FII 5th Anniversary Kicks Off in Riyadh with Key Discussions on How to Invest in Humanity

Published
May 9, 2022
  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Day One focal points included a live 90-minute ‘board meeting’ on investing for impact, and discussions on the future of tourism, jobs creation, global debt, ESG, data futurism, and strategies for addressing global supply chain disruptions, among many others
  • FII 5th edition attracted world leaders, global CEOs, investors, and policymakers to start discussing how best to invest in humanity over the course of the October 26-28 conference in the Saudi capital.
  • Dame Graça Machel, one of the world’s foremost advocates for women’s and children's rights, and American singer Gloria Gaynor, were named as the first co-recipients of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute’s inaugural for Humanity Award.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, 26 October 2021: The 5th Anniversary Future Investment Initiative (FII) kicked off in Riyadh on Tuesday, with world leaders, global CEOs, investors, and policymakers discussing how best to invest in humanity over the course of the October 26-28 conference in the Saudi capital.

The Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute, a global non-profit foundation with one agenda: Impact on Humanity, is hosting the 5th Anniversary of FII at King Abdulaziz International Conference Center (KAICC). It is taking place under the theme “Invest in Humanity”.

Discussions on the first day revolved around the investments that will create the greatest benefits for humanity, as multiple sectors witness a renaissance in the post-COVID era. Bringing together world leaders, experts, innovators, and media, the three-day conference will include interactive summits on Investing in Education; Investing in the Metaverse; and Investing in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG).

World Leaders attending FII include His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, President, Nigeria; His Excellency Stephen Harper, former Prime Minister, Canada; Her Excellency Kersti Kaljulaid, former President, Estonia; His Excellency Ali Bongo Ondimba, President, Gabon; His Excellency Mario Renzi, former Prime Minister, Italy and FII Institute Board of Trustees member; His Excellency Armen Sarkissian, President, Armenia; and HE Stephen Harper, Former Prime Minister, Canada.

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia; and Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Bahrain, Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, attended a special session on Tuesday to listen to a live interview with His Excellency Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Prime Minister of Greece.

The key sessions on opening day included global perspectives on the future of tourism, the new social contract and the evolving roles of government; data futurism, how will Artificial Intelligence power the metaverse, gaming and e-sports. Sessions also debated strategies for addressing global supply chain disruptions, convolution of the digital economy and space economy, and metaverse infrastructure for citizens of the digital worlds. A key session discussed the new age of investment for growth, profit and impact.

The 5th Anniversary edition opened with a live board meeting featuring leading global CEOs, investors, and policymakers discussing how best to invest in humanity. FII discussions will revolve around the investments that will create the greatest benefits for humanity, as multiple sectors witness a renaissance in the post-COVID era. The platform brings together world leaders, experts, innovators, and media in a global forum to explore pioneering solutions addressing society’s challenges and propel action towards their realization. The three-day conference will include interactive summits on Investing in Education; Investing in the Metaverse; and Investing in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG).

First day announcements included the launch of the National Infrastructure Fund.

The National Development Fund will be appointing BlackRock as its chosen strategic partner to advise on establishment and the operation of the National Infrastructure Fund. NIF will facilitate increased levels of private sector investments by building on the Kingdom’s strong Public Private Partnership track record and providing a range of financial solutions to de-risk projects and enhance their structures to attract more private capital.

INAURGURAL FII INSTITUTE FOR HUMANITY AWARD: Gloria Gaynor and Graça Machel

The Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute for Humanity Award was launched on Tuesday at the 5th Anniversary of FII. Dame Graça Machel, one of the world’s foremost advocates for women’s and children’s rights, and American singer Gloria Gaynor, were named as the first co-recipients of the Institute’s inaugural Award.

The annual award will be given each year to two individuals in recognition of their distinguished careers and lifelong track record of commitment to serving humanity, said the FII Institute. The new award reflects the FII Institute’s own ‘Impact on Humanity’ agenda and how to make a brighter, more sustainable future for humanity.

The award’s first recipient opened FII in spectacular style with global singing icon Gaynor singing her classic song “I Will Survive”. Richard Attias, CEO of FII, presented the FII Institute’s inaugural humanity award to her and later to Machel in recognition of their distinguished careers and lifelong track record of commitment to serving humanity.

Attias said the award recognizes outstanding individuals who have made a positive impact on humanity. “We want to celebrate their lifelong contributions and efforts in areas such as promoting women’s and children’s rights, education, development, as well as art and culture. The FII Institute for Humanity Award is setting new standards for serving people around the world.”

