Doha Forum 2022 will follow the same format as previous years with high-level plenary and breakout sessions; closed-door roundtable discussions and luncheons; interactive topical exhibitions and ViewPoint Series interviews. This year will also feature a podcast studio where Doha Forum’s own ‘Global Reboot’ podcast produced in partnership with Foreign Policy will be joined by live and recorded podcasts with some of our leading media and thank tank partners.
In 2019 we hosted over 100 bilateral meetings and these form an integral part of the event.
Over 200 international media are hosted at Doha Forum including high-level media partners and journalists.
As the world recovers from the largest shock to the global economy since the Second World War, leaders and policymakers must come together to develop policy innovations aimed at saving the most lives and avoiding permanent damage.
As governments work to resolve challenges in a climate far removed from the one they had previously known, valuable lessons have emerged. The global turmoil has directed efforts towards building the resilience of international systems. Global challenges throughout the twentieth century have forced governments to forge unlikely alliances and advance inventive solutions to rising threats.
The pandemic has caused unprecedented fluctuations in all facets of life; it has erupted into a landscape of change exposing vulnerabilities and strengths, accelerating existing trends and altering the balance of power. The balance of global power continues to drastically shift from its previous one-man equilibrium, with Russia and China cementing their positions as leading rivals of the United States, and calling into question the responsibilities their power necessitates.
Will the varying dynamics culminate in the establishment of a new model for a new era? Are there mechanisms in place to ensure that these transformations increase economic growth, reduce inequality, enhance sustainable development and protect vulnerable communities? In this time of upheaval, what will the role of transnational institutions such as the UN, WHO, NATO and the IMF be, and what reforms should take place to tackle the world’s rising challenges?
The pandemic ushered in dramatic transformations in sectors such as tech and retail, and accelerated innovation at a record pace across many industries. It forced companies to adopt creative digital solutions in order to communicate with one another, serve their clients, and remain profitable. As some businesses gradually return to in-person models, what structural changes will endure? How did businesses in different parts of the world adapt to the rapid adoption of digitization? What are the implications for future investment trends globally?
In this session, we explore how global leaders are rethinking urban planning and policy- making for context-specific long-term sustainable urban growth, circular economies and resilient communities, making cities the focus of sustainable global solutions for nature and climate. A key consideration in the discussion will be supporting future development of a local and holistic view of sustainable cities tying the social, economic, cultural and environmental dimensions of sustainability.
In recent years, mis- and disinformation has spread across social media platforms like wildfire—and few regions have been left entirely untouched. Fanning the flames of conspiratorial theories and fringe political beliefs, and often serving as breeding grounds for extremist groups whose online actions turn into real-world violence, the impacts of these efforts have rippled through civic life, politics, and elections around the world. Evidence increasingly suggests that behavioral patterns could be key to identifying and combating these harmful trends, and organizations at all levels are employing both defensive and offensive tactics to counter the radicalization and violent extremism that begins online. But what is proving to be most effective, can best practice be shared, and how can these approaches be tailored to intelligently target individuals from specific regions? This panel will dive into the current state of global mis- and disinformation efforts around the world and how stakeholders can most effectively combat them.
This panel seeks to bring together a discussion of the political and military dimensions of war with an assessment of how control of resources, as well as other financial and economic considerations, shift warring parties’ calculations and incentives for peace. In Afghanistan, for example, the Taliban used control of checkpoints to fund their takeover of Kabul. Militias in regime-held Syria prey on the local population, catalysing resentment toward Damascus and frustrating efforts to restore political stability. In Yemen, the internationally recognized government and Huthi rebels engage in a tug-of-war over imports and the banking sector that exacerbates the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and makes a negotiated end to the civil war harder to achieve. What are the economic factors that prolong and deepen conflict? How does an analysis of the political economy of conflict play into the creation of policy frameworks?
Two years later, the world is still being rocked by the effects of Covid-19. ‘Normal’ is constantly evolving and countries across the globe are forced to face new realities. In order to adapt, we must examine the impacts and recovery perspectives and prognoses of this pandemic for the purpose of forging a new path. This panel will tackle questions like:
– What will the next 3 to 5 years look like for the major population centers?
– What are the longer term impacts of this pandemic on our health care systems?
– What are the most important sectors for growth in Africa post-pandemic?
– What investment opportunities have been created?
Most of the world’s refugees live in developing countries, which bear a disproportionate burden when it comes to housing, feeding, and protecting these vulnerable populations. Turkey, for example, hosts the majority of the 13.5 million forcibly displaced Syrians, as well as hundreds of thousands of refugees and asylum seekers of other nationalities. The UN Global Compact on Refugees, signed in 2018, was aimed at easing the pressure on host countries, and expanding access to third-country solutions, but there has been a lack of binding commitments for responsibility sharing, particularly from developed countries. Under these circumstances, what type of frameworks could provide more fair worldwide responsibility-sharing? How can policymakers work together to ease pressures on host countries and support conditions in migrants' countries of origin for safe and dignified returns?
