Gelephu Mindfulness City to Spotlight Global Innovators This October

The serene setting of Dungkar Dzong will host the first-ever Bhutan Innovation Forum from October 1-3, 2024, marking a pivotal moment for innovation and sustainable development in the region. This landmark event aims to bring together a diverse array of global thought-leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, artists, philosophers, scientists, philanthropists, and investors. United by a shared vision for mindfulness, innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainability, the Forum seeks to incubate groundbreaking ideas across various sectors including digital technology, ecology, education, health, urban planning, economic transformation, and aesthetic appreciation.

The Forum boasts an impressive lineup of over 70 renowned international speakers. Among them are Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap Inc., Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, climate economist Lord Nicholas Stern, Nobel Laureate scientist Rich Roberts, Nobel Laureate economist Mike Spence, Chair of Global Research at J.P. Morgan & Chase Joyce Chang, philosopher and Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, and visionary architect Bjarke Ingels. This eclectic mix of voices is expected to draw participants from around the globe.

Evan Spiegel expressed his enthusiasm for the event, emphasizing his admiration for King Jigme’s vision to support Bhutan’s emerging entrepreneurs and innovators. “I am honored to attend the inaugural Innovation Forum in Bhutan,” Spiegel said. “I look forward to discussing how mindfulness fosters innovation and the role that technology can play in this process.”

Central to the Forum’s agenda is the concept of Gelephu Mindfulness City, a visionary project announced by His Majesty The King on National Day in 2023. Described as “one-of-a-kind, anchored on the vision and values of GNH (Gross National Happiness),” this new city aims to integrate conscious and sustainable businesses inspired by Buddhist spiritual heritage, emphasizing the uniqueness of the Bhutanese identity.

Gelephu Mindfulness City is envisioned as a Special Administrative Region, promoting a knowledge economy that harmonizes sustainability, well-being, and prosperity. It aims to serve as an incubator for excellence in art, innovation, and entrepreneurship, ultimately acting as an economic catalyst for Bhutan and the broader South Asian region.

Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz highlighted the transformative potential of the Bhutan Innovation Forum. “The Forum will set the dynamics for building human capital and creating a learning society, while upholding its commitments to mindfulness and societal well-being,” Stiglitz noted. He underscored the importance of collective learning capabilities, suggesting that the Forum could significantly enhance this crucial societal endowment.

As the world eagerly watches, the Bhutan Innovation Forum promises to be a beacon of progress, melding traditional values with cutting-edge innovation to pave the way for a sustainable and prosperous future.

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