16 Feb 2015
“When Governments Grow Old, Nations Lose Their Edge.
Innovation Keeps Us Young”
– HH Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Very powerful words from an exceptionally inspirational leader…. And, this thought formed the basis for the single largest display of innovation and technology at the 3rd Government Summit, hosted in Dubai by the office of the Prime Minister of the UAE.
I had the privilege to be a part of this event and saw, closely, the way in which technology, innovation and governance all go hand in hand to provide a seamless, easy and delightful experience when residents deal with the Government. This leadership, is paving the way for the governance to be more intuitive and responsive to the needs of the residents and citizens while encouraging them to “think out-of-the-box”.
The centerpiece of this event was a futuristic display of a concept, called the Museum of Future Government Services, to showcase the new generation of far-sighted and advanced services towards a smart, efficient and innovative UAE. The museum gives visitors a glimpse into the future through interactive designs and real prototypes in education, healthcare, innovation and smart city planning, created by an eminent set of futurists and thought leaders, in collaboration with international universities and institutes.
Some of the things that I saw were really exceptional – like the use of driverless cars to improve road transport while enabling people to better use their travel time in a safer and productive environment. There were also displays on the collection of data on health and fitness from children while they play their favourite games. Autonomous Technologies played a very interesting role in the demonstrations – from a
Robotic Chess Partner to robotics to an exoskeleton to demonstrate the possibility of improving power and performance of an individual. There was also a statement on the commitment of the UAE to explore Space Technologies, in the form of a futuristic Mars Colony exhibit.
One new, and very impressive, section of the Summit was the Innovation Pavilion. The large Registration area was repurposed as the event began and the space was used to display innovations specifically from the UAE alongside the best of the best from around the world. There was also a theater featuring TED type talks, with an area for brainstorming and discussing specific challenges, by a variety of experts from all around.
Also, speaking in the event were some very significant individuals, such as Sir Ken Robinson, a Creativity and Education expert speaking about technology impacting the education process; Kevin Kelly, co-founder of Wired Magazine and leader of the Quantified Self movement, spoke about technology, and the Internet of Things; Daniel Kraft, the guru of Exponential Medicine predicted our connected future and an insightful session with Steve Wozniak, co founder of Apple. A very riveting lineup of distinguished thought leaders, indeed.
The crowning glory, for me though, was the announcement of the “Robots for Good” Award by HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince. Like the, recently concluded, “Drones for Good” Awards, such trendsetting foresight is cementing Dubai as the leading technological and innovation hub for Autonomous Technologies.
Kudos to the team from PMO and Government of UAE for such an awesome event – Onward with Innovation!