Sunday, September 19, 2021

IGCF 2021 will turn the spotlight on the far-reaching impact of conspiracy theories on policy outcomes

The session titled, ‘How to break the hold of conspiracy theories’, will highlight the frameworks that must be in place to enhance trust between governments and societies, and discuss how government communication departments can devise strategies and programmes to counteract the influence of conspiracy theories.

The opening day of the 10th edition of the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF), to be held from September 26 – 27 at Expo Centre Sharjah, will feature an insightful discussion on the challenges posed by misinformation and falsehoods to government policies and communication.

The session titled, ‘How to break the hold of conspiracy theories’, will highlight the frameworks that must be in place to enhance trust between governments and societies, and discuss how government communication departments can devise strategies and programmes to counteract the influence of conspiracy theories.

Notable speakers at the session include Fahad Al-Shulaimi Al-Dhafiri, President of Gulf Forum for Peace and Security, who has nearly 50 years of experience in government administration, planning and leadership; and Philip Hammond, British MP and former Foreign Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer.

They will be joined by Nart Bouran, CEO of International Holding Company for Media Investments, who has extensive experience in media and is known for presenting innovative content to audiences on various media platforms worldwide; and HE Turki Aldakhil, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the UAE. The session will be moderated by Nadim Koteich, Sky News Arabia.

Conspiracy theories frequently obstruct a government’s messages to the public, delays its plans for development, and limits the success of developmental projects. Prejudiced perceptions make people adopt critical and rejectionist positions that have no evidential or scientific foundation – such as the resistance to the Covid -19 vaccine by individuals worldwide, for instance.

This key session at IGCF 2021 examines conspiracy theories not from a political standpoint but rather from the reality of its impact on a multitude of sectors, and its consequent challenges. The session will also offer insights into the role of the media in combating conspiracy theories and protecting the public from its threats.

The 2021 edition of IGCF, held under the theme ‘Historic Lessons, Future Ambitions’, aims to evaluate the historical experience of government communication, discuss its current realities, and envision its future. The two-day forum will also review mechanisms, tools, and changes in public perceptions regionally and internationally. It will discuss the necessity of establishing transformation-ready mechanisms in these rapidly changing times to create a sustainable future and achieve societal aspirations.

IGCF 2021 will analyse government communication responses towards crises and devise scientific strategies that lay the foundation for effective communication mechanisms. It will also discuss the content creation process and explore to what extent traditional media can stay powerful and effective within global mass communication media. The future of government communication, its role, approaches and methodologies will also be addressed by experts in the field.

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