By Aisha Fareed
Arab News, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) At the Misk Global Forum, leaders, creators and innovators spoke against a background of rapid change in Saudi Arabia, with an end to the ban on women driving and the crown prince’s launch this month of the $500 billion Neom “city of the future” project.
Women and young people will lead Saudi Arabia’s drive to embrace a digital future, a leading technology entrepreneur told a forum in Riyadh on Wednesday.
“The excitement and embracing of change is so palpable here,” said Diane Greene, chief executive of Google Cloud. “I’m very optimistic about what’s possible here.”
Greene said Saudi Arabia already had female experts and leaders in the field of technology, who would find no difficulty in participating in the technical future of the Kingdom.
On her first visit to Saudi Arabia, she said she was impressed by young people and their enthusiasm for change and making a difference.
Greene was speaking on the first day of the Misk Global Forum, which brings young leaders, creators and thinkers together with established innovators to explore ways to meet the challenge of change.
The Misk Foundation was established by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to empower Saudi youth to take part in the knowledge economy.
The Google Cloud chief took part in a panel discussion with Saudi Minister of Communication and Information Technology Abdullah Alswaha. The session was moderated by Faisal J. Abbas, editor in chief of Arab News.
They spoke against a background of rapid change in Saudi Arabia, with an end to the ban on women driving and the crown prince’s launch this month of the $500 billion Neom “city of the future” project.
“There couldn’t be a much better time in terms of unprecedented change,” said Alswaha. “The rate of change right now is giving us a unique and a big window to leapfrog into the future.”