The International Government Communication Centre (IGCC) is the first specialised facility in the field of government communication, both in the Arab region and worldwide. It is a qualitative and strategic initiative, besides being a scientific, intellectual, knowledge-based, and specialised research establishment
IGCF is one of the key initiatives by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau. It was first launched in 2012, and since then it has been organised annually. IGCF is the first-of-its-kind platform in the region that brings together global government communication experts to explore best practices in the field.
The Sharjah Award for Government Communication announces the opening of nominations for innovators in the fields of communication, individuals and institutions, in 31 categories
The COMMS programme aims to develop the professional skills of employees in the field of government communication and recent graduates in the field of communication, through the implementation of a series of interactive and applied workshops.
The workshops are integrated to provide the participant with a set of skills and knowledge on three main axes:
The programme being held on the sidelines of the International Government Communication Forum 2022 includes six workshops as follows:
At a time when the world is facing a global crisis, effective communication crisis management is the best preparation before the crisis occurs. Once a crisis occurs, there is little time to think and much less time to plan. A crisis may occur in your organisation at any time.
Communication Crisis Management is an interactive workshop for practical training in dealing with crises, followed by reactions and training by a highly experienced coach.
The workshop helps participants develop their skills and build their confidence in order to deal with major developments and crises. It also explores the nature of crises, and shows how to develop crisis response strategies and make them applicable at the individual and institutional level.
“Preparing for what may not happen and dealing with what happened” is the most appropriate way to manage crises. However, the speed of governments and institutions bypassing emergencies needs societal support that stems from the perception of the possibility of transforming a crisis and the risks it carries into an opportunity to unleash the creative capabilities that exploit the crisis as an opportunity to reformulate conditions and find solutions. Therefore, the bet on government communicators lies in succeeding in building a relationship with the public that paves the way for creating opportunities.
How can this be achieved? In an atmosphere of imbalance in the elements of the social system due to a state of tension, anxiety and a feeling of helplessness among people as a result of the crisis, as well as the emergence of values and standards that are different from the prevailing culture.
Meanwhile, officials find themselves facing a difficult communication process with the public in light of the elements of surprise, lack of information, escalation of events, loss of control over decision-making, spread of panic, and the absence of a quick and radical solution.
Therefore, governments consider that one of the most important elements of their success in managing a crisis is to convince the public of the steps taken and arrangements made, and that it is part of making sound solutions, which makes them rely on communication strategies based on the art of persuasion.
Since persuasion in emergency situations requires very high skills, the International Government Communication Forum provides a brainstorming platform between Directors General of Government Communications in the Emirate of Sharjah and the British investigator Richard Mullender, who is famous for his ability to capture minute detail, listening skills and possessing the art of persuasion to be a distinguished negotiator in critical hostage situations.
On the platform, participants will address the following topics:
The communications revolution has transformed the world into a global village. This is an undoubted reality and its importance should not be underestimated. There is a need for cultural communication and the exchange of experiences that lay the foundations for understanding the other, and understanding and respecting the causes of cultural differences.
But this closeness and communication showed an exceptional importance for achieving balance between cultures, so that one culture does not judge another by its own values and principles, nor does it evaluate other cultures based on the concepts that it acquired from the privacy of its experience and the historical circumstances that accompanied the formation and emergence of its identity.
Cultural balance in a time of openness and direct communication between peoples and nations has become a reason for strengthening human relations and consolidating the values of cooperation and partnership in a framework of diversity and difference.
Therefore, this session discusses the importance of cultural balance and respect for the specificities of nations and peoples to build a stable world that is not tainted by the values of hatred and extremism. Shedding light on this issue are the following themes:
Formulating the best solutions when faced with a problem is a challenge that decision makers in governments, institutions and organisations face on a daily basis. Between a logical study of variables and difficulties, integrating different points of view, and taking into account the short and long-term goals, the ability to accurately assess situations and reach positive solutions emerges.
Viewed from this perspective, environmental and green economy decisions depend on government discourse that creates a state of debates and interactions in order to build bridges between governments on the one hand, and with the public on the other, at a time when decision makers are increasingly employing the arts of communication and persuasion to solve problems.
In this context, the International Government Communication Forum provides a dialogue platform that reveals the arts and secrets of decision-making and rhetorical and communicative mechanisms to gain public support, with HE Felipe Calderon, the former President of Mexico, who is best known for developing environmental strategies, green growth plans and economic approaches to global environmental sustainability, sharing his insights.
Calderon is the Honorary Chair of the World Commission on Economics Climate, as well as the current Chair of the FIA Environment and Sustainability Committee, and Chair of the Foundation for Sustainable Human Development; Member of the Board of Directors of the World Resources Institute.
Dialogue with Felipe Calderon, former President of Mexico
The dialogue with Felipe Calderon, based on his experiences, leads us to discuss the following topics:
The descriptions that define the forms and functions of governments in the world are many - open governments, democratic governments, transparent governments, interactive governments, many and varied names, but it cannot be said that any of these descriptions alone will be appropriate for all peoples and cultures and in various historical, economic and social conditions.
The form of government is determined by its central function imposed by the special circumstances of the nation and determined by the aspirations of society and its endeavours towards progress and prosperity.
But there remains one thing in common despite all the differences, which is openness to the local audience first, and the global audience second, and the ability to have dialogue and communicate through platforms and by sustainable and effective means.
This is the condition that must be met by every institution and government entity, regardless of their description. Dialogue and communication are the basis of cooperation, partnership, and community integration in development endeavours, while their absence poses a great danger to the common future and the higher interests of all, especially in light of the openness of the world to each other and the ease of transmission of information, news and cultures and increasing the influence of societies on various sources and media.
