Sheikh Mohammed says government readiness to envision the future is key to building the future

Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that the readiness of governments and people to envision the future is key to building a desired future for the country.

His Highness made these remarks at the first in a series of training workshops focused on visioning the future organised by the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future.

“We have issued directives to train more than 500 UAE national future envisioners in the first phase of the training programme. They will be highly trained in visioning the future so that they can support the government in using visioning techniques and innovation to solve future challenges and turn them into opportunities,” HH Sheikh Mohammed said. “We believe that building tomorrow starts today, and change will not wait for those who delay taking action. We have always been committed to taking the initiative to create whatever is good for our country and our future generations,” he added.

The workshop was attended by Crown Prince of Dubai HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Cabinet Member and Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future HE Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi.

The workshop, organised by the Prime Minister’s Office, in collaboration with the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future and University of Oxford, was focused on ‘visioning the future and scenario planning’. The event imparted concepts and tools for future scenario planning and ways of incorporating them in government processes.

The workshop explained how visioning techniques and scenario planning can become a key component of decision making and part of the operational processes of government entities, as well as how they can be used as key tools for strategic planning. It also explored the link between future scenario planning and strategic decision making, and visioning and government functions.

The five-day workshop shed light on how short, mid and long term strategies can be tested and improved to enhance decision making.

Other topics covered by the training programme include social, economic and technological challenges facing governments, global mega trends, and how governments can be more prepared to create the future they desire.

Academic experts from the University of Oxford made presentations at the workshop. They included Laurence Williams, Associate Fellow at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford; Neil Jacobson, Associate Fellow at University of Oxford; and Angela Wilkinson Associate Fellow specialising in risk and uncertainty, forward assessment, business strategy, and public policy. Other speakers included Kristel Van der Elst, Co-Founder & CEO at The Global Foresight Group and Member of the Executive Committee of the World Economic Forum; and Dr. Chris Kutarna, Oxford Martin Fellow and co-author of the book Age of Discovery.

The first batch of the future visioning training programme launched by the UAE government featured 50 officials from federal government entities. The training programme aims to develop a new generation of leaders with the specialised skills to develop long term plans across various sectors.

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