With the World Government Summit for 2016 concluding, what are the main lessons learned after this summit, whether from the new UAE cabinet, or with all the new science discoveries in technology and robotics and what potentially they could mean for us?
- The need for tolerance minister if we want to be the next House of Wisdom
Many know the Islamic Golden Era through the House of Wisdom (بيت الحكمة). The legendary House of Wisdom was formed in Baghdad by Haroun AlRashid in the Abbasid era, and was the hub for every intellect from around the world to come to and learn from. With the movement at its time to translate from all the world’s schools of thoughts into Arabic and then build on it, that era witnessed the birth of a large number of science inventions and discoveries that are until today used as a reference by all scholars, whether in mathematics, medicine, chemistry, physics, astrology and so on.
What differentiated that Islamic era from where we are today is tolerance to all creeds, cultures, and races. People from around the world with their different creeds would come to the House of Wisdom to learn and to share their knowledge. They were never discriminated against or treated any differently just because they were from a different origin or believed in something other than Islam. This tolerance is exactly what Islam was founded upon.
So if any country wants to become the incubator of the next House of Wisdom with all it brings from knowledge and innovation fostering, then tolerance is the key, and it must be a core value in that country.
Although UAE is already known for its tolerance and being a home for more than 200 different nationalities as residents, to appoint a Minister of State whose entire role revolves around ensuring tolerance, this will set the right foundation to make the UAE the next incubator for the House of Wisdom, and become the birth place of all future scientific discoveries, inventions, and innovations.
- Silicon Valley started thanks to the US government investments in tech during the Cold War
Many people often wonder how the Silicon Valley was formed, what helped it become what it is, and how a country could replicate that model. But most people look at it as a private sector formed model with nothing to do with the government, while its existence has everything to do with the government.
For any industry to form and thrive, the infrastructure must be built and scientific discoveries that lead to this industry must prove successful and operational, so an entire industry can be built on it. Two years after World War II had ended, a Cold War started between the US and the Soviet Union that lasted over the course of a little more than 4 decades, between 1947 till 1991. During that war, scientific discoveries were accelerating in the US to ensure they protect themselves and were leading in this war. The discoveries and inventions’ list is incredibly long but here are some: transistors, hard disk drives, videotape, computers as we know them today, the Internet, servers, mainframes, space ships, mobile phones, and so on.
Having all those discoveries directly funded by the government ensured they were operationally successful and proven for the public. This allowed Silicon Valley to build on a proven successful industry, and invite investments from the private sector into it to help it reach where it is today.
- What Minister of State for Happiness really means
Many think that the Minister of State for Happiness is about making people smile all the time; while partially true, it’s not exactly that simple. The happiness measurement here is closer to what some understand as consumer or customer satisfaction. And so, the Minister of State for Happiness is responsible for ensuring that every process, procedure, and public facing service from the government is engineered in the most human convenient way, rather than having some of them, sometimes, not only inconvenient, but requiring so much back and forth, leading to frustration and unsatisfaction about the states things are in. So the Minister of State for Happiness is appointed to change all that and ensure everything is done to the utmost convenience of the end user and the public.
- The UAE is definitely heading towards science and technology
The UAE now has a very clear agenda and direction towards fostering science and technology, and making them part of our DNA. This is evident with the UAE for Good awards that were given just before the World Government Summit for the best drones and robotics built for the betterment of human kind. The focus is also proven again through the establishment of the Museum of the Future Foundation, which includes inventions, and works with other institutes across the world to develop and advance technologies and inventions (click here for a tour in the museum). And finally, the agenda of the World Government Summit was very clearly focused on building a better foundation and understanding of what the future will be like, and the importance of science and future technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) for society.
- Longer life expectancy and what it implies
With the advancement in science in improving healthy lifestyles, and with the alternative human organs thanks to robotics and AI, life expectancy is now longer than it was in the past, and not only is it longer, it’s even healthier. The current life expectancy is now 80 years old, and is only expected to be extended further and further in the future. Not only will this extend our lives, but it will change how we look at aging and health care when we age, it will change retirement ages, it will change career paths, whereas people will likely be having different full career paths in their lives as opposed to one. It will be a whole new world.
- Climate change is real
Climate change is more real than ever with every passing day. Last December we witnessed the largest UN conference aimed to address the climate change issues in Paris: 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as Conference of the Parties 21 (COP21). The UN members discussed the current status and what changes and new rules have to be placed to ensure carbon emission percentages and global warming are kept at bay. Obviously the question will always remain whether those decisions and promises are met or not. But the truth remains, climate change has caused the past years to become hotter every year, with more droughts, floods, and typhoons affecting countries all over the world. So climate change definitely needs to be addressed as soon as possible, and so the UAE has taken a step forward by appointing a Minister of Climate Change and Environment, in the hope that the UAE can play a vital role in managing its own climate change and also contribute to the world’s efforts in that domain.
Latest posts by Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah) (see all)
- 5 Reasons Why I Would Enroll My Daughter in Sharjah Girl Guides (@ShjGirlGuides) - December 7, 2016
- Lieutenant General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina Passes Away - November 25, 2016
- 5 Ways Millennials Can Secure Their Future Financially - September 21, 2016