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.

Connecting the world

Connecting the world

Prepared by Strategy& for Facebook in support of its Internet.org initiative, the ‘Connecting the world’ report identifies mechanisms that can accelerate Internet growth and drive universal inclusion.

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.

Energy efficiency in the UAE

Energy efficiency in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates needs a coherent energy-efficiency strategy. This should include a tailored regulatory framework; a communications and information initiatives to persuade residents, builders, and other stakeholders to reduce their energy consumption; and research and development to ensure that the UAE is capitalizing on emerging technology to boost efficiency.

 
The Ideation Center is Strategy&’s Middle East think tank.
 
Ten mechanisms for global inclusion
 
The opportunity in the GCC’s fiscal challenge
 
A strategic approach to protecting national digital assets and infrastructure
 
Aiming for sustainability
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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

Beyond affordability
GCC policymakers should address the region’s housing shortage with a strategy that brings together housing and socioeconomic policies in a holistic approach that builds communities instead of just housing. Governments should also engage private-sector developers through public–private partnerships, which can allocate resources more effectively and transfer knowledge from private developers to government agencies.
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

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.
Surviving disaster
Political stability and safety are prerequisites for tourism, which is why countries must make plans to recover their reputations after incidents of political unrest. Countries need crisis management and perception management. Once a negative event occurs, countries should incentivize tourism, whether from domestic or international sources. Countries should also develop crisis-immune tourism products.
Products first
Telecom companies face increased competition and rising network costs, which are reducing their gross earnings. Instead of responding with cost-cutting, they should undertake a comprehensive product profitability and simplification exercise. At that point they can restructure market-facing and back-end operations and infrastructure, which will lay the foundations for improved profitability.
Empowering the third billion
Countries that take steps to empower women as employees and entrepreneurs can reap social and economic benefits. This report ranks 128 countries based on their track record in enabling women to play a substantial role in the global economy.

Digitization and innovation

The new paradigm for telecoms
The telecommunications industry has enabled its business customers to digitize their activities, but has lagged in its own efforts to move in the same direction. If telecom operators are to catch up, they must radically lower their networking costs, simplify their product offerings, and devise better customer experiences. Then they must settle on their digital strategy and develop a much wider range of digital services. Finally, they need to engage more fully in the ongoing consolidation of their industry.

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

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.

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