Star-studded IGCF opens Wednesday to explore the future of governments in the digital age

SHARJAH, 26th March, 2018 (WAM) — The 7th edition of the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) begins on Wednesday, 28th March, with the participation of 40 influential speakers from 16 countries engaging in 19 interactive sessions, panel discussions and workshops to explore the future of governments in the digital age.

Held under the patronage of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the two-day event at Expo Centre Sharjah is organised by the International Government Communication Centre, a subsidiary of Sharjah Government Media Bureau.

Themed ‘Digital Millennium Where To?’, IGCF 2018 will bring together heads of state, ministers, diplomats, policy makers, media experts and government officials from around the world to address ‘The Future of Government Communication in the Age of the Digital Community’. The Forum anticipates 3,000 delegates from five continents, who will share deeper insights and understanding from the speakers’ vast and varied local and global experience in communication.


The Forum also features a stellar line-up of global technology leaders and entrepreneurs, including Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web or Internet and President of the Open Data Institute, Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, Selim Edde, Director of Public Policy and Government Relations at Google Middle East and 14-year-old genius Tanmay Bakshi, the youngest Artificial Intelligence (AI) expert in the world and a member of IBM’s AI Team in Canada.

IGCF 2018 will begin on Wednesday with the agenda-setting session ‘Governments and the Private Sector Responsibilities and How They Fit in the Age of Digital Communities’.

This will be interactive addresses discussing the ‘Challenges and Opportunities inherent in Artificial Intelligence as the key to the future of government communication’. The ‘Role of Young Leaders in Future Governments’ will be headlined by Noura Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development For the first time since its inception in 2012, IGCF will serve as the venue for the third session of the 15th edition of Sharjah Children Shura Council. The closed-door brainstorming session will take place on Wednesday.

The first day will also see several workshops, most notably ‘International News and Multimedia Industry’, which is organised by the Sharjah Press Club in collaboration with the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The workshop seeks to boost the capabilities of journalists by addressing new skills and expertise.

Also on Wednesday, a workshop titled ‘Looking to the Future: How the Digital Age Affects Government Communication and the Goals of Sustainable Development’, will be hosted by the United Nations. The Forum will also see other workshops conducted by LinkedIn, the professional networking platform and UTURN, a Saudi entertainment network that transmits its programmes on You Tube.

IGCF has established itself as a global event that attracts policy makers, communication experts and stakeholders from across the world due to its high-profile agenda and its role in highlighting major issues concerning government communication. The Forum also serves as a transparent platform to raise important issues and discuss changes, recommendations and innovative solutions facing the challenges of government communication.

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