UCF & PMU to Sponsor Conference on Saudi Arabia


“The Impact of Social and Economic Reforms on Saudi YouthConference will focus on younger Saudis, recent reforms, and opportunities for American collaboration

The University of Central Florida and Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University will host “The Impact of Social and Economic Reforms on Saudi Youth” January 17-18, 2019, in Orlando. The conference will be held at the UCF Student Union, Pegasus Ballroom, and is being organized by the UCF Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd Program for Strategic Research and Studies.

The conference will focus on the Saudi Vision 2030 plan, which calls for the Kingdom to decrease its dependence on oil, diversify its economy, and increase employment opportunities for Saudi citizens – particularly the youth which comprise a high percentage of the population. It is hoped the 2030 reforms will further develop public service sectors such as health, education, recreation, tourism, and infrastructure. Reforms are also creating new areas in which U.S. and Saudi businesses, universities, institutions, and individuals can cooperate. The conference will permit educators, practitioners, students, and members of the business community to participate in an innovative and interdisciplinary discussion focusing on the impact of reforms, particularly on the sizable youth population.

“The conference will provide a unique and timely platform to discuss the changes that are underway in the Kingdom, and crucially their transformative impact on Saudi youth. This is the key demographic bloc in the Kingdom. There are also enormous business, educational, and cultural opportunities in working with younger Saudis, which Vision 2030 recognizes. We feel it is important to have this conversation in Central Florida so we understand the changes and their potential for Saudis and for Americans,” noted PMBF Director David Dumke.

The conference will feature Saudi and American speakers, including UCF and PMU faculty, from a variety of academic and business fields. In a series of panels, coupled with special addresses, experts will highlight the design, implementation, and expected results of ongoing reforms, the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders, and opportunities and challenges. The conference is designed to be interactive, and the audience will include students, faculty, and members of the businesses community.

UCF and PMU are calling for papers from prospective participants on a range of topics, including:

  • Saudi economic diversification (role of private sector, FDI)
  • Resource management (water, agriculture & food, energy, environmental protection)
  • Education sector (Saudi education investments, growth of public and private educational institutions, producing a globally competitive workforce)
  • Role of the Saudi youth in economic development (including entrepreneurship)
  • Role of the Saudi youth/cultural dimensions
  • Balancing Change & Tradition (role of women, role of Islam, social media influence)
  • New sectors (tourism, sports and entertainment sector)
  • US-Saudi educational cooperation (at student and institutional level, collaborative research, medical education)
  • Future of the energy sector and sustainability
  • Models for sustainable development (smart cities, urban landscape, infrastructure)
  • Developing a space program
  • Future of US-Saudi relations
  • Saudi Arabia’s regional role (what is the “new order” in the Middle East?, future of the Gulf, evolving American regional role)
  • Security cooperation (war on terrorism/extremism, military to military cooperation, cybersecurity and emerging threats)

Those who submit papers are welcome to participate as panelists at the conference. All accepted papers would be published in the Online Conference Proceedings with dedicated ISBN Number. We would ask those interested to let conference organizers know in advance (see contact information below). Papers must be submitted by Monday, December 10, 2018.

Established in 2006, PMU is a private, co-ed university in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia. As a fast growing technology-driven institution of higher learning, PMU has adopted a highly innovative student-centered approach to education which offer students a chance to develop skills they will need for tomorrow’s workforce. With state of the art facilities, PMU has four colleges including Engineering, Information Technology, Business Administration, and Sciences & Human Studies. For more information, please go to https://www.pmu.edu.sa/.

UCF and PMU have a longstanding partnership, embodied by the PMBF Program. Established in 2012, the Program sponsors or co-sponsors public presentations by distinguished scholars and practitioners, student fellowships, and research activities. The Program is house in the UCF College of Sciences. For more information, please go to https://sciences.ucf.edu/pmbfprogram/about/.

For more information on the conference or submitting a paper, PMU, or the PMBF Program, please contact Kinda Haddad at kinda.haddad@ucf.edu, or by calling (407) 823-2510.

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