Organized by the Faculty of Business Administration & Economics at Haigazian University, in cooperation with the Indian Embassy in Lebanon, a half day symposium titled “The Digital Information Age: Best Practices in Business and Lessons Learned”, took place on Friday the 5th of May 2017. The half-day symposium which brought together prestigious speakers from the diplomatic circle, entrepreneurs, students & faculty, provided a basic overview of current businesses and information systems and trends, and discussed the fundamental skills required for today’s business and academic environments.
In his welcoming address, Dean of the Faculty Business Administration & Economics, Dr. Fadi Asrawi, introduced the topic which he considered as “universal and of utmost importance in the lives of people across the globe.” He defined the digital Information Age as “any useful data, instructions, or meaningful message content”, further explaining that the digital information technology includes the exploration and use of databases, the internet, smart phones, spreadsheets, presentation applications, management of personal information and emails, document manipulation, HTML, web page design and etc … Asrawi considered Lebanon an underdeveloped country when it comes to the infrastructure of Information technology, compared to the secure and advanced infrastructures of digital communication in the Gulf countries, Europe and USA.
University President Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian considered that the digital age represents both tremendous human skill and tremendous human limitation, pointing out that “the human skill part we use and celebrate, and await more and more developments and crossing of boundary after boundary,” whereas human limitation is represented in the fact that “human mental faculties cannot digest a world of innovation that keeps accelerating.” Haidostian also tackled the notion of “information”, saying “Information is not the goal, but without accessible information, understandable information, transparent information, analyzable information, usable information, life cannot move on.”
Guest speaker, the Chargee d’Affaires of the Indian Embassy in Lebanon, Ms. Ovessa Iqbal presented the case of India vis a vis the digital information technology, sharing with the audience the introduction of the Indian government of a “digital India”; it is composed of nine pillars, which includes among other things, broadband highways , universal access to mobile connectivity, public internet access program, E-governance reforms, electronic delivery of services, electronics manufacturing, IT for jobs, and early harvest programmers.
Several other speakers shared with the audience their rich experience in the field; Mr. Graham Ball, the CEO of the British Lebanese Business Group, Mr. Nadim Zaaza, Country Director of UK Lebanon Tech Hub, Mr. Maher Mezher, Founding and Managing Director of Innovators League, Mr. Vatche Kademian, Business Development Manager of Oracle Corporation, and Mr. Hussam Wali, an entrepreneur and life coach.
An interactive session of Q&A followed every guest speaker, allowing the audience to share their thoughts and questions regarding the topic.
The symposium concluded with a luncheon in the Mugar Hall.
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