Many countries across the globe have set plans in place for the future. Whether they are preparing for natural disasters by investing in emergency funds or committing to new multilateral economic goals – a limited amount of government rhetoric or policy in 2018 seems to actually be about 2018.
Few countries, however, have been as ambitious about the future as the UAE, who last year, began drawing their roadmap to 2071 – which marks the 100-year anniversary of the UAE’s founding. When launching the Centennial 2071 Project, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum,who also serves as vice-president and prime minister of the UAE, acknowledged that rapid changes require preparation so “future generations [can be equipped] with new tools and knowledge, and different skills that enable them to succeed in a world that will be very different from the times we live in today”.
While their ultimate goal – to become “the best country in the world” – might seem relatively open-ended, they have implemented far-reaching plans aimed at achieving that goal, including the development of a physical manifestation for this vision known as AREA 2071 – a space for bringing together different minds to discuss how to best unlock people’s potential on the path to 2071. The pillars of this vision focus on developing their education, economy, government, and community sectors, all of which sit under an umbrella that embraces the next generation of people and technology.
Proving their commitment to this agenda, the UAE (alongside Brazil and Denmark) joined the World Economic Forum Centre this summer for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The Centre works to close the growing gap between technology and policy. One way they aim to achieve this is by partnering governments with leading businesses, start-ups, civil society, academia, and international organisations to co-design and pilot new approaches to policy.
“The UAE is demonstrating its leadership in developing a truly Fourth Industrial Revolution protocol for a future-flexible methodology of data and technology governance. It will serve as a model across the region and beyond,” said Anne Toth, Head of Data Policy, World Economic Forum.
By working with the Centre, these countries are showing that they clearly recognise the need to adapt to the 4th industrial age. Another platform driving this message forward in the UAE is ADIPEC, the world’s largest oil and gas conference, where the most influential voices in the industry meet every year in Abu Dhabi.
In line with the Centennial 2071 vision, ADIPEC – and it’s host the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) – have placed people, partnerships and technology at the forefront of their activities.
“ADNOC is supporting this goal [Centennial 2071] by sourcing and deploying the latest technologies and applications to enhance efficiencies, productivity and profitability across its oil and gas operations, as it positions itself to thrive in a rapidly evolving energy market that will see global energy demand grow 25% by 2040” said Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Group CEO of ADNOC.
But ADNOC and ADIPEC are not just focusing on oil and gas as this year ADIPEC is introducing a dedicated “Digitalisation Zone” that will showcase and discuss a variety of new technologies that will have an influence over all industries.
Thought leaders from the worlds of Artificial Intelligence, Deep Machine Learning, Edge Computing and Blockchain technology will meet in Abu Dhabi to speak about the future – and about how individuals, institutions, and industries can best adapt to the world’s transition into the 4th industrial revolution.
Platforms such as AREA 2071, WEF’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and ADIPEC, which bring together experts and influencers from a wide range of industries to discuss and embrace the world’s changing landscapes are now vital to the future. Ultimately, where we are as a global society in 2071 will be determined by how we work together now.