Times of Oman
Nov 26, 2015 LAST UPDATED AT 10:42 PM GMT
Open Minds - Thought leadership forum
August 21, 2014 | 12:00 AM
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A posse of world-renowned thought leaders will soon set off a revolution of ideas, innovation and inspiration among budding Omani entrepreneurs. Ten top icons will light up Oman's entrepreneurial scene at a global platform this September, at the same time imparting values crucial for success and opening minds, a statement issued by Black & White magazine, the organisers of this event, said.

Open Minds, a thought-leadership forum , will bring in leading international speakers at a two-day event on September 3 and 4 at the Oman Auditorium of Al Bustan Palace Hotel (a Ritz Carlton Hotel). These include the entrepreneur's entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, award-winning author Lord Jeffrey Archer, entrepreneur humanitarian HRH Basmah bint Saud Al Saud, mountaineer Tom Whittaker, entrepreneur Sahar Hashemi, 'Satellady' Candace Johnson, speed painter Brad Blaze, Lonely Planet founder Tony Wheeler, beat boxer Tom Thum, among others. The main Omani speaker will be popular scholar and success coach, Sheikh Khalfan Al Esry.

"The objective of Open Minds is to synergise, motivate and educate (SME) young Omani entrepreneurs and the corporate sector," said Mohamed Issa Al Zadjali, chairman, Black & White, adding that the event will be packed with "experience, knowledge, thoughts, positivity, inspiration, attitude, entertainment and presentation."

Thought leaders
One of Britain's most high-profile billionaires, Sir Richard Branson is the founder of Virgin Group, which comprises more than 400 companies. He describes himself as a "tie-loathing adventurer and thrill seeker, who believes in turning ideas into reality".

Lord Jeffrey Archer firmly established himself as a literary force with the publication of his first novel, Not a Penny More, Not A Penny Less, in 1975.  Now, 39 years later, Jeffrey continues to defy his critics and delight his fans. His most collection of short stories, And Thereby Hangs a Tale, is now available in paperback. He is currently working on a five-part series of novels entitled The Clifton Chronicles.
HRH Basmah bint Saud Al Saud is a keen, gifted and professional social writer and columnist. She is also a successful businesswoman owning many enterprises. Tom Whittaker, who lost his foot in a car accident in 1979, was the first disabled person to climb to the summit of Mount Everest.

UK based entrepreneur Sahar Hashemi is the co-founder of the coffee chain Coffee Republic and confectionery brand Skinny Candy. Previously a lawyer, she left the comfort zone of her career to start Coffee Republic. She has several books to her credit.

Candace Johnson is a telecommunications expert and media entrepreneur, dubbed the 'Satellady' by the Economist in 1996. Candace Johnson is the architect of SES Global, one of the world´s largest satellite systems.

Speed painter Brad Blaze is one of the fastest painters in the world. He can paint large portraits, even on a spinning canvas- often in less than four minutes. Tony Wheeler is an English-Australian publishing entrepreneur, businessman and co-founder of the Lonely Planet guidebook company.

From trumpet to didgeridoo, beat boxer Tom Thum is one who can reproduce any sound with his voice. Tom Thum pushes the limits of the human voice to create incredible soundtracks.

Sheikh Khalfan Al Esry is a scholar and recognised speaker, coach and facilitator on personal leadership and human development with extensive knowledge and experience in multicultural management and organisational behaviour spanning for more than 20 years. 

The strategic partners of the Forum are Bank Muscat, Nawras, AVOD (Areej Vegetable Oils and Derivatives), Ministry of Tourism, the official airline is Oman Air, and the official newspapers are Times of Oman and Al Shabiba and Official radio

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