Leading futurists to meet in the UAE

UAE government and World Economic Forum to convene Great Narrative meeting in November

The City of the Future exhibit in Alif - The Mobility Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. Photo: Expo 2020 Dubai
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Leading thinkers and so-called futurists are scheduled to meet in Dubai in November to help guide progress towards a more resilient and sustainable future.

The UAE government announced that the Great Narrative meeting, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, will be on November 11-12, 2021, bringing together experts across disciplines including genetics, health, space, economics, urbanisation and climate change. The two-day convention will culminate in a book, titled The Great Narrative.

Mohammad Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, said that the meeting reflects the importance of working together in mapping future trends to build thriving communities.

He said that the UAE government is keen to participate in this global dialogue to help communities, individuals and governments co-create a better future and more diversified economy that can deliver sustainable development.

Climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic have pushed policymakers, businesses and citizens to rethink how a functioning society can and should operate. But socioeconomic gaps are widening, creating an urgent need to come up with solutions.

Brookings, a US think tank, found that wages, food security and children's education were dramatically affected by Covid-19. On average, more than one third of those working before the pandemic in 52 countries stopped working and more than 60 per cent of households reported income losses in 30 countries. A pattern of widening gaps between rich and poor countries emerged.

“The pandemic has revealed the acute need to focus on the future and long-term health of our societies," said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.

"The Great Narrative initiative and meeting in Dubai will be a powerful catalyst to shape the contours of a more prosperous and inclusive future for humanity that is also more respectful of nature."

The meeting will be held two months before the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos is expected to return as an in-person event from January 17-21, 2022.

Updated: September 30, 2021, 7:46 AM