The second session of the virtual ‘Digital Next Leadership Series’ concluded today August 4, 2021 under the theme ‘The Revolution of Digital Government Engagement,’ with the participation of high-level global experts, VIPs, executives, government officials and representatives from global technology companies. Hosting the second virtual session was the Department of Government Support (DGS) represented by the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority (ADDA) and organized by Messe Frankfurt Middle East (MFME). The session was part of the pre-event webinars lined up in preparation for the Digital Next Summit Second Edition on February 22-23, 2022 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. During the event, the high-level attendees engaged in insightful discussions on a range of issues impacting the transformation and future of digital government services. Aisha Ibrahim Al Marzooqi, Executive Director of ADDA’s Government Services Sector, tackled the role of leadership in digital government during her detailed introductory presentation. She highlighted the stages of development of government services, with their delivery shifting from traditional to digital channels. Al Marzooqi also discussed the impact of innovation and digitization on the efforts to offer a seamless and integrated government customer experience. Furthermore, Al Marzooqi shed light on the concept of ‘Invisible government’, which is predicted to be the future of digital governments. She explained that the concept is based on the idea of providing proactive services with multiple characteristics and features. Under this framework, digital identity is the sole requirement for the completion of services and transactions, in addition to paperless and cashless transactions as the main highlights of the process. Al Marzooqi said: "The second session was full of relevant topics designed to advance and showcase the digital government concept on the global stage. For Abu Dhabi, it was an opportunity to highlight their relevant efforts to the world and how the country’s citizens and residents have been benefiting from the digital transformation initiatives, in line with our wise leadership’s vision and directives. We aimed to put the spotlight on the strengths of our national programs to fast-track our common goals, as well as the concrete outcomes of our actions to provide our communities with government digital services that bring happiness to our people. It was a time to consolidate our thoughts, ideas and implementation plans to accelerate our journey towards establishing a genuine, inclusive and sustainable digital government." "Moreover, we focused on new technological tools that could boost engagement and interaction between government entities and the people while learning from the success of each other’s digital government programs. All of this would enable us to effectively handle and anticipate challenges and optimize future opportunities for the benefit of everyone. We had a fruitful session during which all of us had gained meaningful insights on how to elevate vital digital government engagement," she added. The session also featured a panel discussion. Apart from Al Marzooqi, the panelists included Siim Sikkut, Government Chief Information Officer of Estonia; and Gheorghe Ursoi, Deputy Director of the E-Governance Agency of Moldova. In addition, Rami Yazbek, Managing Director – Health and Public Services, Accenture, shared his expertise during a discussion titled ‘Building the World's Most Innovative Government.’ Sohail El Abd, Director of International Business Development and MEA, Esri, was present in the online gathering as well to provide an in-depth look into the growing significance of geographic information system (GIS) technology in many governments’ digital shift. The panel discussion was moderated by Aida Al Busaidy. Sikkut, for his part, noted: "The economic, social, and environmental challenges facing governments today require innovation and collaboration. Geo-enablement is adding the spatial dimension that provides a collaborative environment that has changed the way businesses and governments interact, from understanding to responding to problems on scales ranging from local to global. Particularly, GIS advocates for making government information widely available to increase both the transparency of government and the participation of citizens in decision making. More than anything, its application in the MEA region and all over the world has shown the value and need for real-time location-relevant data as well as spatial analysis." Ursoi commented: "The citizens served as a key element of the webinar. During the event, we looked into the joint efforts of the government and private sectors to digitize public services while reducing costs, time, number of visits and documents needed to access these services. All these were from a citizen’s perspective. I was also delighted to be given the opportunity to share with the audience about Moldova’s plans to make public services accessible to anyone from anywhere in the world, the tools we are using and the barriers we are facing in the process, and our efforts to overcome the challenges. Furthermore, it was a fruitful experience to hear the views of international experts on the current and future trends in the modernization of public services from a citizen’s perspective." Other topics during the second session were the role of the private sector in the delivery and evolution of digital government services; the benefits of combining the traditional physical service channels with the digital ones; the importance of key global strategies designed to ensure a faster shift of users and customers to digital channels; and the projected long-term changes in government services, available service channels and customer expectations. Running until December 2021, the ‘Digital Next Leadership Series’ will provide exclusive and engaging content on the key pillars of government digital transformation initiatives. The topics are selected based on the Digital Next Summit’s content pillars of Gx Next, Data Next, Technology Next, and Cyber Next. The series also offers an opportunity for delegates to network with each other via online chats and video calls, as well as explore the innovative products and solutions showcased by the event’s online exhibitors.