Each year at the CC Forum, intellectuals from all around the world gathers to discuss and collaborate on some of our world’s biggest issues. The mission is to bring together some of the top business leaders, policymakers, and public figures to conduct a discourse on confronting the challenges the world faces and how we can move towards a more sustainable world.
This year’s forum in Bahrain focused on the challenges we face today such as climate change, overpopulation, fossil-fuel-based economies, and poverty. The goals of the forum run tangent with the Sustainable Development Goals upheld by the United Nations. At its core, the forum is centered on investment and turning investment towards sustainability. Investment topics were discussed, argued, and promoted in sectors of renewable energies, emerging technologies, healthcare, education, and social inclusion. Connecting some of the world’s most innovative thinkers with emerging startups is what makes the CC Forum so special. Everyone has something to offer and everyone has something to learn. According to the Chairman and CEO Max Studennikoff, CC Forum stands for Climate Change Forum but that is not the only focus the event promotes. The forum is dedicated to moving greener in all sectors and by bringing together various respective individuals’, topics are debated and discussed in hopes of reaching an ideal outcome. Fortunately, we at Chic Icon had the pleasure of having a conversation with Max Studdennikoff as he discusses the process of running such a prestigious event and what we can expect looking forward.
What is the significance of hosting the 7th edition of the CC Forum in the Kingdom of Bahrain?
The Middle East has been traditionally associated with fossil fuels. However, over the last few years, the GCC governments’ agendas have been increasingly comprising a large-scale transition towards green energies. The transition has been incorporated into government strategies. The Kingdom of Bahrain is a clear example of that. Its Vision 2030 launched by HM the King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has sustainability as a cornerstone of the country’s development for a decade ahead.
So, the main goal of CC Forum’s Bahraini edition which was held under the auspices of HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa was to highlight the big changes in Bahrain and across the region with regard to tackling environmental and social issues.
What was the biggest challenge of this year’s CC Forum?
The biggest challenge of our Middle East edition is that its preparations coincided with the breakout of the Russian- Ukrainian conflict. At one point in time, we were even considering pushing the dates. However, upon detailed internal consultations with members of the Organizing Committee and the Advisory Board, we decided to proceed. However, the extraordinary timeframe allowed us to introduce a last-minute change into the agenda by adding a special discussion panel “Geopolitics and Climate Change”.
How important is it to address these complex issues via public discussions, debates, and brainstorming?
It is of absolutely paramount importance. The mission and ethos of CC Forum are getting together under one roof thought leaders, high net worth individuals, policymakers, members of royal families, and international celebrities in order to brainstorm and hopefully crackdown on some of the existential issues we are all facing today.
What made the 7th edition CC Forum in Bahrain different from the last?
Bahrain has sadly been off the beaten track of most international conferences, although it has every potential to become a leading event designation in the future. The 7th edition of CC Forum was largely to repair the omission. I was really pleased that a lot of delegates had welcomed the idea of convening in a fresh destination like Manama and I think they greatly enjoyed the traditional Bahraini hospitality. We also had s stellar line-up including Lord NAT Wei of Shoreditch, Gunter Pauli, Per Wimmer, Foster Gillett, HRH Prince Abdulla bin Sultan Al Saud, etc. And of course, we enjoyed the support of the Bahrani government including the PM’s office and the Economic Development Board.
Can you elaborate on a centerpiece of this year’s discussion?
The Middle East edition has centered around investing in innovative technologies capable of enabling the transition to a greener future coupled with resolving complex social and social-economic issues as the two are closely intertwined. Alongside that, we covered a whole range of areas including healthcare, education, communications, real estate, mobility, finance, and fintech. The practical mission of CC Forum has always been connecting the savviest of the investors with the brightest of the startups, so much of the program was dedicated to networking events including VIP receptions, business speed dating sessions, and round tables. We have had hugely positive feedback.
What are the forum’s plans for the near future?
The next edition of CC Forum has been scheduled to take place in London on 4-7 July 2022 and will center around integrating the UN’s SDGs into Corporate Strategies. The program will include inter alia a special breakfast at the House of Lords of the British Parliament, it has just been confirmed. Next, we are planning a big edition in Beijing before we return to the Middle East.
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