University of Stirling management expert plays part in Oman’s future

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Professor David Mackay with Oman 2040 future vision team

A management expert at the University of Stirling has played a part in Oman’s future by contributing to the country’s 2040 vision project. 

Professor of Strategy and Innovation Dave Mackay was asked to design a three-day workshop which would enable people from all walks of Omani life to formulate a future vision of the nation.

He also acted as lead facilitator at the workshops, which involved more than 200 representatives from sectors as diverse as government departments, the business community, academia and the Third Sector.

Oman 2040 came out of a Royal Decree issued by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, to provide a guide to future planning over the next two decades, under three key themes -People and Society; Economy and Development; and Governance and Institutional Performance.

Professor Mackay was invited to get involved because of his expertise in designing and facilitating collaborative processes to enable group working towards strategy and innovation outcomes.

“A former student sent me a message asking if I was interested in helping to write a page in the history books of Oman,” he said. 

“From a personal point of view, it was an honour to be involved in a project that will steer the long-term course of a nation, and for my research work to have influence on an international level.

“The goals selected by participants will be shaped into a vision document, which in turn will guide shorter-term government policy and strategies over the next 20 years.”  

Professor David Mackay and his Excellency Dr Hamad Al Oufi

Professor David Mackay with His Excellency Dr Hamad Al-Oufi - Head of the National Committee for Alignment

He said his involvement in the project was also an important profile-raising exercise for the University of Stirling in Oman, with His Royal Highness Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, the cousin of the Sultan, among the important guests dropping by to see how things were going.

The University has a partnership with Muscat College in Oman providing a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees to more than 500 students.

Following the workshops, four people involved in Vision 2040 have been invited to do guest lectures at the College.

Professor Mackay also plans to use the lessons learned from his experience in future research work and in his teaching.

“A key deliverable was that all participants were fully engaged and they had to leave feeling listened to and in agreement with the outcomes, whilst sticking to 17 key issues under the three mains themes,” he said.

“The participants were CEOs and executives from various sectors in Oman, high ranking government officials, and representatives from across civic society. Quite simply, this was the most challenging applied task I’ve faced in my academic life.”

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