DUBAI, 12th November 2016 (WAM) – Planning for the future is a responsibility shared by governments, private-sector institutions, and international organisations, affirmed His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at the inaugural Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils.

High-profile decision makers and influential business leaders are set to converge in Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, on November 13-14, 2016 to explore the future of strategic sectors as the UAE hosts the first Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils, the world’s largest future think tank.

“Exploring the future and planning for it is a fundamental element of achieving prosperity and progress for societies,” H.H. Sheikh Mohammed added. “It is the only way to accurately draw scenarios and prepare for the challenges that the world is expected to face in multiple fields and sectors, and, more importantly, to convert them into opportunities that we can capitalise on to improve the quality of human life.”

H.H. went on to explain: “We have to anticipate the changes that our world will inevitably go through, and take note of the changes that are already taking place – most notably, the technological revolution. If we lag behind and fail to catch up to these changes, we will have no place in the future. We must, therefore, act quickly to ensure our progress and maintain the prosperity of our societies.”

“Today, the UAE brings together some of the world’s top experts on the future – hundreds of them, in fact – to tackle many of the issues and future challenges and to develop sustainable solutions for them. We have confidence in these experts to suggest initiatives that affect the future of mankind,” H.H. Sheikh Mohammed said. “We are pleased that the UAE’s experience in planning for the future is strongly represented today in this global event, as top Emirati experts – including leading figures from the government and private sectors – take part in this inaugural Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils.”

H.H. noted: “In the UAE, we realised early on just how important it is to prepare for the future and to effectively support the global efforts that are striving to move forward. With that in mind, we set off to create a better future for our young generations, launching programmes, strategies, and initiatives to accelerate achievements and build on our successes in order to cement the UAE’s position as a global hub and destination for future-focused government.”

UAE Government Partners Up with the World Economic Forum The Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils – a joint project between the UAE Government and the World Economic Forum (Davos), set to be held in Dubai for two consecutive years – will take place in Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, on Sunday and Monday, November 13-14, 2016, resonating with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s directives to strengthen cooperation with the global Forum and work towards effective solutions for the challenges that stand to face the sectors of the future.

These Councils constitute the world’s largest future think tank; they seek to anticipate and plan for the future, and will come out with a blueprint of the major shifts and transformation expected to take place over the course of the next few years. This, in turn, will mark the beginning of a new era, where future experts actively plan for the future and formulate solutions and initiatives.

The Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils reflects the UAE’s unequivocal resolve to anticipate and create the future today. This forms part of the nation-wide efforts to achieve sustainable development. Future experts from the UAE will be taking part in brainstorming sessions, prototype-building workshops, and FutureLabs, tasked with devising mechanisms to formulate solutions for future challenges, and setting an agenda – inspired by the principles of the Fourth Industrial Revolution – for top strategic sectors, such as healthcare, education, and economics.

With 700 top-tier thought leaders and specialists set to participate, the sessions will concentrate on the radical shifts brought about by the elements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution – Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Blockchain technology – as they attempt to make accurate projections of the future of these innovative sectors, all while proposing solutions for potential future challenges. Key findings from the Annual Meeting of the Global Future Council will be presented at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, set to take place in January 2017, drawing in 2,000 high-profile leaders and executives from around the world.