Sohar International’s 11th virtual session of Viewpoints highlights the future demand for research and research institutions

11-12-2022 Back to Newsroom

Spearheading conversations on industry-relevant topics that positively impact the community, Sohar International recently concluded its 11th virtual edition of Viewpoints. Conceptualised, and hosted by the Chairman of Sohar International, Mr. Mohamed Mahfoodh Al Ardhi, the latest session welcomed as its guest speaker the celebrated historian and author, Prof. David Nirenberg. Director and Leon Levy Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, Nirenberg focused on ‘What kind of research and research institutions does the future demand?’ where he highlighted key aspects of research, the vital role of research institutions, and how its needs and demands are continuously evolving. 

The virtual edition, which was live-streamed via Sohar International’s YouTube channel and Zoom platform, saw the active participation of university students, industry leaders, C-suite executives and professionals from different sectors of society. The session was streamed live for the students, faculty, and management of the renowned College of Banking and Financial Studies in Oman. The CBFS audience participated with intrigue and curiosity by asking several relevant questions that could help them in their future careers. Relevant, engaging, and inspiring, the forum, which is designed with a format that stimulates interaction, gave participants the opportunity to enter into meaningful dialogues with the speaker. Those who missed the live stream can now watch the full session on the bank’s official page in YouTube. 

Commenting on the session, Mr. Mohamed Mahfoodh Al Ardhi said, “Sohar International’s Viewpoints is revered for its distinctive take on boosting interactions with the community through thought-provoking discussions. As an organisation, Sohar International has always been at the forefront of community initiatives that provide an impetus to enhancing knowledge, skills, and competencies of individuals while giving them the needed exposure to and familiarising them with the dynamics of international markets.”

Mr. Mohamed Al Ardhi added saying, “Viewpoints features speakers who have led transformation in their areas at the highest level. The ideas discussed by Prof David Nirenberg were, therefore, enlightening. It went beyond giving a renewed perspective to the participants on the critical role of research – it targeted a more fundamental level and highlighted the need to continuously keep an open mind, stay curious, and be receptive to change. Through initiatives like these, Sohar International will continue to remain persistent in casting a resolute vision for the future of our nation, implementing concrete actions that yield results, and identifying opportunities for our youth to thrive.” 

A veteran in the field with an inherent passion for research and innovation, Prof. David Nirenberg, in his speech spoke about how the world is experiencing a massive datafication - wherein all aspects of human lives are becoming data, which is transferred to information and then realised as a new form of value. He touched upon the interesting aspect of utilising Machine Vision and Signal Processing to solve complex industrial tasks efficiently and effectively. While speaking about the evolving data revolution, Nirenberg emphasized on machine learning, a branch of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Computer Science that utilises data and algorithms to emulate human learning, gradually improving its accuracy over time; and the increased relevance of data-driven decision-making and interpreting data in today’s time.

Viewpoints – Sohar International Chairman’s Forum is strongly aligned with the bank’s broader goals of invoking curiosity in the minds of the youth, empowering the community through knowledge-sharing platforms, and advocating global best practices. As a bank that prioritises innovation, Sohar International has continuously acknowledged the importance of research and development to keep pace with the needs of the market. The bank has also embraced various advancements in technology to better cater to the community. In line with the same, Viewpoints, which was initially hosted as a series of physical events, adapted to the evolving demands and took the virtual route, where it continues its success story. The platform has hosted several international industry experts as guest speakers who have not only shared invaluable insights but have also given participants a fresh outlook on the world.

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