Executives Highlight Innovative Applications of Technology during PandemicMay 11, 2020
During a videoconference hosted by the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council on Monday, May 11th, senior tech executives discussed the many innovative ways in which technology has been employed to mitigate the worst effects of the coronavirus pandemic and how the pandemic will forever change our relationship with technology. This webinar, titled “Keeping Us Connected: The Transformative Power of Technology during the Coronavirus Pandemic,” was the latest in the Business Council’s videoconference series “Looking Ahead: Conversations with U.S. and U.A.E. Business and Government Leaders”.
After brief opening remarks, U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council President, Danny Sebright, opened the floor to the webinar’s distinguished panelists: Ms. Tara Fischbach, Public Policy Manager for the Levant and GCC at Facebook; Mr. Selim Eddé, Head of Public Policy and Government Relations MENA at Google; Mr. Ramez Dandan, Regional Technology Officer at Microsoft; Dr. Raf Fatani, Head of Public Policy Middle East and Africa at Amazon; Mr. Osama Al-Zoubi, Chief Technology Officer, Middle East at Cisco; and Mr. Marcel Yammine, General Manager, Gulf and Emerging Markets at SAS.
In their remarks, panelists introduced the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic before discussing the critical role of technological innovation in coronavirus response efforts. As information communications technology boosts connectivity, e-commerce has facilitated the distribution of necessary goods. At the same time, data collection is playing a pivotal role in preventing the spread of the virus. In some ways, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed companies to adopt new technologies that make their operations more efficient.
Panelists then engaged in a question & answer session moderated by Mr. Sebright. Speakers discussed the importance of innovation in times of crisis, delving into specific applications of technology that have allowed businesses to stay connected in the midst of the pandemic.
Mr. Eddé, Mr. Dandan, and Mr. Al-Zoubi discussed the positive impact of loosened restrictions for VoIP software in the U.A.E. on the business environment. Ms. Fischbach then provided information about Facebook’s business platform. Panelists explored the potential for long-term change in the way the world does business before commenting on the ways in which these technologies have been used outside of business.
Conversation also highlighted Amazon’s efforts to safely deliver necessary goods. Dr. Fatani outlined Amazon’s support of individuals and companies alike, touching on emerging challenges and opportunities in e-commerce.
Next, Mr. Yammine of SAS provided insight responding to the outbreak, into how SAS is responding to the outbreak, including through its work in contact tracing.
Before concluding the call, panelists discussed how one of the consequences of the pandemic is the further blurring of personal and work life. They shared some social and technological methods they employ to help navigate this difficult challenge.
The video call was attended by 200 senior executives from leading American and Emirati businesses, hospitals, law firms, and think tanks, as well as by U.S. and U.A.E. government officials.
During the Covid-19 crisis, the Business Council launched a webinar series titled, “Looking Ahead: Conversations with U.S. and U.A.E. Business and Government Leaders.” U.A.E. Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba and U.S. Ambassador John Rakolta Jr. launched this series with separate discussions surrounding the economic impacts of Covid-19. The Council subsequently conducted events with H.E. Waleed Al Muhairi from Mubadala Investment Company, Sir Tim Clark and Mr. Tony Douglas from Emirates and Etihad, and a panel of healthcare technology leaders. For more information about upcoming events in this series, including webinars with the U.A.E. Minister of Economy and U.A.E. Minister of State for Food Security, please contact the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council’s head of communications Mary Zuccarello at email@example.com.Back to News