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Now live! Explore the program for the upcoming 2024 Global Conference, taking place May 5-8, 2024.

Cultural Diplomacy: Leveraging the Soft Power of Sports and Arts

2023 MEA Summit

Cultural Diplomacy: Leveraging the Soft Power of Sports and Arts

Friday, December 8, 2023
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Abu Dhabi Rosewood - Rosewood B

Arts and sports share a long history in furthering diplomacy and economic growth. Nations leverage sports to bolster their international profiles and grow local economies. Movies, art, and music may be promoted—or banned—across diverse cultures. Organizations such as the NBA and FIBA have doubled down on fostering international engagement and cultural exchange through initiatives like Basketball Without Borders, an outreach supporting education, health, and well-being among youth worldwide. With dozens of countries engaged in international competitions and arts exchanges, politicians and investors should take note of the expanding markets and opportunities. Our diverse panelists will share lessons learned and challenges faced in seeking to leverage economic soft power, redouble efforts on entrepreneurial returns, and drive impact across Middle Eastern and African markets—and beyond. How can nations best leverage these soft but telling diplomatic tools? How can governments invest adequately in diverse, creative economies to support high-quality international outputs? States must look for ways to cooperate and agree on the right role for government both on stage and behind the scenes.

Aubrey Hruby
General Partner, Tofino Capital
Hamisha Daryani Ahuja
CEO and Founder, Forever 7 Entertainment Ltd.
Tunde Folawiyo
Executive Chairman, Yinka Folawiyo Group
Manuel Rabaté
Museum Director, Louvre Abu Dhabi
Victor Williams
CEO, National Basketball Association, Africa