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‘Davos of digital wellbeing’ gets underway with ambition to drive greater understanding of digital harms

DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia

— The inaugural Sync Digital Wellbeing Summit (29-30 March) will raise awareness of the hidden realities of our relationship with digital services
— Leadership from IBM, UNESCO and Childnet amongst those speaking at sessions across the two-day Summit
— Full Summit agenda can be viewed here ( )
— Media wanting to virtually attend any of the sessions can register via this link ( )

The Sync Digital Wellbeing Summit is set to get underway today at The King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture (Ithra), Saudi Arabia. The two-day event – hosted both virtually and at Ithra – will bring together leaders from across tech, academia, sports, culture and policy, providing a platform for thought leaders to develop new solutions for protecting the wellbeing of digital media users worldwide.

Focusing in on five key areas of concern, Summit sessions will invite speakers to offer insight and perspective on the topics of digital addiction, privacy, fake news and misinformation, relationships and algorithms. It is hoped that the exchange of ideas and knowledge can help to inspire tangible change in how we interact with, regulate and design digital platforms.

Amongst the roster of thought leaders expected to speak at the Summit, will be major figures representing tech, NGOs, charities, Governments and the cultural influencer community. The headline speakers include:

— Will Gardner OBE, CEO at Childnet
— Mo Gawdat, Author, Entrepreneur and Former Chief Business Officer,
Google [X]
— Jonathan Garner, Founder & CEO, Mind Over Tech
— Ross Farrelly, PhD, Director Data Science & Artificial Intelligence,
— H.H. Princess Haifa Al Mogrin, Permanent Delegate of the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia, UNESCO
— Angela Gandra da Silva Martins PhD, Vice-Minister, Human Rights for
the Family
— Liz Sweigart PhD, Chief Product & Strategy Officer, Safe Kids AI
— John A. Naslund, PhD, Instructor in Global Health & Social Medicine,
Harvard Medical School
— Gitanjali Rao, Innovator, Author, and TIME Magazine’s first ever “Kid
of the Year”

Speakers attending the Summit will discuss a broad range of topics relating to digital wellbeing. Panel session and speech highlights will include:

— Technology and Me: 29th March, 07:15 – 07:55 BST
– Speakers include: Isabella Plunkett, Community Operations Analyst,
Independent Consultant, Ireland and Gitanjali Rao, Innovator,
Author, and TIME Magazine’s First-Ever “Kid of the Year” in 2020,
United States

— The Science of Digital Wellbeing: 29th March, 07:55 – 08:35 BST
– Speakers include: James P Steyer, American children’s advocate,
civil rights attorney and Mo Gawdat

— The Psychology of Technology: 29th March, 09:30 – 10:10 BST
– Speakers include: Prof. Paul Dolan, Professor of Behavioral Science,
London School of Economics, United Kingdom and Dr. Mohammed Alhajji,
Director of the Behavioral Insights & Nudge Unit, Ministry of
Health, Saudi Arabia

— Achieving Digital Balance – Addiction & Responsible Media
Design: 29th March, 10:10 – 10:50 BST
– Speakers include: Prof. Christian Montag, Head of the department
Molecular Psychology at Ulm University

— Should Digital Wellbeing be a Right? The Rights and Ethics of
Digitalization: 29th March, 15:15 – 15:55 BST
– Speakers include: Prof. Martin Hilbert, Chair, DE Computational
Social Science, University of California and Dominic Richardson,
Chief of Social and Economic Policy Analysis, UNICEF Office of
Research, Innocenti

— Forming Habits and Developing Identity in the Digital Age: 29th March,
14:00 – 14:20 BST
– Speakers include: James Clear, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
of Atomic Habits, and Founder, Habits Academy

— Building a Brighter Future: 30th March, 07:00 – 07:30 BST
– Speakers include: Simon Sinek, Optimist and Best-Selling Author

— Does the internet need warning labels?: 30th March, 13:20 – 14:00 BST
– Speakers include: Matthew Bergman, Founder, Social Media Victims Law
Center, United States

— Creating a Safe Cyber Space for Children & Teens: 30th March, 13:15 –
13:55 BST
– Speakers include: Will Gardner, CEO, Childnet International, United
Kingdom, Dr. Liz Sweigart, Chief Product & Strategy Officer, Safe
Kids AI, United States and Marc Berkman, CEO, Organization for
Social Media Safety, United States

To find out more and to see the full agenda visit

Notes for Editors

About Sync

Sync is a digital well-being initiative launched by King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) with a vision to create a world where we are all in control of our digital lives. The initiative is guided by extensive research in collaboration with global entities to understand the amplifications of technology and how it’s affecting our lives, and translate the knowledge gained into awareness campaigns, tools, experiences, educational content and programs aiming to raise the global public awareness around the topic.

To sync with Sync: Twitter, or Facebook

About Ithra

The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) is one of Saudi Arabia’s most influential cultural destinations, a destination for the curious, creatives, and seekers of knowledge. Through a compelling series of programs, performances, exhibitions, events and initiatives, Ithra creates world-class experiences across its interactive public spaces. These bring together culture, innovation and knowledge in a way that is designed to appeal to everyone. By connecting creatives, challenging perspectives and transforming ideas, Ithra is proud to be inspiring cultural leaders of the future. Ithra is Saudi Aramco’s flagship CSR initiative and the Kingdom’s largest cultural centre, comprising an Idea Lab, Library, Cinema, Theater, Museum, Energy Exhibit, Great Hall, Children’s Museum and Ithra Tower.

For further information, please visit:

Follow Ithra on social media: Facebook (King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture ( ), Twitter (@Ithra ( ) and Instagram (@Ithra ( ) #Ithra


Source: Ithra