Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, and in partnership with the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), the Global Citizen Forum (GCF) Annual Summit welcomed more than 650 speakers and guests, hailing from over 90 countries.
The Global Citizen Forum’s 2022 Annual Summit brought together a diverse group of attendees for its first chapter of The Butterfly Effect trilogy in Ras Al Khaimah, under the theme Human Metamorphosis – acknowledging the paradigm shift of a new era illuminated by individual and cultural evolution.
Human interconnectivity, community, and personal development were the overarching messages of the two action-packed days with attendees coming together to embark on a journey of self-discovery in order to collaboratively address world issues through the lens of global citizenship.
Armand Arton, Founder, Global Citizen Forum, commented on the significance of the theme in his opening remarks on the Summit’s first day, sharing: “Many of us here have made great journeys – both literally and metaphorically. We have circled the planet many times to get to where we are and have helped bring this special group of people together. Becoming a global citizen does not mean that we are citizens of nowhere, […] it means we become a citizen of everywhere, without forgetting where we started – this is our task, this is our purpose.”
Arton also shared: “The challenges and opportunities of today’s world are interconnected, and the key to unlocking our human potential is through the power of collaboration and communities. If we can imagine a new world – together, we can also create one.”
Speakers across the two-day event called for a renewed focus on self-growth and human connection to empower humanity to succeed in our ever-changing world. Attendees participated in interactive sessions and immersive experiences led by global visionaries and changemakers, such as Ricky Martin, Deepak Chopra, Richard Quest, Vishen Lakhiani, Karen Wazen, Chris Voss and Wyclef Jean.
In his powerful keynote on the beach stage, global superstar and humanitarian, Ricky Martin, shared: “We must adapt and transform our communities in times of crises because together we are stronger. Creating inclusion is what it is all about. Creating equal conditions within the framework of acceptance and with respect of individuality is the only route that brings us closer to like-minded thoughts and long-lasting prosperity.”
In addition to an interactive mind-body-spirit program of events, and a fundraiser Gala in support of UNHCR, the Ricky Martin Foundation and the Global Gift Foundation, the Summit also sought to play its part from an environmental perspective, planting 700,000 trees in the Brazilian Amazon to offset carbon emissions.
Notable attendees at the star-studded Global Citizen Gala, hosted by reality stars Sara Al Madani and Kris Fade, included Huda and Mona Kattan, Founders of Huda Beaty; Caroline Scheufele, Co-President of Chopard; Bobby Sager, acclaimed photographer and humanitarian; and featured electric performances by Grammy Award-Winning musicians, Ashanti, and Wyclef Jean.
“Overall, the summit centered on celebrating chaos as the sacred energy of new beginnings,” said Global Citizen Forum CEO, Talimka Yordanova. “We welcomed attendees on a journey of self-discovery in order to awaken our collective consciousness and bring about the change we wish to see in the world.”
In 22 immersive and interactive sessions, a packed house of attendees unveiled the magic and opportunity that lies in chaos — from global thought leaders including the Prime Minister, Antigua and Barbuda, Hon. Gaston Browne; Actor, Producer and Presenter of La Magia del Caos podcast, Aislinn Derbez; Economist, Nouriel Roubini; Member of European Parliament, Elena Yoncheva; Senior Advisor and Representative to the GCC Countries, UNHCR, Khaled Khalifa; and Vice-President, Commissioner for Promoting out European Way of Life, European Commission, Margaritis Schinas.
“It was truly inspiring to welcome leading minds to Ras Al Khaimah and be part of this important event that is helping shape the future for the next generation. With a vision of becoming the regional leader in sustainable tourism by 2025, we aim to nurture an industry that is economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable, that supports quality of life for our people,” commented Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.
The Global Citizen Forum was established in 2013 as a social action platform built on a community of leaders committed to improving the state of global citizenship for future generations. These leaders are bound by the shared belief that citizenship stands for freedom, representation, equality, but also for responsibility, sustainability, and impact.
Looking ahead — planning for the second chapter of The Butterfly Effect is already underway, with a keen focus on driving conversations on how the world can collectively bring about global change and empower initiatives that bridge dialogue with action.
Ricky Martin concluded: “To achieve peace, we must first transform ourselves and experience our own metamorphosis… Together we can transform the world.”