Is necessity really the mother of invention?

Is necessity really the mother of invention?

Are you ready for #LEAP23. We are – and our keynote speakers are, too. Take a glimpse into their worlds. 


This week we’re quoting…

Sebastien Gendron (Co-Founder and CEO at TransPod)

What Gendron said: 

“The most open-minded regions embracing radical innovation are the oil and gas regions – Alberta and Texas in North America, the UAE and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East and Australia.”

Innovation and inspiration – by necessity

Gendron’s comment came in the context of hyperloop travel: suggesting that the regions that are most open to the idea of a completely new, ultra-high speed mode of transport are the oil and gas regions. 

And this is really interesting from a broader perspective too. A growing number of studies (like this one by the Brookings Institution, and this one by the University of Manchester) show that in order for countries to build stable, sustainable economies, they have to move away from reliance on fossil fuels. 

But you can’t just quit fossil fuels

You have to build other industries to offer new opportunities, drive new investments, and build a new economic model. 

And that’s creating a new kind of openness: as Gendron put it, these regions are embracing radical change. 

What does that look like in real life? 

It looks like…

  • Rapid acceleration of tech-driven industry in these regions – including agritech (the market’s expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.62% in the MENA region) and biotech (predicted to grow at a CAGR of 14.2% from 2022-2030)
  • A willingness among citizens to adopt new practices and technologies – according to research by Ericsson, for example, nearly 73% of all mobile subscriptions within the GCC will be on 5G by 2026; and we know that 5G will enable a new wave of innovation
  • A drive to nurture and develop local talent, supported by international tech giants that recognise the new market opportunities – Microsoft, for example, recently hosted a tech tournament called The Imagine Cup in Qatar, encouraging university students to create innovation solutions and access global resources
  • A push to strengthen local manufacturing capacity, and change international perceptions: regions that have long been known as fossil fuel producers now strive to be known as tech innovators, manufacturers, and world-class hosts for tourism and events 

There’s that old proverb…

Necessity is the mother of invention. 

And time and time again, the proverb comes true

Read the interview: What are the true benefits of ultra-high speed travel?


This week we’re also quoting…

Mads Skrubbeltrang (Rector at Ørestad Gymnasium) 

What Skrubbeltrang said: 

“Technology in education has changed from being something exotic and difficult, to a mandatory tool that helps innovative thoughts come alive.” 


It’s now the norm for schools to integrate tech into their day-to-day teaching. Some schools use more tech than others – and the most high tech schools are now looking to emerging technologies to elevate their students’ learning. 

What emerging tech will we soon see in schools? 

AR simulations: experts have suggested that AR could be used to improve educational inclusion, and this review of 25 years of AR research suggests that it could help students to learn new skills, develop ideas, and experience new possibilities. AR can capture our imaginations and allow us to visualise our dreams – so it may well influence the way young people learn in the future. 

Adaptive learning tech: we’ve known for a long time that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to education, because every child is different; and schools can’t meet the individual needs of each student. Adaptive learning technologies offer a way to create a more bespoke approach to group education, by adapting dynamically to a students’ interests and learning ability. 

AI: As artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated, it’ll play an increasingly prominent role in school education. AI is going to be a part of society and human life going forward, so young people need to understand it; and the first step is to make sure that teachers understand it. 

Support students > support society

OK, so these technologies probably won’t become mandatory tools for learning in most schools any time soon. But looking further into the future, they could well become commonplace – and we’re excited to see how they’ll shape the future. 

Read the interview: The subtle roles of tech in education



How long do you want to live?

Imagine if you could maintain your biological age at 25, and mitigate the impact of age-related illness?  What if you could look into the future and know that it’s possible to live to an old age while still feeling healthy, vibrant, and energised?  The manipulation of gene expression in

From politics to AVs, and serving LEAP with driverless shuttles

From 2014 to 2016, Taavi Rõivas (Chairman at Auve Tech) was the Prime Minister of Estonia. Now he’s deeply involved in bringing autonomous vehicles (AVs) to the roads and making them available for commercial use – here in Saudi Arabia, and in other countries around the world.  We caught up

Accelerating innovation: An open-source autonomous driving platform

According to data from Next Move Strategy Consulting, the global autonomous vehicle market reached nearly 17,000 units in 2022. By 2030, it’s projected there will be 127,000 autonomous vehicles on the roads worldwide.  This week we interviewed LEAP 2024 speaker Helen Pan (General Manager at Baidu’s