The Middle East and North Africa are unstable – with conflicting waves hitting several countries at a scale so big that their effects are being felt worldwide, including Europe. Decades of unsustainable land- and water management together with global warming threatens people, landscapes and agriculture. That coupled with the migration crisis and massive population growth in major cities, is making the living context more than problematic. What can be done? What's the plan to create a sustainable development, while restoring landscapes and building the community? A holistic approach is needed to ensure these regions have a truly sustainable future.
40 years ago, Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish started the SEKEM Initiative. In the middle of the desert, next to the Nile delta in Egypt. His vision was to create a project that would not only convert the desert land into agricultural land, but would also provide jobs, schools and medical care for the poor, ultimately building-up a learning community. Now, Sekem has 2000 employees, is producing various crops for national and international markets, built a school for children, a vocational training school, a medical centre, a microcredit program for the villages around and even a University for Sustainable Development and Entrepreneurship.
This evening the son of SEKEM’s founder and its CEO, Helmy Abouleish, will join us and talk about this inspiring and unique project. How could we scale-up this type of development? We’ll explore the possibilities of developing new models that can successfully combine the profits of the market with a compassionate approach to people, while at the same time improving the environmental conditions. What are the barriers and how can we channel investments effective? What’s the responsibility of governments and big companies with respect to the growing urban population and environmental issues in these regions? How can we implement a coordinated strategy?