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EF Summit: Big Data Will Transform The Way Decisions Are Made In The Philanthropic Sector In The Coming Years

ypsUnder the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan

The Fourth Annual Youth Philanthropy Summit 2016 Concludes with Firm Commitments towards a Digital Revolution in Philanthropy.

Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi Minister of State for Tolerance: Tolerance is not just for individuals but also a critical component of how we engage as nations, as communities and as partners to drive the future course of this planet.

Emirates Foundation signs MOU with Ministry of Tolerance to promote the culture of tolerance across the UAE through the active engagement of ‘Takatof Volunteers’ on the sidelines of the Summit.

Summit resolutions include recommendations to enhance collaboration and data sharing to support fact-based decision making for philanthropic investments.

The fourth Annual Youth Philanthropy Summit 2016, which was organized by Emirates Foundation, on 8-9 November, was successfully concluded with firm commitments from all participants to deploy and utilize data and the digital revolution, towards enhancing the impact of philanthropy in the region.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation and Chairman of Emirates Foundation, the Summit brought together local, regional and international participants and speakers along with a group of senior officials, decision makers, experts, government representatives, business leaders, and philanthropists who came together to respond to the Summit’s key theme of “Impact, Data & the Digital Revolution.”

The Summit was attended by the UAE’s key decision-makers, including H.E. Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Managing Director of Emirates Foundation, who delivered the opening speech in the presence of and Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi is the Minister of State for Tolerance.

During the two-day Summit, participants shared their ideas and projects with experts and speakers through a variety of workshops, plenaries, and solution clinics, heeding H.E. Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan’s call for leveraging innovative and the digital revolution to effectively address the challenges facing the philanthropy sector across the region.

One of the top highlights of the Summit was the active participation of delegates in influencing outcomes and recommendations, who were given the opportunity to voice their thoughts through live voting and surveys via a dedicated app.

During her opening speech on the second day of the Summit, Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi Minister of State for Tolerance commended Emirates Foundation’s efforts in driving sustainable development forward, saying: “The Emirates Foundation Youth Philanthropy Summit has become a yearly milestone to talk about how we can continue to maximize impact and change peoples’ lives for the better. It also provides an important platform to reach out to the social sector across the Middle East to engage around tolerance, which is not just for individuals but also a critical component of how we engage as nations, as communities and as partners to drive the future course of this planet.”

Her Excellency announced a collaboration between The Ministry of Tolerance and the Emirates Foundation’s Takatof program, where by Takatof volunteers will support the scale up of our work as a Ministry by becoming our Youth Ambassadors for Tolerance and Diversity.

This stems from the importance she lends to youth to own and shape the future of tolerance and diversity: “Youth play a big role in entrenching and driving a culture of tolerance. The globalization of our communities and the Digital Revolution often means that young people are brought up in much more diverse communities than their predecessors. And this has led to a wonderful outcome that we should celebrate – the creation of a new generation that is inherently more global in its thinking, more inclusive in its behavior.”

As part of the agreement, she said, “We will build the capacity of youth ambassadors to promote Tolerance among their peers, and shift the perceptions of community members about the importance of tolerance. The diversity of our world’s many religions, languages, cultures and ethnicities is not a pretext for conflict, but is a treasure that enriches us all.”

In her closing speech, Clare Woodcraft-Scott, CEO of Emirates Foundation, announced that during the summit, over 70% of local, regional and global business experts, government representatives, youth and philanthropy professionals have actively participated in the live data collection during the summit with significant interest in engaging with the programs offered by Emirates Foundation.

In this respect, the Summit exceeded the expectations with an overwhelming number of delegates expressing their belief in ‘philanthropy’ as a catalyst to improve social welfare. During the discussion, participants also expressed the need to share and maximize data across all sectors in order to make fact based decisions on where to invest philanthropic social capital.

As part of Emirates Foundation’s mission to continuously measure the impact of its Youth Development program portfolio, a pulse survey was conducted amongst youth attending the Summit, where by 65% of youth expressed the need for guidance on how to manage their personal finances, 70% of expressed the need for more training to prepare communities in the UAE to deal with emergency situation; 89% expressed that volunteerism has helped them gain self-confidence and has had a positive impact on their lives; 50% expressed that job readiness and internships are crucial in supporting them access the job market in the UAE; and finally 52% expressed the need for more to be done to ignite youth interest to pursue science studies and careers.

With regards to the discussion elements provided during the Summit, 89% of participants expressed that they believe big data will transform the way decisions are made in philanthropic sector in the coming years and 83% noted that more needs to be done by government, business and the world of philanthropy to secure a sustainable future for all through system innovation and change.

Participants also concurred on the essential role that youth play in driving sustainable development and the importance of earmarking investment funds towards youth development.

Clare Woodcraft-Scott, CEO of Emirates Foundation, also stated: “With the high level participation from local and international experts, industry leaders, investors, youth and officials, the Summit proved to be a catalyzing platform for philanthropic strategies and ideas which have been committed to action in the region,” she said.

Philanthropic projects in the region are made possible through the financial support of donors. This was highlighted during the Summit with the presentation of the “Arab Giving Survey 2016”, prepared in collaboration with Emirates Foundation, which revealed that nine out of ten respondents claiming to have made a financial donation to charity in the past 12 months.

Speaking about investment in philanthropy, Maytha Al Habsi, Deputy CEO at Emirates Foundation, said: ” Never before have we lived in a world of such uncertainty. Never before have we lived in an era where the future is so full of promise and potential and yet so difficult to navigate and harness. How to effectively deploy data and ride the Digital Revolution is surely one of the most profound questions that we have faced this century. Big Data is the third industrial revolution and like the new oil of the 21st century we need to learn how to drill and refine it. We need to learn how to transform it into relevant knowledge, information and insight and we are only at the very beginning of this journey.”

About Marc Mcilhone

Marc Mcilhone is ArabBrains' Editor - sourcing news and features content and overseeing the work of the site’s contributors. Marc’s work is informed by his technical background in architecture having worked for some of the UK’s leading practices on projects within the education, healthcare and housing sectors. Marc has a particular interest in how innovators are creating sustainable solutions that have a positive impact on people’s everyday lives. Please email press releases and news to: editor@arabbrains.com

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