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The IGNITE8 Conference Kicks Off this Week to Reimagine Jobs

Running its 8th edition, IGNITE8 is SPARK’s annual gathering of change-makers. The event will take off on October 13th, focusing on innovative solutions to jobs for youth, women, refugees, and other vulnerable people across the Middle East, North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.


The IGNITE8 event, titled Reimagine Jobs, will take place on 12, 14 and 14 October 2021. Simon van Melick, Programme Manager at SPARK and founder of the IGNITE conference, said: “The future of work depends on green jobs, digital jobs and flexible jobs. Employment around the world is dramatically shifting.

Globalisation, digitisation, automation and the COVID-19 pandemic mean it’s now time to reimagine jobs and ensure the most vulnerable people in society are included in the transition.”


Speakers include New York Times bestselling author, Gayle Lemmon, who will interview three women entrepreneurs from the Middle East about their daily challenges and the future of their businesses.

Renowned German academic Tilman Brück from the International Security and Development Center (ISDC); Omar Christidis, founder of Arabnet; Ange Muyubira, founder and director of Kaz’O’zah, a fashion and artisan company in Burundi; and Rawan Al Zaidy, director of Nakhla, a palm tree business in Iraq, will also be speakers at IGNITE8.

Topics of the free online sessions include ‘Startups in Artificial Intelligence in the MENA Region’, which asks how AI can create new jobs and what skills are needed in the labour market. ‘New Green Entrepreneurship’, which focuses on the value of green businesses in fragile and conflict-affected states. ‘Financial Innovation for Refugees’ where Fintech companies, MoneyPhone and Telepaty, debate with academics from the University of Oxford and representatives from the Istanbul municipality, about Fintech for refugee entrepreneurs in Turkey.

‘The Unheard Case of Agribusiness in Syria’, which brings together Syrian entrepreneurs, agriculture experts and a professor of Agriculture from the University of Aleppo on the importance of agribusiness in Syria. As well as the EdTech Competition for Startups, where 10 young finalists will pitch their business ideas with the chance to win up to $10,000 in in-kind prizes.

To register for tickets and find more information, visit the IGNITE event page here.

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