This session addresses the commonalities that all governments must share with regard to communicating with the public, and reviews the best sustainable mechanisms and platforms to achieve this, and is based on the following axes:
When you use certain words in a distinct way, you can highlight a topic and attract others to you with the "power of the word", which can change the opinion of the meeting on an issue or issue. And by employing the art of speech and the art of persuasion, and mastery in attention-grabbing skills and tools for communicating information, you make the audience understand you with conviction besides directing it to the goal of the message, thus acquiring the "power of influence".
And between “the power of the word” and “the power of influence,” the actors in the public communication process can make a qualitative difference in building societal awareness of an issue, and reach the goals of the government message directed to the public by persuading them to take certain steps, procedures and measures with enthusiasm and without hesitation, in addition to believing in the ideas and directions presented.
We are not talking here about influencers in social media, but rather about the importance of formulating new qualities for the leader in his sector, institution and field - qualities that keep pace with changes in the nature, culture, tendencies and orientations of the public.
At a time when government agencies believe that every employee is a real actor in the communicative process with the public, it has become necessary to empower employees of different job grades with the skills of choosing the right words, the art of persuasion, and methods of influencing the public.
In light of this, the International Government Communication Forum addresses the following themes:
Between the spectre of poverty, the scourge of disease and the dangers of global warming, the struggles come loaded with waves of change in order to promote shared prosperity and economic growth, but the successes remain dependent on the size of the possibilities to confront the signs generated by social and economic crises, and the ability of governments to constructively communicate with each other and with societies to achieve the goals of sustainable development.
Dr. Jim Yong Kim, former President of the World Bank, has always considered that “change is coming and the question is whether we take the reins of change and become its architects rather than its victims.”
With a forward-looking view and steps that combine governmental and institutional approaches and create a social thought that is in line with the latest developments, it is possible to establish new systems in civil society that culminate the efforts of struggles with positive results in issues that trouble the world to this day.
But the question is how to achieve this, and how to build strategies and implement plans -- governmental and social -- to achieve a balance and achievements in education, health, human capital building, climate change, and others?
In a dialogue with Dr. Kim, who has dedicated himself to serving international development, advancing higher education, combating disease and reducing pollution risks, the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) provides an opportunity to analyse the reality and extrapolate the future by delving into the nature of current struggles and their impact on change.
The discussion will addresses the following questions:
Crises affect the morale of the public. Sometimes when faced with a crisis deep in its effects, the public's confidence in the responsible authorities and their policies is undermined, and this may generate some disturbances and distortions in the relationship between the public and state institutions.
There is a big and clear difference between containing economic crises and adapting to them and this has been demonstrated by various global experiences.
Containment means controlling the crisis, regaining control and reversing its course, and taking charge of the situation to rise again. It also means boosting the morale of the masses, and guiding them towards their role for renewal and resurgence. Containment is a consolidation of the collective spirit of society and the consolidation of its unity led by state institutions.
While adaptation remains only a stage of containment, and in this case it means adapting behaviours and practices according to the results of the economic crisis, and then developing plans and strategies to contain it and overcome its effects.
In this context, it is necessary for government communication departments to be aware of the line between adaptation and containment, and to possess the skills of leading the public and directing it towards adaptation and readiness, and then moving to the stage of overcoming the crisis.
This means enhancing awareness of consumer practices, saving plans, and budgeting departments, whether at the individual, family, institution or company level. It also means providing the necessary data by governments to the public about the course of the crisis and its results and government plans to confront and deal with its repercussions.
Based on the current reality and developments at the global level, the speakers in this session will seek to answer the following questions:
Many countries have managed to enhance their reputation, build their global mental image, and influence the conscience and culture of the people around the world through the entertainment they produce in general, and drama in particular.
The directness that is involved in the stories of the heroes of films and series, and the accompanying knowledge of the details of their lives and the people near them, has a more profound impact on the soul than news reports and direct information.
The world has come to know about the American dream thanks to Hollywood. People have long been attracted by Mexican soap operas and Korean lifestyles have become a model for a whole generation of the world’s youth thanks to the growth of their drama industry.
Vocabulary and terminology
It is also noted that there are common denominators in the dramatic production of one country, which is the definition of cultural and emotional identity, the generalisation of concepts, the presentation of ideas and special positions, and the definition of achievements, excellence and superiority of cultural identity.
Where’s the Arab drama?
The question that arises here, where is the Arab drama in this task? Why is it absent from the world stage and from the arena of global cultural movement in which every culture takes its space, presence and influence?
Is this absence the responsibility of governments? Or is it the responsibility of the private sector and investors who are decision makers in the drama and entertainment sector in general? And where do we launch the march of Arab drama for the global acceptance?
Global changes and economic challenges place government goals to increase general support for climate policies in a predicament, impeding their commitment to Article 6 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to educate the public about the impact of global warming and the deadly effects of heat stress to humans.
Governments are working towards "net zero emissions" targets by achieving a sustainable balance between greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonisation. Yet, the challenge lies in the public's limited understanding of the concept of "net zero emissions."
Scientists have shown that human activity has a direct impact on Earth's climate, and fears are rising that more than 350 million people will be exposed to fatally high temperatures by the year 2050. Despite the existence of a small segment of people who do not trust climate science or believe in global warming, the general view supports the necessity of reducing the planet's warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius through limiting emissions in the coming decade. This will be a crucial step for the future.
