Hundreds of influential thinkers from around the world have gathered in Dubai to participate in the World Economic Forum's Summit on the Global Agenda. Participants of the three-day event will look at ways that international institutions like the G20, World Bank and United Nations can improve. Their findings will form the basis of next year's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
From global investment to global warming, experts from a wide range of fields are meeting in Dubai to discuss three fundamental principals: strengthening economies, enhancing security and ensuring sustainability.
It's the second time the event has been held in the city and World Economic Forum Managing Director, Andre Schneider believes this year's summit will be more productive than last year's.
"This endeavor is even more important this year given that when we met for the first time last year, we were in the middle of the [financial] crisis and I think it was very difficult for many of the participants to get the distance to understand what actions to take or what could be done," he said.
Organizers say the summit comes at a time when much of the world feels let down by those in charge.
And they say the financial crisis has only highlighted the structural weaknesses of global institutions.
World Economic Forum Senior Advisor Lord Malloch-Brown believes the current sentiment will help breed change.
"Crisis creates malleability, a moment of opportunity to introduce new ideas and to bring changes in the global system," he said. "So I think this meeting in Dubai takes place in the aftermath of a very difficult year, but provides, because of that, an opportunity to really introduce or start to form some really interesting proposals, which will have a much more positive reception among global leaders and others than would be the case in more normal times. "
Leaders at the summit include three Nobel Laureates and hundreds of public figures drawn from civil society, including NGOs, think tanks and international organizations.
They have each been placed in to one of 75 councils dedicated to a specific issue, including food security, trade and even faith.
Over the course of the summit, each council will define its own priorities, then members from different groups will meet to find points of common interest.
By the end of the summit, all the suggestions will be used to formulate a final recommendation that will form the basis of discussions at World Economic Forum Davos in January.