Institutions across the globe are eagerly pursuing data analytics and data-driven algorithms as efficient tools to lighten the burden of decision-making. Commercial companies are using analytics to parse user behavior for ad targeting. Local governments are deploying facial recognition technologies (FRTs) for civil and military surveillance. Risk-predictive tools are being used in welfare and criminal justice applications, and diagnostic aids proliferate in the health sector. As each successive research breakthrough makes an algorithmically controlled future seem more inevitable, concerns about fairness, safety, transparency, privacy and human agency have increased. How can government actors, international organizations, advocacy groups and private companies work together to formulate risk-management policies and guidelines that address the current concerns about AI? What emerging practices can best address fairness, transparency and safety concerns across both private and public sector uses of AI?
As the world continues to grapple with the climate crisis, governments and their judiciaries have become increasingly mobilized in leveraging climate change litigation to enforce environmental laws. However, despite the introduction of a number of new laws aimed at combating the climate crisis, mitigation has been less successful due to lack of enforcement. This panel will discuss how the judiciary can ensure governments and corporate institutions uphold their promises and comply with both international and domestic laws related to climate change. How can the judiciary uphold pro-climate action while also maintaining strong rule of law? How can judiciaries address issues arising out of corporate governance, such as “green-washing”, to encourage and enforce a more climate-friendly agenda?
A global energy crisis caused by fuel shortages led to blackouts, energy shortages, and rising electricity costs across Europe and Asia this Winter. Politicians are calling for a transition to green energy alternatives and pledging to reduce dependence on oil and gas, but many countries lack the infrastructure to harness renewable energy for mass consumption in the near future. What role can producer nations play in ensuring the world has adequate and affordable supplies of fuel while countries work towards building the infrastructure needed for a transition to more renewable sources of energy? How can suppliers work together to regulate prices and manage supply, while protecting their interests in a world increasingly committed to green energy?
There are more than 80 million forcibly displaced people worldwide; refugees, IDPs, asylum seekers and other persons of concern. The vast majority of the displaced are fleeing conflict and violence, others are driven out of their homes, villages and towns due to the impact of climate change on the environment. They find refuge in nearby towns or neighbouring countries; many of which have scarce resources to provide for their basic needs. According to UNHCR, 85% of refugees are hosted in low- and medium-income countries whose health and education systems were particularly strained by the COVID-19 Pandemic. While providing basic humanitarian needs is crucial to addressing this global crisis, it is time to focus our efforts beyond humanitarian aid and towards development assistance to refugees and host communities to ensure that each and every child born in a refugee camp or displaced across the border will have a chance to go to school and dare to dream. Building on the Wilson Quarterly’s Fall 2021 issue on the global displacement crisis, this high level panel will be co-sponsored between the Wilson Center and the Doha Forum to shed light on the breadth and depth of the displacement crisis and how the global community can work together to address it beyond humanitarian aid.
More than 100 countries have signed the Global Methane Pledge—a collective agreement to cut methane emissions by at least 30 percent over the next decade. Limiting methane emissions from oil and gas production will be critical to meeting that goal and realizing the climate benefits of using natural gas amidst the energy transition. New monitoring technology, from field measurements to satellites, is rapidly improving the ability to monitor, verify, and control methane emissions. Companies and countries could use this information to realize a cleaner energy future. This high-level dialogue will feature leaders who are taking on this challenge from diverse companies and countries.
Africa is essential for global economic development. Its growing population will hit 1.1bn and become the largest and youngest workforce in the world by the next decade, and its youth demographic will prove to be a major source of economic strength. The continent holds a strategic global position with oil and natural gases and has the highest digital adoption rate in the world. There are major opportunities to build infrastructure and enter into untapped markets in Africa. This panel will take a critical look at the most significant investment opportunities that exist on the continent, and answer the following questions:
– What strategies have proven successful in investing in Africa?
– How can we navigate political instability and macroeconomic challenges on the Continent?
– Which sectors are most ripe for foreign investment?
– What policies do African governments need to implement to make Africa more attractive to private equity?
– What are the current venture capital investment trends that we’re identifying on the Continent?