Machel, humanitarian and women’s and children’s rights advocate and Chair, The Graça Machel Trust; spoke about the challenges of our times and the importance of investing in humanity, in a conversation moderated by HRH Princess Reema Al Saud, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United States. The session focused on how the global investment community can work together to launch a new era of investment in human progress, as leaders navigate the global economy through unprecedented transformations, amid increasing opportunities as well as risks.

During the conversation Machel said: “I encourage captains of industry here today, as you innovate our financial systems and explore new frontiers of space and technology, see the human face of the lives you will impact, and keep the welfare in mind as your North Star. Focus your efforts beyond the traditional markets. Include the most marginalized in your business models. Enable your employees and customers to enjoy the dignity of choice.”

LIVELY DEBATE

CNN anchor Richard Quest hosted a live Board meeting on “Investing for Impact” with HE Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak CEO and Managing Director at Mubadala; Ana Patricia Botin, Group Executive Chairman of Banco Santander, Ray Dalio Founder and Co-Chairman Bridgewater Associates, Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO BlackRock, Dr. Patrice Motsepe, African Rainbow Capital, Stephan Schwartzman, Chairman and CEO of Blackstone Group, and David Solomon, Chairman and CEO Goldman Sachs Group.

In a lively debate, board members talked about the vital importance for a collective will to contribute to the climate challenge as no country can achieve this on its own and governments, private sector, and civil society have to combine to do more. They also outlined how important investment is in small businesses around the world to build the stronger economy of the future

“When we bring the private sector and public sector together, we can solve many problems, but often we see the public sector trying to do it all. At this moment capital is abundant and it needs to be put to work but to use this capital in a wise and responsible way,” Larry Fink said.

Other Day One highlights:

  • Global Perspectives on Tourism was a session that had CNN Anchor Richard Quest in conversation with HE Ahmed Al Khateeb, KSA Minister of Tourism and Arnold W Donald, CEO Carnival Corporation and Chair World Travel and Tourism. The discussion focused on the need for global solutions and collaborative partnerships to rebuild the economic sector the most badly impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic.
  • Arnold W Donald said some of the key factors to building a stronger tourism sector in the future there is a need for frictionless travel, greater access to vaccinations and vaccine equity with the introduction of tools to make travel easier such as digital passports. The KSA Minister of Tourism added, “This pandemic will be behind us sooner or later. We need to be ready for strong growth and in Saudi Arabia we are playing an important role to introduce new initiatives in training and sustainability while bringing the world together to talk about issues impacting our industry.”
  • In a conversation session later in the day, HE Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of Greece, said: “I am very excited to be here at FII and would like to thank his Royal Highness for his hospitality and the very interesting discussions that we have had. When I was elected one of my main priorities was to restore strong ties with the Gulf region and I am sure this is just the beginning of forging a very strong strategic partnership between our two countries.” Mitsotakis added: “There are many natural synergies in the hospitality and tourism sector between Saudi Arabia and Greece and we can export our know-how to a country just scratching the surface of its tourism potential.”

In a discussion on the evolving role of business UK Investment Minister Lord Garry Grimstone argued that governments around the world do not have the resources to deal with climate change. He believes they need to leverage vast amounts of private-sector investment alongside to do that.

Giving a Mongolian perspective Boler-Erdene Bottsenge, Chairwoman of the Mongolian Telecommunication and Information Technology Authority, said: “We implemented the e-mongolia platform that can be accessed even by a goat herder in the middle of nowhere in Mongolia. The platform offers 545 services. The amazing thing about is that these services can be delivered to everyone, everywhere in Mongolia. This has helped to reduce corruption by 25%.”

Later in a special address to FII Nigerian President HE Muhammadu Buhari explained how his government was committed to continuing to build resilience and achieve recovery. He outlined its commitment to investing in humanity is driven by stronger public private sector partnerships through investing in health, education, gender equality and multiple other areas for economic growth.

On the issue of global supply chain disruptions, Hon. Don Graves, US Deputy Secretary of Commerce, said: “Predictability, consistency and transparency – that’s really the way we can make sure our supply chains continue to be strengthened. We have to invest in supply chains at home, but also invest in partnerships around the world.”

ENDS

About FII Institute

FII Institute is a global nonprofit foundation with an investment arm and one agenda: Impact on Humanity. Committed to ESG principles, we foster the brightest minds and transform ideas into real- world solutions in five focus areas: AI and Robotics, Education, Healthcare and Sustainability.

We are in the right place at the right time – when decision makers, investors and an engaged generation of youth come together in aspiration, energized and ready for change. We harness that energy into three pillars – THINK, XCHANGE, ACT – and invest in the innovations that make a difference globally.

Join us to own, co-create and actualize a brighter, more sustainable future for humanity.

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