Date: 31st August, 2021
His Excellency Dr. Shaikh Abdulla bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Center (Derasat), announced that the Center will host two intellectual summits: the 2021 Middle East and North Africa Think Tank Summit, and the Global Think Tank Summit; in partnership with the Think Tank and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) of The Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, 6-7 December 2021.
His Excellency made the announcement during a press conference held yesterday (Tuesday), where he mentioned the titular theme for each event. The MENA Think Tank Summit is titled, “Think Tanks Under Regional Transformations: Opportunities and Challenges”, while the Global Think Tank Summit is titled, “The Role of Think Tanks Towards Crises Adaptation and Recovery.” Both summits will see the participation of policy makers, donors, researchers, and global think tank directors; with think tanks presenting compelling examples for the substantial work performed by research and polling organizations in a series of political and economic contexts.
Discussing preparations for the summits, Dr. Shaikh Abdulla restated the significance of think tank roles in supporting peace policies, serving sustainable development, and the effective role of civil societies; besides coordinating and exchanging expertise to face shared challenges; by attracting intellectual and organizational know-how with a mature vision on developing entities and leading local communities, on the academic, media, or executive level.
Dr. Shaikh Abdulla emphasized Bahrain’s experience in this context, which draws inspiration from the views and directives of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, the King of Bahrain, in its pursuit to open up to all types of national, Arab, and international expertise; to provide national organizations with the required theoretical and practical knowledge, enhancing their sound identification and complete addressing of various issues, based on modern research and strategy-devising methodologies. Inspiration is similarly drawn from His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, to fulfill the role of scientific research in Bahrain’s development and future, as well as realizing its Vision 2030.
Derasat’s Chairman pointed to His Majesty the King’s call to support think tanks to help achieve present and future objectives, by drawing long-term scientific and practical strategies that are suitable for continuous and comprehensive national reforms on all levels; besides supporting Middle East peace and stability, deploying methodologies to counter radicalism, terrorism, and racism; as well as stressing moderation and tolerance, respecting liberties, and accepting others.
The Chairman stressed the importance of exchanging expertise among research centers in building a positive mutual and dynamic work relation between the outcomes and recommendations of its work and reality’s requirements and challenges. These in turn provide a enriched views that accept innovation and endorsing modern approaches in various issues and events; enhancing mutual understanding among world leaders and populations, for joint work on further global peace and security, focused on sustainable development that is sensed by all.
He discussed the role of think tanks in decision-making, through research, analysis, assessment, and foresight; based on quality, objectivity, capacity building, and knowledge accumulation – qualities that make them resemble added human/national capital worth deploying to serve society’s organizations and individuals.
Hosting both summits are an intellectual and knowledge-based achievement for the Kingdom of Bahrain, and an exceptional opportunity to network and discuss with an elite group of researchers in various fields of study. This opens prospects to recognize the Kingdom and its sound policies toward realizing world peace and stability – itself fulfilling a unique model in tolerance and coexistence that supports cooperation to achieve prosperity and a good living standard for all: an experience worth examining to empower young human potential by joining the next generation with leading thinkers and researchers from pioneering global think tanks.
Hosting these summits reflects Derasat Center’s perseverance to fulfill its stronghold as an advanced and valued platform among think tanks. This was recently fulfilled by ranking 42nd on the 2018 Global Go-To Think Tank Index, rising to 31st place in 2019 and 23rd in 2020 – a 19 rank advancement in 2 years, regionally competing among 500 research centers to move from 11th place among Arabian Gulf think tanks in 2018 to 7th in 2020, with expectations to further rise within the Index in coming years.