High-profile speakers share ideas at WIT MENA Forum

March 09, 2022 / 7:45 PM
During the event
Sharjah 24: A galaxy of women achievers, leading experts and entrepreneurs from all over the world and the region shared ideas on futuristic topics at the 3rd Women in Technology (WIT) MENA Forum held at the Sharjah Research Technology Innovation Park (SRTIP) on International Women's Day, March 8.
The high-profile event, billed as the decade’s largest Women in Technology conference, was hosted by Women in Tech® and Sharjah Research Technology Innovation Park, where Tech met the Arts, celebrating women in STEM featuring inspiring plenary sessions, keynotes and artistic performances.

Some of the most critical and relevant topics in technology discussed at the forum included Reimagining Technologies to Advance Human Longevity; Cryptocurrency -- Funding the Future of Female-led Startups; and Metaverse -- the Good, the Bad and the Future.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, His Excellency Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO, Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park, said the Park was thrilled to be part of a major event that has brought together eminent speakers, especially women achievers, from around the globe. He said: “SRTI Park has positioned itself as the heart of a vibrant ecosystem for innovation-driven startups and is already witnessing some amazing innovations in action. In this scenario, women are equal partners and SRTIP strongly believes in gender parity.”

Her Excellency Mariam Bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment of the UAE, speaking virtually, at the opening ceremony underlined the need to raise awareness about emerging technologies and urged women to take greater interest in new innovations, so they could be active participants in the workforce and businesses. 

In a welcome speech, Ayumi Moore Aoki, Founder and President of Women in Tech® Org, said holding this major event on International Women’s Day was highly significant. She said the emergence of women leading from the front in the field of technology is an encouraging sign and expressed the hope that the topics discussed at the forum would serve as signposts for all women.

Mohamed Hilal, Founder and CEO of Mohamed Hilal Group, in an opening speech, spoke about the emerging trends in the field of technology and complimented the organisers for hosting an event that throws light on pioneering new technologies through real achievers.

The three-session forum began with a panel discussion on Reimagining Technologies to Advance Human Longevity, which provided valuable insights into the brave new world of extending human life. It was attended by the following participants: Dr. Mariam Matar, Founder and Chairperson of UAE Genetic Diseases Association; Sara Ramadan, CEO & Founder of PharmaVgate Academy; Sophie Smith, Founder and CEO of Nabta Health; Suraya Turk, Managing Partner of Legal Circle; Marzena Kulis, Managing Director of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices in the Middle East.

The second session titled ‘Cryptocurrency -- Funding the Future of Female-led Startups’ provided updates on the exciting new trends in cryptocurrency, and how it is poised to dominate the world of finance. Speakers who participated in this session were: Mohammed Al Musharrakh, CEO of the Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah); Nadia Mannell, General Partner at Seed South Capital; Dina Sam’an, Founder and Managing Director of CoinMENA; Dr. Sarah Saska, Co-Founder & CEO, Feminuity; and Vera Futorjanski, CEO & Founder of Veritas Ventures.

The third panel shed light on the exciting new world of Metaverse, which basically  simulates digital environment using augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and blockchain, combined with concepts from social media. The panellists were Roberto Croci, Managing Director of Microsoft for Startups in the Middle East and Africa Region, Microsoft; Valerie Hawley, Executive Director of the Sorbonne Centre for Artificial Intelligence; Jamilia Grier, Founder & CEO of ByteBao; Amy Peck, Founder & CEO of EndeavorXR; and Amrita Sethi, first NFT artist in the Middle East and Creator of SoundBYTEs.

The forum which was attended by invitees interested in emerging technologies witnessed interactive participation from the audience, with attendees asking questions and the speakers providing enriching ideas and pointers for engagement in the new fields that are set to dominate the world of business and commerce.

The forum concluded with a tour of the SRTI Park and a gala dinner for the distinguished speakers and participants.
March 09, 2022 / 7:45 PM

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