Futurists, policymakers, scientists and industry leaders are gathering at the Dubai Future Forum this week to discuss how society, governments and technology could look in the next 20, 30 or 40 years.
The conference is taking place at the Museum of the Future on Tuesday and Wednesday and will welcome 70 futurists from all over the world, who will share their visions.
Omar Sultan Al Olama, the UAE‘s Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, will give the opening speech.
“Dubai Future Forum is an annual platform for discussing future opportunities and challenges, identifying priorities, and enhancing collaboration between governments, the private sector and societies to keep pace with the rapidly evolving world around us,” he said.
Amy Webb from the Future Today Institute will be a keynote speaker.
“Chief executives, government leaders, policymakers and central banks are grappling with immense volatility and critical uncertainties,” she said.
“Their decisions today will determine the long-term fate of human civilisation.
“Strategic foresight has never been more urgent and more necessary. The world’s most eminent forecasters are gathering at the Dubai Future Forum to challenge leaders — and each other — to be more ambitious in meeting our emerging global challenges.”
Well-known futurist and theoretical physicist Dr Michio Kaku will also be speaking.
Future of governments
The conference will focus heavily on how governments are adapting to changes happening around the world.
The first panel session will be on how governments can mitigate challenges through foresight.
Speakers will include Abdulla Nasser Lootah, Director General of the UAE’s Prime Minister’s Office, and Sophie Howe, future generations commissioner for Wales.
There will also be a panel on whether international borders would still exist in the future, as society continues to produce more “global citizens”.
Speakers will discuss whether traditional citizenship would still play an important part in individual and social identity.
Future of technology
Technology will also be a focus at the forum.
There will be discussions on alternate forms of digital currencies, if personal data could be monetised by businesses, and if personal data could be used as a medium of exchange to pay for digital services.
Another panel session will share ideas on whether digital poverty is the new global crisis.
Panellists will discuss the impact of digital transformation on social and economic equity.
Future of the space industry
Experts will discuss whether space agencies and companies should focus on “space research” or “space colonisation”.
Billionaire Elon Musk hopes to send a million people to Mars by 2050.
But his plans are often criticised by scientists, who say that the Red Planet has hostile conditions in which it would be impossible to survive.
There have been calls by scientists for space agencies and companies to focus instead on improving the health of Earth, including fighting against climate change.
Terraforming Mars will also be discussed. That is a process of modifying the atmosphere of a planet to make it habitable.
Dubai Metaverse Assembly at the Museum of the Future — in pictures
Presentations regarding different facets of Metaverse at the Dubai Metaverse Assembly at Museum of the Future. All photos: Khushnum Bhandari / The National
Updated: October 11, 2022, 5:29 AM