Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has launched Dubai’s plans to become the global capital for the future at the 2017 World Government Summit.
He called on all Dubai Government entities to embrace disruptive innovation as a fundamental mantra of their operations and to seek ways to incorporate its methodologies in all aspects of their work.
"With its forward-thinking vision and initiatives, the UAE Government is setting an example for authorities all around the world as it moves from simply forecasting the future to actively working to shape it," Sheikh Mohammed asserted.
The Dubai 10X sets the Government of Dubai on a mission to be 10 years ahead of all other cities – hence the name 10X (with X symbolising experimental, out-of-the-box future oriented exponential thinking).
Making the announcement, Sheikh Mohammed said, "Traditionally, governments are known all over the world to be resistant to change and bureaucratic organisations that are last to adopt disruptive innovation. The future is a collection of ideas and ambitions that are made and tested in experimental laboratories, and today’s initiative transforms Dubai into the world’s largest laboratory for the governments of the future."
Elaborating his directions, Sheikh Mohammed stated, "The future will not be as patient with us as the present. The future belongs to those who affect radical changes, not those who make minor, gradual improvements. Today, I am calling on all government leaders and employees to embrace disruptive innovation and find new, creative and truly disruptive approaches and technologies to delivering their mission rather than incremental and minor improvements. We are a young and energetic government who want to be leaders in disruptive innovation and technology."
He went on to state that he would be personally following up on the reports prepared by the teams of experts assembled at all government departments to redefine government work and establish the UAE as the city of the future.
"Succeeding in becoming the best government in the world underlies the basic elements of creative disruption, allowing not only our tools and systems to be enhanced, but also our mindsets, to be revamped, upgraded and open to embracing disruption. Dubai – and the UAE as a whole – is no stranger to raising the bar when it comes to innovation. As we launch Dubai 10X here, at the World Government Summit, we are looking to overhaul the way governments operate, making them all the more future-ready."
Disruptive innovation refers to exploiting available technologies to deliver new or existing services in radically different ways that are design-thinking-based and customer-focused, in contrast to incremental innovation, which focuses on making good services better for existing customers. Instead, disruptive innovation will create new operating and business models that replace traditional services and provide multiple times the value for end users and customers.
The Dubai 10X requires Dubai government and quasi government entities to produce and implement three specific initiatives and present these to Sheikh Hamdan and Sheikh Maktoum within the next 3 months: 1. X-Units for each government entity: the first requirement is for every government entity to set up – and staff with adequate resources – an independent X-Unit mandated with the objective of finding ways to disrupt their own organisation’s practices and develop their own moonshot solutions to deliver beyond their mission.
This X-Unit, such as the Dubai 10 X RTA Unit or Dubai 10 X DEWA Unit, will report directly to Sheikh Hamdan and Sheikh Maktoum.
2. Trial and scale radically disruptive organisational structures, systems and technologies: the second requirement is for government entities to develop systems, processes and labs to trial and scale radically disruptive technologies and approaches in order to deliver on their respective missions.
This plan will also need to involve reviewing and reconsidering the traditional organisational structure and hierarchies of government organizations and finding new structures that facilitate creative innovation and disruption, and 3. Partnering with and facilitating disruptive solutions and removing regulatory obstacles: the third requirement is to develop processes and methodologies that will allow each Dubai government entity to work with truly disruptive companies and start-ups that radically offer better services or allow Dubai’s residents to lead a happier life. Regulatory obstacles facing such disruptive companies should also be removed to allow for their uninterrupted operations.