Misk Foundation signs MoU with Hub71 to foster startups

Time: November 14, 2019

Shaima Hamidaddin, executive manager of the Misk Global Forum, and Mahmoud Adi, CEO of Hub71, sign MoU to create a more dynamic market for startups in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. (Photo/Supplied)
  • MoU outlines ways to create a more dynamic market for startups in Saudi Arabia and the UAE

RIYADH: The Misk Foundation on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem.

The MoU was signed during the three-day Misk Global Forum in Riyadh, and outlines steps toward creating a more dynamic market for startups in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“At Misk, we’re committed to empowering as many young people around the world to realize their potential in the future economy,” said Shaima Hamidaddin, executive manager of the forum.

At Misk, we’re committed to empowering as many young people around the world to realize their potential in the future economy.

At Misk, we’re committed to empowering as many young people around the world to realize their potential in the future economy.

Shaima Hamidaddin, executive manager of the Misk Global Forum

“A vital part of that is supporting innovative entrepreneurship and exciting founder-led ideas. This strategic MoU with Hub71 will allow us to create a more open and dynamic environment for these startups and others in the future, to grow, flourish and succeed.”

Mahmoud Adi, CEO of Hub71, said the MoU “means that Hub71 startups will have better access to the flourishing Saudi market. It also opens up a world of possibilities between two aligned ecosystems looking to develop a more collaborative approach to sharing market insights, investor relationships, strategic partnerships as well as co-working spaces.”

The MoU outlines steps toward building a larger shared ecosystem aimed at helping startups access the UAE and Saudi markets by offering shared in-market business development insights, introductions to investors, and mentor networks and strategic partnerships; business services and mentorship from local and international experts; and access to a close-knit community and ecosystem that support entrepreneurs.

Meanwhile, Hub71 was named the UAE’s national organizer for the Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC) 2020, which is an integral part of the Misk Global Forum.

Hub71 startups will have better access to the flourishing Saudi market. It also opens up a world of possibilities between two aligned ecosystems looking to develop a more collaborative approach to sharing market insights.

Mahmoud Adi, CEO of Hub71

The EWC is a global startup and pitch competition. Winners will have the chance to be shortlisted for the Hub71 Incentive Program.

“We’ll be on the hunt for UAE’s best startups from each of the … seven emirates and proudly showcasing the winning ideas to represent ‘Team UAE’ at the EWC 2020 next November,” Adi said.

The EWC’s inaugural 2019 edition has attracted entries from over 100,000 entrepreneurs, across various sectors, from 187 countries.

Entrants are competing to win cash prizes, global mentorship and support services, as well as the chance to relocate to Abu Dhabi for the Hub71 Incentive Program, which includes up to 100 percent subsidized living, office space and health care for two years.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Princess Haifa and other influential regional figures share experiences and advice during Misk Global Forum

13/11/19

The panel included influential and inspirational women from the region. (AN photo/Ziyad Al-Arfaj)

  • Inspirational women reflect on future of jobs in Saudi Arabia and beyond

RIYADH: The evolving nature of the workplace and the challenge the new generation faced was in the spotlight on Tuesday during a panel discussion on Day 1 of the annual meeting of the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh.

The panel of influential and inspirational women from the region included: Princess Haifa M. Al-Saud, the vice president of strategy at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage; Sim Ann, senior minister of state at the Ministry of Communications and Information and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth in Singapore; Sheikha Al-Sabah, chairwoman and CEO of National Creative Industries Group in Kuwait; and Shamma Al-Mazrui, minister of state for youth affairs and chairwoman of the UAE’s federal youth authority.

The discussion was moderated by Faisal J. Abbas, the editor-in-chief of Arab News.

Princess Haifa reflected on what she had learned during her career journey, from the early days working for HSBC Bank, when she felt she was treated as a bit of an oddity, to her current prominent role in the growing Saudi tourism sector. Like most workers, she said, she had to work her way up.

“As a woman, it was very challenging,” she said. “Women today don’t realize how much they have as employees. The government is pro-youth.

“My advice to you is seek opportunity, expand your mind, work in different industries. There are no more barriers.”

Princess Haifa M. Al-Saud reflected on what she had learned during her career journey, from the early days working for HSBC Bank to her current role in the growing Saudi tourism sector. (AN photo/Ziyad Al-Arfaj)
She felt blessed, she said, to have grown up with many women in her family and life that were good role models. Still, she added, when she started out in banking she never imagined she would reach the position she is in now.

