- March 22, 2011:
When Robin Sharma and Pranav Mistry take the stage, everyone wants to be in the audience. However, only 200 select business leaders from around the UAE got this rare opportunity when they were invited to attend the second edition of du’s CEO Forum. Hosted at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saraya Hotel in The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, the evening was a combination of a master class on “The art of Leadership & Innovation in the digital age” by Robin Sharma and a peek into the world of innovation and invention by Pranav Mistry.
The event is part of the du Leadership Series, an initiative dedicated to opening doors to new lines of thought through a series of exclusive forums for the UAE’s top business leaders.
The turnout at the event stood testimony to the concept being on the right track. Pleased with the outcome Osman Sultan, Chief Executive Office, du, said “Listening to the thoughts and experiences of leaders not normally within our sphere of work is always invigorating. We are delighted to have been able to share this experience with our enterprise customers. Networking within the framework of such an event, provides a unique experience to gain fresh perspectives and insights.”
Robin Sharma, famed for his bestselling novels “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” and “The Leader Who Had No Title”, provoked the audience to rethink their leadership approach. At a time when leaders are always in the spotlight and always conscious of the image they portray to the outside world, Sharma’s challenge - “The true measure of a leader is how you play when nobody’s watching, what is your integrity when nobody is witnessing it, how excellent you are when you’re all alone,” was a call to pause and reflect.
Following on the heels of all that food for thought was young Pranav Mistry from the MIT Media Lab. Hailed as one of the best inventors in the world today, his youthful vibrancy and passion lit up the room as he shared his experiences as an innovator. Mistry’s phenomenal Sixth Sense, a concept that merges the real world with the digital world left the audience spellbound as futuristic sci-fi entered the here and now.
Mistry invited attendees to look at the world around them with new eyes and question the status quo. His ultimate goal? “Integrating information with everyday objects will not only help us to get rid of the digital divide, i.e. the gap between the physical and digital worlds, but will also help us, in some way, to stay human and be more connected to our physical world”. The young inventor’s approach to life had a tangible effect on the room as it sparked the already electric atmosphere. As one of the attendees Sultan Al-Hajji from Total Abu Al Bukhoosh put it: “I think I am already a better person than I was before the event”.
du’s leadership series will be an ongoing one, with a number of forums and round-table discussions on subjects including capital management, strategy, human capital and technology, being conducted each year. The CEO and CIO Forums are an integral part of the visionary series and are set to open new worlds of thought leadership to the UAE.