How Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed's majlis empowers the UAE

Programmes help the youth connect with UAE leadership



Mohamed bin Zayed Majlis. Photo: WAM
Mohamed bin Zayed Majlis. Photo: WAM
by

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Sun 15 May 2022, 4:16 PM

Last updated: Sun 15 May 2022, 9:24 PM

President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has always been keen to empower the youth of UAE with various skills to shape the country's future.

It was against this backdrop that he initiated the Mohamed bin Zayed Majlis for Future Generations (MBZMFG), a celebration of a collective power to shape the future of the UAE.

MBZMFG aims to provide an innovative and sustainable model to maintain constant communication between the nation's youth and its leadership and ensure all available means and resources are employed to train young Emiratis to create better opportunities for the future.

By connecting leaders with youth around a program of transformative learning experiences, MBZMFG encourages innovative thinking and the professional development of the UAE's next generation of leaders.

Because the future is in the hands of the young, it is critical to support their development, future-proof their skillsets and facilitate their success.

By connecting youth with UAE leaders and pioneering thinkers, MBZMFG builds engagement around core Emirati values and ideas that will shape the future.

The initiative has collaboration at its heart - an inter-generational exchange around a youth-centric program.

MBZMFG also determines the ideal solutions for promoting and accelerating young people's development in various fields and sets the stage for them to contribute to the nation's sustainable development.

The Majlis seeks to engage young people in the nationwide efforts to prepare for the next 50 years.

Mohamed bin Zayed Majlis

The President had also established the Mohamed bin Zayed Majlis, which hosts distinguished experts in various fields, politicians, academicians and religious scholars because of his love for dialogue.

The Mohamed bin Zayed Majlis firmly believes in the importance of dialogue, understanding the others' points of view and reaffirming the high value of exchanging ideas in order to enrich debates and contribute to a deeper understanding of and better solutions for the various issues that can impact future societies and human life.

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Based on this belief, the Majlis has continued to host a distinguished number of selected scientists, thinkers, intellectuals, experts and religious scholars from all over the world every year to express their perspectives and experiences on general public issues and vital concerns related to the requirements of our age, and explore future prospects in a unique intellectual forum, as dialogue and diverse ideas have become the language of civilisation and progress.

Previously, the Majlis has hosted a wide number of high-profile speakers, some of which are Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, current President of Singapore, he was hosted when he was Deputy Chairman and Executive Director of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation Private Limited (GIC), Chairman of the National Research Foundation and Deputy Chairman of the Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council.

The Majlis also hosted Tony Blair, previous Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, UK, Professor Muhammad Yunus, Founder of Grameen Bank and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Mike Pompeo, Former US Secretary of State.

Ramadan lectures

During the recently concluded holy month of Ramadan, the Mohamed bin Zayed Majlis organised a series of lectures which discussed several vital issues of interest to individuals and societies by hosting a group of specialists and researchers in various fields.

The third Ramadan lecture, titled 'How to solve the biggest global challenges through innovation', which was hosted at Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, was presented by Edward Jung, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Intellectual Ventures, the largest invention fund in history.

Jung addressed several main themes exploring different forms of technologies relevant to our modern world, what this could mean in the long-term and envisioned the future after the world adapts to game-changing technologies.

He explained that the world needs a new model of innovation and a new system of incentives, technology development, finance, and R&D to tackle today's biggest global challenges like building efficient cities, ageing, climate change and education. One of the top 12 inventors in history with over 1,200 issued US patents across diverse fields, Jung said the world had become very good at building smaller solutions. The start-up economy solves targeted problems very ably, the former Microsoft chief architect said, adding that a lot of the problems facing us now greatly exceed the abilities of single companies.

In the past, a government would step in and try to align several companies into a concerted effort, but this rarely happens now, Jung said. In addition, while companies may get involved in large projects of their own as they scale up, it is very difficult for them to get into very large integrative projects, thus causing an invention gap.

The fourth and final Ramadan lecture themed "How does technology help institutions grow and prepare for the future" was presented by Salim Ismail, Founding Executive Director of Singularity University, Co-Founder and Chairman of OpenExO, and Member of the Board of Directors of the XPrize Foundation.

Ismail highlighted his admiration for the UAE's flexibility to modernise government work, noting that the major changes made to the country's government work systems are the most optimal to prepare for the future. He then highlighted the features of the current technological shifts, stressing the need to adapt to recent changes rapidly.

The unprecedented developments in technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) could pose challenges to the regimes and leaders of countries that cannot keep pace with what is happening around them, he added. Ismail also underscored the importance for decision-makers and governments to show flexibility and adapt faster than before, noting that the flexibility of all types of institutions enhances their chances of success.

ismail@khaleejtimes.com


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