GCC Government Social Media Summit – experts meet

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GCC Government Social Media Summit to play a prominent role, experts share cutting-edge solutions with senior government decision makers.

Top government and business thought-leaders will speak at the summit.

GCC Government Social Media Summit
Thought leaders in discussion during last year’s GCC Government Social Media Summit in Dubai.

The region’s leading social media summit takes place from 2-3 September at Dubai’s Ritz-Carlton, DIFC, and features 3 master classes on September 1st. The summit is expected to equip governments in social engagement, while benchmarking themselves against the world’s best success stories.

Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim: “This summit is no longer about how our region can catch up with the world leaders, but rather how we can lead the world — especially since the UAE is currently ranked the best in the world in social cohesion and government efficiency.” — Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, Director General of TRA

Highly anticipated speakers include Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, the TRA’s Deputy Director General for Information and eGovernment Sector, who will explore the challenges of “Driving mGovernment and Smart Government via Social Networks to Enhance Government Communications.” However, he cautioned:

Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri; “On one hand mGovernment offers greater cost efficiency and time efficiency; but we should also look on the other side of the coin, because our region is experiencing unprecedented levels of cyber-hacking of mobile devices. Since wireless networks use public airwaves, they are vulnerable to such hackers and so governments must educate the public so that people have a positive experience of mGovernment and Smart Government as secure and trustworthy.” — Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, TRA Deputy Director General for Information and eGovernment

Eng Tariq Al Hawi, Director of the TRA’s aeCERT initiative, expanded on the issue of security as a build-up to his summit talk on “Social Media & Cyber Security”, saying:

Eng Tariq Al Hawi; “Cyber-pirates view social media as a hunting ground because just as it can be used to send information, it can also be used to steal information. We have seen a surge in the number of attacks on government sites, and emergency rapid response is crucial. It is time for governments to share information about these hackers’ methods, in the same way the cyber-criminals themselves sell information about government websites’ loopholes and weaknesses on the black market.” — Eng Tariq Al Hawi, Director of the TRA aeCERT initiative

Other eagerly-awaited speakers at the summit include Adam Fetcher, who helped to pilot the Obama for America campaign into the most phenomenally successful campaign in online history. He will be joined by Elizabeth Linder, Facebook’s Politics & Government Specialist; Silke von Brockhausen of the United Nations Development Programme; Dr Aysha Al Busmait of the UAE’s Roads & Transport Authority and Heba Alsamt of Dubai Media Incorporated, among others.

Noor Shamma; “While we are delighted to see more women in the Arab world becoming influential trendsetters on social media, the reality is that we are still way below the global average for female participation. However it would be a mistake to think this is only a problem for women, because men are also being deprived of the valuable contributions which our highly educated and tech-savvy female population can make in the Twitterverse and elsewhere.” — Noor Shamma, Acting Director for Corporate Communications Affairs, TRA, commenting on the power of social media as a catalyst for social equality

Analysts forecast that the line between current affairs and entertainment will continue to blur, as governments seek to go beyond just having a page on Facebook or Twitter, and instead explore more creative ways to be part of the public’s everyday lives. By using mobile apps, live streaming and other touchpoints, governments will seek to sync their services into the 360 degrees at home, work, recreation, in public and other trends that will be dissected from all angles at the summit.

The GCC Government Social Media Summit is the region’s leading platform showcasing the latest trends, international best practices, cutting edge ideas and groundbreaking innovations from a government perspective. The annual summit attracts some of the world’s most acclaimed thought leaders as speakers and delegates, and brings together influential decision-makers from regional governments.

As part of its pursuit of the highest global standards, the summit also embraces respected visionaries from international organizations in the public and private sectors — including the social media sites themselves to facilitate knowledge transfer.

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