An Initiative by King Khalid Foundation
King Khalid Foundation (KKF) recognizes that dialogue is an important element in the process of social and economic development, and thus strives as part of its mission to create platforms to address critical social and economic challenges in the Kingdom. This aspiration prompted KKF to initiate the Development Debates, an intellectual public forum in Saudi Arabia where stakeholders can voice their opinions on major development issues in Saudi and the region.
The debates are held annually on different “hot” development issues. They are moderated by well-known presenters and the panel is made up of four to five prominent local and/or international development experts from different organizations. During the debate, 150 selected participants are invited and have the chance to attend and participate in the discussions. The debates are an opportunity for a variety of opinions and diverse views to be heard and result in recommendations that are put forward to the appropriate government agencies.
The main objectives of the debate are to raise awareness and draw attention to critical developmental issues in Saudi Arabia as well as suggest solutions and advocate and influence policy making.
Until today, the foundation has organized three debates; in 2010 the 1st debate discussed the nonprofit organizations becoming more effective players in the social development field; The 2nd debate in 2011 discussed the non-profit sector in the 9th Development Plan of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; the 3rd debate discussed the Youth developmental issues that covered Education, unemployment, youth participation in decision making and citizenship issues.
The 4th debate was held on 21 May 2013 to discuss the critical role of entrepreneurs in the socio economic development in the country. In preparation of this debate, the foundation conducted 11 focus groups around the Kingdom with over 120 entrepreneurs to have in depth understanding of opportunities and challenges they encounter as start-up or as small and medium enterprises. From the focus groups and the different in-depth interviews conducted with different stakeholders, it was evident that legislations construct a hindrance for start-ups and small enterprises; Finance and access to financial resources was another highlighted challenge for the entrepreneurs in addition to access to business incubators especially in remote areas.Date for the 2015 Debate will be announced in coming days.