Ericsson’s Change-Makers Forum focused on digital transformation and the need for alternative business models in order to seize the opportunities created by the Networked Society.
Ericsson’s Change-Makers Forum

Today, ICT is transforming industries and creating positive impacts for people, business and society.

Ericsson’s Change-Makers Forum, held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on January 10, 2016, brought together prominent speakers from around the Middle East and the world to discuss subjects related to ICT transformation and how the Networked Society can contribute to accelerating growth trends.

Helena Norrman and Jimmy Wales

Helena Norrman and Jimmy Wales

In his keynote speech about harnessing the power of social media, Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, said: “As the internet continues to grow and change at exponential rates, open-source, open-content technology will affect the fundamental ways that businesses interact with customers, distributors, suppliers and the public in the future.”

One of Ericsson ConsumerLab’s recently announced 10 hot consumer trends for 2016 was that social networks may become the preferred way to contact emergency services. Ari Kesisoglu, Regional Director, Africa, Middle East & Turkey, Facebook, highlighted this theme in a keynote address.

Kesisoglu said: “Social networks have become an imperative part of people’s lives across the world. The ability of social networking and messaging services to reach people at scale in times of emergency with streamlined communication is immense.

“Besides emergencies, these services will also be used by organizations to engage one-on-one with audiences and to deliver real-time CRM support. As we enter a mobile-first world, social networks will unlock possibilities that have a positive impact on society”.

Christopher Mikkelsen, co-founder of Refugees United, was another discussion leader. He described his experience of seeing mobile technology change people's lives by connecting thousands of families of refugees.

Mikkelsen said: ”Before Refugees United, the options for people who were searching for loved ones were very limited, often leaving them disengaged, uninformed and feeling powerless. This is a clear example of how technology can change people’s lives.”

Change-Makers at the event shared common themes related to the transformation of business models across industries. One of the industries discussed was transportation, and Magnus Olsson, co-founder and Chief Navigator at online car-booking company Careem, presented to the audience how this transformation is enabling new growth opportunities.

Olsson said: “New business models are changing our society’s economic landscape and allowing entrepreneurs to explore opportunities that we are witnessing for the first time.”

Rafiah Ibrahim, President, Region Middle East and East Africa, Ericsson, says: “ICT is transforming the way people work and communicate. Our lifestyles are changing; we are using digital technologies to access products and services, and we want the best experience when doing that. 

“As mobile broadband combines with cloud services, every industry will find itself in a new reality. At the Change-Makers Forum, we discussed the need to anticipate what the consumer wants, and to create consumer needs.  When disruption accelerates, we need to anticipate change and act to remain relevant.”

Ericsson’s Change-Makers Forum was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on January 10, 2016 at Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group. The exclusive event was attended by CEOs, CXOs, leading entrepreneurs and thought-leaders.