The discussion on “Imagineering – The Future of Education” was insightful. Former Federal Minister for Education and renowned educator Shafqat Mahmood joined online.

The sixth edition of the Leaders in Islamabad Business Summit, with this year’s theme being “The BIG Rethink,” was concluded by Nutshell Conferences Group and Martin Dow Group in strategic partnership with the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) and Unity Foods Limited.

The second day of Leaders in Islamabad Business Summit featured 4 sessions, 11 addresses, 2 conversations, and 2 panel discussions on a variety of topics, including the future of digital technology, the state of education, creating narratives, and climate change.

Green living is important for survival and safety, according to the federal minister for climate change. Since Pakistan recently signed the Paris plastic treaty, I would like to ask that at least the larger hotels stop using plastic water bottles. Pakistan generates enough plastic waste each year to cover two K2 mountains in weight.

The federal minister for climate change pushed the local pollution agenda and claimed that Pakistan’s capacity to adapt to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is in doubt. She described corporate CSR as being too constrained to have the desired impact, and urged media outlets to stop politicising climate change and allow for adequate discussion space. Pakistan is a frontline state for climate change despite having low emissions.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee’s Chairman, Gen. Zubair Mahmood Hayat, N.I. (Retd), spoke about the importance of narratives and the need for Pakistanis to create one that envisions a better future.

He advised Pakistanis to consider their political, social, and economic issues carefully, step outside of their comfort zones, and pursue more ambitious goals rather than making small, incremental changes. Additionally, he advised them to own their political, national, and personal narratives and match their policies with their execution.

The discussion on “Imagineering – The Future of Education” was insightful. Former Federal Minister for Education and renowned educator Shafqat Mahmood joined online.

In addition, Dr. Amjad Waheed, Chief Executive Officer of NBP Funds, and Puruesh Chaudhary, Founder and President of AGAHI, provided their perspectives on the rapidly changing nature of higher education and the pressing need to shift the focus to students.

The need for government intervention was emphasised by Shafqat Mahmood. “Focus on both skill-based education and a unified national curriculum are important to reduce the divide between the haves and the have-nots, secure the future of this country by ensuring social mobility for all,” he said.

Dr. Amjad Waheed provided alarming data regarding the number of children who are not in school: “Of the 53 million children, 23 million are not in school. With a lack of teachers and money, brick-and-mortar schools are not the answer.

In order to effectively summarise the discussion, Mosharraf Zaidi argued that education must be the subject of ongoing discussion rather than being addressed only once during the two-day summit.

Muhammad Salman Anjum, Founder & CEO, InvoiceMate, UAE; Jouni Keranen, Executive Chairman, Kuuhubb & Partner, swissOne Capital; Oscar Ramos, General Partner, SOSV, Managing Director, Orbit Startups; Jimmy Nguyen, CEO, Blockchain for All; and Michael Foley, Regional Director, Airtel Africa, were among the six distinguished speakers who delivered individual addresses at “The Digital Future – Emerging Issues.”

The topics included collaborative and leadership models, as well as the metaverse and blockchain. In his speech, Zouhair Khaliq, the founder and general partner of Teamup Ventures, summarised the lessons learned from the session.

Michael Foley spoke extensively about Pakistan’s tremendous unrealized potential and emphasised the significance of thorough Metaverse exploration.

Users can immerse themselves in the metaverse and achieve greatness there. The interaction and exchange of ideas among people demonstrates the current trends in the emerging markets.

Muhammad Salman Anjum emphasised the importance of developing trust between banks, investors, and SMEs so that they can conduct business easily. We use blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) because they ensure process efficiency and fraud detection effectiveness, not just because these terms are trendy. We will be acting in the capacity of an aggregator with InvoiceMate and focusing on due diligence to guarantee a smooth transaction between banks and businesses.

