The Dubai Future Forum has made people feel “excited and hopeful about the future” rather than only focus on the “challenges we could face”, Majed Al Mansoori, Deputy Executive Director of the Museum of the Future, said today.
Speaking during a flagship event that welcomed more than 1,000 tech enthusiasts to Dubai, he said the Museum of the Future served as an epicenter to “co-create the future”. The comments came during a session titled ‘Will We Have Museums in the Future?’
Joining the talk, Dr. Stefan Brandt, Director of Futurium in Germany, added, “[Future museums] are about getting people to see the challenges that are here, but in a context where they can leave feeling that they can take action to make the future better. Our capacity to predict the future in various sectors, from weather to health to commerce, is stronger than at any other time in history.”
Also on the second day, Dr. Patrick Noack, Executive Director – Future, Foresight, and Imagination at Dubai Future Foundation, held a workshop with nine focus groups and 110 participants to ask one question: Can we predict 2023? In a series of hard-hitting discussions, experts discussed the trends likely to affect the future, including gender equality, climate action, mental health, social unrest, and digital inclusive. Insights from these futurists will be used by the Dubai Future Foundation to create annual whitepapers and reports to define future trends.
If people can predict the future, can it be taught? This was the theme of another panel session, titled ‘Can the Future be Taught?’ It drew participation from four people: HE Aisha Miran, Assistant Secretary-General, Strategy Management, and Governance, Dubai Executive Council; Dr. Peter Bishop, Executive Director, Teach the Future, Inc.; Dr. Erik Øverland, President, World Futures Studies Federation; and Dr. Ozcan Saritas, Head of Laboratory for Science & Technology Studies, University of Manchester & HSE University.
“In a world full of volatility, uncertainty, and complexity, the need is to find a way to prepare ourselves for the future,” said HE Aisha Miran. “Linear, simplistic thinking will not help us in creating a desirable future. When we design a policy in the UAE, we try to not only solve the current issues but also look at what the future has to offer – from both an opportunity and a challenges perspective.”
Another panel discussion, ‘Can We Make Other Planets Livable in Our Lifetime?’ was joined by HE Salem Al Marri, Director General, Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre; Dr. Nnedi Okorafor Writer, Africanfuturism Productions; Dr. Chuanfei Dong Staff Scientist, Princeton University; and Dr. Nidhal Guessoum Professor of Physics, AUS.
“I can see us establishing a sustainable presence on the surface of the Moon in the next 60 years and eventually on Mars,” said HE Salem Al Marri, concluding the session.