The Petra Conference of Nobel Laureates was initiated in March 2005 by the King Abdullah II Fund for Development and the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity in the belief that the most pressing global problems persist, not because of a lack of compassion, but because the tools for global problem-solving have not evolved in tandem with the rapid pace of globalisation.
Jointly organised by the two foundations, the conference gathers dozens of Nobel Laureates from the six disciplines in which the Nobel Prize is awarded each year and international figures to share their insights into global challenges and to generate innovative, practical proposals to address them.
The Petra Conference of Nobel Laureates is a unique venue that weds the innovation of Nobel Prize winners to the political and material influence of other personalities of international renown who share a concern for humanity’s betterment. The conference is held in Petra, Jordan, the heart of the ancient Nabataean civilisation, that remains a monument of human ingenuity and creativity, reflected in the symbiosis of the built and natural environments.
The Petra Conference of Nobel Laureates convened for the first time in May 2005, during which the fifty participants (of which 29 were Nobel Laureates) and distinguished personalities identified economic development and poverty reduction as priorities for the new century. Since then, the conference has established a $10 million science fund to promote regional cooperation in scientific research in the Middle East. The fund was initiated at the Third Petra Conference of Nobel Laureates in 2007. At the Fourth Petra conference 2008, organisers announced the operational launch of the Middle East Science Fund, under the umbrella of the King Abdullah II Fund for Development, to support scientific projects.