To reach net zero emissions, global warming should be dealt with as a scientific and social problem whose solution rests on self-responsibility and progressive behavioural change. As such, governments should adopt similar methods in terms of politics, education, campaigning, the Internet and social media albeit with different characteristics and emphasis regarding climate change.
The workshop aims to provide participants with the skills and knowledge necessary to develop the government communication system, taking into account the administrative and technological dimensions that have changed the features of communication and provided new tools that enable communicators to enhance the impact of messages and measurement methods and the application of modern management principles in achieving goals.
The AI Journalism Mini Diploma (AIJMD), the first of its kind in the world, is offered in Arabic during the International Government Communication Forum 2022, in cooperation with the Artificial Intelligence Journalism Foundation for Research and Foresight (AIJRF), the world's leading institution in media studies, Artificial Intelligence, and the Fourth and Fifth Industrial Revolutions.
The professional diploma targets media professionals, government leaders, government communication officials, and content makers enabling them to rely on the Artificial Intelligence applications and solutions in the content industry, the management of government services, and the management of the higher goals and strategies of organisations based on the latest AI technologies.
The workshop "Creating digital content...from and to the phone" targets training in creating digital content. The smartphone is no longer a means of communication alone. Today it has become the main axis that controls what we follow or even produce. Therefore, producing innovative digital content requires different tools than those used in traditional media, to cater to a moody and picky audience that is constantly looking for something new.
The UAE believes in the slogan, "Women: Ambitions and Inspiration for the Next 50 Years." Emirati women have repeatedly proven that they are capable of overcoming obstacles to achieve their ambitions. They have shown that they play an active role in supporting the country's growth and development through numerous successes in diverse areas—from education to the most difficult and demanding professions.
Emirati women have proven their success in developing initiatives and solutions with a significant impact on improving multiple important sectors, especially education and health. Additionally, they have contributed to supporting the future economy by diversifying it away from oil and renewing commitment to advanced industry and technology. Women now have a prominent place in the UAE, with some becoming inspirational figures both nationally and globally. Building on Sharjah’s vision for the empowerment of women, the "Inspirational Eve" platform is aimed at working with NAMA Women Advancement Establishment and Sharjah Business Women Council to provide a space for constructive and robust debate around women's contribution to the advancement and development of society based on the vision of government communication.
The platform programme for the first day includes:
The show will begin with a touching video of the journey of Umm Ahmed, a senior Emirati woman and artisan at Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council. Umm Ahmed has contributed to documenting and transmitting unregistered Emirati crafts. The show will shed light on Umm Ahmed’s most significant contributions. Umm Ahmed traveled the world to train artisans from other cultures in Emirati skills. Despite the language barrier, she communicated with them through the arts and signing.
After the show, Umm Ahmed will go up on the stage, introduce herself, and then begin to tell the stories of her journey with Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council.
Future Worlds Challenge with MIT App Inventor 2022 (Sharjah)v
From 26th to 28th September, 2022 from 10am to 4pm UAE Time.
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." ― Alan Kay
For the first time in the Middle East, the Future Worlds Challenge with MIT App Inventor will take place in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, as part of the International Government Communication Forum 2022.
The challenge will take the forum theme of government communication to a whole new level by focusing on the topic of generational Artificial Intelligence (AI) specifically focusing on how young people interact with and perceive conversational agents such as Alexa and Siri.
This challenge will actually be a game in which we challenge participants including school students and government officials, working in teams to design a Future World. They will do this by learning how to program Amazon Alexa in App Inventor and through Alexa-powered conversations design and navigate potential future scenarios for government communication and to craft a world that they think is most likely and that they would like to live in.
The challenge will consist of a series of coding sessions, group exercises, discussions and team presentations, and will expand over three days.
The first day will be mainly allocated to coding sessions. In these series of sessions, our team will introduce the participants to the participants to the is App Inventor technology and Alexa as an example of the Conversational Artificial Intelligence agents. On the same day, the participants will learn how to some of the basics of coding Alexa.
The day will end with ideation session around the future of conversational agents.
On Day Two of the challenge, the participants will start working in teams to tackle the challenge of designing the best possible future for government commutation in the age of “metaverse” and emerging technologies. Each team will be expected to tap into Alexa’s skills they developed earlier to gain extra information and insights. This teams will continue working on their “futures” throughout the first half of the last day of the challenge. At that point, each team will prepare the story of their envisioned future. Following that, the teams will have the opportunity to pitch their futures and receive feedback from the judges in the room.
The judges will also assess the pitches and pick the winning team of the Best Challenge for the Future in Government Communication. This winning team will be revealed and rewarded on the final day of the forum.
The challenge will then be concluded with a wrap up session which will allow the participates to reflect on the whole challenge experience and share their thoughts and the learning outcomes.
Expected benefits for participants:
What is it?
We learn from books, media and institutions - but we also learn from each other, so why not make this medium of learning something available to all who seek it? For as long as man existed, discussion served a purpose of mentorship and education - it's time to reconnect with this forgotten medium of knowledge.
House of Wisdom wants to create a dedicated space for the public to engage in thought-provoking conversations with some of the world's most interesting people - those who have had life-changing experiences, driven influential causes or made a noticeable impact in their field of work.
Through this initiative, how aims to create an online archive that gives the public access to unique opinions, stories and advice shared from a diverse range of experts and individuals.
Why are we doing it?
"Brainstorming" is one of the best ways to solve problems creatively. The "Dialogue of Minds" platform opens the way for session participants to engage in discussion with the aim of developing creative ideas to address challenges arising from global changes and developments.
