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Dubai Future Academy launches 10 Foresight courses and training programs until end of year

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Dubai Future Academy (DFAc), an initiative led by Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), will host 10 specialist courses and programs in the coming four months.

The courses are part of a capacity-building drive targeting mid to senior management government employees, with top local and global experts, speakers, and future shapers participating. The courses will empower more than 500 participants with crucial skills and tools for foresight and future shaping.

The courses will cover several key themes, including Strategic Foresight – leading in an uncertain and fast-changing world, Methods to Develop Scenario Content, Transformative Futures, Design Thinking, Futures Literacy, generative artificial intelligence (AI), the Future of the Circular Economy and Sustainability, Innovation Foresight, the Future of Emerging Technologies, and Disruption Futures.

The courses and workshops are a collaborative effort involving many governmental entities and global institutions. Those interested in becoming future literate, can register via DFF’s website:  

Abdulaziz Al Jaziri, Deputy CEO at DFF, said: “Launching these diverse training courses aligns with DFAc’s commitment to spreading future-oriented knowledge. The agenda introduces important global trends and opportunities, while enhancing participants’ forecasting capacities and professional skills, among them: strategic foresight, scenario planning, futures literacy, long-term thinking and anticipatory systems.

“DFAc offers a knowledge platform that attracts top local and global experts to share their profound expertise and experience in forecasting and shaping the future. DFAc’s efforts are rooted in its role in nurturing future skills across disciplines, which helps position Dubai as a global hub for fostering innovation, spreading knowledge, and shaping the future.”

The Courses

Circular Economy

In September, DFAc delivered a 3-day intensive course focused on the Future of the Circular Economy and Sustainability at the Office of the Future, the first building constructed using 3D printing technology. This course empowers participants with the skills to identify opportunities in the circular economy while exploring the prospects unlocked by sustainability practices in economic, social, and human development.

The course was led by Professor Martin Calnan, Director of the UNESCO Chair in Futures Anticipatory Systems Thinking, and Head of Executive Learning at the Ecole des Ponts Business School in Paris.

Future Foresight

Another course, titled “Mastering Strategic Foresight and Crafting Long-Term Success”, will be delivered in September in Arabic by Modafar Akhoirshieda, Board member at the Association of Professional Futurists and Founder of Emkan Futures. This course will seek to enhance participants’ aptitude in employing strategic foresight and long-term futuristic thought.

Forecasting Change

A third training course is also scheduled for September, titled “Forecasting a Transformative Future,” and delivered by John Sweeney, UNESCO Chair in Futures Studies for Anticipatory Governance and Sustainable Policymaking at Westminster International University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The course focuses on the importance of proactive thinking within individuals, societies, and institutions, as well as how to futureproof against change.

Strategic Foresight

In October, DFAc will organize a 4-day course titled “Strategic Foresight: Leadership in an Evolving World”, featuring Paulo Carvalho, Founder and CEO at IF Insight and Foresight. The course will teach participants how to benefit from past experiences and knowledge, as well as how to refine decision-making processes and prepare for future shifts.

Implementing Strategies

In November, DFAc will welcome a pioneer of the field of Futures Literacy Riel Miller, who will deliver a 3-day course on “Future Skills and Future Knowledge”, combining cutting-edge practical learning methodologies with professional design expertise. This course will equip its attendees with foundational and practical skills to implement foresight strategies more effectively and efficiently. It also delves into local and global transformations.

Conducting Future Studies

Another course will be hosted on November 13-14, presented by Professor Sohail Inayatullah, UNESCO Chair in Futures Studies. The course will be centered around acquainting participants with future thought and strategic transformation through advanced innovative practices for conducting future studies.

The Future of Innovation

Paul Saffo, Professor at Stanford University and former Chair of Future Studies at Singularity University, will present a 2-day course titled “Forecasting the Future of Innovation”. The course will help participants grasp the emergence of new technologies, identifying future trends, and observing the impact of AI, with a special emphasis on Dubai.

Transformations and Challenges

In December, DFAc will offer a training course for executives and senior management led by Dr. Olaf Groth, Prof of Practice at UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and CEO at Cambrian Futures to highlight future transformations amid economic, social, technological, and environmental shifts. Throughout the course, participants will cooperate to explore innovative solutions that address a slew of impending challenges.

In addition to these training courses, DFAc empowers national talents through the Dubai Future Experts Program. The program was introduced in December 2019 by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of The Executive Council, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at DFF. It aims to upskill participants in forecasting and envisioning the future, in line with national objectives. The program also builds capacities to formulate legislation and policies which address future demands and transformations.