AIWF represented at Global Thinkers Forum House of Commons event by Dr Enass Abo Hamed, CEO & Co-Founder, H2GO Power and University of Cambridge Energy Champion 2017

AIWF represented at Global Thinkers Forum House of Commons event by Dr Enass Abo Hamed, CEO & Co-Founder, H2GO Power and University of Cambridge Energy Champion 2017 17 October 2017

AIWF was represented by Dr Enass Abo Hamed, CEO & Co-Founder, H2GO Power, University of Cambridge Energy Champion 2017 and Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellow, at the recent Global Thinkers Forum high-level panel discussion at the House of Commons titled Technical Connectivity vs Human Disconnection.

During the panel discussion, the Global Thinkers Forum expert panel asked whether ‘hyperconnectivity’ actually means less effective communication. People seem to come closer thanks to technology and hyperconnectivity but they are also becoming more estranged. Geographic boundaries become increasingly irrelevant due to technological change, yet people seem more uncertain than ever about the idea of a ‘peaceful future, together’.

“Connectivity, not division, is our oldest human impulse. It has unfolded over the millennia through diplomacy, trade and engineering of infrastructures that connect us. So, connectivity is the overwhelming and accelerating fact of the world. Sovereignty pales in comparison as a force,” argued author and global expert, Dr Parag Khanna.

UK’s Minister for Africa, Rory Stewart OBE MP, was less sanguine, citing the high costs and lack of infrastructure – and particularly low levels of literacy – as factors that would prevent connectivity transforming developing nations. For Baroness Onora O’Neill, cross-bench member of the House of Lords and emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Cambridge, there were problems even in the developed world: “Connectivity is an enabler, but what we enabled isn’t at all what we imagined’ she stated, going on to suggest that greater connectivity has led to less communication.”

Global Thinkers Forum Founder, Elizabeth Filippouli, said: “What if obscure and rogue players out there write their own rules for the use of technology? We cannot trust that there will be a ‘moral order’ and we need regulations and rules in place to secure trust and best use of technology to the benefit of our societies and to the benefit of the individual.” Comments from the floor in the discussion, moderated by international broadcaster Stephen Cole, pointed out the wide-ranging impacts of connectivity on today’s society – namely, concerns about the increase in stress and mental illness seen as directly related to the pressure to be connected at all times, and a warning that the potential to make huge numbers of connections could result in unrealistic expectations of how personal and community relationships can function.

AIWF Founder & Chairman Haifa Al Kaylani is proud to be an Advisory Board Member of the Global Thinkers Forum, a global platform that brings together a diverse network of thought leaders to share their visions of the future, create meaningful conversations around them and effect positive change in the world. GTF’s mission focuses on three areas: accountable leadership, women’s empowerment and youth development. GTF was launched officially in 2012 in Amman, Jordan, under the Founding Patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah.

Representing AIWF at the panel discussion was Dr Enass Abo Hamed, who said: “It was a great pleasure to represent AIWF and be part of an inspiring conversation! I hope conversations about hyperconnectivity continue to catalyse our collective efforts and create the better-connected world we all aspire to live in.”

Enass is the co-founder and CEO at H2GO power Ltd, an award-winning spin-out company from the University of Cambridge developing energy storage technologies. She completed her PhD at Cambridge University, where she also was a postdoctoral fellow. She obtained her BSc and MSc degrees in applied chemistry from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Currently, she is also the Cambridge University Energy Champion, the Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellow and a technology expert consultant to European Commission (REA). Enass has won recognition awards and grants to support the development of H2GO Power and recently won the Visionary of the Year Award by MIT Tech Review Innovators Under 35 Europe, the best energy start-up award at the Global Hello Tomorrow Summit. Enass will be speaking at the forthcoming 10th Young Arab Women Leaders conference in London at the Royal Academy of Engineering, on the panel titled: ‘Supporting diversity, inclusion and innovation in energy, engineering and infrastructure’.