Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Global Competitiveness Forum
The Facts

By Nick Pope

GCF By Sunnii Brown

By Nick Pope
2-4-11     I've recently returned from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where I attended and spoke at the 2011 Global Competitiveness Forum. This event - and my presence at it - has generated some rumours in the UFO community and the conspiracy theory community, so I thought I would issue this brief statement on the subject, to explain the situations and, hopefully, to dispel a few misperceptions.

This event is similar to the World Economic Forum in Davos and takes place immediately beforehand, so that attendees can go straight from Riyadh to Davos. This event is organised by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority and takes places under the patronage of HM King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz. It was attended by Saudi Royals and government ministers, along with Board and CEO-level attendees from top companies including Google, Walt Disney, Reuters, Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Siemens, IBM, Ernst & Young and Rio Tinto. Other speakers at the conference included Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.

I spoke in a panel discussion entitled Contact: Learning from Outer Space and while other panel members such as Jacques Vallee and Stanton Friedman spoke about UFOs, I discussed space, astrobiology and the SETI programme. Specifically, I spoke about the search for extraterrestrial life being a new space race where innovative thinking and competitiveness were being demonstrated - the key themes of the conference. I also mentioned some financial implications that would arise from the discovery of extraterrestrial life and suggested that the business community might want to give some thought to this. The final panel members were theoretical physicist Michio Kaku and Zaghloul El Naggar, Professor of Earth Science and Geology, Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs. The panel was moderated by John Quelch, Dean of the China Europe International Business School.

The UFO community got very excited about this conference, suggesting it was part of 'Disclosure'. In truth, the panel discussion was about exposing business leaders to an interesting, topical and controversial subject they might not have thought about, but which might have something to teach them about hindrances to innovation. In his keynote speech, Bill Clinton made a remark which caused particular excitement with some people in the UFO community. He mentioned recent scientific discoveries relating to the human genome, sub-atomic particles and astrophysics. On the latter, in relation to discovering planets like Earth, he said, " ... and I don't have to tell you what the implications of that would be, if it turned out to be true". Click here for details about the conference, at the official website.

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