Jimmy Nguyen, Oscar Ramos, and Jouni Keranen talked about the value of taking chances and enjoying failures. The BIG Rethink, according to Jouni Keranen, means celebrating mistakes, while Oscar Ramos praised change and Jimmy Nguyen urged people to look for novel ways to learn.

Due to Covid-19, e-learning in Vietnam significantly increased, and the nation now has more than 100 ed-tech start-ups. Jimmy Nguyen, Oscar Ramos, and Jouni Keranen talked about the value of taking chances and enjoying failures.

His optimism was shared by Zouhair Khaliq. “Pakistan is home to many hardworking individuals, so it is encouraging to see start-ups taking part in the rethink. The source of growth in Pakistan is not academia or think tanks, but rather the start-up businesses, which are mushrooming up everywhere.”

Another sub-theme, “Imagineering the Future,” saw an array of specialists addressing the audience, including Dr. Rehan Al Taji, Founder & CEO, PXDX FZ LLC, UAE and Partner & Head of Projects, Gabriel Jobs, KSA; Kabeer Naqvi, President & CEO, U Microfinance Bank Limited; Ghazanfar Azzam, President & CEO, Mobilink Microfinance Bank Limited; Abdul Haseeb, Managing Director, TMC; and Farhan Hassan, Head of Easypaisa Wallet Business.

Usman Yousuf, Director at Nutshell Communications, Chairman at ProPakistani, Co-founder at K-Cap Ventures, and CEO at Interactive UAE, moderated the discussion. The panellists all agreed that Pakistan needs to become more financially inclusive and that rigid views about traditional modalities need to change.

The value of social and financial inclusion was discussed by Dr. Rehan Ali Taji and Kabeer Naqvi. In order to address the issue of women receiving less loan money than men, Kabeer Naqvi intervened.

Dr. Rehan Ali Taji argued that in order to promote an innovative culture, educate the public about new technology, and advocate for it, governments must make it easier for startups. Saudi Arabia has introduced tax exemption to support emerging tech companies.

The three factors of access to education, healthcare, and finance were discussed by Ghazanfar Azzam and Farhan Hassan as they relate to how developed a society is.

Azzam emphasised the importance of giving consumers access to credit facilities with a range of options. In order to use Fintech apps and provide financial inclusion to end users, Hassan emphasised the importance of working with other institutions.

Abdul Haseeb argued that Pakistan must work to cultivate talent and provide opportunities for young people. Additionally, he emphasised the need for software that can generate revenue without a cutting-edge setup. Dereck Hoogenkamp, Mark Linder, and Ron Thomas each delivered a speech during the “Emerging Issues” session.

Derek Hoogenkamp insisted that Pakistanis understand the abundance of resources they have inherited and how each has the potential to succeed as a successful business on both real-world and online platforms.The North of Pakistan has enormous tourism potential, and people need to take it seriously.

Mark Linder discussed TAKT, an assembly line formula that aided in the construction of industrial behemoths like Toyota. Pakistan is ready for cooperative models that can speed up progress while cutting costs.

An interesting conversation on “The BIG Rethink” between Tauseef H. Farooqi, Chairman, NEPRA and Sajjeed Aslam, Regional Lead Public Affairs – Asia Pacific, ACCA, had the former talk about his journey at NEPRA and the measures he has taken to uplift the energy sector; “The power sector in Pakistan has gone through major transformation in terms of reducing the electrocution cases, increasing the number of women in the workforce, and expanding the customer base.”

The vote of thanks was delivered by Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman (Rtd.), Pakistan’s Chief of Air Staff (2015–2018). He thanked the speakers, guests, sponsors, and audience for their energetic engagement on both days of the Leaders in Islamabad Business Summit.

The Summit is the largest and most sought-after corporate event in the country, and at the end of the Summit, Muhammad Azfar Ahsan, Founder & CEO, Nutshell Group, announced the dates for the 7th Edition of the Leaders in Islamabad Business Summit, as March 6 and 7, 2024.