Ideation Center overview

Ideation Center

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

Triggering change in the GCC through behavioral insights

Triggering change in the GCC through behavioral insights

In the past few years, the term, “behavioral insights” has been used more widely to describe a new approach to policy design.

Embracing sharing: Managing the disruption of the sharing economy in the GCC

Embracing sharing

GCC countries should take a differentiated approach to the sharing economy to balance its rewards and risks, based on each country’s socioeconomic priorities...

From traditional to impact philanthropy

From traditional to impact philanthropy

Family businesses in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are the region’s largest contributors to social and charitable causes...

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.

 
The Ideation Center is the leading think tank for Strategy& in the Middle East.
 
An innovative approach to effective policymaking
 
Managing the disruption of the sharing economy in the GCC
 
Creating a legacy for GCC family businesses
 
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
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the site

The Ideation Center is the leading think tank for Strategy& in the Middle East. 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

Triggering change in the GCC through behavioral insights
In the past few years, the term, “behavioral insights” has been used more widely to describe a new approach to policy design.

Behavioral science incorporates insights from economics, psychology, sociology, and neurology to understand what makes people tick, and on this basis, it launches interventions that improve their responsiveness to public policies, without restricting their freedom of choice

GCC governments need to strengthen their consumer protection policies. The task is magnified by the rise of e-commerce and the sharing ...
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.

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

Empowering the GCC digital workforce
Strategy& together with LinkedIn analyzed the GCC digital job market and found that there are too few digital professionals, their skills are insufficient, and most are expatriates. GCC governments should partner with technology players, educational institutions, the private sector, and entrepreneurs to launch initiatives that grow the digital job market.
Inforgraphic: The dynamics of the digital job market in the GCC
Strategy& together with LinkedIn analyzed the GCC digital job market and found that there are too few digital professionals, their skills are insufficient, and most are expatriates. GCC governments should partner with technology players, educational institutions, the private sector, and entrepreneurs to launch initiatives that grow the digital job market.
From traditional to impact philanthropy: Creating a legacy for GCC family businesses
GCC countries should take a differentiated approach to the sharing economy to balance its rewards and risks, based on each country’s socioeconomic priorities. They need a clear operating, legal, and tax framework for each sharing economy sector. Taking into account its cross-sectoral implications will facilitate the development of local and regional platforms within national digitization plans.

Social development

From traditional to impact philanthropy: Creating a legacy for GCC family businesses
GCC family philanthropies could maximize the impact of their charitable giving and create a legacy of philanthropy around their family by adopting a more modern approach like leading global family-owned philanthropic institutions. To do so, they will need to institutionalize their philanthropic involvement, introduce innovative financing tools, and implement impact measurement.
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.

Our people

Managing Director, Middle East

George Sarraf is a Partner and the Managing Director of Strategy& in the Middle East, and is part of the firm’s EMEA Core Leadership team. Previously, George led the Energy, chemicals, and utilities practice in the region.

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, Beirut

Dr. Yahya Anouti is a Principal with Strategy& and a member of the firm’s Energy, chemicals, and utilities practice in the Middle East. 

Partner, Middle East

Mahmoud Makki is a Partner with Strategy& and a member of the firm’s Communications, Media, and Technology practice. 

Partner, Dubai

Sevag Papazian is a Partner with Strategy& and a member of the firm’s Telecommunications, Media, Technology, and Digital practice in the Middle East.

Director, Beirut

Alice Klat is the Director of the Ideation Center. She was previously a manager with Strategy& and a member of the communications, media, and technology practice.  She has more than ten years of experience in consulting in the Middle East.

Senior Fellow, Beirut

Jana Batal is a senior fellow with the Ideation Center at Strategy&. She has worked across the public sector, oil and gas, utilities, technology and telecommunications industries, and has over six years of experience in consulting 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.

Junior fellow, Beirut

Nadine Abi Akar is a junior fellow with the Ideation Center at Strategy&. She has worked in the fields of psychology, education, and neuroscience.

Explore further

Latest media clips

February 2018
Fadi Adra on Behavioral insights
Al Arabiya interviews Fadi Adra, Partner with Strategy&, to discuss the Ideation Center Insight entitled ‘Triggering change in the GCC through behavioral insights: An innovative approach to effective policymaking’.

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