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Dubai Future Forum, world’s largest gathering of futurists, to host 150 international speakers to shape tomorrow

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More than 150 speakers from the UAE and around the world will participate in 70 panel discussions, keynote speeches and workshops at the Dubai Future Forum next week.
The world’s largest gathering of futurists takes place on November 27-28 under the patronage of 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 of the Dubai Future Foundation.

Organised by the Dubai Future Foundation at the Museum of the Future, more than 2,500 experts from 100 countries will participate in the second edition of this global event, in addition to about 100 international institutions and organisations.

Some of the top speakers coming from overseas include: Dr. Angela Wilkinson from the World Energy Council; Dr. Mary Lou Jepesen from the Openwater Foundation; Dr. Paul Salem from the Middle East Institute; Professor Pascal Fung from the Hong Kong University of Technology; Nourhan Badr El Din from UNICEF; Alisha Bhagat from the Forum For the Future; Professor Hoda Al Khuzaimi from the Emaratsec; Dr. Kais Hammami from the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; Melanie Subin from the Future Today Institute; Dr. Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales; James Pomeroy from HSBC; and Alice Ruhweza of WWF, among others.

Ministers and government officials from the UAE will also participate in the event: including His Excellency Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Managing Director of the Dubai Future Foundation; Her Excellency Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future; and His Excellency Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, Director General of COP28; in addition to one of the first Emirati astronauts, Sultan Al Neyadi and the astronauts from the entire NASA SpaceX Crew-6 2023 mission.

Melanie Subin, Managing Director of Future Today Institute, said: “I am deeply impressed by the Dubai Future Forum’s unique ability to foster invaluable network opportunities and provide a conducive environment for global leaders to analyse our world’s long-term needs. This exceptional Forum reminds us of the paramount importance of taking regular pauses in our fast-paced lives to assess our future trajectory, ensuring we are on the right course. In a world of rapid change, the Dubai Future Forum is a beacon of foresight, guiding us toward a brighter and more resilient future.”

Emma Thwaites, Director of Corporate Affairs of Open Data Institute (ODI), said: “At the ODI, we want a world where data works for everyone. This has become so much more pressing in our era of rapidly evolving technology. Without good data and trustworthy data practices, it is impossible to build ethical AI. We have a huge responsibility to keep the ‘human in the loop’ which is why this gathering of humans at the Dubai Future Forum – and online – is so important at this point in our species’ evolution. I am excited to join this event, to meet with others and discuss how we can work with innovation at a human level, to ensure that all members of the global community benefit, and harms are minimised.”

Alisha Bhagat, Senior Futurist at Forum for the Future, said: “Given the compounding crises we currently face, we need massive systems level change to transform the way we engage with the planet and with each other. Individuals, communities, and organizations at all levels will need to embrace and be proactive about change to ensure that the future is just, equitable, and regenerative. The Dubai Futures Forum is a place where the futures and foresight community can come together to discuss niche, seemingly impossible, and courageous ideas that can shift our understanding of the world and take us into different ways of thinking and existing.”

Prof. Matthew Agarwala, Economist of Bennett Institute for Public Policy at University of Cambridge, said: “From the Marshall Plan to the present day, economic statistics do much more than measure progress: they become guiding principles for government policies. Prosperity depends on the stewardship of the whole portfolio of society’s assets, including natural, human, and social capital.”

Prof. Cornelius Holtorf, Professor at Linnaeus University, said: “It is timely and pertinent that the world’s largest gathering of futurists – held at Dubai’s Museum of the Future – features a discussion on the significance of culture and heritage for foresight. Cultural realities past, present, and future, including those manifested in cultural heritage, shape and express the frameworks of meaning within which each person makes sense of, and acts in the world. In anticipating coming challenges, imagining emerging opportunities, and shaping our futures to come, we cannot afford to ignore the significance of culture and heritage.”

Jolene Lum, Head, Business Development of Nurasa Pte Ltd, said: “The world is under immense pressure to transform food systems into ones that are regenerative and equitable to provide healthy, safe and nutritious food for all, while keeping within planetary boundaries. Shaping a sustainable food future requires collective efforts to scale new innovations that are not just quick fixes. I look forward to joining Dubai Future Forum, a platform bringing together the sharpest global experts and thought leaders, to draw on deep insights across industries, exchange ideas, and drive action to catalyse solutions for the world’s most pressing challenges – including the long-term sustainability and resilience of global food systems.”

Joanna Lepore, Global Foresight Director at McDonald’s Corp, said: “Despite what we sometimes say in business, the future is not a competitive battlefield. If we truly believe in a more positive future and if it still holds true that the future belongs to all of us then we must work on it together. I have tremendous hope for what we can learn from and move on when we collect great minds and hearts together at the right time and in the right place.”

Discussions of vital sectors
Speakers will discuss the future of some of the most important sectors, such as space, sustainability, environment, energy, food, health, medicine, education, technology, artificial intelligence, digital economy, governance, and many others.

The forum’s discussions will focus on four main themes, including reimagining nature, empowering future generations, the human-machine relationship, and transformations in humanity.

More information about the Dubai Future Forum 2023 is available on: (