The Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) launched the Future Design Center (FDC) at the fifth World Government Summit, that took place in Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah on February 12-14, 2017.
The program is the fruit of a partnership with Oxford University’s Institute of Digital Archaeology (IDA) and in collaboration with Harvard University. It is a global strategic initiative, which serves to support the Foundation’s activities in fields such as future-related studies, 3D technology, and modern physics.
His Excellency Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Managing Director of the Dubai Future Foundation, noted that Dubai’s future-oriented international initiatives further cement the UAE’s status as a global hub for the future industry. “These initiatives seek to build a better future for coming generations, as directed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,” H.E. said.
“Building the future requires thoroughly vetted foundations and clear visions that rely a great deal on strategic partnerships with international organizations,” H.E. Al Gergawi continued. “These partnerships synchronize efforts and catalyze long-term investment in programs that aim to train a qualified workforce – one with the necessary skills to adapt to the rapidly changing world, propose innovative solutions, and execute projects that develop society as a whole.”
H.E. Al Gergawi added: “These partnerships will afford us greater opportunities to advance in our quest to build the future today. With its international partnerships, innovations, and forward-thinking initiatives, the Dubai Future Foundation has carved a place for itself on the international stage. This, in turn, firmly positioned Dubai as a global platform and hub for proactively planning for the future. By launching the ‘Future Design Center’, the Foundation is now exploring new horizons that reflect the forward-thinking vision of our leadership and propel our future-centric business models onto the international stage, where they will be adapted into curricula to be taught at the world’s top universities.”
Meanwhile, H.E. Abdulla bin Touq, Acting CEO of the Dubai Future Foundation, said: “Through this strategic global initiative, the Dubai Future Foundation will work closely with the Oxford Institute of Digital Archaeology (IDA) in many domains that will facilitate our future-centric vision. This includes collaborating with the Institute to secure funding for research and projects revolving around 3D technology. Meanwhile, Oxford University will launch academic and training programs – including those provided by the Dubai Future Academy – that will allow students to hone their skills to forecast future trends and, therefore, draw up scenarios and set strategies for the future.”
The partnership will provide DFF with direct access to the University of Oxford’s strategic resources, facilitating future collaborations in the fields of future studies, 3D scanning and printing, public policy, and applied physics – including both advanced imaging technologies and magnonics, a potential key to quantum computing technology. The IDA also maintains an educational partnership with Harvard University, creating the potential for future collaborations between DFF and the prestigious American university, as well.
The Future Design Centre’s activities are divided into three categories: First is the Academy, which offers future curriculum courses, including both digital archaeology programs and mid-career/executive education courses in humanities, public policy, and technical fields. Next is the Laboratory; this houses all in-house research and development programs, including the world’s best high-resolution imaging program. Third and last is the new FOx (Future Opportunity Exchange) program. This is an international outreach program that connects students and teachers with educational resources designed to promote future-oriented technical education in underserved communities around the world. In addition to curriculum development and teacher education, the FOx program also provides services like peer-to-peer tutoring, micro-financing, and conference support.
Sir Ivor Roberts, President of the University of Oxford’s Trinity College and former UK Ambassador to Ireland and Italy, said: “I am particularly delighted that Trinity College at the University of Oxford will have the honor of hosting students on the forthcoming FDC courses. I hope this is the start of a long and fruitful collaboration with the college and with the wider university.”
Meanwhile, Roger Michel, IDA Founder and Executive Director, said: “The combination of the agility, integrity, and future-oriented thinking of the Dubai Future Foundation with the enormous resources, brand recognition, and traditional academic strengths of world-class universities like Oxford and Harvard is simply unstoppable. Joint ventures like these are the natural next step for great universities if they hope to maintain their relevance and, more importantly, their primacy in the changing world of the 21st century. The Foundation is the ideal partner for these great institutions. It is an honor to play a role in this extraordinary enterprise.”
The Center will be headquartered in the Oxford University campus and will provide academic programs, courses, and future laboratories. It will also work to secure financing for scientific research, provide specializations in the future of technology and public policy, as well as highly equipped laboratories for research and development in 3D technology. Moreover, the Center allows participants to take part in the “FOx” program, which connects students and scientists with the necessary scientific resources.