February 16th, 2010
Google Arabia 2.0 was held last week in Dubai and I was lucky enough to attend such a high caliber assembly. Smartly organized, with a touch of Google creativity and joyful culture. taking advantage of the colorful spaces of the Children City, made the venue by it self a perfect place to imagine the future of Arabia.
Early morning, the lobby was filled with CEOs, high officials and decision makers in technology and business from all around the region. But lets admit it, I was a very bad socializer. Such a chance like this needs a really good hunter. Thank to a friend, I managed to catchup with few key people.
Few minutes later I found my self inside the auditorium and the event has started. Mohammed Gawdat, Head of Emerging Markets Counsel at Google, started the day in a very inspirational way by giving us the 9 rules of innovation which adopted and applied inside Google. You can review tweets on #GdayDubai.
Mr. Gawdat highlighted some very harsh realities regarding how much our region is poor in terms of innovation. But he also gave us a good case study on how to build an innovative ecosystem using the Google experience as an example.
After this very inspiring keynote, a two young Jordanian entrepreneurs came out to the stage. The founder of Jeeran.com, Laith and Omar, told everyone their story and the challenges that they faced throughout their entrepreneurial years.
After the coffee break, the glory of this event was revealed when the father of the internet started to talk about the future of the internet. To be honest with you my imagination could not keep up with that man in his 60’s. Mr. Vint talked about intergalactic network or internet which he is working on with NASA at the moment!! The only picture I had on my mind is the picture of a dirty hole in the middle of Amman’s street, left out without any proper treatment, and a black telephone cable coming out of the ground.
I felt so foolish.
Then Mr. Hugo Barra , Product Management Director for Mobile at Google, closed the circle by presenting to us the latest innovation of Google mobile products. From voice searching into searching by image capturing. I felt that google is saying to world, the age of startrek begins here and the way we talk to our devices in no longer by keyboard.
After this amazing keynotes we had a 5 minute break. I stood in a very long line of VIPs waiting for my turn to go to the restroom. That was absurd!!
Then a discussion panel started which was joined by H.E Marwan Juma’a. The panel discuss the efforts made by Jordan,UAE and Egypt to uplift the technology industry in each country. The only messing thing was that I did not see any collaborative efforts or regional vision regarding innovation. I felt that every country is playing solo and they will keep playing solo until further notice.