OPM Museum of the Future
Museum of the Future in Dubai will host 400 futurists at the Dubai Future Forum from October 10 to 12. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: The Dubai Future Foundation will host the world’s largest gathering of futurists in Dubai this year in a bid to anticipate what the future of humanity might look like across key areas – from the climate crisis to the continuous progress of artificial intelligence.

Between October 10 and 12, 400 of the world’s leading futurists, experts and innovators will convene at the Museum of the Future for the inaugural Dubai Future Forum where they will discuss, debate and predict the future trajectory of the world.

The first edition of the Dubai Future Forum will host 30 sessions, including panel discussions and live debates on topics that include advances in artificial intelligence (AI) sentience, bridging the digital divide, the readiness of hydrogen to take over the energy mantle from oil and gas, interplanetary colonisation, and a future climate scenario where the 2°C global warming threshold is breached.

Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation, said: “The Dubai Future Forum represents a significant levelling-up of our efforts to foresee the future. The global platform in Dubai will host futurists and the world’s brightest minds to anticipate the opportunities and challenges set to shape our societies. It will explore how we can harness emerging technologies and deploy Fourth Industrial Revolution tools to transform challenges into opportunities.”

He added: “Human knowledge is growing, and technological advancement is accelerating at a rapid rate. Consequently, we are no longer witnesses to change, we are the drivers of change. We need to be ready to deploy skills and technologies to serve society and enhance quality of life for all.”

Four key themes

By convening with 45 organisations, the forum’s sessions will focus on four main themes, which include: the Future of our World, Mitigating Existential Risk, What Does it Mean to be Human, and Hedging our Bets through Foresight.

Each theme will explore how humanity and technology can come together to overcome some of the most urgent crises facing the world right now, from the climate crisis to rising energy prices and ongoing vulnerabilities in global public healthcare infrastructure.

Abdulaziz AlJaziri, Deputy CEO and Chief Operations Officer of Dubai Future Foundation, said: “As various existential threats mount, Dubai Future Forum’s discussions will focus on transforming these challenges into opportunities. The forum will address topics such as climate change, hydrogen fuel, AI, skills gaps, and space colonisation head on.”

“The forum will inspire an alternative outlook on future sectors that will impact our economies, governments, and daily lives. We can achieve giant leaps in the future, but only by applying foresight and future-planning. That is where the Dubai Future Forum will bring tremendous value in helping to shape the future of humanity.”

Sessions running under the ‘Future of Our World’ theme will explore the most significant transformations facing individuals, societies and governments, and what they mean for our future 20, 30 and 40 years from now. Through these sessions panelists will be invited to discuss space migration and the potential for humans to become an interplanetary civilisation, the growing digital divide between the connected, unconnected and under-connected, and whether it may be possible soon to inhabit a truly digital reality.

When the focus shifts to ‘Mitigating Existential Risk’, sessions will seek to answer the question: how do we develop meaningful and impactful foresight practices? The sessions will dive into how foresight as a discipline and practice is evolving, and how it can help us address the opportunities and risks facing us.

Under the ‘What Does it Mean to be Human?’ theme, sessions will invite industry experts to explore the impact of technological advances and trends on their specific sectors and industries, including energy, trade and industrial manufacturing.

And as part of the fourth theme – ‘Hedging our Bets through Foresight’ – a series of workshops will be held by the participating futurists, which will see them examine the impact of paradigm shifts on humanity, in particular the increasing integration of technology in our daily lives and across communities, along with the plethora of ethical implications it brings with it.

Dubai Future Forum will be hosted annually at the centre of hope and innovation, the Museum of the Future, by the Dubai Future Foundation to support Dubai’s future agenda by providing new networking and community building opportunities for global thought leaders to convene and design collaborative solutions for an inclusive and sustainable future.