Building up to MENA

WEF MENA is the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa and this year's Forum is set in the heart of Morocco and it took quite a journey to get from Savannah to Marrakech (stops in Charleston, NYC and Casablanca). This is my sixth forum event and while not the pizzazz of the Annual 'main event' in Davos, Switzerland, the MENA Forum allows attendees to deep dive into regional issues. This includes risks such as oil price volatility, water scarcity and migration as well as opportunities in development and technology readiness.

We arrived to find the hotel we are staying at in the last throws of construction. Final touches and details hurriedly being completed seems almost symbolic for the constant changes happening in the region. I'm interested to find out if this level of constant change is encompassing all of society or if more needs to be done to create an inclusive vision of a better future.

Tomorrow sees two pre-events a session on education and a gathering of the Young Global Leaders. I will presenting at the later to update attendees on the progress of reconstruction in Haiti and to present a Gaza rebuilding manual we developed with the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). Then on Tuesday I will participate in a meeting on urban planning for longevity and prosperity. After the boom and bust of the global construction industry, it'll be interesting to see if folks have taken stock and have ideas and direction for creating holistic approach to development, inclusive of all citizens.

I'll be blogging a report for the next three days.