Sim Ann told how Southeast Asia is the fastest-growing region in the world for start-ups. “We are very excited about the opportunities that the future holds in Southeast Asia,” she said. “There are 318 million youths, below the age of 35.”

A study by the World Economic Forum found that young people in Southeast Asia are optimistic about the effect of technology on the job market, she added. “Many youths also have a strong entrepreneurial drive, with 25 percent wanting to start their own business,” said Sim Ann. “Technology will provide our youths with more opportunities in the future.”

Al-Mazrui said that career success must help to support success in life, and that she believes people need to focus on embracing the human factors of their work. “The best way of explaining the importance of humanizing our work is to say that asking a worker to work without the human factors is like asking them to read without oxygen,” she said. “We are human beings, not human doings.”

Al-Sabah said it is important to tap into one of the things that make us human, the ability to push the envelope. In this era of globalization and rapidly changing technologies, she added, “we need to challenge ourselves to stay ahead of the curve. Step up and step outside your comfort zone.”

To close the session, Abbas asked the panelists to pick a skill that new graduates should consider developing.

Princess Haifa said that an important skill in the modern world is adaptability, while Sim Ann chose active listening. Al-Mazrui highlighted the need for compassion overconfidence, and Al-Sabah chose curiosity and resilience.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Hakaya Misk supports Saudi Arabia’s young creative talents

11/11/19

Hakaya Misk provides a unique experience, allowing visitors to explore one of the most vital post-production arts in the region. (Photos/Social media)

The Hakaya Misk platform has featured many sessions in the past days, with creative young people such as director Mansour Al-Badran talking about the film industry
RIYADH: The Initiatives Center at the Mohammed bin Salman Charitable Foundation (Misk), represented by the Hakaya Misk initiative, has announced its support for the young talents and creative minds of the Kingdom.
The center urges people with inspiring ad ideas to submit them so they can receive support and direction. The events of Hakaya Misk initiative will end on Monday after having provided more than 350 workshops.
The center’s announcement about supporting inspiring ideas in ads came during a dialogue session on the Hakaya Misk platform.
The session, “TV Ads … Values and Ambition,” discussed the ad industry at the local and international level, within the framework of preserving and respecting values, and the appropriateness of ad content with the traditions and values of the society where they are broadcast.
Mohammed Al-Hamad, one of the pioneers who established the ad market in Saudi Arabia, talked about the art of producing TV ads and their phases, from coming up with the idea to production and direction.
Al-Hamad said ad ideas should be creative and at the same time “respectful of the values of our Islamic society.”
“There are some genius ideas worldwide but they contravene our culture and customs, and therefore cannot be applied here,” he said.
Hakaya Misk was launched on Tuesday within the Riyadh Season events. It includes several sections that cover preparations for pre-production, production, post-production, young producers, the Hakaya market, platforms, Hakaya media, food trucks, discussion sessions and movie shows.
More than 70 workshops were held on Saturday, along with dialogue sessions and other segments, during which visitors listened to the story of the Great Gatsby, which was made into the popular movie.
In the Arab segment, Dr. Eid Al-Yehya talked about his experience in Retracing Arab Footsteps, the “Ala Khota Al-Arab” documentary show, while Peter Kober talked about Manga animation experiences.
Saudi director Amer Al-Hamood spoke about the direction process, from script to the screen. The events on Saturday concluded with a dialogue session presented by Bruce Logan in which he talked about the advertising journey of cinema movies.

FASTFACTS
• The center urges people with inspiring ad ideas to submit them so they can receive support and direction.

• Hakaya Misk includes several sections that cover preparations for pre-production, production, post-production, young producers, the Hakaya market, platforms, Hakaya media, food trucks, discussion sessions and movie shows.

• The events of Hakaya Misk initiative will end on Monday after having provided more than 350 workshops.

Hakaya Misk provides a unique experience, allowing visitors to explore one of the most vital post-production arts in the region, VFX Visual Effects, through a workshop presented by Dukkan Media. Lecturer Abdul-Hadi Abdul-Fattah talked about VFX techniques in cinema and ads and revealed some of its secrets.
The Hakaya Misk platform has featured many sessions in the past days, with creative young people such as director Mansour Al-Badran talking about the film industry.
Al-Badran described his experience in directing the movie Samel with the help of ambitious young Saudis.
Several workshops were also held, offering fans of photography the opportunity to interact with professional photographers and international experts.