The economic changes and technological developments facing the world create increasing challenges for entrepreneurs, especially owners of small- and medium-sized enterprises. The session participants’ ideas will represent a source of inspiration for entrepreneurs. They will also be a positive incentive for taking innovative steps in pace with accelerated efforts to develop the entrepreneurial environment at the domestic, regional and global level.
Through collective brainstorming, entrepreneurs will address:
Sharjah Media City (Shams) has launched a collective creative project with a true modern format titled "The Writing Room." The initiative aims to discover promising new talents and provide them with the opportunity to develop their writing skills, as well as work on sustainable strategies in the industry by qualifying and training content writers.
The ‘Writing Room’ project brings together a group of talented and creative people for jobs that constitute soft power in the modern era through works such as a television series, cinema, advertisements, visual materials, awareness films, documentaries, and animation films etc.
It is in light of this that the idea of the ‘Writing Room’ has come about in cooperation with the Emirati scriptwriter Mohammed Hassan Ahmed, who has been working in the film industry and writing scripts for a number of television drama series, cinema and other such content for 19 years.
The Writing Room project offers a number of workshops aimed at attracting promising fresh talent and those aspiring to enter the creative world of writing. Writing initiatives will be processed and developed including text, dramatic text processing (scenario), technical reading of texts and text development sessions.
The project also seeks to discover promising new writers through the workshops offered by scriptwriter Mohammed Hassan Ahmed to university and college students and emerging talents.
Four to five people would be chosen to participate in the brainstorming sessions. The training involves five or six sessions in which ideas are exchanged and a series is visualised including the plot, the proposed characters and the choice of time and place. After the brainstorming, two writers are chosen to write the series of six to eight episodes.
Between four to six series would be presented during the year, and a number of them will be produced by "Shams." The rest will be sold to local and regional production companies.
The Job Shadowing Programme is a type of training for employees and students. It includes a timeframe based on specific goals that a team of qualified and experienced people work to achieve so as to pass on their expertise and knowledge. The aim is to enable trainees to work in media and administrative organisations and to support them in learning through doing, thus helping to develop their abilities and preparing them for the job market.
The Job Shadow Programme Agenda includes Five Main Events:
A special programme and platform for interactive and innovative discourse, representing an advanced, practical idea of government communication and the tasks and efforts of the International Government Communication Centre to make discussion, communication and direct interactive discourse a key part of daily administrative work.
The programme and platform demonstrate the positive, leading role that government communication plays in the strategies of different organisations—in both the public and private sectors—to support the sustainable development of society. This is in addition to its role in improving the services provided to diverse groups and individuals within society, alongside the creation of initiatives to further develop Sharjah as a pioneer in government communication.
The platform functions as a focal point for initiating direct lines of communication among officials and between officials and the public, as a way of providing access to a diversity of experiences and for exchanging expertise and knowledge. This is in accordance with one of the IGCC's goals to develop the concept, methods and practices of government communication in Sharjah and the region.
The idea is to invite a number of officials to take part in a single discussion panel to talk about the organisation's general plan in the context of the special work carried out by government communication. Each official, with questions from the programme's host, will outline the organisation's work including its goals, vision, the contribution of government communication, and the applications that it provides in carrying out its plan. As it is the main body for improving communication experience between different organisations, there will be a focus on the contribution of studies, proposals and inspiring ideas that are produced by the IGCF each year.
The workshop targets the special needs for managing projects in a more efficient and effective manner, and relies on the use of the administrative-analytical approach instead of using the prescriptive approach. It also deals with management from a human and technical perspective, as project success is the primary goal of project management.
The Sharjah Youth Forum discusses an important issue in the International Government Communication Forum, which is the role of youth councils in the local community. Does it have an important role and have these councils really been able to understand the aspirations and needs of young people, and most important of all, have these youth councils been able to serve and benefit the youth.
The rapid scientific and technological developments have imposed demanding and successive changes in the education and qualification of media and communication students, with the aim of bridging the gap between theoretical and practical training for university graduates and the requirements of the labour market.
In order to create a new generation of media professionals more adept at adapting to national, regional and global changes, the IGCF discusses the importance of matching the qualifications of media and communication students with the labour market and how to build appropriate academic curricula and training for this through the following programme:
The rapid scientific and technological developments have imposed demanding and successive changes in the education and qualification of media and communication students, with the aim of bridging the gap between theoretical and practical training for university graduates and the requirements of the labour market.v
In light of the rapid changes that have reshaped the media landscape in the Arab world and transformed the media into an industry that is not inferior to any, the media market today requires multiple skills to be “comprehensively” able to move from performing the tasks of gathering, transmitting and editing news to analysing and presenting them in attractive forms and templates, valid for communication platforms with a high and influential human intelligence and beyond traditional templates.
From 28th to 29th September, 2022 from 10am to 4pm UAE Time.
“We ... need to be prepared for the internet that we know to evolve unpredictably, and work to ensure that it remains beneficial for humankind.”
Professor Dame Wendy Hall & Dr Kieron O’Hara, “Four Internets: The Geopolitics of Digital Governance”
This eighteenth edition of Brave Conversations will be held in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates as part of the International Government Communication Forum 2022.
The theme of the conversation will mainly focus on the topic of government communication in the age of emerging technologies. Together we will explore key questions including the “Meta” verse and why we are so obsessed with it.
The goal of Brave Conversations is to challenge everyone who participates - regardless of what background they come from, or what their skillset and expertise are - to more fully explore and understand the interplay between humans, the technologies we have created and the societies which will emerge from the Pandemic.
The event will expand over two days and will be facilitated by our international facilitators who have introduced it in this format back in 2017.