Libya has experienced an ongoing political vacuum since the 2011 uprisings which culminated in the removal of Qadhafi. The destabilising power struggle that followed the 2011 international intervention saw the emergence of armed militias that have since gained power along with the evolution of cogent political identities. The presence of foreign mercenaries remains a defining feature in the conflict. Libya’s next election, postponed from December 2021, is now expected this year and the importance of stabilisation in Libya is paramount. This session will cover subjects such as:
- What major steps or new initiatives are needed to help build stability and peace in Libya?
- What contributions can Libya’s neighbours make to initiatives to build stability in Libya?
- What role can and should international donors and partners of Libya play in supporting the peacebuilding process?
With Taliban’s sweeping return to power after 20 years of Western engagement, a new perilous era has begun for Afghanistan. While the Western alliance is evaluating the strategic outcome of these developments, Afghanistan faces a humanitarian emergency and external actors like China and Russia vie for influence in the new regional order – with potential geo-strategic ripple effects. Concerns are growing among the transatlantic partners about the achievements made in the past two decades in Afghanistan in the field of human rights and development, as well as about the wider region’s future stability. The rapid return of Taliban rule following long-term engagement of Western forces has highlighted once more both the limitations of liberal nation-building and the need for increased international cooperation. Regional powers will play important roles in the region’s new era, requiring the transatlantic partners to re-evaluate past modes of engagement with Afghanistan and the region writ large. In this session we will ask key questions the West must now face in Afghanistan, including what lessons should be learned from the past 20 years of engagement, what expectations and responsibilities the West still has in the country and the region, and in what way the new regime should be engaged.
In today's world, the distinction between war and peace, so devastatingly apparent in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, is breaking down. With new battlefields emerging from trade to migration and each state promoting its own version of a sphere of influence, we are now entering a period of perpetual ‘unpeace’. This new map of power is no longer defined only by geography, by control of territory or oceans, but rather by control over flows of people, goods, money, ideas and data, and by exploiting the connections they create. What constitutes a sphere of influence today? What does the new topography of power look like, and what steps could we take to “disarm” connectivity?
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the many vulnerabilities of the global economic system, from supply chain disruptions to structural issues within existing institutional frameworks. At the same time, the pandemic highlighted the growing importance of multilateralism in managing global crises in an increasingly interconnected world. “Economic Crises and Coordinated Global Recovery Efforts: Towards An Inclusive Multilateralism” brings together the world’s leading experts to address the most pressing challenges to global economic governance.
Much of the global climate discussion rightly focuses on efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions by turning to cleaner and more efficient energy. But as we continue to witness the devastating effects of climate change play out across the world, closer attention needs to be paid to the solutions that will help us adapt to changes that are already taking place. Low-and-middle income countries will need an estimated $300 billion a year by 2030 to adapt to increased floods, droughts, heatwaves and increasingly unpredictable growing conditions for crops, according to the United Nations Environment Programme. To date, these countries received just $79.6 billion in 2019 both to mitigate future effects and to adapt to challenges today. All the while, the damage caused by climate change is happening faster and at lower temperature levels that scientists had previously predicted. Pledges made at COP26 hope to address those gaps, but what more can be done to support agricultural development and better protect countries and communities that are already vulnerable to devastating climate effects?
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is having a significant impact on the MENA region. The economic impact is already being felt due to the rise in wheat and oil prices. The geopolitical impact is no less important. The conflict is both testing the regional and international alliances of some Middle Eastern countries and consolidating others. The panel will discuss how the conflict is shaping the geopolitical landscape in the MENA region as countries seek to maintain their national security and regional standing in the face of the conflict’s cascading effects.
Afghanistan is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, precipitated by economic collapse, sanctions, and the end of development assistance. In the short-term, the overriding priority is to save lives while preventing the current acute crisis from becoming a chronic one that destabilizes the region. Already, donors are providing multi-billion dollar emergency humanitarian packages while gauging the Taliban’s ability to demonstrate it can govern Afghanistan responsibly. This panel discussion will address the complex obstacles to delivering adequate assistance to Afghanistan and helping to guide Afghanistan on a path toward a functional economy and sustainable delivery of food, healthcare and education to the Afghan people.
More than two years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy has begun its recovery with the World Bank forecasting global growth of 4.4% in 2022. While the economic recovery has rebounded robustly, systemic and cultural changes globally and across regions may be longer lasting. Was the pandemic just a blimp on the radar or has it fundamentally changed business decision-marking and the flow and volume of FDI around the globe? In this session our panelists will explore questions such as:
What does the future of foreign direct investment look like in the post-Covid era?
Are businesses changing their priorities and decision-making processes to adapt to this new environment?
Have countries begun to shift their strategies for investment attraction?
