UAE. “Launching the Dubai Future Academy is a natural progression from the work undertaken by the Dubai Future Foundation,” said His Excellency Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Managing Director of Dubai Future Foundation, as he announced the official launch of the Academy.
The Academy provides integrated future-oriented education and training programs, H.E. explained, allowing government officials and private-sector professionals in the UAE and the region to increase their awareness of the strategic sectors of the future, which, in turn, improves their abilities to make sound decisions, plan, and formulate strategies for the future.
“His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, envisioned a process and an equation for the sustainable development of the UAE,” H.E. Al Gergawi noted; “anticipating the future and proactively planning for it is the very core of this vision. H.H. called for a future-focused strategy that strives to enable individuals and institutions and to promote a future outlook in the UAE.”
“With H.H.’s directives in mind, the Dubai Future Foundation has launched and organized a number of initiatives, including the Museum of the Future, the Office of the Future, Mostaqbal Portal, and the Dubai Future Accelerators program, among others,” H.E. added. “The Academy’s programs do not only focus on future-planning, but also combine them with design and modeling tools in order to train participants in strategic planning, and enable them to identify future trends and challenges, and design solutions for them.”
The Academy introduces three “major courses”, namely, the Executive Education Program, Future Design Diploma, and Master’s in Applied Future Sciences. These programs are open to more than 500 participants from the government and private sectors, from the UAE and the region. The Academy will also offer a range of “minor courses” in subjects related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, such as Blockchain, artificial intelligence, deep learning, biotechnology, etc.
H.E. Saif Al Aleeli, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation, said that the launch of the Dubai Future Academy adds to the Foundation’s efforts to prepare individuals and institutions for the future. The new institution will play a key role in cementing the UAE’s status as a center for education and training in this strategic field, H.E. added; it will allow participants to develop advanced skillsets in tracking and analyzing future trends, determining their impact, and proposing solutions for them.
For her part, Maha Khamis Al Mazeina, Project Manager at Dubai Future Foundation, noted that the programs offered are all rooted in innovative approaches, and have been designed in partnership with world-class institutions and future experts, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professional Education, the Emeritus Institute of Management, THNK School of Creative Leadership and the Changeist group, as well as faculty that teach at Duke University, the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, the Istituto Europeo Design in Barcelona, Columbia Business School and Stanford University, all specialists in executive education.
The Executive Education Program, organized in partnership with THNK School of Creative Leadership that runs an annual program at Stanford University, aims to spread knowledge and raise awareness around the most prominent global trends in renewable energy, water, transport, education, health, technology, and space. These sectors represent the pillars of the National Innovation Strategy, which was launched by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid in October 2014 to make the UAE one of the most innovative countries in the world over the course the next seven years.
This program consists of two types of courses, the first of which is made up of short one-day courses given on a monthly basis and focusing on analyzing global future trends for one specific sector. The course can host about 30 people – managers, executives, heads of departments, and officials from federal and local governments, as well as the private sector.
The second type consists of five-day courses targeting about 50 top-level managers and organized five times a year. These courses will similarly focus on global future trends within specific industries and sectors, as well as on the impact of the Fourth-Industrial-Revolution technologies.
Meanwhile, the Future Design Diploma will be presented in partnership with the Changeist group, and seeks to enable government leaders, bolster their ability to build the future, helping them enhance their intuitive skills and channel them into formulating solutions for future challenges.
The Diploma includes two courses, the first of which consists of short one-day sessions – organized five times a year – that go over a set of future-focused concepts and practices. The second course, meanwhile, will be more intensive, running for two weeks five times a year. The course requires participants to work on projects in sectors such as energy, water, infrastructure, health, education, etc., where they can acquire theoretical knowledge as well as practical skills.
Over the course of two years (four semesters), the Master’s in Applied Future Sciences – organized in partnership with Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professional Education and the Emeritus Institute of Management– seeks to enable participants to identify future opportunities and formulate scenarios to capitalize on them. What is more, participants will learn to use reverse engineering in design and to apply adaptive decision-making, taking into consideration the rapid changes going on around the world on the political, economic, and social levels.
Graduation will require the completion of 11 courses, including: understanding and exploring technological innovation, anticipating the future and design, modeling technological solutions, and decision-making and design within changing conditions. Courses will combine virtual classrooms with traditional ones – where students will be required to attend once every two months for a period not exceeding five days.
Photo Caption: Maha Khamis Al Mazeina, Project Manager at Dubai Future Foundation