June 20-21, 2021
LLA 101 – Economic Foundations of Prosperity
The 4th edition of our yearly LIMS Leaders Academy (LLA) gathered 11 senior staff members from 7 different political parties for a 2-day workshop. They discussed the government’s recovery plan, the implications of the Lebanese economic crisis, obstacles to businesses and investments in Lebanon, the consequences of the recently adopted price controls on the economy, and the impact of high levels of public sector employment. Expert speakers from Bahrain, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Turkey intervened live online and microphones were distributed to all attendees, to allow a smooth interaction with speakers.
UNITE – UNdefeated Influencers to Transform the Economy June 20-21, 2020- Hilton Grand Habtoor, Sin El Fil, Lebanon
This year’s Leaders’ Academy was also opened to prominent groups engaged in the November 2019 protests. 99 influencers belonging to 59 different groups gathered for a 2-day workshop, entitled UNITE, that was held in parallel to the political parties’ workshop. Activists met for the first time, interacted and worked together. Amidst a global pandemic and Lebanon’s economic shutdown, LIMS successfully pulled-off the first step of UNITE, LLA 101, incorporating extreme safety precautions and social distancing measures.
Day 1: Lectures and Elevator Pitch
On the first day, participants attended 3 lectures and had the choice between 3 concurrent sessions for each lecture. At the end of the first day, all attendees gathered in 1 room for the elevator pitch session. 22 participants took the stand and presented in one minute, a topic they wish to address in UNITE. Topics included: education reforms, fighting monopolies, judicial independence, women’s empowerment in the economy, combating corruption, the importance of tourism, etc. The room was buzzing with ideas, as activists with similar interests bonded.
Day 2: Forming Working Groups
The second day of the workshop started with a speed exchange session where participants presented themselves, in a series of one-on-one exchanges. During the activity, social distancing was still maintained as rows and seats were kept one meter away from one another. Then in a plenary session, Dr. Patrick Mardini presented an alternative fiscal policy focused on cutting taxes and dismantling government monopolies, while Dr. Layal Mansour suggested the adoption of a currency board to solve the Lebanese pound crisis.
In the afternoon, participants brainstormed the main problems facing the Lebanese economy and decided to form 9 groups each working on a different topic. Facilitators were involved online, by guiding the discussion. Each group delegated a representative to share and discuss the suggested reform with a panel of international and local experts. The following topics emerged:
- Currency Board: A Solution to the Currency Crisis
- The Ability of Decentralization to Develop the Regions: The Case of Tripoli
- The Recovery of Stolen Assets
- Encouraging Foreign Direct Investments in Lebanon
- A Solution for the Crisis Facing Private Schools
- Revitalization of Tourism to Boost the Economy
- Lebanon’s Economic Identity
- Food Security in Lebanon
- The Revival of the Railway through Private Initiative