MISK GLOBAL FORUM 2020 CONCLUDES WITH CALL FOR ‘GENERATION SOLVE’ TO DEFINE THEIR POTENTIAL

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• The fifth MGF annual gathering focused on The Ripple Effect – how individual actions can lead to global impacts that motivate young people
• TurtleTree Labs from Singapore won the Entrepreneurship World Cup

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 19 October 2020
After a successful fifth edition of the Misk Global Forum (MGF), the event closed today following the announcement of the Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC) winner and two days of panels discussing The Ripple Effect – how individual actions can lead to global impacts that grow and inspire young people.

In his closing remarks, Dr Badr Al Badr, the Misk Foundation’s CEO, said: “Despite the constraints of COVID-19, this year’s virtual gathering was bigger and better than before.

“At Misk we believe that immense difficulties present great opportunities, but only to those who are active and adaptive. We don’t see Generation X, Y, or Z, or ‘millennials’; we see ‘Generation Solve’ – defined around young people’s potential to turn challenges into youth-led solutions. Misk and the Misk Global Forum are excited about the next chapter in building the capacity of young people to fulfil their destiny. We believe in you – show us what you can do!”

Earlier in the day, Christine Tsai, CEO and Founding Partner of 500 Startups, discussed how young people can drive change and seek impact.
She said: “With the impact of COVID-19 we’re seeing an acceleration in societal and cultural issues that have always existed.
“We try to source deals from networks that have access to under-represented deal flow, and target messaging for founders such as black CEOs, or founders from the MENA region and Latin America.”

Speaking about the future of the tourism sector, Barry Sternlicht, Co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of Starwood Capital Group, commented: “I think right now, it’s survival for the industry, and we think the world may get back to normal in 2023.”

He continued: “The world has never needed to be more together than it is today and travel, I think, is maybe the most important industry in the world, because it breeds understanding between peoples and breaks down a lot of barriers and misconceptions.”
Other speakers during day two of the MGF included:

• Eduardo Martinez, President, The UPS Foundation, UPS Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
• Philipp Mueller, CEO, BlueOrchard Finance Ltd
• Anthony Joshua, boxer
• Ritesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO (Group), OYO Hotels & Homes
• Jayren Teo, President & Co-Founder, ASEAN Youth Organization, Singapore

The MGF also hosted the second edition of the Global Finals of the Entrepreneurship World Cup, one of the world’s largest and most diverse pitch competition and support platform for entrepreneurs and startups of all stages.
The winners were announced today, TurtleTree Labs, from Singapore won the US$500,000 first prize.

TurtleTree Labs is the first biotech company to create milk sustainably using cell-based technology.

FLITE Material Sciences from Canada came second, winning US$250,000. This startup uses lasers to change the surface of materials so they protect themselves from rust, ice, fouling and pathogens without toxic chemical coatings.

In third place was Genecis Bioindustries Inc, from Canada, who win a prize of US$100,000. Genecis uses bacteria and synthetic biology tools to transform organic waste into high value materials and chemicals.

Over the course of 2020, 175,000 entrants from 200 countries were narrowed down through national and regional finals to 100 startups, who competed against each other during the MGF.

More details can be found at the EWC website here.