The first day of Brave Conversations will focus on setting the context and offering an overview of the whole event while also enabling the participants to get to know each other. During this same day, we will share insights and facilitate group conversation to better understand the world we live in by bringing together multiple lenses. On day one as well, we will have our first group exercise which will focus on the theory of affordances and how it might be applied on virtual worlds as compared to the physical world.
The Case Study group exercise will be introduced towards the end of the first day and will have the theme of a hypothetical scenario that takes place in the future.
On the second day of the event, the participants will continue working in groups to discuss the case study and generate the possible insights through their various lenses. Eventually, each group will have the chance to present their insights, thoughts, and questions about the case study to the rest of the participants in the room.
The second half of the last day will be a space for reflections at both individual and group levels. The facilitators will encourage and support the participants to share ideas on how we can become Smarter Humans. This will include discussing tools for future design and the theory of system thinking.
The day will end with a wrap up session to discuss what we have learned throughout the sessions of both days, and what we are going to do about it.
New Media Academy is the first academic institution of its kind in the region, and aims to train experts in the Arab world to lead the fast-growing digital media sector. It does so by offering a wide range of training programmes that are led by some of the foremost experts in the field, including world renowned academics, experts, and influencers.
Besides, New Media Academy plays an important role in creating professional opportunities and career paths for its alumni by encouraging both public and private investments in the information and technology sectors.
Given its goal to enhance the capability and digital expertise of respected influencers and content creators in the UAE and the Arab world, and in addition to supporting media officials specialised in managing digital platforms for government and semi government institutions, New Media Academy is participating in the International Government Communication Forum to conduct a series of activities related to government digital media, content creation, and storytelling. This will also include conducting an on-the-spot assessment for visitors on marketing and communication skills, discussing the future of organising digital government communication, and presenting sessions by New Media Academy experts.
The function of language cannot be reduced to a mere tool for communication; this can be done by signs or symbols as well or through any foreign language that the two parties or the interlocutors master. The language is much more than that.
On the one hand, it bears the history of the nation, accurately conveying its experiences, as some historical stories cannot be understood without a deep understanding of the Arabic language, as the narrated events convey to us the names of places and peoples, various descriptions of creatures, nature, weather conditions, people’s customs and traditions, and they also bear descriptions of agriculture, industry, arts and crafts.
Popular or otherwise, these names and descriptions cannot or may be very difficult to be replaced by foreign names and descriptions except for the purposes of documentation and translation to introduce the world to our own cultures.
Language is also a lever for science, literature and social culture, as it builds with the values of the collective conscience of the nation, and transmits the accumulated sciences throughout history to future generations in authentic Arabic terms.
Despite this importance of the language, the Arabic language suffers from several challenges. There is the influence of foreign languages and the dominance of their terms at the expense of the Arabic language.
Most people from the new generations face a dilemma between the authentic language, which is an original component of their identity, and the needs of the market, work and communication with the other. They need to balance between preserving the language on the one hand and acquiring modern skills on the other.
In recent years, economic development has relied on culture as an essential part of its components by integrating creative elements with the aim of innovation and achieving the highest level of interaction between individual and collective local knowledge, national identity and global markets, and many international experiences have proven that the more culture flourishes, the economy flourishes.
Through the good use of the cultural map, countries have achieved many economic benefits by investing in heritage, handicrafts, cinema and others. When the cultural sector became a real resource for developing productivity in global markets, the term “cultural economy” appeared and imposed production strategies, distribution and cultural services that keep pace with the changes of the times.
In light of this, many analysts see that the relationship between the economy and culture is dynamic and linked to three dimensions, firstly, the cultural economy, which is concerned with the cultural behaviour and creating the appropriate climate for the prosperity of this sector in response to the cultures of the public to deal with the cultural product as a good or service. The second dimension is the culture of the economy, which delves into behaviour as an influence on development and prosperity. The third dimension is the creative economy, which makes innovative ideas a tool for building new institutions that meet the needs of the public and achieve sustainable development standards.
This speech deals with the role of government communication in educating the public about the importance of creative sectors; how to establish businesses in these sectors, and how these businesses can contribute to supporting economic prosperity, social stability and raising public taste, as well as the role of investment in the arts in presenting an attractive image of nations on the international stage.
The International Government Communication Forum provides for the development of future visions for the role of culture in strengthening national and global economies by discussing the following themes:
Simple changes can make the difference between failure and success and between life and death. Have you ever thought about the role of your daily habits in your success? And how can positive new habits be a powerful tool for productivity?
Questions answered by author and journalist Charles Duhigg in two wonderful books in which he reveals the science of forming habits in our lives and the science of productivity in a narrative and analytical way that leaves an imprint and an impact on the reader.
In his books "The Power of Habit" and "Smarter, Faster, Better... Secrets of Production in Life and Work", he enters the depths of thinking about framing daily life, setting goals and achieving them.
With Charles Duhigg, the International Government Communication Forum 2022 takes attendees on a journey of discoveries of neuroscience, psychology of habit formation and how to succeed with the least stress and sacrifices of what we care about, as we try to figure out the best uses of our energy, intelligence, and time, and seize opportunities with minimal effort.
From an inspiring platform at the forum, Duhigg reveals the secrets of production with daily habits, by addressing the following themes:
Some individuals play a vital role in the lives of others helping them emulate their own inspiring examples for a better life. Their inspiring stories circulate in the public space and complement the efforts of governments in building creative social thought that strengthens the belief that human beings have a deep and limitless power in their hearts.
By helping each other and others, dreams are born within people who can realise them in a journey of shared struggle and perseverance achieving success through humanitarian help and support.
