Ideation Center overview

Ideation Center

The Ideation Center is Strategy&'s Middle East think tank. We aim to promote sustainable growth in the region by helping leaders across sectors translate socioeconomic trends into actions and better business decisions.

Safeguarding children in the GCC

Safeguarding children in the GCC

For quality learning to take place at the primary and secondary school levels, countries need to have robust protection frameworks for children.

Preparing for the digital era

Preparing for the digital era​

Executives in the GCC are excited by digital. They recognize its benefits, such as stronger customer orientation and increased efficiency — vital in an era of budget constraints.

Connecting the world

How GCC companies can become global competitors​

Following a period of growth, globally and locally, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) companies must now focus on capabilities if they want to maintain their growth and improve their positioning. Failure to adopt this new focus will put them at risk of falling into growth traps.

Drilling for New Sources of Growth

Drilling for New Sources of Growth

The countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council recognize the urgent need to diversify their economies away from dependence on oil and gas. As diversification is complex, they should keep in mind three key principles: upgrading local enterprises to be world-class, leapfrogging to advanced digitization, and building a skilled labor force.

Fit for Service government

Fit for Service government

GCC governments must articulate strategy; transform government services’ cost structure; build the necessary capabilities; and reorganize government’s operating model. This is enabled by digital transformation and national talent development.

Cybersecurity in the Middle East

Cyber security in the Middle East

The continuing success of digitization initiatives in the Middle East brings with it an added and growing exposure to the risk of cyber-attacks, whether from other states or criminals. Countries need a strategic response that mobilizes stakeholders and builds preventive and reactive cyber-security capabilities.

Private-sector participation in the GCC

Private-sector participation in the GCC

The governments of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states have decided to change their economic development model. The state-led approach which relied upon natural resources successfully raised incomes from developing to developed country levels in a little over a generation. However, that model is no longer appropriate as it is undermined by oil dependence...

 
The Ideation Center is Strategy&’s Middle East think tank.
 
A framework for the education sector
 
The state of digitalization in GCC businesses
 
Adopting a capabilities-driven strategy to avoid growth traps
 
How members of the Gulf Cooperation Council can diversify their economies.
 
The opportunity in the GCC’s fiscal challenge
 
A strategic approach to protecting national digital assets and infrastructure
 
Building foundations for success
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the site

The Ideation Center is Strategy&’s Middle East think tank. We aim to promote sustainable growth in the region by helping leaders across sectors translate socioeconomic trends into actions and better business decisions.

Combining innovative research, analysis, and dialogue with hands-on expertise from the professional community in the private and public sectors, the Ideation Center delivers impactful ideas through our publications, website, and forums. The end result is one that inspires, enriches, and rewards.

The Ideation Center upholds Strategy&’s mission to develop practical strategies and turn ideas into action. At the Ideation Center, we enjoy the full support of the firm, and together we bring unsurpassed commitment to the goal of advancing the interests of the Middle East region.

Focus areas

  • Reform and governance
  • Competitiveness and growth
  • Digitization and innovation
  • Social development

Reform and governance

Drilling for New Sources of Growth
The countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council recognize the urgent need to diversify their economies away from dependence on oil and gas. As diversification is complex, they should keep in mind three key principles: upgrading local enterprises to be world-class, leapfrogging to advanced digitization, and building a skilled labor force.
Rethinking ICT regulation
The digital revolution is questioning existing regulatory frameworks and forcing regulators to respond. Regulators have to grapple with these disruptive forces in a manner that will foster both innovation and fairness. The three key areas for regulators to look at, and that require a focus on digitization, are market efficiency, scarcity management, and safeguarding customer welfare.
Harnessing the power of public-private partnerships in healthcare
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries can use public-private partnerships as a means of managing rising healthcare costs, as a mechanism to enhance the capabilities of the healthcare system, and as part of a program of systemic transformation of the sector.
Partnerships for transformation
With the GCC set to spend billions of dollars on development projects, public-private partnerships (PPPs) offer a useful financing and development mechanism. However, to derive the full benefit from PPPs, GCC states will need to adopt a customized approach.

Competitiveness and growth

How GCC companies can become global competitors
Following a period of growth, globally and locally, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) companies must now focus on capabilities if they want to maintain their growth and improve their positioning.
Fit for Service government
GCC governments must articulate strategy; transform government services’ cost structure; build the necessary capabilities; and reorganize government’s operating model. This is enabled by digital transformation and national talent development.

Digitization and innovation

Achieving universal Internet access requires changes in the three interdependent markets that make the Internet work.

Social development

Leveraging an untapped talent pool
GCC family businesses can leverage a critical source of competitive advantage: the women of the family. Business leaders and governments should encourage the region’s high level of female education and training, the gradual growth in women’s labour participation and entrepreneurship, and women’s involvement in family firms’ governance and succession plans.
Generations A
A critical element missing in the discussion of changes in Arab countries is a generational perspective. This survey and study allows policymakers and business leaders to take advantage of this valuable generational approach to framing social, economic, and employment policy.
Listening to students’ voices
Bringing the GCC’s education system in line with the needs of the employment market requires governments to engage numerous stakeholders including local authorities, schools, and the private sector. However, governments must also include students themselves, a group often overlooked in the reform process.
The rise of corporate social responsibility
Sustainable development is critical for the MENA region’s long-term prosperity and stability. Companies can play a key role in this effort by contributing to the broader improvement of their societies through corporate social responsibility initiatives that align with national development objectives.

Our people

Managing Director, Abu Dhabi

Richard Shediac is a Partner with Strategy&, Managing Director of Strategy&’s Middle East business, and a member of Strategy&’s Board of Directors.

Managing Partner, Doha

Stephen is Managing Partner, Clients and Markets at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Middle East, based in Doha, and a member of the PwC Middle East Executive Board.

Partner, Beirut

Fadi Adra is a Partner with Strategy& based in Beirut and a member of the public sector practice.

Principal, Dubai

Marwan Bejjani is a Principal with Strategy& and a member of the firm’s engineered products and services practice.

Principal, Dubai

Mahmoud Makki is a Principal with Strategy& and a member of the communications, media, and technology practice.

Principal, Dubai

Sevag Papazian is a Principal with Strategy& in Dubai. He is a senior member of the firm’s digital business and technology practice, and has over 12 years of experience in technology and consulting.

Director, Beirut

Rawia Abdel Samad is the Director of the Ideation Center. She was previously a manager with Strategy& and a member of the communications, media, and technology practice in the Middle East.

Fellow, Beirut

Samer Matta is a fellow based in the Beirut office. His previous experience includes working as an economic analyst within the World Bank Group’s Macroeconomic & Fiscal Management Global Practice for more than three years.

Fellow, Beirut

Melissa Rizk is a fellow with the Ideation Center at Strategy&. She has experience in Public Sector projects, mainly in strategic planning, operating model design and process development.

Editor, Beirut

Alexis Baghdadi is an editor with the Ideation Center at Strategy&. He has experience in journalism and editing for economic and digital technology publications covering the MENA region.

Explore further

Latest media clips

October 2016
Samer Bohsali on New sources of growth in the GCC
Al Arabiya interviews Strategy&'s Samer Bohsali to discuss the Ideation Center perspective entitled Drilling for New Sources of Growth: How members of the Gulf Cooperation Council can diversify their economies.

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