A new technological and industrial cycle and a revolution have begun to shape this era, re-designing our social way of life in numerous meaningful ways. Driven by the ongoing advancement of technological progress such as big data, cloud technologies, machine learning, cyber-physical systems, and strategies for integrating virtual reality, augmented reality, and other future technologies.
For many years, attracting knowledge and sharing experiences from around the world has served as a platform for leading cities such as Barcelona, Shanghai, and Dubai to enrich future experiences and improve access to knowledge and technical resources. Which accomplished by hosting technical conferences and exhibitions, which, of course, open the doors to direct investment, facilitate investment entry, and build trust between the public and private sectors.
However, the LEAP conference, which debuted this year with a novel concept in the world of technology conferences, aims “to explain what tomorrow will bring us,” or how technology will transform our way of life. The brightest global minds in technology and leading experts from big companies, risk-taking startups, and venture capitalists met and exchanged ideas at the conference to explore investment opportunities.
Riyadh hosted the most significant international event in the region in early February, demonstrating to the world that Riyadh is one of the world’s most influential future cities of technology, business leaders, and modern business thoughts. It proved that Saudi Arabia is betting on its young men and women as the key landmark for achieving its ambitious Vision 2030.
In the corridors between the pavilions of the LEAP conference, Saudi youth’s passion shone through their eyes. The first source of motivation was His Excellency the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Eng. Amer Al-Sawah was a big brother of all at this massive technical conference. He welcomed everyone with “Hello our heroes,” it warmly received by Saudi entrepreneurs and young people working for global corporations.
The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology initiative, with the support from the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones, built on the generous and high-quality support provided to Saudi youth and talents in recent years. This support has produced 1000 male and female programmers in the last four months alone, whose accomplishments were recognized at the LEAP Conference in 2202, thus achieving the leading goal of qualifying one programmer for every 100 Saudis by 2030.
The LEAP, without a doubt, brought entrepreneurs, innovators, and venture capitalists under the umbrella of government support, with the presence of public sector leaders, to boost confidence in all activities and startup competitions accompanying the conference. That resulted in investments totaling 6.4 billion US dollars and total prizes of more than one million dollars, over 100,000 visitors from 129 countries, 509 speakers, and more than 1,000 presentations made by startups to investors.
This technical event, in my opinion, stunned both the West and the East and even surpassed all expectations. It made everyone look forward to it next year, especially in the light of the directives of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. To turn it into an annual conference in which the whole world will turn its eyes to Riyadh in anticipation of the world-class technical gathering and a hub for technological transformation that begins in the capital city. We might see a LEAP conference center stand-
alone somewhere in Riyadh in the coming years.