Discussion Panels

Smart Business EnvironmentSmart CitiesSmart ICTSmart MobilitySmart EnergySmart HealthSmart SocietySmart Negotiation


– Sul Kassicieh
– John W. Brown, USA
– Luay Shawwa, USA
– Khaled Alhashash, NPKE, Kuwait

Diversification of Local Economy, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development
The work by different regions has focused in the past decade on the entrepreneurial ecosystems and their link to policies and investments in the ecosystem. The presentation paints a picture of what needs to happen to enhance the economic development of a region based on the work of government, industry, entrepreneurs and educational institutions.


– Nicos Komninos
– Mark Deakin, UK
– Ari-VeikkoAnttiroiko, Finland
– Marc Pallot, France

Smart Cities – Smart Growth: Managing the interconnection
The panel will discuss the interconnections between innovation systems and digital systems, and how it contributes to contemporary growth. There is strong evidence that innovation and smart environments complement each other bottom-up, and innovation strategies and digital strategies converge towards common objectives and actions for growth. Within this general framework, topics for discussion will be the digital disruption of business practices, the use of digital tools and smart environments for innovation and new product development, the rise of cyber-physical infrastructures, and cyber-physical systems of innovation, the design of digital environments and strategies for growth.The panel discussion will take place in two rounds and a closing statement. In the first round, each participant will refer to his own experience about the interconnection between smart environments and innovation-led growth. These interventionswill be based on personal theoretical research, literature and publications.Here the questions may be (1) how smart environments shape new models of innovation and growth, and (2) trends in the making of cyber-physical systems of innovation because of crowdfunding, global collaboration networks and brokering, real-time services, data-based intelligence, etc. In the second round, each participant will have the chance to present and discuss personal experiences from projects, social experiments, and development of digital solutions or smart environments. Here the discussion will be on (1) challenges encountered during the implementation of smart environments or smart city solutions, the use of participatory methods for the design of smart systems, smart systems for specific industry sectors (e.g. food production, tourism, etc.), smart infrastructures, and (2) the effectiveness of smart systems to sustain innovation, productivity and growth. The panel will close with a final word from each participant related to ideas expressed and experiences shared during the previous two rounds.


– Dr. Jasem Alostad, PAAET, Kuwait
– Abdulkareem Taqi, Kuwait

Digital Transformation and Digital Dividends
The Panel elaborates on the practical aspects of investing in ICT for transforming economies into smart, knowledge-based and innovation-driven economies. A board view of digital transformation strategies and best practices to design and implement such strategies, drawn from all over the world. The talk will address the challenges that face developing economies to realize the digital dividends from their ICT investments in various sectors. It will then outline some promising and smart policies, practices and solutions to these common challenges. Sector transformation will be illustrated by the education and learning sector. Examples of national digital transformation will be drawn from leading countries like Singapore, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, India, USA, etc. Presentation will conclude with some of the emerging lessons for countries to build capacities, institutions, and human resources to lead their own digital, economic, and social transformation towards smart, inclusive, and sustainable development.


– Nick Nigro
– Jeff Allen, USA
– Henry Janzen, USA

The Role of E-Mobility in the Smart City
Exploring the benefits of transportation electrification in diverse communities

The United States is undergoing a rapid transition to a network of smart, connected cities powered by renewable energy. The smart city promises to bring valuable mobility services to diverse populations while improving safety and reducing pollution.
A recent convergence of forces has accelerated investment in an array of advanced vehicle technology including self-driving cars, vehicle batteries, and distributed ride-hailing startups. A reputable American think tank, the Rocky Mountain Institute, recently estimated the United States could save $1 trillion annually by shifting to a mobility-focused, shared use, electrified transportation system. A Bloomberg New Energy Finance study predicted that 35 percent of all vehicles sold globally will be electric by 2040. The business opportunity is clear: two of the largest publicly tradeable companies, Google and Apple now have sizeable mobility programs.
Recently, the United States Department of Transportation issued a call to action: tell the federal government how your municipality wants to build the smart city of the future. The federal agency made this open solicitation in December of 2015 and received nearly 80 applicants. The winning city will receive $40 million from the federal transportation agency along with $10 million dollars from Vulcan Inc. to become “the country’s first city to fully integrate innovative technologies – self-driving cars, connected vehicles, and smart sensors – into their transportation network.”
The panel will include the main 3 points:
• Encouraging cities to engage in e-mobility programs
• The Why and How of Multi Entity Innovation
• Cutting Edge E-mobility Programs: What’s Working?


