After three days of intense collaboration, delegates of the forum come together at the closing plenary. Pamela Hartigan, Director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, says goodbye with an Irish farewell.
Lord (David) Sainsbury talks about his passion for genetic research, especially genetically improving the resistance of plants to disease. He shares how he began his work as a social entrepreneur, and how this contrasted from his work in government.
Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan talks about the great change happening in the Middle East, saying we should not be surprised. She touches upon the of role social networking, women’s rights, and unemployment among youth, and gives examples of Arabs mobilizing for change in small ways, such as cleaning up their neighborhood in Cairo. “We are watching unfold before us a breathtaking experiment in collective action, by young people armed only with cellphones and computers, protected only by social networks united in their willingness to speak out and sacrifice for change. We can learn much from their courage and dedication.”
Last to speak is Fadi Ghandour, Founder and CEO of Aramex International, the first company from the Arab world traded on NASDAQ. He discusses the crisis in the Middle East, and his solution: Ruuwad, or the Arab Foundation for Sustainable Development. “Ruuwad is a group of entrepreneurs, who decided to venture into social entrepreneurship and bring our skills, resources and networks to the Arab world’s downtrodden and forgotten. It … offers education to economically and socially marginalized youth in exchange for community service.”