Saudi Arabia’s Misk Global Forum triples attendees to 15,000 as the world’s biggest youth event sets the stage for intergenerational dialogue.
The sixth edition of the world’s largest youth event, the Misk Global Forum (MGF22), smashed its attendee record after welcoming 15,000 people over two days on 9-10 November under a unified vision to empower youth and create change through intergenerational dialogue.
Three times more delegates arrived this year than in 2019 when 5,000 attended the last in-person Misk Global Forum. This year’s first hybrid version also drew participation from more than 14,000 people who took part in the conference virtually from 64 countries.
Welcoming delegates to the biggest-ever Misk Global Forum, Dr. Badr Al Badr, Chief Executive Officer of the Misk Foundation, called on the youth to “transform” the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. “How can we bridge the generational and cultural divide?’ He asked, adding: “We start with dialogue – intergenerational dialogue. Where will you make your mark? MG22 reminds us that it all begins here, now, with Generation Transformation.”
His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman Al Saud, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, emphasized the importance of giving people chances to prove themselves. “To empower youth, you have to enable an economic environment that gives them ownership,” he said. “You cannot have youth work meaningfully today unless you give them a feeling of ownership of that success.”
Stressing the importance of inspiration that sparks transformation, Her Royal Highness Princess Haifa Al Saud, Saudi Arabia’s Vice Minister of Tourism, told attendees: “There is one key piece of advice for today’s world: remember that you are human. Give yourself time to succeed and grow as a person.”
Global speakers spotlight intergenerational dialogue
Saudi Arabian singer-songwriter Tamtam opened the Forum with a sensational performance of her soul-searching music that blends smooth R&B with Arabesque pop. The pop star – who recorded Coca-Cola’s official FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 anthem – was joined on the first day by global icons, actors, tennis champions, government ministers, youth leaders, entrepreneurs, and next-generation innovators who came together to inspire intergenerational dialogue.
International best-selling author and futurist John Sanei used the world’s largest platform on youth to highlight the cracks in global education – and how to fix them. “The education system and structure we have is all about efficiency, but tomorrow is about adaptability and creativity,” he said. “This is what transformation is about.”
Globally notable stand-up comedian, Mo Amer, best known for his eponymous, Netflix series, said emerging musicians, artists, and creatives should embrace new forms of expression. “It feels like we’re living in a copy-paste age,” he said. “But there are so many incredible artists coming up that are innovative, different, unique that you will see in the future.”
Award-winning health and wellness podcaster Jay Shetty said research suggests millennials have become more disengaged at work, while Gen Z is changing jobs 134% faster than just two years ago. He offered a formula to fix this malaise: “Purpose equals passion plus strength and impact,” he explained. “Your purpose is what you love, what you’re exceptionally good and skilled at. Using that to serve and impact other people creates purpose.”
World number two women’s professional tennis player Ons Jabeur told young people to stay “humble and grateful” in the pursuit of personal or professional accolades. “With success, you can sometimes forget yourself, but you have to remember the struggle,” she said. “Never give up and work hard.”
Eight activations were featured offering meaningful intergenerational dialogue on issues that matter to youth and their future. Among the spaces were The Stage, Misk Majlis, Skills Lab, Meet the Leaders, Career Clinics, Founder’s Café, The Village, and M10.