Congress programme > Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers

We are excited to share with you the details of there of the keynote speakers who will join us at this international event.

François Hollande

Former President of the French Republic

François Hollande was the President of the French Republic from May 2012 to May 2017. During his mandate, he carried out important reforms which restored the competitiveness and the growth of the French economy. He faced with authority the terrorist attacks that afflicted the country in 2015 and 2016.

President Hollande took important decisions on behalf of France, in particular the engagement of the Army in Mali in order to fight against terrorist groups located in the Sahel. It is under his presidency that the global climate agreement was adopted in Paris in December 2015.

Today, President Hollande chairs the Foundation “France is committed” whose mission is to support all initiatives that contribute to reinforcing solidarity and creating bonds between citizens.

Since his departure from the Elysée, he has written several books, amongst them “the lessons of power” in which he describes the high points, and the low points of his presidency, and “the democratic crisis” where he suggests major modifications to the constitution of the fifth Republic.

His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan

Cabinet Member and Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, UAE

His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan is the Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence in the new Cabinet announced in October 2017.

His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan joined the Federal Government in 1990 and held a number of government portfolios including Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and held the position of Minister of Education, and Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development.

Since November 2019, His Excellency has held the position of Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai, the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.

His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan was also Chancellor of United Arab Emirates University from 1983 to 2013; Chancellor of Higher Colleges of Technology from 1988 to 2013; and President of Zayed University from 1998 to 2013.

His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan received his education from the British Millfield School until the high secondary level before joining Magdalen College at Oxford University-UK.

Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan

President and Chief Executive Officer of the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators (UICCA)

Business leader, social entrepreneur, and published author, Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan is President and Chief Executive Officer of the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators (UICCA), Founder of the Shamma bint Sultan Sustainability Initiatives social enterprise, Co-Founder of Aurora50 and Founder of Reset MENA.

Sheikha Shamma holds a Master of Studies in Sustainability Leadership and a Master of Philosophy in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Cambridge, as well as a degree in Business Administration from Zayed University. She is a well-respected industry expert on sustainability, due to her business and academic endeavours in the field.

Sheikha Shamma serves as Chair of Alliances for Global Sustainability, as well as the Advisory Boards of Yale’s Center for Environmental Law and Policy, Pure Harvest and Bamboo Capital. She is the Honorary President of the Emirates Green Building Council, and a member of the UAE Circular Economy Council. She was awarded Inspirational Woman of the Year by the Arab Women’s Awards UAE in 2020, and the Academy of International Business in the Middle East and North Africa (AIBMENA) Windtower Award in 2021.   read more.

In 2022, Sheikha Shamma was selected as the first woman from the GCC to participate in the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center’s Women Leaders in Energy and Climate Fellowship.

Widely recognised for her contributions to the sustainability and social responsibility sphere, Sheikha Shamma has been socially conscious from a very young age and has, for many years, taken an active role in community development by launching and engaging in programmes and initiatives that have a positive impact on communities in the UAE, and around the world.

Through the Shamma bint Sultan Sustainability Initiatives social enterprise, Sheikha Shamma continues her work in the field of sustainable development. This social enterprise is committed to collaborating with like-minded stakeholders, to further expand community, corporate and governmental efforts to transition the UAE and its surrounding region to a clean energy economy, through impact-driven initiatives, projects and education. One of the main focuses of the social enterprise is on sustainability and natural climate solutions, which encompasses mangroves and other nature-based solutions that make a difference to air quality and the health of the planet.

Sheikha Shamma’s business acumen is further demonstrated by her involvement in several other industries, including the prestigious Al Asayl Show Jumping team, and her work as a published children’s author. To date she has written four books. In addition, she is a regular columnist for The National newspaper, and has co-authored two articles published in “Future Governments – Actions and Insights”.

As an active and passionate researcher, Sheikha Shamma has presented academic papers at global conferences in the fields of gender studies, migration studies, sustainable development, knowledge transfer, consumer behaviour, Emiratisation and financial literacy. In 2019, she was invited to speak at the MENA chapter of the World Economic Forum in Jordan where she discussed policy development for sustainability in the Arab World. In November 2018, Sheikha Shamma was one of the judges on the sustainability panel at the Solar Decathlon in Dubai.

Recognition for Sheikha Shamma’s valuable work has resulted in her being awarded the position of Research Associate at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at Zayed University, and she sits on the Industry and Academic Advisory Board of the Academy of International Business MENA.

Sheikha Shamma cites her great-grandfather, the UAE’s founding father, His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, as a source of inspiration and credits his vision as the reason why she places immense importance on sustainability, philanthropy, and female empowerment. Through her actions, Sheikha Shamma aspires to ensure that Sheikh Zayed’s legacy lives on and that his vision continues to create a positive impact globally.

Laura Millar

Laura Millar is a widely published thought leader in records, archives, and information management. For over 40 years, she has worked with national, state and local governments; Indigenous communities; and international, regional and local agencies to provide advice on the full spectrum of records and archives care. She is the author of numerous award-winning articles and books; her 2019 publication “Matter of Facts: Value of Evidence in an Information Age” is a highly influential exploration of the role of records and archives in a society that is respectful, democratic, and self-aware. In 2022, Laura was honoured as a Fellow of the ICA.

Dr Shashi Tharoor

Member of Parliament, India

Dr Shashi Tharoor, a third-term Member of Parliament for Thiruvananthapuram, is the bestselling author of twenty-four books, both fiction and non-fiction, besides being a former Under Secretary- General of the United Nations and a former Minister of State for Human Resource Development and for External Affairs in the Government of India. He has won numerous awards, including the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Crossword Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2019, Dr. Tharoor was also awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in the category of ‘English Non- Fiction’ for his book An Era of Darkness. He chairs Parliament’s Standing Committee on Chemicals and Fertilisers and has previously chaired the Standing Committee on External Affairs and the Committee on Information Technology.