The journey begins with convincing people of the need to dream and not give up or given in in the face of adversity. They must be made to realise the importance of searching for oneself in the darkest and most severe of circumstances and to get out of the prison of depression to enter horizons of limitless opportunities.
A life full of creativity and innovation and eventual joy of success awaits them if they do not abandon themselves and press on their chosen path with firm self-belief and determination.
In this context, IGCF takes us on a tour with Charlie Rocket, who realised his childhood dream of becoming a successful cycling athlete after battling depression, binge eating, insecurity and a brain tumour.
In his inspiring lecture, Charlie will talk about:
Take a moment, and reflect on contemporary man, and how he has come to live with social and individual dilemmas, interconnected and unconnected.
Have we lost identity in our world, over-rationalism, over-openness, and become addicted to technology? Are the human’s essence and his abilities to love, hope and creativity affected? To what extent did ideas appear that led a person to despair and surrender and distracted him from finding solutions? Questions that may have ushered us into dark areas of thinking.
This is however rejected by the eminent biologist and specialist in human behaviour, Dr. Khaled Ghattas. He says: “No to frustration and surrender in the face of challenges, yes to change and facing dilemmas with unique ideas.”
He presents short philosophical stories that mimic the crises of contemporary man and employ the beauty of art, literature, nature and science, and presents, through social media platforms, a rhetorical language that has become a model for communication that builds a positive thought that establishes the industry of hope.
The International Government Communication Forum hosts an inspiring session with Dr. Khaled Ghattas, while he examines the questions:
The importance of building societies that believe in a more beautiful tomorrow and live in the present moment without escaping to the imam
The race against the clock has become more intense and difficult in a communication process that occurs in light of rapid changes, huge technological developments and innovations for new media and communication platforms. Therefore, government agencies, institutions and organisations are in a creative search for new communication channels and partnerships that enhance the interactive relationship with the public.
A state of creative media and communication chaos emerged, which established unique communication channels and partnerships with persuasive efficacy, within which governments and organisations carried out communication practices using video and electronic games and cooperation with sports clubs, social influencers, volunteer teams and others.
These communication channels and partnerships were able to deliver awareness and guiding messages on diverse topics and for different social groups. They were also able to be closer to the public space, and interact with it.
Creative communication partnerships
With the emergence of creative communication partnerships, it is necessary to identify the nature and characteristics of successful “gatekeepers” in the stages of the communication chain.
Will we witness the emergence of new watchdogs alongside journalists, media professionals and members of the public who influence the perception and interests of other individuals?
Author Awad bin Hassoum Al Darmaki on new communication environment
Eminent Emirati author and poet Awad bin Hassoum Al Darmaki joins the intellectual platform on new communication practices with an inspiring speech that stems from an experience spanning media, culture, sports, strategic planning, human development and institutional development, to discuss the following themes:
Global changes create new challenges that create opportunities to develop a growth mindset based on coordination and innovation to better own the future. Moreover, in times of economic turmoil, change happens faster and more creatively by spurring innovations that become the core of the new economy.
At a time of increasing concern about the collapse of the global economy, the practices of digital transformation, renewable energy, electric mobility, smart city technology, Artificial Intelligence and others are accelerating. With the realities of the changes, innovators in crises look forward to improving the lives of others, and communicating with them, so that they can be part of the solution when things get difficult.
Historically, innovation during times of global turmoil has been a critical tool for overcoming the crisis and emerging from it stronger through “creative destruction” and the dismantling of old practices and allowing innovation as a driving force. It serves as a basic pillar of human communication to solve problems and effective means of gaining public support in a certain direction, as studies have shown that “creative destruction” provides an opportunity to improve the situation by solving crises.
The session discusses the best mechanisms that governments could use to understand market trends and social and cultural transformations in their countries, and to monitor and anticipate results with communication strategies aimed at raising awareness of change on the one hand, and motivating the people for renewal by proactive leaders and pioneers in various sectors, on the other.
In light of the latest digital and technological developments and global trends in Artificial Intelligence and the virtual world or "Metaverse", it has become necessary to replace current investments with more advanced ones.
In order to avoid emerging crises, technology giants are betting that Metaverse will represent the future of the Internet during the next few years, at a time when efforts are increasing to develop the ability of users to control and own their creativity, content and digital assets with the next generation network of the Internet, Web 3.
Economists and financial market experts have conducted their research on the future of investing in Metaverse, and expectations have risen that investing in this technology will be a revolution by all standards, enhanced by the use of the great development in Artificial Intelligence techniques. The integration of Web 3 and Virtual Reality may constitute the "crazy future" as many experts describe it.
It is estimated that the creative economy in Metaverse is spawning well the vision of “Web 3” by developing an entirely new financial world implementing decentralised solutions.
In light of this, the IGCF proposes to discuss the following:v
Governments view startups as the future of a promising and sustainable economy. In recent years, we have witnessed a growing interest in adopting general strategies to support the stakeholders of this sector, as well as adopting communication and media channels with the aim of attracting more investors to achieve this.
The flow of investments to entrepreneurs, innovative ideas and emerging projects has increased in recent times, especially in the technology and innovation sectors and creative industries, registering tremendous growth. Emerging projects started with ideas from the reality of social life and urgent humanitarian and economic needs.
However, the dilemma of the continuity of emerging projects and their ability to develop continues. There is a need to lay the intellectual and cognitive foundations for establishing new projects, encouraging young people, in particular, to engage in investments, working with governments and competent authorities to groom a generation capable of inventing ideas for emerging projects – projects that are shaped after a careful study of the market and keeping pace with requirements of each stage.
