The world is changing at breakneck speed but staying ahead of the competition in the future will become more complex than ever, said Toshi Hoo during the first Dubai Future Forum, organized by the Dubai Future Foundation.
Hoo, Director of the Emerging Media Lab at the Institute for the Future, said governments, corporates and citizens faced an uphill battle to stay ahead in a fast-changing world that will see space and digital technology converge. Dubai, though, has demonstrated its ability to foresee the future, embrace rapid change and turn ambitious dreams into realities to strengthen its knowledge-driven economy.
Hoo praised the city’s strategic foresight during a session titled ‘How Will We Live in a Digital Future’. He was joined by Jerome Glenn, Chief Executive Officer, The Millennium Project; James Maltby, Principal Scientist at the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory at the UK Ministry of Defense; and Tea Danilov, Director of the Foresight Centre. The panel was moderated by Dr Trish Lavery, Senior Strategic Analyst in the Executive Director’s office of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The speakers addressed how technology will allow us to stay connected to our loved ones and imbue society with the power to harness an unprecedented volume of information at record speeds. As the world embraces its digital future, decentralizing the power structure of large companies and creating more competition across the private sector will be vital. But the big question will be how humanity handles this and puts it to good use, they concluded.
During the first Dubai Future Forum, another session titled ‘Will the Space Industry Shape the Coming Century’ zeroed in on the potential for humankind to become an interplanetary species.
Mark Bear, Minister of Justice, Asgardia, said the world could be ready to test life on the moon in 15 years and be ready for life on Mars in another decade. But to achieve this there must be a perfect union between the public and private sectors.
He was joined on the panel by Dr Athena Coustenis, Director of Research at the National Center for Scientific Research at the Paris-Meudon Observatory; Diego Urbina; Team Lead of Future Projects and Exploration at Space Applications Services; and Michal Ziso, Space Architect.
A third panel discussion at the Dubai Future Forum titled, ‘Will Borders be Relevant in the Future’ drew the participation from four international speakers: Dubai Abulhoul, Chief Executive Officer, Fiker Institute; Joshua Polchar, Strategic Foresight Lead, OECD; Dr. Amy Hochadel, Director of Global Business, Connected Places Catapult; and moderator Scott Smith, founder and managing partner of Changeist.
The Dubai Future Forum, running from 11-12 October at Dubai’s Museum of the Future, is the world’s largest global gathering of futurists. It hosts more than 400 international participants including technology experts, scientists, and innovators, and more than 70 speakers and 45 global institutions such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Future Today Institute, the Data Trusts Initiative, the Future of Humanity, the Social Design Institute, the Middle East Institute, EY, Khalifa University, and the Regulations Lab.