SOT’17-A World of Tomorrow, hosted by Beaconhouse School System was the biggest international event happening in Pakistan & it truly lived up to its claim. Not only in terms of diverse topics & extraordinary speakers it brought together at one platform but also the insights that the event provided about the future of humanity.
Debates & panel discussions opened our social discourse by introducing inspirational new ideas that we can incorporate & make things better around us. The conference focused on 5 dimensions to explore in order to find the course of future.
Some of the important lessons learnt during the event that explored conference dimensions were as follows:
Lesson # 1: Equality Not Inclusion
In order to create a world of harmony & tolerance we need to focus on equality instead of inclusion. Inclusion restricts human beings from being equal to each other, it create barriers among themselves. If we start by treating the sidelined ones as equals, we will start witnessing the change. Many sessions like “Beyond Binary Schools” &”Minority Reports” also reiterated the fact that equality for minorities & marginalized groups can help us grow better than just making them part of our system.
Lesson # 2: Technology: A friend, not a foe
From learning methodologies to fashion industry, technology is making its presence felt in all the fields & this was highlighted in the all sessions at the event. Fashion Designer Martijn Van mentioned how he uses technology to develop garments that consumers can create & design by their own choice in minutes. While, the debate is still open about the good & bad aspects of technology, the speakers emphasized that it’s upon us that how we utilize the available technologies for paving our future. Pakistan’s leading technology expert Badar Khushnood mentioned that “Democratisation of content creation is prevalent now!” while Jehan Ara pointed out that “Technology isn’t your enemy. It’s just a tool that you need to use properly”
Lesson #3: Play Your Part
No matter how much we blame things on our Government the fact remains we all have a duty as well. We need to play our part in matters of importance from climate change to legislative issues. Hammad Naqi Khan- CEO WWF Pakistan while discussing “The Reality of Climate Change” pointed out that “All of us really have to lobby & play our role to do something for climate change”. Similarly Photojournalist Gelareh Kizand pointed towards the role of media in creating transparency “Media is bringing up questions that people can ask & hold Govt.responsible”.
Lesson #4: The New Face of Economy
CPEC might be the hottest thing in news but a lot more is happening on our economic front that is shaping the future. Junaid Iqbal-MD Careem shed light on how the shared economy is expanding in Pakistan & helping people utilize the available resources. Economic models like these are not only helping individuals increase their personal income levels but also dividing the national burden in a more efficient manner to create better utilization of resources. Similarly the CPEC project has opened up many venues to explore & Pakistan is in a position to bargain for getting the most out of this project. Senior journalist Rashid Rehman suggested that “It took Europe took 300 years to achieve what China has achieved in 3 decades. They have surplus to invest. So, Pakistan is not a destination of choice but Chinese need benefit of Gwadar & Pakistan can leverage it”
Lesson #5: Parenting can’t be perfected but can be improved
Modern technologies have impacted human race in every field of life. Schooling & parenting also needs to keep up with the change & utilize the resources for improvement. Dr. Atta Ul Haq stated that “Countries do not transform through beautiful roads, you have to invest in nurturing beautiful minds” while Bilal Musharraf pointed towards the importance of learning by suggesting that “”We need to decouple learning from assessment!”. Junaid Iqbal also brought this to attention that educational institutes need to foster entrepreneurial mindset in order to make our future generation self-supportive & play their part in building economy.
Lesson #6: Selfies Are Here To Stay
Be it a speaker, an attendee or a performer, everyone was interested in snapping a selfie. And why not? It was the biggest event of Pakistan & you need to show your presence to the world, right?
The event was a great learning experience for everyone. While these 5 important points will surely not do justice to the insightful discussions that happened over the course of 2 days but they surely can give you a hint of what direction our future world should take on in order to prosper.