Film program
Speaking about his experience at the Al Arabiya Channel through the “Retracing Arab Footsteps” program, Dr. Eid Al-Yahya said: “The ‘Retracing Arab Foosteps’ program faced a lot of difficulties and challenges such as living and working in the desert for three months.”
He said the program was considered the first to document the Mouallaqat historically. “Fieldwork is a religious duty in order to watch the effects of the previous nations.”
He confirmed that the first human and geographical field research was for Ibn Khaldoun 700 years ago. He said that this work was neglected, however: “After 400 years, the West rose due to resorting to Ibn Khaldoun’s theory, caring for geography and its relationship with humans and their belonging to a place, which was a reason in civilization, industrial development and inventions.”
Sharing his views about the Godfather movie, Mohammed Hazazi from “Nady Ketaby” said the film created the wrong stereotype for many, as it gave the impression that all Italians were in the mafia.
Through “Steps,” the director Lamia Al-Showaier, who works as a cinematic content observer at the General Commission for Audiovisual Media (GCAM), said: “The most important factor of filmmaking is the presence of a special crew, and a beautiful scenario and story that reaches the audience.”

In a dialogue session called “The movie: from production to cinema screens,” she spoke about the most important areas that are lacking in the filmmaking market in the Kingdom.
She noted that many focus on areas such as directing and production whereas the market lacks people specialized in lighting, sound engineering and sound effects.
As for the artistic creative areas in filmmaking that have not been focused on, she reiterated the importance of content writing and developing talents through specialized institutes. She said that the Kingdom contains many inspiring stories for writing content.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Misk Art paints a happy future for Saudi artists

Time: November 04, 2019

AN photo by Sarah Al-Suhaimai
  • The art week is organized by the Misk Art Institute to support talent and encourage the local art market

RIYADH: The third annual Misk Art Week ended on Saturday with visitors describing the event as a highlight of Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning art calendar.
Art galleries in the Saudi capital opened their doors to more than 120 artists from around the world who showcased their work at a series of exhibitions, symposiums and workshops.
Alanoud, a 26-year-old Saudi visitor, said: “I really enjoyed the artworks, especially the ones about our Saudi culture. I was studying abroad and came back to my homeland.
“I am fascinated that art galleries are popular in my home city.” The art week is organized by the Misk Art Institute to support talent and encourage the local art market. Artists’ professional development and education is promoted through interactive discussions, as well as exchanging skills and direct learning.
Misk Art Week this year focused on experimenting and creating art for all ages, with 180 workshops in four halls, each looking at a specific kind of art. “Contrast in Harmony Exhibition” was among the pavilions taking part.
“The name of the exhibition is in line with the title of Misk Art Week, which is experimenting,’’ said Lulwa Al-Homoud, the exhibition coordinator.
Fine artist and educational consultant Maisa Shaldan’s visual expressions imagined the different experiences a person goes through in life, using the color blue to denote happiness and screws to reflect bad experiences.

FASTFACTS

• Art galleries in Riyadh opened their doors to more than 120 artists from around the world who showcased their work at a series of exhibitions, symposiums and workshops.

• Misk Art Institute aims to support talent and encourage the local art market. Artists’ professional development and education is promoted through interactive discussions, as well as exchanging skills and direct learning.

• This year, Misk Art Week focused on experimenting and creating art for all ages, with 180 workshops in four halls, each looking at a specific kind of art.

In the sculpture symposium, 21 sculptors from 13 countries used stone, wood, marble, iron and other natural products from the Kingdom to create a variety of artworks.
“Art is beautiful. You can relate to art in more than one way and from the moment you see the beauty of it,” Mohammed Al-Juaid, an organizer at Misk Art, said.
“But what makes this art unique is the materials. The artists used materials that came from our beloved land.” Meanwhile, artist Bodour Al-Bakri’s preferred form of expression was painting on people’s faces. Al-Bakri said that she wants to develop her idea and begin painting on bodies. She praised Misk Art Insititue, saying it offered her all the support needed to reach her artistic goals.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Misk offers Saudi students chance to enroll in top global universities

06/10/19

  • Applications are open until Nov. 9, and this includes providing reference letters and TOEFL iBT results

RIYADH: The Initiatives Center at the Mohammed bin Salman Charitable Foundation (Misk), represented by the Fellowship and Traineeship Initiative, has reopened applications for the College Prep Program, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.
The program seeks to meet the aspirations of students who wish to enroll in one of the world’s top universities. It offers an intensive preparation program carried out throughout secondary school years.
The program aims to improve students’ chances of receiving offers at some of the world’s top universities, including Columbia and Stanford in the US and Oxford and Cambridge in the UK.
Students are enrolled in a series of intensive programs that prepare them in terms of character-building and enabling them to pass safely toward university education and start a productive academic life.
The first stage of the College Prep Program targets grade 10 students. During the summer vacation of their first year as secondary students, they are enrolled in a training program that simulates the future academic experience in one of the world’s prestigious universities. It runs for seven weeks, during which students live a typical university life and engage in many academic activities.