From this standpoint, the International Government Communication Forum will discuss the following points:
The professional diploma targets a number of media professionals, government leaders, government communication officials, and content makers. To enable them to rely on a number of Artificial Intelligence applications and solutions in the content industry, the management of government services, and the management of the higher goals and strategies of organisations based on the latest AI technologies.
Emirati women have proven their success in developing initiatives and solutions with a significant impact on improving multiple important sectors, especially education and health. Additionally, they have contributed to supporting the future economy by diversifying it away from oil and renewing commitment to advanced industry and technology. Women now have a prominent place in the UAE, with some becoming inspirational figures both domestically and globally. Building on Sharjah's vision for the empowerment of women, the "Inspirational Eve" platform is aimed at working with NAMA Women Advancement Establishment and Sharjah Business Women Council to provide a space for constructive and robust debate around women's contribution to the advancement and development of society based on the vision of government communication.
The platform programme for the second day includes:
The artisanal heritage of all societies worldwide is one of the most prominent features that shape its identity and facilitates its dialogues with different cultures. Just as the cultural identity of the UAE entails the arts of Henna, Talli, Sword making, and other traditional crafts, its multicultural environment allows it to encapsulate the cultures and civilizations of the world with their traditional crafts, such as making carpets, ceramics, papermaking, embroidery, and other folk arts and crafts.v
Traditional crafts do not only present the identity of their countries and people, but they can bring about changes in local investment patterns. Reports indicate that the size of the global traditional crafts market is around 680 billion US dollars. That poses an opportunity for entrepreneurs, investors, and transnational companies.
Artisanal heritage is a medium that allows for new paths to government communication, as crafts can offer an insight into different societies and civilizations and uncover common features and attributes that may lead to forming deep connections.
Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council has been diligently working on making Sharjah’s and the United Arab Emirates’ culture known internationally. Since its inception, the Council has become an entity with an international presence – participating in international design fairs and collaborating with major and international companies.
In the entrepreneurship sector, there is a state of risk taking that leads to new business ventures, and women have consistently proven their capabilities in quality projects.
From the early stages of their projects, women entrepreneurs employed skills necessary to anticipate market needs. They also looked at difficulties and risks with innovative and creative thinking, and made challenges into opportunities.
With female entrepreneurs, new ideas were born, and modern products and services played an important role in the economy. Pioneers appeared whose names were written in letters of light, and they wrote success stories full of achievements and social contributions.
The International Government Communication Forum hosts a group of female entrepreneurs to provide advice to future businesswomen by presenting their success stories and addressing the following topics:
The massive transformations in the field of communication and media have led to major changes in the production, distribution and delivery of information. With the spread of technological advances, social media, the emergence of “new media” based on interactive communication techniques and multiple content and standards of speed, transparency and credibility in dealing with information and news are urgently needed for government communication methods, achieved in a manner that is compatible with the changing times, ensuring the quality of media content at a high speed.
Government communication departments are working clearly to keep communication channels open to the public, and this is what necessitates looking into the mechanisms of dealing, interaction and cooperation with the media in order to broadcast effective messages in a timely manner.
In order to achieve this, governments resort to practical applications in building a more interactive and harmonious relationship with media and digital content makers. The relationship takes multiple and varied forms and keeps pace with technological developments that have imposed rapid changes on media work.
In this context, the forum will discuss the following topics:
"Brainstorming" is one of the best ways to solve problems creatively. The platform opens the way for session participants to engage in discussion with the aim of developing creative ideas to address challenges arising from global changes and developments.
In the context of public efforts, the government has many plans specific to persons with disabilities that are aimed "between education and empowerment." Indeed, such plans are advocated by the bodies responsible, and the media, for its part, is also engaged in a broad campaign to educate the public about the importance of involving persons with disabilities in all areas... But the question remains, how can this be achieved in a rapidly changing world that is heading towards technological and virtual realities and where many situations now rely on Artificial Intelligence?
To analyse the present and envision the future, participants will engage in a brainstorming session to discuss the future of smart learning for persons with disabilities and to what extent they are empowered. This is in addition to raising awareness around disability issues with the parents of persons with disabilities so that, once they have acquired information from all sides, they will be vigilant in pursuit of their children's rights.
Accordingly, the session will discuss the best ways for educating and empowering people with disabilities, focusing on:
The session provides an opportunity for the participants—officials, specialists, educational staff, persons with disabilities, and parents/guardians—to discuss these issues and then put forward innovative ideas as solutions to the problems.
With the onset of the third millennium, the new media of all kinds became an important source of information -- a new media phenomenon and a result of the new information and communication technology revolution.
Associated with the editorial board, news writing, publishing and distribution, as well as the emergence of legal and legislative problems posed by the use of new media techniques, especially those related to freedom of expression and opinion, the circulation of information, and the right to communicate.
ISESCO reports indicate that media training institutions and organisations in the Islamic world face great challenges such as reconciling theoretical and applied university training, especially when it comes to reviewing and reformulating training programmes within the framework of preparing and implementing educational and university reform projects.
A large number of professional competencies, skills and challenges that still represent many weaknesses in the media and communication policies of most countries of the Islamic world, especially since the technological revolution at the beginning of the third millennium has changed many of the traditional theoretical concepts applied in the field of media and communication since the fifties of the the last century. For example, the emergence of the so-called citizen journalism where anyone can become a journalist to publish news and photos using the Internet, and the spread of the phenomenon of fake news supported by doctored images and tapes using Photoshop without any concern for the civil and legal responsibility that follows.