– Chris Vizas
– Steven Hauser, USA
– Anjan K. Deb, USA
– Bruce Walker, USA

Strategies for Encouraging Development of the Smart Grid
This panel will explore the promise presented by ideas of the “Smart Grid” and the reality of the relatively slow, tentative changes being experienced with technology and service innovation in electric power production and distribution. Focus will be on developments in North America, as well as some parts of Europe and China over the last quarter-century. A central thrust will be that the separation of energy production on one hand and transmission/distribution on the other hand in public policy decisions creates impediments to realizing the ultimate benefits of an intelligent grid. Attention will be paid to specific elements of technology and innovation that can be applied, as well as case studies in their application. Particular attention will be paid to distinctions between short and long term benefits and to questions of balancing non-traditional technologies and operating organizations with existing infrastructure and requirements. The panelists will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of at least one major existing “intelligent grid” project in each of three areas: generation, transmission and distribution. There will be some discussion of key areas where additional new technology development is still necessary. At least two of the panelists will suggest a strategic blueprint for Smart Grid development and management.


– Dr. Sandy Sanzero, USA
– Dr. Al Shimkus, USA
– Dr. Ali Khan-MD, USA
– Dr. Melissa Finley, USA
– Van H. Brass II, USA

Four Pillars for Building Economic Security via National Health Security
The panel will discuss the Key points:
– Health & National Economic Stability/Growth
– Role of One Health/Veterinary Medicine re Food Stability & Economic Growth
– Role of Military in Enhancing Stability & Health Security
– Role of Universities in Health Security
– Women’s Key Roles in Health Security


– Sultan Al Hajji, UAE
– Eng. Ghosoun Alkhaled, Kuwait
– Mohammad Jaffar, Kuwait
– Dr. Talal Alharigi, KSA

Smart Society: Strengthening Greatest Resource, People
– Youth development: Lifetime investment to achieve sustainable development
– Values: Enablers for Societal Transformation
– People and technology working together to build smarter society via Online Communities and Collaborative Network
– Smart leadership: Opportunities and challenges towards human capital development
– Enabling infrastructures for creativity, innovation and connectivity
– Harnessing Solutions towards Youth & Women Empowerment


– Eliane Karsaklian, France
– Ernest Boswarva, Australia
– Andrew Sek Hwan Hong, Korea
– Dominic Ghanbari, Agility, Kuwait

Where can compromising and conflicting negotiations take organizations & countries to?
Despite the efforts made by international organizations such as UNESCO, education systems remain unequal and regional what certainly increases the gaps between countries and negotiating parties. Smart negotiators are well-educated negotiators who reach sustainable agreements for sustainable growth. It seems illogical to believe that without education and knowledge with broader perspectives can lead to growth. Growth requires vision such as the consciousness of where we are and where we should go to. It also requires the ability to allocate the needed means to reach growth.
In this panel, we aim at covering the following fundamental aspects of negotiation as the underlying leverage to Smart Growth:
• Smart growth is joint growth. Negotiating together is aiming at working together with the consequent need for collaboration and interdependence.
• Cultural competence and negotiating skills in diverse negotiating settings
• Multiparty negotiations and thus multiparty negotiating styles and cultures
• Some companies/cultures are more concerned about short-term benefits than long-term commitments – win-lose
• Risk transfer and visions (or lack of) of large array of mutually agreeable alternatives
• Long term win-win solution is a smart negotiation policy.
• Causes and consequences of these different visions of negotiation outcomes (organizational set-up, cultural values, centralization of power, hierarchy, negotiations between locals and people who are in the country for a limited period of time, limited possibilities and thus fierce competition among contractors, different timelines and deadlines …)
• Negotiators need to come to terms with different negotiating styles and cultures
• Applying cultural intelligence to more effective international negotiations
• Only sustainable negotiation can lead to sustainable growth