HIGHLIGHT

Misk’s Fellowship and Traineeship initiative has over 70 partnerships with international and local universities, institutes and organizations. It offers preparation programs in various fields, benefitting more than 9,000 young men and women in the Kingdom.

In the summer of the second year, students join a series of training courses aimed at improving their academic skills and helping them overcome the obstacles they may face when applying to one of their target universities. During this stage, academic advisers prepare students to sit for a series of university entrance tests, train them to write personal statements and help them choose universities in line with their interests.
In the final stage, the program assigns an adviser to each student to help them apply to the target universities and choose a course upon graduating from secondary school.
There is a set of requirements for enrolling in the College Prep Program, including attending the first year of secondary school (grade 10) this academic year (2019-2020), graduating intermediate school with a total average of at least 90 percent, and the ability to speak and write in English.
Applications are open until Nov. 9, and this includes providing reference letters and TOEFL iBT results. Candidates are selected after attending an interview, and results will be announced in January 2020.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Misk Academy launches 14 programs to train young Saudis

02/09/19

Over 1,900 people ready to develop skills in digital world
RIYADH: The Misk Academy, part of the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Foundation (Misk), has launched the third round of the Misk Udacity Program, in partnership with Udacity which aims to develop and build skills in the digital world.

Over 6,000 people have applied to the program, with 1,966 accepted to 14 online programs in programming, data, digital marketing and artificial intelligence.

In addition to the online course, students based in Riyadh and Makkah will attend a weekly session with their trainer, with seminars also being held at other locations across the country, in other areas, in order to initiate debates about the subjects and review contents and ideas raised.

The Misk Udacity Program is considered a proactive step to develop technological pioneers’ skills in the Kingdom.

HIGHLIGHTS
• The Misk Udacity Program is considered a proactive step to develop technological pioneers’ skills in the Kingdom.

• It aims to build and raise the knowledge and technical skills of Saudi job seekers, and also aims to develop their employability in the data and technology sector.

It aims to build and raise the knowledge and technical skills of Saudi job seekers, and also aims to develop their employability in the data and technology sector.

The program reflects Misk’s academic methodology which aims to present a comprehensive educational system that starts with training and ends with empowering graduates to become successful in the job market and compete at an international levels; 65 percent of graduates achieve progress in their career six months after the end of the program.

Misk is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and providing opportunities for the Kingdom’s youth and leading them to a bright future through Vision 2030 in transforming and diversifying the Saudi economy.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Hajj Ministry, Misk launch program for volunteers to serve pilgrims

Time: July 24, 2019  

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The program encourages the culture of voluntary work and gives individuals greater space to participate in charitable work. (SPA/Photo)
  • It aims to raise the level of volunteer performance in providing a professional service and high-quality practice

RIYADH: The Initiative Center at the Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Foundation (Misk Foundation) has launched a program to prepare volunteers for the Hajj season in 2019, in cooperation with the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

The program, called Misk Al-Mashair, which launched its first workshop in Jeddah, encourages the culture of voluntary work and gives individuals greater space to participate in charitable work.

The program includes workshops in Makkah, Madinah, Riyadh, Jeddah, Taif, Dammam, Alkhobar, Jazan, Al-Jouf, Al-Ahsa, Abha, Tabuk and Qassim, as well as other cities across the Kingdom. The one-day program is attended by volunteers to learn about volunteering in Hajj.

The workshop includes an introduction to dealing with emergencies, problem-solving, communication skills, dealing with pilgrims of different cultures, working together in crowd management, and the ethics and values of voluntary work, all linked to the honor and value of participating during Hajj.

Thousands of registered volunteers and several other official bodies are taking part in the training program through the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, the Ministry of Health, and the Directorate of Civil Defense to unify efforts to support young volunteers, improve the quality of services provided and benefit from the expertise provided by the program.


IN NUMBERS

673,000 – The number of pilgrims who have arrived in the Kingdom since the start of the current Hajj season.

650,000 – pilgrims came by air.

