Professor Stephen Hawking, David Coulthard and Lily Cole supported the event that looked into the changing perceptions towards wealth
UNLIMITED is a content partnership with the aim of deepening and amplifying public understanding of what it means to be wealthy in our changing world.
The event was attended by David Coulthard (former F1 driver turned presenter), Lily Cole (social entrepreneur), and Mo Gawdat (VP of Innovation at Google X), who discussed the question that UNLIMITED has been posing for the last five months: ‘Does wealth make us rich anymore?’ In doing so, they shared powerful firsthand insights into the sense of wealth that can be drawn from experiences, social impact and connections.
During his speech to a packed auditorium, David Coulthard said: “My wealth lies in many things other than the material benefits of being a professional sports person. The satisfaction of building long term personal and professional relationships has brought me great wealth and rewards, but most of all I had a full and rich experience – that is what I call real wealth.”
Lily Cole also spoke about what wealth means in a modern society and the role that business can play: “It’s important for us to think about value and wealth in a different way and look at how we can solve some of our systemic global problems. There is a lot of insecurity and discontent in the world – recent political events in the UK and the US signal that this discontent is now being talked about in the mainstream – and we need to think of real and radical solutions. For a long time business was only about chasing profit and the one metric to judge a company’s success or failure was money. Now we need to bring in other metrics of success such as social and environmental impact. That is what social enterprise as a movement is about – creating wealth in a more holistic way.”
Mo Gawdat added: “Does wealth make us rich? Depends on how you account for wealth. Wealth is a wealth of experiences – you only enjoy life when you have a wealth of experiences. Money does have an effect. Research shows that until your basic needs are met you won’t be happy. When you reach a level where your basic needs are met you reach a plateau. Experiences you can create by using money can only make you happy to an extent, however, having a social impact that does not necessarily require money, is one way to truly make you happy. Does money in itself make you happy? Not in my view. If you are counting your wealth in happiness, money doesn’t make you rich.”
Guests also enjoyed an exclusive pre-recorded lecture by Professor Stephen Hawking on this issue, during which he said: “We need as a species to consider what we mean by wealth, by yours and mine. As the world shifts to a place where technology seems to hold limitless possibilities, we need a debate about what we value as societies, what we must retain to be inherently human, and what we feel able to compromise on.”
During the event, UBS released findings from a new report it has compiled into changing wealth aspirations among the millennial generation based in the UAE.
The key findings of the report include:
Top-earning millennials in the UAE are hard workers and focused on their career. More than half (52%) said they never expect to retire, compared to less than 23% globally. And given the option, just 3% would choose not to work at all, compared to 15% globally.
This drive is manifested in high levels of entrepreneurialism. 91% in the UAE consider themselves likely to start their own business in the future, or already have.
Almost half (49%) consider the jobs market in their country to be an enabler to future wealth, compared to 1 in 3 (36%) across all markets.
Dubai was listed in the top three working destinations of choice for millennials alongside London and New York.
Commenting on the report, Ali Janoudi, UBS Group Head of MENA, said: “There has been a fundamental shift in attitudes towards wealth in our lifetimes and that is clearly seen in the UAE where millennials express some of the most varied opinions of any market globally. That is largely due to the diverse make-up of the population. Yet like other emerging markets, all are united by a confidence and ambition for their future success in the Middle East, or beyond.”
The study concludes that businesses and economies need to address a range of issues in order to take advantage of this diverse and vibrant workforce of the future.
Images from the UNLIMITED event in Abu Dhabi, including David Coulthard, Lily Cole and Mo Gawdat, can be downloaded at https://we.tl/hLLuUzxqqo
To watch Professor Stephen Hawking’s video lecture for UNLIMITED, powered by UBS, visit UNLIMITED, a new platform powered by UBS, visit https://www.unlimited.world/ubs/stephen-hawking-asks-us-to-consider
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About UNLIMITED powered by UBS
UNLIMITED is a content partnership powered by UBS with the aim of deepening and amplifying public understanding of what it means to be wealthy in our changing world. It aims to bring together – from across geographies, sectors and backgrounds – a unique global network of people in search of the answers to life’s big questions.
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