Tuesday, 16 July 2024

Inaugural GPCA Youth Forum to debut in Riyadh this week to shape the next generation of GCC youth


The Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), the voice of the chemical and petrochemical industry in the Arabian Gulf, is proud to announce that the inaugural edition of the GPCA Youth Forum will take place on 5-6 December 2022 as part of the 16th Annual GPCA Forum in Riyadh to shape the next generation of Saudi Arabia’s youth and that of neighboring GCC countries.

Experts predict that by the end of the decade, 375 million employees across the globe will need to change occupation due to automation, artificial intelligence and digitalization[1]. According to another study[2], 9 in 10 leaders state they either currently face a skill gap in their company or expect it to develop within the next five years, with only one third of survey respondents saying their companies are equipped to cope with future workplace disruptions.

The GPCA Youth Forum will aim to prepare 250+ of the next generation of young leaders from across the Arabian Gulf to meet the new demands of the future, and provide them with a holistic networking experience, the knowledge, and skills they need to step up to the challenge and shape a more sustainable future for the region, the chemical and petrochemical industry.

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The forum is being organized under the theme ‘For The Youth. By The Youth.’ and will serve as a platform to connect university students and young working professionals from across the GCC with an array of hugely successful chemical business leaders and accomplished trailblazers from the region who are breaking barriers and advancing female diversity in the region today.

As the first of its kind, the event is being led by the GPCA Youth Council, comprised of 30 young working professionals from 18 GPCA member companies. Attendees will have the opportunity to be part of three exciting Youth Majlis sessions, two skills and knowledge-based workshops led by the global consultancy firm BCG as well as a Youth Speed Mentorship segment.

A dialogue with the first female Aerospace Engineer in the GCC and Special Advisor to the CEO of the Saudi Space Commission, Eng. Mishaal Ashemimry, will make the Forum one not to miss. Delegates will also have the opportunity to hear from Reema Juffali – Saudi Arabia’s first female racing driver – and meet Othman Almoamar, Chairman of Y20 Saudi Arabia, the official platform bringing young voices together to the G20 leaders.

Opening the forum will be Mohammed Al-Akil, Sr. Sustainability Analyst, SABIC, while the welcome remarks will be presented by Naser Aldousari, President and CEO, EQUATE Group. As part of the Youth Majlis opening session young industry professionals will hear about the power of diversity and inclusion and find out how they can contribute to their countries’ national development visions.

Industry leaders Dr. Mohammed Al-Mulla, Managing Director and CEO, QAPCO, and Mutlaq Al-Morished, CEO, TASNEE, will share their career journey with the attendees, discuss the role of the industry as a solution provider and the role of the youth in advancing sustainability. Another not to miss speaker at the forum Abdulaziz Al-Oudan, Executive Vice President – Corporate Human Resources, SABIC, will discuss the importance of making way for sustainable development and why the region’s youth need to equip themselves for a sustainable future.

Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA, commented: “The Arabian Gulf chemical industry is on the cutting edge of innovation, new technological development and advanced R&D. Today the industry is progressing towards its long term objectives to transition to a cleaner energy future and advance the circular economy in the region and globally. To realize their vision companies would need to build a capable, agile and competent workforce and equip it with the right skill set and knowledge to take us to the next decade and build a better future for all.”

He added: “We are proud to be launching the GPCA Youth Forum ‘For The Youth. By The Youth.’ nowhere else but in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where over 300 future leaders will come together to network, learn, and explore the possibilities that the STEM field in general, and the chemical industry in particular have to offer. Saudi Arabia places the development of its youth at the very heart of its initiatives, investment and education and we are proud to be partnering with some of the Kingdom’s foremost personalities and experts to make this event possible for the first time on Arabian Gulf soil.”

[1] ‘Jobs lost, jobs gained: workforce transitions in a time of automation’ McKinsey Global Institute, Last accessed 24/11/2022 Link

[2] ‘New-business building in 2022: Driving growth in volatile times’, McKinsey Global, Last accessed 24/11/2022 Link