LEAP 2024 On A Mission To Become A Global Gamechanger

Living up to its mission of becoming a global gamechanger in the realm of technology, LEAP 2024 will feature 15 key tracks across its 13 stages and feature expert insights into the future of everything from the economy to EduTech, retail to 4IR, smart cities to HealthTech.

Running at the Riyadh Exhibition and Convention Centre in the Saudi capital’s Malham district from March 4-7, LEAP 2024 will have a keen focus on artificial intelligence (AI), with its myriad applications explored and explained during the on-stage presentations. To support this, DeepFest, co-located with LEAP and held in partnership with the Saudi Data & Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA), is back and bigger than ever, with over 120 companies already confirmed to participate.

“Digital transformation is infusing every aspect of our lives, and the increasing use of AI means we will all experience digital innovation and transition at an unprecedented pace,” said Michael Champion, CEO of Tahaluf, the Informa PLC and Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones (SAFCSP) joint venture, and organisers of the four-day event. “By increasing our key tracks from seven to 15 this year, we are fostering an environment to raise stronger awareness and facilitate conversations about the opportunities and challenges that will emerge in the digital and data-driven world in the near future.”

Titans of the tech and business worlds will take to the LEAP Main Stage to share perspectives, visions, and hopes for a digitally enabled future. Each conference day will focus on a different pillar of innovation as the visionaries developing life-shaping technologies address societal issues.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution Stage, or 4IR, will accelerate digital transformation, productivity, and profitability with thought leaders, change-makers, big tech, data scientists, innovators, enterprises, academia, start-ups, and entrepreneurs exploring the impact of technological advancements across businesses and world affairs. Headlining the 4IR discussions will be Hakan Cervell, Vice President and Head of Ericsson Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

“Ericsson’s participation at LEAP 2024 reaffirms our commitment to Saudi Arabia’s digital future. As a pivotal event for the Kingdom’s digitalisation, LEAP provides a dynamic platform to showcase collaborative efforts with the public and private sectors. Beyond showcasing technologies, our focus includes transformative messaging pillars—transforming enterprises, reimagining consumer experiences, innovating for a sustainable future, and enabling limitless connectivity.

Through LEAP, we aim to foster collaboration, contributing to Saudi Arabia’s technological progress aligned with Vision 2030. Our continued partnerships and collaborations in the region contribute to advancing the next generation of 5G and 6G. As we look ahead to the next edition of LEAP, we remain dedicated to pushing the boundaries of innovation and contributing to the Kingdom’s digital evolution in the coming years.”

Another prominent name participating in the DeepFest line-up is IBM, the leading provider of global hybrid cloud, AI, and consulting expertise. AI-powered solutions are being leveraged to enable businesses and entities to problem-solve and overcome their challenges. More so than ever, AI is being utilised to put data to work with greater speed, accuracy, and efficiency.

Fahad Alanazi, Vice President, and General Manager of IBM Saudi Arabia, said: “What we are seeing in the Kingdom and across the wider region is a growing recognition of the transformative power of advanced technologies such as AI and automation.”

“Generative AI holds tremendous potential to help improve operations and customer engagement. Specifically, generative AI can unlock businesses and organisations’ potential, as they open doors to new and previously untapped areas of opportunity. At IBM, we are unwavering in our belief that AI can enable entities to problem-solve more effectively than ever, with these solutions being leveraged to put data to work with unparalleled levels of efficiency,” added Alanazi.

The Creative Economy track is where marketers, artists, producers, videographers, content creators, hosts, and gaming professionals or enthusiasts gaze into new worlds and examine the ways technological advances in immersive and digital entertainment – as well as fashion, architecture, and design – are shaping lifestyles.

The rapid transformation of learning and teaching will come under the spotlight in the EduTech track, which will explore universal access to education and technology learning. The full gamut of the education eco-system will be up for inspection, including capacity development from early-years to executive learning.

The giants of retailing, local, regional, and international, will envision the future of how and where to shop as they unpick the sector’s future on the LEAP Retail Stage. E-commerce leaders, retail technologists, merchandisers, supply chain chiefs, marketers, and retailing C-suites will dive deep into the industry’s future through interactive discussions, keynotes, and fire-side conversations.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution – the digital transformation accelerator for productivity, and profitability – will measure advancements and predict the gamechangers that will drive multi-sector production on the 4IR Stage. Change managers, technologists, data and cloud specialists, innovators, and C-suite executives will scrutinise the tools, technologies, and methodologies that will transform manufacturing, with a focus on reshaping the industry into sustainable assets.

The Future Energy Stage will bring together scientists, policymakers, business leaders, tech experts, and representatives of local and international institutes to discuss topics under this year’s theme of sustainable energy. They will each investigate how to power the future and transition to energy sustainability and security.

Technologists, city planners, government representatives, and private sector stakeholders will gather at the Smart Cities track to probe the development of urban landscapes, which will house nearly 70 per cent of the world’s population by 2050, according to the World Bank. On the agenda will be strategies for digital structure implementation and the development of resilient, human-centric, and digitally enabled cities.

The fintech track will dissect the cutting-edge developments and innovations shaping the entire finance sector and its evolving defences against the advancements in cyber fraud, while global medical experts, scientists, health practitioners, physicians, and technologists will guide attendees on a journey of discovery in the HealthTech track. Together, this eminent gathering will demonstrate how science and technology are helping people live longer, better lives and identify the latest trends, technological advances, and digital transformation shaping the future of healthcare systems and the connected patient experience.

The LEAP Investor Stage will be an empowerment engine as some of the world’s top investors guide disruptors, startups, and entrepreneurs into securing the funding that turns ideas into profit and social change machines. The stage will host expert investor-led workshop classes and the popular Rocket Fuel Pitch Competition, where competitors pitch their innovative tech-focused ideas to a panel of judges with the hope of winning a share of the prize pool, which over the past two editions has seen US$2 million shared between the winners.

Empowered by the Saudi Ministry for Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), LEAP organisers anticipate a record-breaking turnout of more than 172,000 visitors in March.