What it will be like living in UAE in 2071?
Knowledge and Human Development Authority hosts 'What Works' education summit
How will the UAE be at its centenary in 2071? With this in mind, teachers and experts shared their vision into the future of learning and education at a summit called What Works, hosted by Dubai's Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) on Monday.
Discussions revolved around Area 2071, the UAE's innovation programme, which focuses on propelling innovators to use technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in addressing important human challenges.
"We are not trying to predict how the world will look like in 2071 - no one can do that - but what we can today is to take a look into a happy and meaningful life," Dr Abdulla Al Karam, KHDA director general, said.
"The future of education cannot be predicted but influencing educators can play a big role in inspiring change. This ongoing dialogue inspires all of us to go beyond the ordinary and look at exciting innovations that will shape the future of learning."
Taking centrestage at the event, educators got updates on the Mars One project, which hopes to establish the first human settlement on Mars by 2031.
Dubai resident and Polish expat Mikolaj Zielinski, 41, who made it through the first two rounds of the Mars One Astronaut Selection Programme, which started in 2013, said: "It is an exciting opportunity to be selected among the first 100 hopefuls have who will make it to the next round of selection. For me it is very exciting to be part of the Mars programme because there is no going back. I will stay there till the end of my life and contribute to the scientific advancement of human race.
"The Mars Mission will lead us to many discoveries, which will completely change the way we think of ourselves as humans."
Zielinski, who is software engineer by profession, presented artist visualisations of living capsules designed to make life on Mars a reality for the first human settlers. Although no life form is existing in the Red Planet, he said the condition in Mars was similar to Earth around 3 billion years ago and it will be their mission to study how "life could have evolved on the Red Planet."
He told Khaleej Times that the selection process for the Mars Mission is very tough - it is a one-way trip and requires finding the right mix of people from diverse backgrounds who will stay for the rest of their lives in a harsh environment.
Mars One update
The third round candidates for the Mars One mission will participate in group challenges to select the aspirants from 100 to 40, according to Zielinski.
No date yet has been announced for the third round. Then in the final and fourth round, candidates will be reduced to 24 to create six teams of four members who will be placed in isolation to face multiple challenges.
An individual in-depth Mars Settler Suitability Interview (MSSI) is also part of the final selection round.
According to the programme, the six groups of four will become full time employees of Mars One, after which they will start training for the mission.
They will undergo training and preparation during the fourth round for at least 10 years. "If one member of the team will opt out, the entire team has to start from scratch in their training. It is important that team members are intact but even at the last minute before the launch people might opt out of the programme," Zielinski said.
He added that members of the best performing team out of the six teams in the final round will be the first human settlers to be deployed on Mars.
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