LONDON, April 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Canadian philanthropist Victor Dahdaleh was a guest at a unique event in London this month, which brought together academics and business leaders to discuss innovation, automation and the future of work.
Hosted by Canada's York University and the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce and held at Pewterers' Hall in the City of London, the event featured experts from a variety of disciplines to discuss how academic and business institutions can embrace change and respond to societal needs.
Victor Dahdaleh, whose charitable foundation supports a wide range of causes across education, healthcare and social and economic development, is both a York alumnus and Honorary Doctor of Laws and a past president of the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce.
Discussing the issues, Dr Dahdaleh stressed the need for business and academia to work more closely together to meet the evolving needs of the modern workplace.
"We know from our work giving young people from underprivileged backgrounds access to higher education that the business world is often an unknown quantity to them. And yet these young people have such unique skills - particularly when it comes to digital - and I would love to see more business leaders engaging with them to get their insights on the modern workplace," he said.
Also at the event were York University President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri and York alumna Moya Greene, CEO of the Royal Mail Group, who offered the keynote speeches. Greene discussed the impact of automation on the private sector, drawing on her role at Royal Mail Group to highlight the innovations that have transformed the postal service in recent years.
York University is one of a number of academic organisations partnered with the Victor Dahdaleh Foundation to deliver cutting-edge research programmes. In late 2015 the Foundation funded the York University Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health, a state-of-the art facility made possible by a record $20million donation to York. The new institute works with a network of global and local partners to reframe the ways in which high- and low-income countries collaborate on global health challenges.
Also in Canada, Dr Dahdaleh is an active supporter of McGill University in Montreal, one of the world's leading centres of medical-doctoral research. In 2007, the Victor Dahdaleh Foundation established an endowment in perpetuity for 16 annual scholarships at the university, which in 2016 was doubled to fund 32 scholarships, also in perpetuity. The awards are aimed at outstanding full-time undergraduates from low-income countries.
Expanding on this support for McGill, the Victor Dahdaleh Foundation last year made a donation to found a new Chair in Neuroscience at the university. The new Chair will build on McGill's world-class research in the field to develop an integrated approach to the study of chronic brain disease.
Both contributions were matched dollar-for-dollar by McGill and other funders.
In the UK, the Victor Dahdaleh Foundation last year partnered with the British Lung Foundation to launch a new programme of research into mesothelioma. Research teams from the University of Leicester, Imperial College London and the Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust came together under the initiative, which aims to find new treatments and, ultimately, a cure for the killer disease. The Foundation's £5 million donation matched UK government funding announced earlier in the year.
Also in the UK, Victor Dahdaleh is an Honorary Fellow at London School of Economics, where he has funded a range of new schemes and backed a scholarship programme to enable disadvantaged students from overseas to study at the school.
The Victor Dahdaleh Foundation's support for education extends to Africa, where it is a donor to the Ethiopia-based Northwood African Educational Trust, which manages a school for orphans in the northwest of the country. St George's School in the Azezo area of Gondar province provides free, high quality education for 200 of the area's most vulnerable children.
Alongside these charitable roles, Dr Dahdaleh is a Fellow of the Duke of Edinburgh Award World Fellowship, a global network of supporters established in 1987 to extend the Duke of Edinburgh Award to young people around the world.
Victor Dahdaleh is the owner and chairman of Dadco, a privately owned investment, manufacturing and trading group established in 1915.
For more information on the Victor Dahdaleh Foundation, visit victordahdalehfoundation.com.
SOURCE The Victor Dahdaleh Foundation