*** ----> Equipping Humanity for AI Age | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Equipping Humanity for AI Age

TDT | Manama                                                         

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Reported by Ashen Tharaka

The Human Capability Initiative (HCI) Summit, which started in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, brought together regional leaders, educators, and experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by rapid technological advancements, particularly in the realm of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The focus of the summit, “Capitalising Human Beings in the Changing World,” emphasises the critical need to invest in human development and equip individuals with the skills necessary to thrive in the face of automation and technological disruption.

Education Spotlights

H.E. Dr. Mohamed bin Mubarak Juma, Minister of Education, will be joining the panel discussion today on “Education Spotlights,” focusing on how national education systems can foster a resilient workforce prepared for the future.

Additionally, education ministers from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Malaysia will be participating in the forum to share insights and strategies. Yesterday, during the opening ceremony, H.E. Yousef Abdullah Al Benyan, Minister of Education, Saudi Arabia, emphasised the kingdom’s dedication to fostering global dialogue on human capability development.

He stated, “The Human Capability Initiative demonstrates our commitment to enriching global dialogue and fostering achievable solutions that inspire progress. We stand united to navigate the currents of change shaping both local and international labour markets.” According to World Economic Forum statistics, a quarter of all jobs globally will be transformed within the next five years.

This shift has triggered a crucial change in focus, as highlighted by Dr. Fadia Saadah, Regional Director for Human Development (MENA) at the World Bank. “The data tells a clear story,” Dr. Saadah stated. “Developed nations have built 80% of their wealth through investments in human capital.

This underscores the critical need to prioritise human development and equip individuals with the skills they need to thrive in the coming years.” However, not everyone shared the same concern. Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum, Switzerland, presented a more optimistic perspective.

“Technological advancements can be a win-win situation for both humans and technology,” she argued. Citing the World Economic Forum’s experiment during the Fourth Industrial Revolution, she suggested that humans could be reskilled within a decade.

The forum also addressed the urgent issue of global unemployment, with statistics revealing 600 million individuals aged 15–35 and 75 million skilled individuals currently without jobs. Professor Soumitra Dutta, Dean of the SAID Business School, University of Oxford, emphasised the critical role of universities in preparing individuals for the future. He acknowledged the existing tendency for top universities to focus on elite students but called for “a more inclusive approach to human capital development” to ensure everyone has the opportunity to thrive in the rapidly changing world.

Message from UN Secretary-General

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, has extended a historic endorsement to the inaugural Human Capability Initiative (HCI) Summit. This endorsement sets the stage for an insightful and impactful event that will drive Future Readiness, a critical theme in an ever-changing world.

“Our world is changing, and we must change with it,” Secretary-General Guterres emphasised. “As the theme of this event reminds us, future readiness is critical. I welcome this first Human Capability Initiative, which will explore the challenges and opportunities for individuals to thrive in the 21st century.”

This endorsement underscores the global significance of the HCI Summit and its potential to shape future discussions on human capital development and adaptation in the face of rapid change. The summit aims to foster thoughtful dialogue and collaboration among leaders, experts, and individuals, paving the way for a more prepared and resilient future for all.


H.E. Yousef Abdullah Al Benyan, Minister of Education, Saudi Arabia


Dr. Fadia Saadah, Regional Director for Human Development (MENA) at the World Bank


Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum, Switzerland


Professor Soumitra Dutta


António Guterres, UN Secretary-General