15,000 – pilgrims entered by land.

7,735 – pilgrims arrived by sea.


Through this program, the Initiative Center aims to raise the level of volunteer performance in providing a professional service and high-quality practices that reflect positively on pilgrims and contribute to improving their experience in line with the objectives of Vision 2030 to promote volunteering and increase the contribution of Saudi youth volunteers in the service of their community and their country.

Volunteer work in this initiative is centered on the reception of pilgrims, guidance, translation, medical volunteering, honoring the elderly, helping people with disabilities and volunteering to monitor and document the feelings and attitudes of the pilgrims.

So far, the number of pilgrims who have arrived in the Kingdom since the start of the current Hajj season has reached 673,104, according to statistics issued by Saudi General Directorate of Passports. Most pilgrims — 650,294 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 15,075 entered by land and 7,735 arrived by sea, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Dr. Badr Al-Bader, CEO of the Misk Foundation

Time: July 23, 2019  

Misk Foundation CEO Dr. Badr Al-Bader

Dr. Badr Al-Bader was appointed CEO of the Misk Foundation on Monday.

The charity was founded in 2011 by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to develop youths’ leadership skills, and to focus on education, technology, media and culture to empower society through knowledge according to the best international standards.

Al-Bader thanked the crown prince for his appointment as CEO, saying it is a huge responsibility.

Al-Bader received his bachelor’s degree in computer science from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Dhahran, and holds a master’s and a Ph.D. in the same field from Washington University.

He has participated in leadership programs at several universities such as Oxford, Cornell and George Washington.

Al-Bader has founded several companies, and was CEO of Dur Hospitality Co., where he led its transformation and launched its expansion strategy.

He was also managing director of CISCO Systems in Saudi Arabia for two years, before occupying the same role for Asia and Africa.

He was a member of a number of committees in chambers of commerce and industry, a member of the board of trustees of the Prince Salman Prize for Young Entrepreneurs, and a member of the advisory board of the faculty of business administration at King Faisal University, and of the faculty of information technology at KFUPM.

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Misk’s Manga Productions opens branch in Tokyo

Time: July 02, 2019  

1 / 2
The Tokyo branch will encourage joint collaboration with Japanese creative entities in the industry. (SPA)
  • The Tokyo branch will encourage joint collaboration with Japanese creative entities in the industry

RIYADH: Manga Productions, an affiliated company of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Misk Foundation, has opened a branch in Tokyo, a move that reflects the company’s international growth as well as its successful Japanese partnerships in recent years.
The opening of the branch on June 28 was followed by the signing of memorandums of understanding between Manga Productions and Kadokawa Corp., Tokyo University of Technology, Mizuho Bank, and Misk Foundation’s Initiatives Center.
Badr bin Mohammed Al-Asaker, chairman of Manga Productions, said that strong Saudi-Japanese relations over decades “allow us to maintain, encourage and stimulate an environment suitable for cooperation in various fields, especially creative ones.”
The Tokyo branch will encourage joint collaboration with Japanese creative entities in the industry, he said.

“It will also reinforce our partnerships in Japan offering creative production and training programs for youth in gaming and animation,” Al-Asaker said.

This article was first published in Arab News

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GEA and Misk launch ‘Entertainment Pioneers’ program

Time: June 26, 2019  

RIYADH: The General Authority for Entertainment (GEA) launched its “Entertainment Pioneers” program, in partnership with the Initiatives Center at the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Foundation (Misk).

The program aims to prepare citizens, and especially fresh graduates, to work with the most renowned international companies in the field of entertainment, to gain experience, develop their skills in the field, and enable them to integrate this sector and contribute to its development and prosperity.

The program is part of GEA’s strategy to develop the sector of entertainment in accordance with the best international standards, and to provide it with qualified national competencies in this field, to meet the objectives of the Quality of Life program, a basic part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

The first stage of the program will kick off in collaboration with a leading American entertainment company that employs 44,000 people worldwide, and that has a record of more than 30,000 entertainment programs and 100 festivals, with its sales surpassing of 500 million tickets per year.

In addition, various international companies are participating in the event, in order to train Saudis in the tasks of planning, organization and management of entertainment programs and projects.

As part of its plans to develop and increase the size of local content in the entertainment sector, GEA is launching several other initiatives to train Saudi cadres develop their skills, and to integrate the job market especially in small and medium enterprises in the field of entertainment.

For registration a webpage was set on the link: https://misk.org.sa/fellowship/services/live-nation/

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