Can smart cities in MENA bring us closer to achieving the SDGs?

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by all United Nations (UN) Member States in 2015 aim at providing a blueprint for the development of people and the planet, now and into the future. The SDGs and the concept of smart cities are highly interlinked, especially under Goal 11: “Sustainable cities and communities”, aiming to make cities more inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustain...

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An Economic Outlook on Jordanian MSMEs

To strengthen and localise supply chains in Jordan, we conducted a study to assess the main needs and challenges of Jordanian MSMEs. We assessed nine different industrial sectors in Jordan using a combination of primary and secondary...


Sparking youth empowerment from within

Ala’ Wrikat, 29, has always been a solemn believer in the power of youth to drive development and progress. To him, young people hold the keys to a brighter, more prosperous tomorrow...


Innovative media: adding life to smart cities

Smart cities are a modern-day concoction addressing one of today’s biggest phenomena: rising urbanisation as a result of increasing migration to cities. They are regarded as a resource management framework for their ability to harness the power of technology...


Sawsan’s take on natural, clean beauty

For years, Sawsan Khlaif had suffered from extreme hair loss due to chemical products and hair straightening treatments. The 26-year-old Palestinian then decided to seek out natural alternatives but did not find what she was looking for exactly...


Future skills for future cities

Smart cities continue to proliferate around the globe as the solution to a more efficient way of life. They are the work of multi-fold layers of technology woven together to create futuristic, urban places to live, work, and visit. When on display, we see...


A designer’s digital journey against all odds

In Jordan, unemployment continues to persist to this day, affecting millions of families all over the country. Specifically, women and youth are the most vulnerable groups, characterised by disproportionately high rates. Nouseibah, 27...

Sustainable travel experiences Jordan

Our outlook on sustainable travel in Jordan

Sustainable travel – responsible experience with consideration to local communities and the natural environment – should be the only way we travel. In Jordan, and other developing economies, sustainable travel has an unrivalled power...


Making peace with nature through green innovation

Human well-being is critically dependent on the Earth’s natural systems. Despite exponential economic, social, and technological advances seen in the past decade, environmental damage continues to spiral downwards, posing a serious and almost-inevitable threat to human prosperity.

Digital work: laptop with sea view

Digital work as a fast-track to smart cities

In line with the global shift towards digitalisation, an increasing number of industries are opting for hybrid work arrangements for the first time, with digital transformation becoming a core focus for many sectors. The need to rapidly digitise operations has, in several ways, accelerated the move toward smart cities; i.e. areas where traditional networks and services are made more efficient with...


Setting the scene for solo travel in Jordan

Travelling alone, dubbed “solo travelling” across the blogosphere, has taken the tourism industry by storm with more and more people eager to venture into the unknown in search of meaning and purpose. The experience, increasingly popular among millennials and generation Z, provides an exhilarating mix of adventure, disconnection, empowerment, and self-development.

Stories of purpose creating impact that matters

Skilling for new livelihood opportunities in Jordan

Since February, we have partnered with EFE - Jordan to train around 150 Syrian refugees and host community members in Jordan to improve their employability and livelihood skills. The training, which is part of our Skills4Work project, funded by the Regional Development and Protection Programme for Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq (RDPP II), covers soft and technical skills for manufacturing sectors inclu...


Supporting ecopreneurs to drive sustainable living

The world is facing unprecedented challenges caused by our current approach to consumption and production. In 2019 alone, 92 billion tonnes of materials were extracted and processed, contributing to almost half of the global CO2 emissions. As such, there is mounting pressure to shift toward a circular economy, whereby elimination of waste and safe use of natural resources are promoted.

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A look into the present and future of smart agriculture

Cities everywhere are opting to incorporate smart technologies to solve some of their most pressing issues, from transportation to healthcare. Similarly, agriculture has emerged as another component that can be significantly enhanced through the utilisation of “smart systems” and then successfully integrated within the wider picture of smart cities.


Navigating the shift towards digital work in Jordan

While conventional calendars employed the 'Before the Common Era' (BCE) and 'Anno Domini' (AD) system, the coronavirus outbreak has revealed a new sense of time. “Post-COVID” is the beginning of a new epoch, transforming economies, cultures, and behaviours and expediting the arrival of a new type of work: digital work, otherwise known as digiwork.


What COVID-19 vaccines mean for recovery of travel MSMEs

With the recent rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, the light at the end of the tunnel is starting to shine for the tourism industry. However, the process of approval, production, and distribution will still take plenty of time – possibly till the end of 2021


COVID-19 impact on Jordanian exports

COVID-19 Impact on Jordanian Exports 10 Jun 2020 Top Jordanian Exports by Industry Source: (OEC, 2017) Export-led Growth Prior to Covid-19 Lockdowns and Closures Reduction in Exports Following Covid-19 Lockdowns and Closures R ...

circular economy

The circular economy vs. COVID-19

The outbreak of the novel Coronavirus came at a time when the world was preparing for a quick transition to circular economy. In 2018, the United Nations declared plastic pollution as a global crisis.


Tourism in Tunisia amid COVID-19

Tourism in Tunisia Amid COVID-19 04 Jun 2020 Population of +11.5 million in 2019 Unemployment of +15% in 2019; as high as 30% in some cities .st0{fill:#F2F6F9;} .st1{fill:#FFFFFF;} .st2{fill:#B4B1C9;} .st3{fill:#1A2B7A;} .st4{fill:#FF7481;} .st5{fill:#FF5C6B;} .st6{fill:#C9D7F5;} .st7{fill:#2AC48A;} ...


How MENA economies will look like in 2020 and 2021

How economies in MENA will look like in 2020 and 2021 07 May 2020 Projections of Real GDP for 2020 and 2021 in MENA Projections for the overall region Annual percent change in Real GDP Inflation (percent) ***The above data is based on the projections of th ...


Tourism resilience in the face of COVID-19 in Jordan

Tourism resilience in the face of COVID-19 in Jordan 22 Apr 2020 As the greatest global health crisis of our time, COVID-19 has hit the whole world hard, influencing markets, behaviours, and expectations. The pandemic has particularly taken its toll on tourism, with the industry facing immediate and devastating repercussions ...


Innovation opportunities in the future of startups and SMEs in MENA

Innovation opportunities in the future of startups and SMEs in MENA 12 Apr 2020 Inspired by Market Trends and Shifts in Demand Introduction Today’s necessity is not only the mother of invention, but of digital transformation, innovation, and the adoption of new habits.Fighting COVID-19 is now the world’s top necess ...

Palestinian startups

Realities of the start-up economy in Palestine

As the world reaches the end of incrementalism, the Palestinian economy struggles to innovate, disrupt, and create change at the same speed and scale as worldwide technology progress. The developing economy of Palestine is constrained