The Business Forward Annual Event in its 6th edition – Editorial by Wafaa Sabry

Welcome to the special edition of Business Forward newsletter following the sixth edition of Business Forward Annual Event, themed on artificial intelligence, that took place on February 25, 2024.

It is customary to begin every edition with our recap video that provides an overview of the current economic landscape in Egypt. In the past editions, we hosted discussion panels that provided the collective thoughts and analysis of economists, academics, policymakers, international organizations and private sector leaders. They highlighted the urgency and the necessity of monetary and fiscal policies and institutional reforms to realize an economic growth driven by a strong private sector with a focus on exports, competitive advantage and decreased government spending. This year, we continued our discussion in light of the new global happenings, with the objective of providing insights into ways businesses can navigate the persistent local economic paradoxes amidst global uncertainty. This provided a different angle that focused on recommendations for fostering business resilience amidst these uncertainties.

Choosing Artificial Intelligence for this year’s theme was an easy decision because of the trending global dialogue, huge expectations and controversial speculations surrounding it as it promises to have an unprecedented transformational impact on business and our lives. In the AI revolution, new technologies spread worldwide, almost instantly. Dealing with this rate of fast-paced change is a real challenge on both the personal and professional levels.

This is why we chose to delve into this major technological transformation through two discussion panels hosted in our event. Through those discussions we aimed to provide our audience with the working knowledge of business leaders who have integrated AI in their business so we can all better understand the benefits and implications in different industries and in our daily lives.

During the annual event, we carried on a tradition that we started three years ago to launch the new and fourth edition of “I Moved MY Business Forward Campaign”. A campaign that is themed every year on a topic relevant to business with the objective of creating awareness, sharing the working knowledge and celebrating best practices to inform and inspire others. Previous editions were themed on navigating challenges, business resilience during Covid19 and Family Business – this year it is themed on AI.
The campaign invites companies to share their AI-driven transformational business stories, to present their successes and challenges in doing so, in order to provide meaningful exchanges and experience-sharing to help other businesses move forward, a notion Business Forward is always supporting.

The highlight of this year’s event was Vicky, the first humanoid representation of generative AI. She was our keynote speaker, who provided a positive optimistic outlook on the future with the integration of AI, the resulting benefits and efficiencies in all areas of business. She ensured our audience that AI models like her are not here to replace humans, but rather to support and assist for better prosperity and development. We hope that she is right!

If you were not able to join us at the event, you can still follow the insightful discussions on the recording links we complied for you covering the full event, the discussion panels and the key note by Vicky, The Humanoid AI Avatar here below:

Watch the full event recording here.
Watch Vicky’s keynote speech here. 
Watch panel 1: Egypt’s economic challenges: is there a breakthrough?
Watch panel 2: Unleashing the power of AI in business
Watch panel 3: Maximizing fintech-AI driven growth
Watch AI campaign launch video here.  

This editorial was written by By Wafaa Sabry, senior director, external relations, AUC School of Business and adjunct faculty, department of management

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