Regional Expertise


With a solid presence in the region, we partner with organisations in the Middle East and Africa to support innovation, accelerate growth, transform cultures and nurture talent in these fast-growing markets.

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Middle East & Africa Regional Economic Outlook

Building the foundations for a diversified economy

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) region is undergoing a significant transformation as it builds the foundations to transition from a resource-dependent to a knowledge-based economy.

With a population expected to double in size in the next 30 years, now is a historic opportunity to invest in human capital, and leverage the potential of a younger and more educated generation to enhance these emerging markets prospects of diversified economic growth.

With long-term objectives such as Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision 2030 and Kuwait’s digital economy plans, the region is facing significant levels of investment in innovation and economic diversification. As millennials and Gen Z professionals start progressing to senior executive leadership positions in government and in the private sector, investment in management training and lifelong learning becomes key to unlock the potential of those professionals and the organisations they work for.

As one of the key commercial arteries of the world, the region has benefited from a generation of moderate and visionary leaders, who have created a fertile ground for change – from progressive cultural and social change to ambitious investments in sustainability and innovative urbanisation through landmark projects. With so much on the horizon, the future in the region, more than ever, looks promising.

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Regional Expertise

Helping organisations thrive in change

With the expertise of the Financial Times and innovation of IE Business Schools, we have helped the region’s largest companies and leading organisations to drive growth, develop talent and transform cultures.

We work in the major markets of United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt and Oman with deep local expertise, global perspective and a great understanding of the trends impacting the region.

Through the unique perspective of the Financial Times, we have a broad understanding of the Middle East and Africa challenges, and help our clients translate trends into skills with the expertise of a network of over 500 educators, authors, academics and experts.

How we support our clients

Empowering businesses to handle complexity

Organisations in the Middle East and Africa today face complex issues that can’t be solved by generic solutions. We don’t approach a client assuming we will have all the answers. We listen. We challenge assumptions. We work with you to co-create customised executive development solutions which not only ask the right questions but, crucially, offer the right answers.

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Leadership Development in the Middle East & Africa

Lead your industry. Help your leaders set your business apart and partake the strategy that will take your vision to the next level.

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Digital Transformation and Innovation

Transform from within, and build the capabilities needed to drive digital transformation in the Middle East & Africa.

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Purpose and Sustainability

Prepare your organisation for a seismic shift in the nature and purpose of business, with practical and responsible strategies tailored to the sustainability and environmental challenges in the Middle East & Africa.

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Client Stories

Saudi Arabia's National Housing Company (NHC)

Discover LEAD, a flagship leadership program designed to support NHC’s vision, and help leaders successfully navigate through the risks and challenges of doing business in Saudi Arabia, while leading the company into the future.

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Bassem Banna, Headspring Executive Development MEA
Our Team

Local Expertise: Bassém Banna

Vice President Corporate Partnerships, MENA

Bassém is a commercial and strategy leader with an entrepreneurial mindset and passion for customer excellence.

With extensive experience in executive education, corporate learning design and strategy execution, Bassém leads Headspring’s growth in the Middle East and Africa regions and is responsible for building and executing the business and marketing strategy, driving revenue growth, reach and impact.

By leveraging his industry and learning design experience, Bassém’s purpose is to help organisations design a new, more relevant approach to executive development that would be fit for the challenges and business environment of the 21st century.

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Our Middle East & Africa Team

Excellence in Design and Delivery

Our people embody our global approach, working across the Middle East and Africa, as well as globally We build multidisciplinary teams around our clients to understand strategic challenges and develop executive education programmes that create value.

Annimaija Raunio

Program Manager
Annimaija is a polyglot with an international background and multicultural understanding. Having lived and worked in several countries such as Finland, China, UK, USA, and Spain, she has more than 8 years of experience in international project management, specializing in higher education. As a Program Manager, she helps clients to acquire applicable knowledge and create value by creating learning experiences that allow participants to gain practical skills and to align behaviours and attitudes.

Irina Constantino

Program Manager
Irina is an experienced education manager with a solid track record in the education management industry At Headspring, she is responsible for the successful implementation of innovative learning experiences worldwide, working in close partnership with top global companies from a wide range of industries, with business worldwide, and forming peer-level relationships across all leadership levels, geographies, and cultures.

Malek Adjerad

Director of Learning Design
Malek Adjerad (MA) is an experienced Learning and Development professional with significant experience in programme design and impact. He designs change programs worldwide that make a positive impact on people and their organisations. He has been described by clients as inspiring, reliable, fun and friendly, with a relaxed and clear business-like approach. Malek's key expertise is partnering with the business to uncover key business issues and collaborate to design and deliver suitable solutions that are practical and impactful.

One future. Multiple paths

A closer look at the issues making waves in the Middle East markets. Insights from the FT into the key topics impacting the region – from tech transformation to the businesses helping to build a sustainable future.

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Covid-19 Stress Test: Middle East & Africa as a Case in Point [Webinar]

What can we learn about the Middle-East and North Africa economic resilience and exposure? In this webinar, we discuss the Covid-19 implications for key MENA economies in the short and long terms,.

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The Recovery Blindspot: Technology As A Key To Economic Revival [Webinar]

In this webinar, we focus on the Middle East and Europe regions and explore how automation and digital technologies are helping businesses, consumers and workers create new economic opportunities brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Financial Times' Special Report: Investing in Kuwait

The government’s grandiose infrastructural spending plans, alongside wide-ranging investment in energy, healthcare and education, feed into the country’s long-term development vision — New Kuwait 2035

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Digital Transformation in Islamic Finance

Explore the highlights of our exclusive workshop about innovation and people development for senior leaders in the Islamic Finance sector.

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Headspring Pulse Report Middle East

An independent study of more than 1000 senior management attitudes to leadership development and executive education in the Middle East.

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Digital adoption and cybersecurity are the top challenges for the region

66% of executives in the Middle East believe digital adoption and cybersecurity are their greatest business challenges, our report in partnership with DIFC revealed.

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FT Insight

Special Report FT Future 25: Middle East

From Tehran to Cairo, businesses are tapping into the region’s youthful, tech-savvy population. The inaugural FT Future 25 list has sought to identify companies that are disrupting their sectors and succeeding in a tumultuous region

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Virtual Summit

Headspring Learning XChange 2020

Explore the future of executive development and the reflections from global and Middle-Eastern organisations such as DP World, KFAS and SABIC.

Understand key trends in the future of work and what they mean for HR and L&D professionals. Learn what are the key leadership skills required to succeed in a post-covid world – and how to create and nurture a learning mindset within your organisation.

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Online Learning Solutions

Discover our Customisable Online Programs

Global organisations today face complex issues that can’t be solved by generic solutions. Discover our online programs and understand how they can be the right corporate learning solution for your business.

Virtual Leadership Program

The role of leaders is being completely reshaped. While setting a clear business vision is essential, it is no longer enough

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Sustainable Growth Program

Designed to help leaders understand the fast-changing environmental, social and governance (ESG) context in which they operate.

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Digital Transformation & Leadership Program

Transform from within. Embrace digital change to serve your customers, staff and business goals. A program for leaders in the digital world

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Commercial Transformation Program

Help your sales team embrace a mindset of constant development, combined with self-reflection and practical training to help sales leaders and their teams to navigate change and transformation.

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Inclusive Leadership Program

A customisable online program for teams and business leaders who need to understand how to build and lead an inclusive, diverse and innovate team.

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Building better organisations,

Corporate Governance Advisory

A forward-looking approach to governance in a volatile world. Developed by global business leaders and supported by some of the most influential Financial Times journalists.

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