Our history

Our launch event was in May 2010. So far, we’ve hosted over thirty fascinating regional and international speakers and enabled the local community to personally meet and interact with them.

In 2010, we were pleased to have a selection of distinguished speakers, including Riz Khan, a veteran journalist who helped us moderating the event that was also televised live on Al Jazeera TV – giving the event an access to over 32 million households around the world.

The same year we’ve also had the privilege of hosting the legendary National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry, who shared his fascinating story of finding the famous Afghan Girl seventeen years after taking a picture of what became the magazine’s most recognized front-cover.

The audience was also wooed by Elham al Qasimi, the first Arab woman to reach the North Pole unsupported and unassisted, as she shared her courageous story the day after she returned from her expedition.

In 2011, another great line-up of speakers has attracted over 500 attendees and heap of regional media attention!

The highlight of the programme was the legendary Dr. Philip Zimbardo – the psychologist behind the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment, who explained his lifetime dedicated research and study on what takes to turn a good person evil. This tense presentation was followed by talks from a former Guantanamo Bay Detention camp Guard and Prisoner – each sharing their first-hand experience at GITMO. This, modern day case study was further analysed in a panel discussion by Dr. Zimbardo.

Among other speakers that have also engaged the audience in discussions include Penny Law - a member of Singapore’s parliament, as well as CERN’s Senior Theoretical Physicist Dr. John Ellis who explained the plans to recreate a miniature Black Hole using the world biggest, most expensive and most controversial experiment – the $9 billion USD Large Hydron Colder.

BOLDtalks is not a conference! BOLDtalks is where we get creative and where we do good things!

In addition to bringing such talks to the region, we also ensured that we act responsible by making our events “Green”. Below are some stats on how we’ve lowered the Carbon emission where possible and further lowered from year to year:

BOLDtalks 2010 BOLDtalks 2011 BOLDtalks 2012
Source of CO2 Footprint Source of CO2 Footprint Source of CO2 Footprint
(Tonnes) (Tonnes) (Tonnes)
Air Travel 34.44 Air Travel 25.55 Air Travel 22.09
Food And Catering 1.01 Food And Catering 1.20 Food And Catering 1.20
Event Venues 0.90 Event Venues 1.01 Event Venues 1.01
Printing & Supplies 0.16 Printing & Supplies 0.30 Printing & Supplies 0.30
Lodging 0.15 Lodging 0.19 Lodging 0.13
Road Travel 0.04 Road Travel 0.12 Road Travel 0.56
Total Event CO2 Footprint 35.70 Total Event CO2 Footprint 28.37 Total Event CO2 Footprint 25.29


Furthermore, with the exposure that we receive through our events as well as the Media Partners, we ensure to use all possible opportunities to help some of the regional charitable organisation in raising awareness of their causes and invite members of the community to volunteer. We have successfully done so with the UAE Red Crescent and the Palestine Children Relief Fund.

Also, to acknowledge efforts of individuals or organisations that have done something meaningful to their community and/or has given generously to those in need – we recognise such efforts by donating BOLDtalks Open Mind Award and BOLDtalks Open Heart Award.