Good morning Waleed and good morning Mohammad, nice to meet both of you! Today we will start by hearing the project pitches of our ambitious grant candidates. What outcomes do you foresee for today?
Mohammad: Well, I foresee that it will be a very thought ride because all of these 15 projects are amazing. They prepared very hard. The selection process was very diligent, and eventually, they came up with those 15 passionate project people. I feel that passion is very important here, coming from these individuals. So we are looking forward to the event. However, irrespective of whoever wins, everybody will have a success in the respective projects.
Thank you so much. Waleed, you already pointed out yesterday, how one should form his or her career. Would you please give us another insight on that topic?
Waleed: Definitely. For my evaluation of the projects, I haven’t seen any project yet, because my role is different from Mr Mohammads. So the idea is that as a jury member, I will realize what we have got from our presentations, from the speakers. In the meantime, everybody here is an amazing person. Passionate, looking forward, there are no obstacles. Sometimes, because of the difference of the experience of us and them, they feel like it is hard, but now I think they realize this is nothing hard. This will accelerate them, and show them the best. They will strengthen their skills, while they will present their projects.
Do you see upcoming challenges during today and their pitches?
Waleed: Yes, because everybody will try to give all his best. You have to be very accurate about the outcome of your project. At the end of the day, people presenting their projects will maybe miss something and hence cannot realize their project. I respect anybody, but in the end, it will be only one winner, standing in front of 14 other winners. So, in the end, this may not be their place to find a fund, and they will have to search for another place to get that – or the fund may never happen.
Mohammed, is there one last thought from your side?
Mohammad: Yes, I’m looking forward to the day, for all the pitches and presentations – let’s see how it goes! I am really excited!
So are we! Thank you so much for this statement!
Dr. Sadek is Co-chair of the Sustainable Development Commission Post 2015 at the United Nations. In 2015, he worked as an expert with COP21 to set the agenda for green economy in Paris and has been nominated as a global champion for women’s economic empowerment. Dr. Sadek previously worked at the International Leadership Institute in United Nations University, lecturing about the importance of the mediation & conflict resolutions in the Middle East. He was chosen by the United Nations as a mediator during the Gaza war 2008 & 2012 in order to bring a ceasefire between Palestinian and Israeli forces and rescue the injured.
Mohammad Shaheed is a senior Islamic Banker based in Bahrain. He is passionate about digital transformation, is a Fintech enthusiast and advisor to many blockchain companies; his core areas of expertise being Digital transformation, structuring solutions, strategy design and execution. Mohammad spearheads the structuring and launching of Islamic financial solutions for a bank in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. He has over 18 years of diversified professional work experience in introducing Islamic products and solutions in the UK, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates and in Pakistan. Mohammad also serves as the Deputy-Chair of the Islamic Banking Committee at Bahrain Association of Bankers. He has served in a similar capacity at the SAMA Islamic Banking Committee in Saudi Arabia as well. He is an alum of the Harvard Business School (HBS). He is very active within the HBS community; he serves as a board member for the HBS Club of GCC and is also the founding President of its Bahrain chapter. He is a serial Intrapreneur and the recipient of Global Islamic Finance Award for his role in innovation. Mohammad was recognized for his contribution in the inaugural Fintech Futures program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT). Furthermore, his role as a thought leader and an influencer was recognized in the 2018 edition of the Islamica500, a Belgium based publication, listing him as one of the 500 people who make up the Islamic economy.
The interview was conducted by Berenike Vollmer.