Talk the thought: Nahyan to students

Talk the thought: Nahyan to students

We must contemplate. We must deliberate. We are created to think, and we have a responsibility to think well, Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, told the student delegates at this year’s Festival of Thinkers.


Olivia Olarte-Ulherr

Published: Wed 27 Mar 2013, 8:48 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 4:30 AM

Stressing on the value of “extraordinary” thinking, Shaikh Nahyan urged the youth to follow the footsteps of the Nobel Laureates whose original and innovative thoughts have “challenged every other thinker in the world”.

“If you have thought well, you should summon the courage to expose your conclusions and your decisions. Let them be tested in the marketplace of ideas. Listen carefully to the responses evoked by your thinking. Defend your position or, if necessary, reconsider your thoughts.

Nahyan and Tony Blair with other delegates at the Festival of Thinkers on Tuesday. — Supplied photo

“And remember this. Had (the Nobel Laureates) lacked the strength of mind to confront possible criticism ... had they kept their thinking to themselves alone ... the world would not know them. Their achievements would be fantasies imprisoned in their own minds alone,” Shaikh Nahyan stated.

The Higher Colleges of Technology’s fifth edition of the Festival of Thinkers on Tuesday was attended by over 300 students representing about 60 countries who had free-flowing discussions with visiting Nobel Laureates and world thinkers, including former British prime minister Tony Blair.

About 130 institutions from Canada, China, Russia, the US, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bhutan, Cuba, Haiti, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Turkmenistan, also attended the festival.

“Education is more important today than ever before... because education is essential to economic growth. Human capital is the single most important resource for a nation,” stated Blair.

“What we need today is a kind of education revolution,” added the Quartet Representative to the Middle East, noting the importance of technology innovation which, he said, offers opportunity to change the way people are educated better.

Speaking about the present environment of “connectivity”, he touched on the importance of collaboration between the private and public sectors, private-public-voluntary sector, civic and social organisations and across borders between countries.

“There’s no reason today why we shouldn’t be sharing the intellectual capital that is growing up... We should be living in a new era of collaboration and partnership,” he pointed out. On governance, he urged “to start experimenting around the idea of education”.

“We should be experimenting about how we educate differently, how we treat classrooms differently, ways children learn differently, teach differently, and structure our education system differently.”

And as an individual in an interconnected world and in a world that is changing so fast , “you have to be educated to have an open mind,” he said.

The Festival of Thinkers and the special edition of the Education Without Borders, which will take place at the HCT Sharjah Women’s College today, are part of the HCT’s 25th anniversary celebrations. —

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