World Chambers Congress examines changing role of chambers in post-Covid digital era

Staff Report/Dubai
Filed on October 6, 2021
Dubai Chamber has played a crucial role in ensuring business continuity by creating new channels for public-private sector cooperation as it dealt with disruption and new challenges. — File photo

International Chamber of Commerce and Dubai Chamber to co-organise 12th edition of the Congress under the theme Generation Next: Chambers 4.0

Opportunities and trends emerging in the post-Covid digital era will be in the spotlight at the 12th World Chambers Congress in Dubai, where chamber leaders and members, prominent business heads and industry experts will convene to share their insights and experiences in dealing with disruption and enhancing their preparedness for future challenges.

The three-day event, held under the theme Generation Next: Chambers 4.0, will feature more than 44 thought-provoking sessions designed to tackle pressing issues facing chambers of commerce today, promote knowledge sharing, showcase success stories of chamber-led innovation and test chambers’ digital fitness.

Plenary sessions on the first day of the Congress will examine how chambers can work as one global movement to remain relevant in fast-changing business world, the digital revolution and the possibilities it brings, from remote working and hybrid events to increased international cooperation in the “new era of Chambers 4.0”.

Day one will also see a panel of industry experts share how they managed to make digital disruption work for their companies in a session titled Fit for Digital. During this interactive session, delegates can test their digital fitness using a purpose-made tool developed for the #12WCC.

A two-part session later in the day tackles the event’s overarching theme, exploring, in its first part, how chambers can ready themselves for Chamber Model Innovation. Part two showcases how chambers can identify strengths and weaknesses and attain common goals. It turns theory into practice, outlining the measures required to evolve, moving from Chambers 3.0 to Chambers 4.0.

Day two’s plenary sessions will look at how chambers can adapt to be relevant to Generation Z, which is expected to be the most disruptive generation. A session on Building Business Resilience answers the question of how companies and chambers can restructure existing models and human capital to adjust to the “new normal”, and work with various public and private sector stakeholders to ensure business continuity and enhance economic competitiveness.

Sessions on the third and final day of the Congress will challenge delegates to rethink their current approach to problem solving and brainstorm innovative solutions that can add value not only for chamber members, but for their respective economies and societies.

The Congress concludes with a handover ceremony where Dubai Chamber will highlight lessons from the #12WCC before officially passing the baton to the co-organiser of the 13th World Chambers Congress: Geneva Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services.

Commenting on the upcoming Congress, Hamad Buamim, president and CEO of Dubai Chamber and Chair of ICC’s World Chambers Federation, stressed the significance of hosting the #12WCC in Dubai, describing the Congress as an ideal platform for chamber leaders to expand their knowledge, connect with industry experts and develop new action plans to improve their business models and competitiveness.

“The strong interest we’ve seen in the lead up to the #12WCC reflects a growing awareness within the global chambers community, which is fast realising the importance of investing in advance technologies and embracing innovation to adapt to the evolving needs of member companies,” said Buamim.

Buamim noted that Dubai Chamber has played a crucial role in ensuring business continuity by creating new channels for public-private sector cooperation as it dealt with disruption and new challenges, while keeping pace with the changing needs of our 275,000 members, adding that Dubai Chamber looks forward to sharing its experience and learning from other chambers that have reinvented their approach in the Covid-era.

John W.H. Denton, secretary-general of the International Chamber of Commerce said: “Addressing global challenges in the digital and post- COVID world requires new forms of leadership, including from chambers of commerce. Two years in the making, the Congress will equip the chamber and business communities with insight and tools to effectively respond to the needs of the real economy, enable a resilient post-pandemic recovery and enable more widespread peace and prosperity for all.”

The World Chambers Congress convenes prominent leaders and bright minds to spur change through dialogue and cooperation. With 80 speakers leading over 44 sessions, the event traditionally draws more than international 1,200 delegates from over 100 countries.


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