First day of Dubai Future Forum sees astronauts, energy experts and technologists tackling key questions about the future.
Dubai, UAE: 27 November 2023 – His Excellency Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Managing Director of Dubai Future Foundation and Chairman of the Museum of the Future, emphasised that human creativity is “the key” to designing a bright future that people and societies can aspire to, and the symbol of the inspiring and successful models that governments and countries seek.
His Excellency said the Dubai Future Forum 2023, the world's largest gathering of futurists, taking place from 27-28 November, has become an annual global platform that attracts experts and leaders in future design to anticipate the future and expand the use of its tools to capture its opportunities.
The forum is being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Dubai Future Foundation.
His Excellency said: “Designing the future of societies and governments requires a proactive approach that utilises tools for anticipating the future, advanced technology, and international partnerships in strategic and future planning.”
H.E. Al Gergawi noted that creating the future is built on “visions, hard work, determination, confidence and optimism”, citing lessons from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, whose vision teaches us that proactive thinking is the secret to success.
‘The UAE Is a Beacon of Hope'
His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, and Deputy Managing Director of the Dubai Future Foundation, delivered the opening speech at the Dubai Future Forum 2023. He emphasised that designing the future requires confident, human-centric strategic visions, describing how the UAE's founders created visions that continue to be upheld by today's leadership.
“Today, the UAE stands as a beacon of hope in the region and a global role model for shaping the future,” he said.
He highlighted some of the strategies shaping the UAE's progress and its leading development model. This journey is marked by milestones such as the establishment of Port Rashid, the creation of Dubai Internet City, and huge investments in clean, renewable energy, including nuclear.
The Future of the Energy Transition
Dr. Angela Wilkinson, Secretary General and CEO of the World Energy Council, emphasised during a session titled ‘Outlooks and Foresight: The Energy Transition' that careful planning is needed to shape the future of energy. She stressed that current challenges in the energy sector should not deter us from designing the energy future we aspire to. Instead, these challenges should be viewed through a lens of realistic hope.
A Meeting with Astronauts
The Dubai Future Forum hosted eight astronauts and cosmonauts from the UAE, the US and Russia, who shared their experiences in space, amounting to more than 50,000 hours in space between them, including a 186-day mission aboard the International Space Station.
Following a warm welcome from the audience, the astronauts shared their views on how to instil scientific curiosity and inspire a love of exploration among youth. They also emphasised the importance of evolving education to keep pace with the latest developments in space exploration. They stressed the need to prepare a future generation that is aware and passionate about exploring the depths of space.
Global Climate Action
Participants addressed the need for global climate action during the forum. His Excellency Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, Director-General and Special Representative of the UAE Presidency for the Conference of the Parties COP28, chaired a keynote session titled ‘United for COP28: Leveraging Technology and Defining the Climate Technology Future', during which he stressed the importance of technology in driving climate action while integrating global efforts.
The session explored the latest developments in climate technology, highlighting the urgent need to activate partnerships to advance innovation and accelerate the pace of adoption of advanced technology.
The first day of the forum included sessions focusing on four key themes – Regenerating Nature, Empowering Generations, Transforming Humanity, and Transcending Collaboration.