Accelerating Innovation in the Middle East: Lessons for the Developing World

Saturday, 15 February 2014: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Acapulco (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
The economic value of innovation is widely discussed in the science and technology community, but the science and technology community is less adept at linking innovation to entrepreneurship and business growth. This connection, however, is crucial in the developing world where resources to invest in science, technology, and innovation are more limited and the need for economic development more desperate—particularly in the Middle East, where political instabilities are exacerbated and fragile democracies threatened by a lack of economic opportunity. The large population of under-employed and unemployed young people in the Middle East is frustrated by the lack of economic growth, and this frustration was a primary spark for the still ongoing transformations of the “Arab Spring.” Amidst the backdrop of political and social upheaval, many efforts are underway to promote a more dynamic innovation ecosystem in the Middle East by stimulating and linking people, institutions, ideas, and capital; it appears that an entrepreneurial revolution may now be taking hold. This session highlights exciting activities that are encouraging the growing culture of innovation and connecting new ideas in science and technology to business growth. These examples can provide helpful models for development in other parts of the world.

Lara Campbell, CUBRC Center for International Science and Technology Advancement
Christopher M. Schroeder, Author
Ghada Amer, Arab Science and Technology Foundation
Regional and Local Efforts to Encourage Entrepreneurship
Firas BenAchour, Tunisian American Young Professionals
Drawing on the Arab Diaspora to Promote Entrepreneurship
See more of: Global Perspectives and Issues
See more of: Symposia