovation & Policy Initiative, INSEAD spoke about Rethinking Place Surplus under Digitalisation in his closing remarks. The session highlighted successful examples of location decisions made by entrepreneurs who have established hi-tech endeavours in unconventional places. 

The second half of the day connected INSEAD’s global talent with top recruiters in MENA with specialised sessions that discussed current and future recruitment trends, and highlighted specific recruitment procedures and timelines of regional operations. The sessions were opened by Graham Hastie, Degree Programmes, INSEAD while Arda Atalay, Regional Manager, Talent Solutions, LinkedIn MENA discussed the region’s buzzing recruitment trends. Jim Dawson, Co-Associate Dean, Advancement and Alumni Relations, INSEAD closed the forum.

"The world has entered into the period of Big Data where incredible amount of information can be gathered, worked on and put into use for better outcome. This implies to the Recruitment process as well with several online social assets providing the important talent data. In LinkedIn, our aim is to use our unique insights and build the world's first Economic Graph in order to fulfil our mission of creating an economic opportunity for every member in the global workforce," said Atalay. 

Ranked number one in the world for two consecutive years under the Financial Times ‘Global MBA Ranking 2016 and 2017, ’INSEAD’s alumni network is spread over 150 countries, the Middle East Campus in Abu Dhabi serves the regional business community through its executive education programmes and access to top global talent. The campus has also accelerated the growth of the local alumni network, through the Executive MBA programme and connecting MBA graduates to employment opportunities.



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