The Faculty of Business Administration & Economics at Haigazian University organized a webinar titled “The Role of Innovation in the Revival of the Lebanese Economy” which took place on Friday the 29th of April 2022.
During this two-hour webinar, four experts from various sectors of the Lebanese economy; banking, energy, trade and agronomy, were brought together to discuss and analyze the current Lebanese economic crisis, proposing innovative solutions for its revival. The four featured speakers were, Mr. Farid Meshaka, Executive Director for the Institutions Business Development unit at Banque BEMO, Mr. Rony Karam, Founding Member and President of the Lebanese Foundation for Renewable Energy (LFRE), Mr. Philippe Adaime CEO and Co-Founder of Fair Trade Lebanon, as well as Founding Partner and General Manager of Fair Trade and Tourism Lebanon, and Mr. Adib Dada, an environmental architect, founder of theOtherDada Regenerative Consultancy & Architecture.
The webinar opened with a word of greetings from Haigazian University’s President, Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian, who considered the topic of discussion as provocative with all the failures that Lebanon is facing.
“Repetition and imitation may serve our purposes for a while, but continuity, relevance, and success need innovation, not mere repetition”, said Haidostian.
While giving his opinion on innovation, Haidostian put significant emphasis on the requirements of depth, refined skills, passionate imagination and a developmental sense of purpose.
This was followed by the introductory remarks of the Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration and Economics at Haigazian University, Dr. Fadi Asrawi, who first defined the concept of innovation in the economic terms as “the development and application of ideas and technologies that improve goods and services or make their production more efficient.”
Asrawi stressed on the need of structural measures to improve innovation, from more spending on research and development to better educational systems as well as improving the legal and financial environments to start or close a business.
Asrawi said Lebanon comes second after Dubai in the start-up scene, mentioning that there are currently ten Venture Capitals in the Lebanese ecosystem and several incubators and accelerators, mostly related to the software industry.
In his presentation, Mr. Farid Meshaka shared his experience with innovation at BEMO Bank, stressing on the importance of the mindset of innovation, which requires intuition, perseverance and flexibility.
He went on proposing to be innovative in the banking sector by going one step forward from being “client centered” to becoming “human centered”.
Next to speak was Mr. Rony Karam on “A more Enlightened Lebanon: Innovation at the Core of a New Energy Model”. Karam talked about the drastic need and urgency to move into energy transformation, by implementing flexible, sustainable and holistic approach to energy production.
He concluded his insightful presentation by putting particular emphasis on implementing the hybrid system, installing solar energy on all sectors, thus moving away from generators.
For his part, Mr. Adib Dada addressed all the ecological crises through lessons learnt from nature, in an inspiring speech titled “The Other Way: Nature Way Approach to Business”. Given the natural interdependence of the nature’s species, Dada suggested to move from the economical model of doing things to adopting a more ecological perspective; to basically move from “ego” to “eco”.
Last to speak was Mr. Philippe Adaime, who shared with the audience his project titled “Business Innovation and Enhancing Exports for Lebanon (BIEEL)”, which mainly aims at opening new markets for Lebanese food products in the US, Canada, EU and the UAE. According to Adaime, the increase in export of Lebanese agro-food products was mainly possible through branding Lebanon first and those products in particular, thus accessing international expos and prestigious points of sale worldwide.
The webinar was marked by stimulating virtual discussions and academic exchange led by the moderator Mr. Garabed Boghossian, from Haigazian University.
Public Relations Director