Muscat: Continuing its efforts to make a significant local impact on topics of national interest, Sohar International recently hosted its 5th virtual Viewpoints session in its 10th edition.
Chaired by Mr. Mohammed Mahfoudh Al Ardhi, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Sohar International, the interactive forum witnessed an enticing conversation as it left the audience with learnings to reflect on and solutions to implement.
The session’s guest speaker, Dr. Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director and Leon Levy Professor at Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (New Jersey), USA – one of the world’s foremost centers for curiosity-driven basic research – left the viewers with interesting facts and global learnings on ‘The Future of Science & Technology’.
A wide audience that includes students, academicians, entrepreneurs and working professionals attended the virtual session on Zoom and Sohar International’s YouTube channel.
Dr. Robbert shared from his rich experience the need for futuristic concepts, their global adaptability and the technological way forward in various industries.
Commenting on the topic and its viability in today’s times, Mr. Mohammed Mahfoudh Al Ardhi, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Sohar International, said: “Sohar International truly believes in the value of knowledge sharing and the opportunities and ideas it opens up for aspiring entrepreneurs, and for today’s youth.
“With that belief, Viewpoints augments the bank’s confidence in creating value for the people of Oman and the economy as a whole. In line with the same, the latest session underlined an important aspect of what is defined in Oman’s Vision 2040 as innovation and digitalization,” he added.
“As world economies pave ways for a virtual forthcoming, the session focused on ‘The Future of Science & Technology’, reflecting on the hows and whys of businesses and their plans to function in seemingly advanced ways, inheriting systems and processes not just for smooth customer interface but also for robust back-end support.”
During his address, Dr. Robbert Dijkgraaf talked about the factual meaning and application of technologies developed across the world, the impact of useful inventions and curiosity-driven transformational building blocks of reality.
He threw light on the future of design and how science will influence the smallest matters of everyday life going forward. Making the session more interesting, Dr. Dijkgraaf defined a triple Helix – Life genes, Atomic matter and information codes & algorithms – that is reinforcing itself in the form of synthetic biology, quantum technology and artificial intelligence, moving into the 21st century.
“The latest session endorsed the necessity of acquiring future skills to prepare citizens for the enormous technological leap in all aspects of life. Dr. Dijkgraaf’s valued contribution at the recently concluded Viewpoints generated important messages that are relevant from the Omani perspective, and [it is of] utmost importance to understand the role our citizens will play to make the Sultanate future-ready,” Mr. Mohammed Al Ardhi added.
Dr. Dijkgraaf has served as President of the InterAcademy Partnership, a consortium of more than 130 of the world’s national science academies, and Co-Chair of the InterAcademy Council, the global alliance of science academies advising the United Nations, the World Bank, and other international organizations.
He co-authored ‘The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge’, which articulates how essential basic research and original thinking are essential for innovation and societal progress. As the Director and Leon Levy Professor at Institute for Advanced Stud, Dr. Dijkgraaf is an impassioned and eloquent advocate for pure scientific inquiry and the vital importance of encouraging creativity, imagination, and “out of the box” thinking.
In the last few years, Viewpoints – Sohar International Chairman’s forum, has gained audience eyeballs, for hosting the best of international experts as speakers. This, coupled with intriguing conversations, has put Viewpoints as a benchmark in events focused on building leadership equity.