IGNITE National Technology Fund to Contribute to Pakistan Foresight Initiative

Strategic Partnership between AGAHI and IGNITE on Futures Research and Development to cultivate the dynamics around the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Puruesh Chaudhary, Founder-President AGAHI and Yusuf Hussain, Chief Executive Officer Ignite Sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Futures Research and Development in Pakistan.

Islamabad, August 23, 2017 – AGAHI a not-for-profit organization and the country partner of the Millennium-Project, a Global Futures Studies & Research participatory think-tank, came into mutual agreement collaborating on foresight research and development by signing a memorandum of understanding with IGNITE National Technology Fund (formerly National ICT R&D Fund Company) to spadework Pakistan’s future to lead the Fourth Industrial revolution focusing on technologies and on the ecosystem of development initiatives to fulfill its of fostering a knowledge economy in Pakistan. In a statement, Ms. Ansha Rahman Khan, Minister of State for Information Technology & Telecom said, ‘this is a critical partnership which will position Pakistan globally in terms of research and development of information communication technology sector in the country’.

The mission of AGAHI is to advance the horizon of Pakistan’s future by establishing Foresight Lab that would be responsible to generate and disseminate cutting-edge knowledge for the benefit of students, of industry, of policymakers, academia and of society. Yusuf Hussain, CEO Ignite said, AGAHI will facilitate the team by identifying emerging trends, opportunities, in developing skills and the curriculum; This strategic partnership will not only strengthen the existing programmes but will also work towards increasing awareness on the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Pakistan, one by creating a taskforce on this significant transition and two by developing a National Strategy paper on the Future of Work. The MoU signing ceremony was convened at the premises of IGNITE in Islamabad. The strategic linkage between the two organizations will provide opportunities to shape institutional transformation and thought leaders to complement the traditional department-based structures with trans-disciplinary knowledge capital, focused on identifying societal challenges and their long-term solutions.

Speaking on the occasion, co-founder Foresight Lab and Chairman, CEO Interactive Group of Companies Dr. Shahid Mahmud stressed on ‘how in the age of consciousness there is a dire need to develop a deeper sense of how the non-state actors in an environment where the 4th wave is imminent will be shaping the digital, biological and physical dimensions of futures research’.

Pakistan Foresight Initiative is designed to enable decision-makers to opt for data-driven foresight approach in the policy domain. This Initiative is led by a collaborative-network of academia, think tanks, experts and professionals along with a wider community contributing to futures knowledge. Puruesh Chaudhary, the Founder and President of AGAHI country partner of the Millennium Project said, ‘this partnership with Ignite reinforces our belief in a much promising future of the country; where we’ll be encouraging not only our collaborative-network but also the global community to harness a future that ensures the happiness of the humanity’. Also present at the meeting, Ms. Farzana Yaqoob President Asia Public Policy Institute; and member Policy Network of the Foresight Lab.

The collaboration will also further, amplify the engagement of all relevant stakeholders in foresight activities to help promote broad social debates and formation of futures research programs pertinent to Pakistan’s Foresight initiative, leading to an improved understanding on the paradigm of Fourth Industrial Revolution and how it will shape the futures discourse. AGAHI with its local partners Interactive Group of Companies and Eikon7 along with other leading academic institutions are creating a model that will have the ability to track expected state of the future over time at national, provincial and district levels – that will enable decision-makers to opt for the most informed policy choice. Foresight Lab a facilitative platform engaging 20 different Pakistani universities and think tanks on developing Pakistan State of Future Index ‘Anticipating 2027’, with an aim to improve the wellbeing of the people of Pakistan.

Amir Jahangir, CEO Mishal Pakistan, Partner Institute of the World Economic Forum explained how different indicators from the work that the Forum does contribute to systems and processes globally which enhances the ability of the decision-makers in different countries; this influence is driven by intensely accumulated data insights from over a 130 different nations, Pakistan needs to leverage from such a powerful community in order to improve the quality of life of the people in the country. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, or 4IR, is the fourth major industrial era since the initial Industrial Revolution of the 18th century. The Fourth Industrial Revolution can be described as a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, and impacting all disciplines, economies and industries. Founder and Chairman of the World Economic Forum, Prof. Klaus Schwab has associated it with the “second machine age” in terms of the effects of digitization and Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the economy, but added a broader role for advances in biological technologies.

AGAHI is a not for profit organization established in Islamabad in 2011 under the Society Registration Act 1860. Its primary function is to create non-paid communication strategies, content intelligence structures, development collaterals and tools for diverse sectors and organizations. AGAHI encourages and advises individuals and institutions in pursuing and supporting initiatives to improve the state of development in Pakistan. It works on developmental frameworks facilitating information and knowledge sharing platforms on understanding challenges in global perspective. Its research work mainly focuses on national and international security, ICT, competitiveness, human security, and governance. AGAHI in association with several leading national and international partners focuses on creating shared spaces for interactive learning, collaborative thinking, and knowledge sharing. It is at the forefront of devising foresight research and future scenarios work in Pakistan. AGAHI works with highly motivated and qualified professionals who have substantial experience in learning and leadership development.

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