General Sessions


Opening General Session | 13 September | 9:00 - 10:30 AM
Zoom Out: Meeting the Moment

Eddie Obeng, Professor

Eddie Obeng

Professor Eddie Obeng is a British organizational theorist, educator, and author recognized as one of the leading personalities in the UK and wider world of project management. He is a high-energy, innovative thinker – and inspiring, entertaining communicator – who helps business leaders build responses to a rapidly accelerating pace of change.

His business career started as an engineer at Shell before he became the youngest Executive Director of a European Business School when he moved to Ashridge Business School in 1987. In 1994 he established Pentacle (The Virtual Business School) in order to teach his philosophy and ensure that there was a “continuous link between learning and implementation”.

In his keynote presentation, he will help the audience find ways to “zoom out” and harness a variety of perspectives to help them meet the moment.


Closing General Session | 14 September | 3:30 - 4:45 PM
What You See Versus What You Know: Perception and Everything In Between

Nayla Al Khaja, Filmmaker

Nayla Al Khaja

Nayla Al Khaja is the first female Film Director in the United Arab Emirates. The award-winning filmmaker and storyteller was recognized as one of the top 50 most powerful personalities in Arab Cinema by Variety and top 100 most powerful Arabs under 40 by Arabian Business. She also received the Black Swan Award for Women Empowerment by Asia One.

Nayla has directed many TV commercials for international brands such as Mercedes, Nike, Nestlé, Neutrogena and Nivea. Her films can be seen on popular streaming services such as Netflix and her latest project is in partnership with an Oscar-winning film director.

In her powerful closing keynote presentation, “What You See Versus What You Know: Perception and Everything In Between,” she will share insights into our own perspectives and world views – and who (or what) shapes them.


Beyond Silos: The Power of Interdisciplinary Thinking                  

Bidshahri, Raya Headshot

Raya Bidshahri
Entrepreneur & Educator

Raya Bidshahri is a serial entrepreneur and award-winning educator. Raya is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the School of Humanity, an online high school with an innovative learning model and interdisciplinary curriculum.

Raya has been featured by the BBC as one of the 100 most influential and inspiring women globally. She was the main award winner for the Next Generation Foresight Practioner’s Award, recognizing those whose leadership efforts shape the future and improve lives.

Raya works with governments and education providers to ideate and execute revolutionary education models for the 21st-century world. She sits on the advisory board of multiple EdTech companies. Her mission is to reinvent global education systems to better serve humanity.

In her closing session presentation, we'll examine how connecting the dots across disciplines can help us progress as individuals, organizations, and societies. We'll zoom out to take a systems perspective to push humanity forward. Because we’ve been taught to, most of us think, learn, and work through the lens of disciplines, but what if we didn't? After all, it takes an interdisciplinary perspective to tackle most local and global challenges