The roadmap to understanding – and acting upon – society’s top priorities

Global Insights
18 August 2022 New York
  • The FII Institute, in which PIF is the founding partner, held its PRIORITY summit in New York City this week, alongside UNGA. It brought the world together to discuss the most pressing issues for each segment of society – spurring a call to action to help humanity thrive.

By Richard Attias, Chief Executive, FII Institute

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an urgent need to catalyze ideas into actions with a global, positive human impact. The pandemic, however, has permanently reshaped our world, both amplifying familiar risks and creating new insecurities – in areas including education, healthcare and technology – that affect all citizens across the globe.

In Saudi Arabia, there is an awareness of the importance of tackling current global challenges head on. To that end, the country is embracing impactful social and economic initiatives, in line with its national strategy Vision 2030, focusing on a sustainable future for the region and beyond. This strategy is navigating the many unexpected priorities of today, and the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute is contributing to the goals of Saudi Arabia's unique transformative blueprint.

As the world attempts to negotiate complex, and often interconnected, challenges, one inevitable result is inertia: trying to fix everything can result in getting nothing fixed. Moreover, we all make assumptions, all of the time. Sometimes, we get them right, and sometimes we do not.

If we, global citizens, really want to have an impact on humanity, we need to ensure we do not make incorrect assumptions. We must listen to, and understand, humanity. This is why the FII Institute – a new-generation, non-profit foundation in which PIF is a founding partner – worked with market research firm Ipsos to conduct an international survey to find out the number-one priorities of different demographic groups.

The Priority Report research study was released on September 22 at the FII Institute's capstone PRIORITY summit in New York City. The event brought together people from all walks of life – leaders, policymakers, CEOs, students, volunteers, academics, athletes, investors, and more.

Taking place on the sidelines of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, the summit provided a platform for discussion aimed at finding solutions that will help world leaders address the most pressing issues for different groups of people.

This summit is about giving humanity a voice, including people who are not usually heard, and those who can share their expertise in specific fields. It is about bringing diverse minds together so that we can all understand which locations and sectors should receive targeted investment, resulting in the greatest possible positive impact on people and the planet.

With more than 300 international speakers – from the CEOs driving the world in the right direction in terms of food security and technology, to fresh faces whose creative solutions are improving lives while preserving our planet – PRIORITY served as a call to action to help humanity survive and thrive in a complex new world.

Speakers included His Excellency Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Governor of PIF and Chairman of the FII Institute; Her Excellency Helle Thorning-Schmidt, former Prime Minister of Denmark; and His Excellency Dasho Tshering Tobgay, former Prime Minister of Bhutan.

In understanding the priorities of each demographic group, PRIORITY provides an essential building block for the sixth edition of the Future Investment Initiative, entitled Enabling a New Global Order, which will take place in Riyadh from October 25-27.

The Priority Report follows the launch of two other FII-backed initiatives: the Inclusive ESG Framework and Scoring Methodology, aimed at informing and accelerating ESG investments in emerging economies; and the Global Infectious Disease Index, which uses groundbreaking technology to track infectious diseases with the goal of transforming how the world reacts to future crises.

These collaborative achievements, initiated in Saudi Arabia, are empowering global leaders to create a better future for everyone.