King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture

Global Knowledge Society Forum 2013

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Building Knowledge Societies for Sustainable Human Development

The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), hosted the inaugural Global Knowledge Society Forum in Dhahran Saudi Arabia on December 9th and 10th, 2013.

The goal of the forum under the theme, “Building Knowledge Societies for Sustainable Human Development" was to catalyze the development of a knowledge ecosystem in the Kingdom. This groundbreaking two-day event was developed to engage international, Arab and Saudi leaders and decision makers from government, academia, and industry in discussion of current developments in the creation, acquisition, and dissemination of knowledge, as well as sustainable human development within a knowledge society.

Many thanks to everyone who participated in this year's event.


Mr. Khalid Al-Falih

Mr. Khalid A. Al-Falih took office as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) on January 1, 2009. With 55,000 employees, Saudi Aramco is an integrated global petroleum company and the leading industrial enterprise in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.        

H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al-Jasser

H.E. Dr. Muhammed Al-Jasser is the Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning. Previously, he served with the Kingdom’s Ministry of Finance and with The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency. He was a key figure in devising the Kingdom’s response to a series of economic challenges over the past decade.

H.E. Dr. Mohammed Al-Suwaiyel

H.E. Dr. Mohammed I. Al-Suwaiyel, is the President of the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), which is a government institution in Saudi Arabia charged with the development of science and technology. He has held the rank of a minister in the Saudi government since July, 2007.                  

H.E. Dr. Khaled Al-Sabti

H.E. Dr. Khaled Al-Sabti is the Saudi Vice Minister for Boys’ Education and the Secretary General of the King Abdulaziz and his Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba).  He led the establishment of the National e-Government Program (Yesser) and the first National Information Technology Plan.

H.E. Dr. Khaled Al-Sultan

H.E. Dr. Khalid Al-Sultan is Rector of King Fahd University for Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) and currently serves as a member of the Saudi Aramco Board of Directors.  In addition, he has also served in the capacity of Deputy Minister for Educational Affairs in the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Éric Falt 

Mr. Éric Falt is the Assistant Director- General for External Relations and Public Information at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), based in Paris.

Mr. Anthony F. "Bud" Rock

Mr. Anthony F. "Bud" Rock is President and Chief Executive Officer with the Association of Science-Technology Centers: a global organization linking science institutions and museums, and which aims to inspire people of all ages about the wonders and meaning of science. He previously served with the U.S. State Department.


For more information on the forum's speakers, please refer to the Program Guidebook .

Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Al-Abdulkader, Secretary General for the National Science, Technology, and Innovation Plan at KACST Research Institute.

Mr. Turki Al-Dakhil, Saudi Journalist.

Dr. Osama Mansouri, Senior Advisor to the Minister of Economy and Planning.

Dr. Kholoud Al-Ghamdi, Professor at University of Dammam.

Dr. Saad Haj Bakry, Professor at King Saud University.

Dr. Ahmed Al-Yamani, Chief Operating Officer at TAQNIA.

Dr. Haifa Jamal Allail, President of Effat University.

Mr. Fuad Therman, Director of the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture.

Dr. Anas Al-Faris, Director, Joint Centers of Excellence Program at KACST.

Dr. Ghaith Fariz, Director and Coordinator of Arab Knowledge Reports.

H.E. Professor Nasser David Khalili, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.

Mr. Othman Mahmoud Al Sini, Saudi Writer.

Dr. Ilham Laaziz, Director of the GENIE Program, Moroccan Ministry of Education.

Dr. Fawaz Salem Al-Husainan, Assistant Under-Sec for Youth Projects: Ministry of State for Youth Affairs, Kuwait.

Dr. Mamdouh Al-Najjar, Deputy General Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Microsoft, Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Mohamad Mrayati, Senior Advisor on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development, Saudi Ministry of Economy and Planning.

Dr. Hun Joo Park, Executive Director, Korean Development Institute.

Dr. Indrajit Banerjee, Director Knowledge Societies Division, UNESCO.

Mr. Ahmed Abu-Zayed, Head of Knowledge and Research, King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture.

Mr. Paolo Lembo, United Nations Resident Coordinator UNDP, UNHCR, WHO, World Bank, and IFC in Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Wesley Schwalje, International finance and strategy consultant.