Under the slogan "From Makkah Towards the World", in the headquarters of Umm Al-Qura University and under the patronage and presence of His Excellency the UQU President, Prof. Abdullah bin Omar Bafail, the events of the First Virtual Consulting Forum on Crisis Management, which was presented by Umm Al-Qura University, represented by the Institute of Consulting Research and Studies, in cooperation with the Deanship of E-Learning and Distance Education, were held for three days, from Monday to Wednesday. The forum aimed to promote positive behavior in dealing with the crisis among all groups of society. The audience heard the contributions of twenty-six male and female consultants from various disciplines, including medicine, media, law, mental health, volunteering, occupational safety, quality of life studies, human resources, technology, crowd management, and innovation. A total of thirteen worksheets were presented, summarizing 40 recommendations that the attendees had agreed on at the conclusion of the forum.
The number of registered attendants of the virtual sessions via the WebEx platform (powered by Cisco) reached 7265 persons. The Virtual G20 Summit, called for by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, was held on the same platform. The number of those who managed to attend the events of the three day forum, from inside and outside the Saudi Kingdom, reached 4,824 attendees.
At the opening of the events for the first day of the forum, His Excellency UQU President explained that this forum comes in fulfillment of the responsibility to participate in the #We_Are_All_Responsible campaign, launched by the Center for Government Communication, which aimed to educate individuals and society on the risks of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), its implications, and ways to prevent it. The university also embodies, through holding this forum, its professional, scientific, and research role in securing and providing advice, scientific, knowledge, and research facts to reduce the crisis and find appropriate ways to solve it, Allah willing.
His Excellency added, "Perhaps what highlights the Kingdom’s role in fighting this global crisis are the solutions it called for in this extraordinary and virtual summit. This summit aims to discuss states responsibility and enhance cooperation among them to finance research, development, and consulting work in order to overcome this crisis and its global economic impacts and also drive development and growth.
On his part, Dr. Ayman bin Khalid bin Ismail Johraji, Assistant Vice President for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, stressed that the role of universities today is an extremely important and pioneering one, especially when we talk about consulting solutions and innovative procedures for facing such crises. Its cognitive, research and strategic role is to support individuals, state institutions, and different sectors in order to achieve the desired strategic and institutional adjustment and balance, in light of the effects and complications the world is witnessing due to the spread and infection.
It is worth noting that this forum was conducted with 100% national personnel. The team involved in running the forum consisted of 23 male and female employees from the staff of the Deanship of E-Learning and the Institute for Consulting Research and Studies at Umm Al-Qura University. The number of work hours of the team exceeded 3,864 hours.
On their part, His Excellency the Dean of the Deanship of E-Learning and Distance Education and His Excellency the Dean of the Institute of Consulting Research and Studies expressed their thanks and gratitude to the UQU President for his unlimited support to make this forum result in favorable outcomes. They also thanked the parties who participated in making this forum a success: the Training and Continuing Medical Education Unit; SAFE Center for Safety, Risk and Crisis Management; Prince Khaled Al-Faisal Chair for the Development of Makkah Al-Mukarramah and the Sacred Sites; and the UQU Media Center.