It’s a complicated time for the world, and it seems like we move from crisis to crisis. In this context, it can be hard to catch your breath – yet it’s important to take a moment to have a thoughtful discussion on how we can best address humanity’s greatest challenges.

I’m grateful to the UAE for the opportunity to do that at the 2017 World Government Summit, which has brought together thousands of leading experts from the public and private sectors to share ideas on how technology and innovation can help governments build a better future for their citizens. 

So far in the discussion, which runs through February 14, we have heard from government leaders, professors, entrepreneurs, and other thought leaders. Here are eight key quotes that are helping drive the conversation.

  • The region in which we live is the cradle of human civilization. Therefore, there should be hope. – HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai
  • Happiness is a personal choice, but it is the role of government to produce the enabling environment for it. – HE Ohood Al Roumi, UAE Minister for Happiness and UN Foundation Global Entrepreneurs Council Member
  • The most important priority for countries and policymakers is to be resilient. – Christine Lagarde, IMF Managing Director
  • We’re not playing to catch up; we’re playing to lead the way. – Ashish J. Thakkar, Chairman of the UN Foundation Global Entrepreneurs Council and Founder of Mara Group & Mara Foundation, speaking about Africa
  • When we consider inclusiveness for all, two segments of the population are key: youth and women. – Mari Kiviniemi, Deputy Secretary General of the OECD
  • If we are serious about achieving happiness, we must be serious about achieving the SDGs. – Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator
  • This urge to explore is utterly basic to human nature. To many, it surfaces before we even learn languages. – Prof. Brian Greene, Columbia University
  • Governments should create a legal and social environment that fosters innovation. – Kentaro Sonoura, Japanese State Minster for Foreign Affairs

The impactful discussion will continue in the coming days, and you can watch at https://www.facebook.com/WorldGovSummit. Join the conversation with the hashtag #WorldGovSummit!

Together, let’s expand our thinking from the short-term so we can deliver change in the long-term.