Manama Shapers – June 2017

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Interview with Dr. Ali Adnan Ibrahim 

World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and Founding Curator of Manama Hub

What does being a World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Global Leader entail? How did you get this opportunity?

Being a Young Global Leader means that you are passionate about contributing positively and impactfully to the world around you. It also means that you do so with humility and maximum generosity.  I was selected by the WEF in 2013 among an exhaustive first list of nominations for the position. We went through professional screening at multiple levels where our impact, achievements, and other leadership attributes were closely compared. I am honored to be selected as the process was very stringent.

You have also served as Co-Chair and Senior Adviser of the Islamic Finance Committee of the American Bar Association. What were the challenges you faced in this position?

The American Bar Association is the main industry association of the legal profession in the US. The practice of law in the US varies in every State, and how each State regulates these issues that impact the Islamic finance transactions; so the Committee provided a platform to discuss these issues and what support and strategy could be relevant to explore.

I have been particularly impressed by the brilliant young leaders in their twenties, how they think, act and what values they uphold.

Why did you establish the Manama Hub of Global Shapers?

Global Shapers is an outstanding initiative by the WEF and it is part of Professor Klaus Schwab’s vision to facilitate active participation of young leaders in responding to and shaping our response to current and future challenges.

Bahrain has been home for me and my family for over 8 years. I have been particularly impressed by the brilliant young leaders in their twenties, how they think, act and what values they uphold. I found them to be intellectually sharp and highly energized with the desire to give back and contribute. I was particularly impressed by their action oriented and respectful approach to addressing socio-economic challenges. So when WEF asked me to help set-up the Hub I was excited as I thought Bahrain has just the right talent that Professor Schwab had envisioned.

What future projects are you planning?

As a Young Global Leader (YGL) and with the support of several other YGLs and Global Shapers, I am leading a global initiative on developing a new investment mechanism for sustainable economic development.  The initiative seeks to incentivize private investors to invest in economic development projects in return for tax-adjustable Social Credits, which will be issued to such investors.  I hope we could pilot the initiative and then seek to scale it up globally.


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