The Big Heart Foundation, in cooperation with its local and international partners, leads a campaign to raise people’s awareness about the culture vis-a-vis refugees in terms of character, role, status and rights. In particular, this campaign focuses on consolidating the principle of comprehensive partnership in life between refugees and members of the host community, including the refugees’ right to access knowledge, entertainment, and constructive social interaction, in addition to their basic rights to food, education, and health care.
The Big Heart Foundation believes that meeting the intellectual and emotional needs of refugees motivates them to create, work, and produce, while neglecting these aspects leads to the refugee’s isolation and suffering, and preventing them from actual participation in life. The foundation also emphasises, through their continuous campaigns, the importance of providing the space for refugees to express themselves, narrate their own story, and identify their aspirations.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, as a partner, in this session will discuss ways to create a new global humanitarian cultural era for refugees regarding the status, role and needs of refugees according to the discussion points presented in the session.
Brainstorming is one of the most successful and creative ways to solve problems and the “Dialogue of Minds” platform leads the ways for the participants in the session to engage in a fruitful discussion to develop creative ideas to meet the challenges caused by global changes and developments.
Government communication is one of the most influential areas that contribute in defining the issues of refugees and their needs by emphasising through different messages, the importance of involving them in the displacement communities, and provide their essential need.
“Dialogue of Minds” platform provides a space for refugees to meet, share their thoughts and aspirations, and solve their prominent issues. It also offer ways of integrating them into societies and allow them access to life necessities, and protection from poverty, disease and ignorance.
The session also focuses on the aspirations of refugees to have a decent life, and the innovative solutions they offer in this context to overcome the economic crises resulting from the burden of seeking refuge, and how to establish sustainable projects that balance the needs of refugees and the environment in which they reside.
The participants in this session express themselves, their reality in order design their future by offering innovative solutions to their struggles.
Syrian refugees from Jordan participating online:
Accenture Company representatives
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
The success of government messages addressed to the public is closely related to the effectiveness of the employees of public institutions and organisations in delivering the message in an effective ways inside or outside their work circles. With the increase in crises, governments are innovating communication techniques that focuses on building effective and timely statements that make a tangible impact for the official spokesperson of the ministries or concerned authorities. These techniques also focus on the role of the government media offices in confronting and denying rumours.
Institutions in the United Arab Emirates are working to develop communication skills with the public. Emphasis has also increased on understanding the methods of the fourth generation of wars, and how the institution or the state can confront them by using political and governmental marketing methods. This call for the ability to reach ideal solutions to crises away from negativity, by possessing the skills to analyse optimistic and pessimistic global government statements. The IGCF dedicates a workshop to discuss:
A qualitative initiative that was launched by the International Government Communication Centre during the eighth session of the IGCF in 2019 with the aim of providing knowledge-related content and a database for all matters related to government communication such as research, studies, books, references and global best practices. It seeks to become an essential reference for workers, researchers and scholars in this field as well as being a forum for exchanging knowledge and research to ensure the development of government communication domestically, regionally and internationally.
The Researchers Platform includes several academic and knowledge-related activities, as well as a presentation of the IGCC's latest publications and a discussion of books on government communication issues and topics related to the IGCF's themes.
Programme of the Platform:
Working Papers from Academic Institutions:
Presentation of Doctoral and Master Theses:
The ability to influence is a creative faculty. When used positively, it spreads ideas that are in line with the values of countries and achieve the principles of government communication.
At a time of huge technological acceleration, various economic, social and cultural concepts have emerged that the public needs to understand and be convinced of.
With the spread of social networking sites, "influencers" are creating new worlds capable of attracting the attention of millions, and they are no longer limited to providing entertainment content, but have expanded to provide content that deals with political, economic, social and cultural aspects that serve the communication strategies of governments in a way that is closer to the audience.
The expansion of the role of influencers led to the emergence of a different trend in social networking sites for the manufacture of content and its impact, after it emerged from the crucible of marketing goals and fame to the paths of forming public opinion on issues of interest to the public.
In their countries, they have become influential and effective partners in building the intellectual and cultural map of societies as a result of their role in shaping the awareness of young people and transforming their view of success.
Therefore, governments realise the importance of "influencers" as an innovative and effective means of communication in government communication strategies aimed at changing behaviour in societies to be more adaptive, balanced and in tune with the successive global developments.
By hosting leading influencers, the International Government Communication Forum works to spotlight successful experiences in social adaptation to changes and crises in effective ways that address the mind and conscience by discussing the following themes:
The session focuses on enriching the aspects of discussion between broadcasters in traditional media, content creators and influencers in social media programs, and media professionals, through axes that highlight the impact of the credibility and transparency of media on the individual, societal, and governmental levels.
Social media is available to media students and others to employ their skills and experiences by providing targeted messages, whether written, visual or audio.
Students will discuss how the means of communication have contributed to increasing their awareness of the media, refining their various skills, deepening their ideas in various aspects, and their role in promoting themselves through the media to improve the process of obtaining jobs in the future.
The session focuses on how the digital communication system has developed recently, and its impact on the effectiveness of government communication, and how new communication tools require government and organizations to rethink about their engagement and dissemination strategies. Moreover, the digital communications provided an opportunity to enhance the impact of messages and ways of measurements.
The session will also discuss the prospects of institutional cooperation, networking, and achieving communication cooperation with different parties to ease access to beneficiaries and achieving public opinion satisfaction. The session will also explore the most effective ways for governments to increase their influence and impact and on their different audiences and will review the different ways of collaborating with all stakeholders to achieve public buy-in.