250 experts, 90 diverse activities to headline IGCF 2023
Published: Aug 29, 2023 03:21 PM
The 12th edition of the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF 2023), organised by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), set to take place on 13th-14th September at Expo Centre Sharjah, has revealed a packed itinerary of more than 90 specialised and diverse activities.

The agenda will include discussions, speeches, workshops and training, as well as pre-forum activities, held across 14 stages, poised to inspire and inform government communication practitioners, students and media, and ultimately shape a more dynamic and connected future for the field in the UAE and around the world.

These activities will be led by over 250 local and global experts, and supported by more than 35 local, regional and international partners. The forum, which attracted over 50,000 visitors and participants worldwide in its previous editions, will run its upcoming 12th edition under the theme 'Today's Resources, Tomorrow's Wealth’.

Speakers and guests will deliberate on the mechanisms to address challenges hindering the full and proper utilisation of resources, share insights into how these resources can be transformed into wealth to fuel economic and social development.

The forum provides an opportunity to engage and network with decision-makers and experts in the government communication field, as well as opening new horizons for students and researchers in the UAE and various countries around the world.

Tariq Saeed Allay, Director-General of SGMB, stressed that the global development map is dynamic and ever-changing, requiring precise and well-thought-out responses and government communication strategies to address these concurrent shifts.

He pointed out that in the midst of rapid changes, adaptability, agility, and readiness become crucial factors, and government communication plays a vital role as an effective tool for influencing our path towards the future.

He added, “IGCF sets new pathways for government communication, guiding future efforts and strategies, while considering evolving global challenges and opportunities. The forum presents innovative solutions to harness resources in all their forms to develop and enhance nations’ quality of lives."

The forum encompasses a packed agenda featuring 12 main sessions and inspiring speeches. It places communication at the core of key strategies for introducing new resources, exploring their significance, identifying them, and transforming them into renewable wealth for nations, all within IGCF 2023 four main pillars.

Under the pillar of Natural resources, humankind is warned about the challenges of climate change, environmental degradation, and the depletion of natural resources through insightful sessions and inspirational speeches that will cover sustainability, food security, eradicating hunger, recycling and solar energy. The discussions will also highlight ways countries can invest in their natural resources, their impact on resource sustainability, as well as the balance between the abundance of resources and excessive consumption.

Under the pillar of Non-material wealth, the forum shines light on efforts that should be undertaken to leverage human, and intellectual resources that are no less important than natural resources. The discussions also illuminate the realm of education, the revolutionary shift in the concept of learning, and leading global experiences in this domain. Through its Technology and data: Disruptive wealth of the era pillar, the forum will engage audiences in insightful sessions encompassing artificial intelligence.

Under the Shaping the future of nations' wealth pillar, the forum will highlight future disruptions with a much bigger impact than the industrial revolution. Discussions cover renewable resources, modern sports, data, advanced knowledge technologies, and the educational revolution in the era of technology and artificial intelligence.

Four Seminar Rooms will be home to more than 16 engaging activities organised by leading entities in strategic fields of interest to specialists, academics, journalists and students. The Sustainability Seminar organised by IGCF in cooperation with the COP28 Presidency, the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, and Sharjah’s Rubu' Qarn Foundation, will highlight sustainability challenges and opportunities. Alef Education and Arab Youth Center will organise the Arabic Language Seminar, to advance the role of Arabic language in government communication. A Cyber Security Seminar will be organised by UAE Cybersecurity Council; and the World Media Seminar will be led by the Emirates News Agency (WAM).

IGCF, in collaboration with the University of Sharjah, will organise ‘News Lab’, which includes 8 workshops and a panel discussion in various forms of media content creation, alongside the highly anticipated ‘University Challenge’, open to UAE and GCC universities and organised in cooperation with United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), in addition to the ‘Researchers’ Platform initiative launched by SGMB to provide knowledge-related content and a database for all matters related to government communication to become an essential reference for workers, researchers and scholars in this field as well as being a forum for exchanging knowledge and research.

The Gov. Talks Stage will organise 10 discussion panels and speeches in collaboration with a lineup of partners such as Trends Research and Advisory, Health Education Department of Sharjah’s Supreme Council for Family Affairs, Sharjah Press Club, Sharjah Media City (Shams), UAEU, Family Development Department and its branches, and Districts and Villages Affairs Department.

During the Forum, Trends Research and Advisory will unveil a report on ways to manage human resources and how to preserve and develop natural resources in light of global economic challenges. IGCF will also address diverse topics such as digital health media, the journey of media from traditional to modern-day formats, the power of artificial intelligence in enhancing communication in the digital age, the role of educational and media institutions in achieving national sustainability goals, and the role of responsible communication in promoting sustainability visions.

Additionally, the platform provides a unique opportunity to discuss the reality and future of media, especially digital media, with the younger generations. There will also be a specialised session on the role of Districts Councils as a link between the government and society in enhancing social cohesion.

IGCF 2023 partners will present 29 discussions, inspiring speeches, and workshops in 4 specialised rooms organised by Sharjah's Department of Government Relations, the Department of Statistics and Community Development, Department of Agriculture and Livestock, in addition to a room dedicated to partners, including Sharjah Youth Council, Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), Rubu' Qarn Foundation, Sharjah and Trends Research and Advisory, to highlight the best practices and experiences in various economic and social sectors, enrich knowledge and raise awareness of the importance of communication in supporting sustainable development issues.

The topics will cover vital areas in sustainable development and social welfare, where participants will deliberate the importance of data in improving development indicators, learn experts' views on developing personal and leadership skills, investing in youth energies, as well as the most prominent challenges and solutions to global food security, and the importance of diplomatic communication as a tool for building bridges and cooperation between governments and international organisations in various development fields.

IGCF will offer 3 specialised capacity building programmes, including the "Communication for Success for Young Government Leaders" programme, organised by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the "AI Skills Camp" organised by the Artificial Intelligence Journalism for Research and Forecasting (AIJRF), and the "Leveraging Behavioural Insights for Better Resource Management" programme organised by the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) throughout the forum.

The pre-forum activities by leading partner entities offer a gateway to professional experiences that boosts participants' knowledge and expertise. IGCF 2023 agenda also includes the ‘COMMS programme for media and communications students’; ‘World Media Seminar’ organised by WAM, alongside the highly anticipated ‘University Challenge’, open to UAE and GCC universities and organised in cooperation with UAEU. The activities also include 'Communication for Success for Young Government Leaders' organised by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and ‘AI Skills Camp’ organised by the Artificial Intelligence Journalism for Research and Forecasting (AIJRF).