Rapid technological advances in AI, IoT, robotics, autonomous vehicles and other areas are dramatically transforming the way we live, work, play and relate. While previous industrial revolutions (steam and water power, electricity and assembly lines, and computerization) have unfolded more gradually, the advancements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are occurring at a more rapid pace, disrupting entire industry sectors and economies in almost every country. What are the opportunities for public-private collaboration arising from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and what are the greatest risks of this transformation?
Discussions around Palestine and Palestinians today are more likely to centre around justice, rights, and equality than national liberation, statehood, and the peace process. The manner in which the events of May 2021 were covered in the media suggest a shifting discourse that will more accurately capture the realities on the ground, and offer a more promising political way forward. Can rights and equality realistically be at the forefront of resolving the conflict and eventually achieving peace? Could the fact that Palestine has largely been pushed off the regional and global agenda be beneficial to these prospects?
Global challenges and crises are likely to be the norm rather than the exception in the 21st century. The Sars-CoV-2 pandemic continues amidst spotty vaccine distribution and new variants, suggesting that the largest global health crisis in at least a century is here for years to come. The rapidly deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan reminds us of the inherent fragility of the international order and its institutions as we witness a fundamental shift in the global and regional geopolitical balance of power. At the same time, the goals of the Paris Agreement are slipping out of reach, portending unimaginable threats like heat waves, floods, droughts, hurricanes, famines, mass migration and conflicts throughout this century. What innovative and disruptive legal, economic, and political tools are needed to meet today’s challenges? What can governments, international organizations and civil society do to spur the technological advances, investments, social movements and large-scale behavior change needed for climate resilience?
Even as global vaccination rates continue to rise, the gap between developed and developing nations remains stark. More than 7 billion doses have been administered globally, but just a small percentage of those jabs have gone to people in poorer countries, according to the World Health Organization. The purchasing power of wealthy nations who were able to pre-order vaccines, as well as distribution hurdles, misinformation campaigns, and other factors, have contributed to vaccine inequity. What are the threats that vaccine inequity poses to vulnerable communities, and to the world? How can the public and private sector collaborate to get more vaccines into the hands of the communities most in need? What hurdles have programs aimed at bridging the divide faced, and how can they be overcome?
The Indo-Pacific will be the engine of growth and prosperity in the 21st century – but also the stage for competition and cooperation between powers. Countries in the region and beyond must navigate both the threat of great power confrontation and the geo-economic disruptions caused by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. How can they work together towards a new regional order that prioritises peace, prosperity, and progress? Is it possible to imagine an institutional architecture for the Indo-Pacific that supports a free, open, and inclusive economic order? Are there new minilateral or plurilateral groupings that offer promise in this regard?
The alliances carried forward from World War II and the Cold War were aimed at guaranteeing the security, sovereignty and territorial integrity of their members. As these alliances evolve along with a fast-changing and increasingly multipolar framework, how effective and efficient are they in maintaining peace and security? How are states’ needs and interests upheld – or threatened - by current alliances?
Worldwide, more than 59 million primary aged school children are out of school, potentially leading to adverse effects that can last a lifetime. Out of school children face many barriers to education including poverty, gender discrimination, challenging geographies and conflict. Ensuring every child can realize their right to a quality primary education is one of the greatest challenges our world faces today, one that requires creative and innovative solutions. This session will focus on the critical elements needed to set and achieve audacious goals, including how to measure success, and the benefits of forming partnerships and building global momentum.
Over the past two decades, the international community has come to recognize the distinct ways that violence and conflict affect women, and the potential of women as agents of positive change and drivers of sustainable peace. Despite this recognition, women are still disproportionately affected and threatened in conflict environments, and underrepresented in development and peacemaking roles. How can women not only survive, but thrive, in the face of conflict—and ultimately contribute to the resolution of those conflicts over time? How can governments, multilaterals, NGO’s, and civil society support the protection, empowerment and engagement of women from the top down, as well as the bottom up, toward a safer and more peaceful future?
The creative economy’s contribution to global GDP is being increasingly recognized by global and local leaders, who are making new investments in cultural infrastructure.
A surge in digitalization and services as a result of the pandemic has fueled the sector, which now contributes more than 3 percent to global GDP. This session will look at the economic and social impact of specific investments in cultural infrastructure in Qatar. Participants will also discuss the creative economy’s role in preserving heritage and supporting underserved or marginalized communities.
Gulf States are diversifying their economies as part of long-term efforts to reduce their dependence on revenues from oil and gas, while increasing productivity and sustainable growth for future generations. Free zones are playing an increasingly important role in supporting sustainable development in the GCC region, and worldwide, by delivering a diverse set of solutions — from advanced mobility to alternative foods — to a growing number of businesses and organizations. As the global community strives to reach net zero by 2050, how can governments work in collaboration with the private sector to develop free zones in pursuit of global and local sustainability goals?