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Opinion: Do We Have a Place in the Future? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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One of the most exciting activities that took place at the World Economic Forum that is currently being held in Davos was the United Arab Emirates’ presentation about the future which is being manufactured in the world’s laboratories. It differed from the wars and conflicts in our region that were being discussed in other halls in the same building.

During the next four years, people will be able to detect any signs of a cancerous tumour through a saliva test that costs twenty dollars. The report reviewed the progress made in the field of eliminating blindness. In the middle of the century, science will have achieved its ambition through laboratory experiments that are currently being held regarding the fashioning of the human race including the addition of muscles, increasing height and delaying ageing. There are clinical trials that are taking place today and their results will decide the future of the next few years. One of these trials is the transfer of blood from those who are under the age of 25 to those over 35 to see the improvements of important cells.

I read the presentation that Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi and his team made at the forum and it reflects our desire to establish a place for us in the new world through working with major scientific and research institutions in the world. He delivered an optimistic presentation about the future that various organisations participated in with things that they have produced or that they are working on producing. Some of these products include three-dimensional printing, solar aeroplanes and ultrafast Hyperloop trains have already been tested.

What is going on in the kitchen of today for tomorrow shows the frightening difference between communities that are planning and working to progress, and those that are still living in the past and are refusing to open up to the world which will bury us in its products and with the speed of its changes.

The report was prepared by a prominent group of experts and specialists on the future of the world which includes the largest group of people generating ideas and initiatives related to the future in light of the fourth industrial revolution, Al Gergawi says. 21 specialists from around the world contributed to this report on strategic sectors such as energy, health and education. “The report announces 112 predictions that we will see in the next forty years such as floating farms, body parts that are printed by 3D printers, the challenges of climate change and classrooms in the virtual world.”

In my view, making progress in educational technology is most important for us in order to shorten the time that it will take for us to catch up with the world as we are riding the last carriage of the progression train. Although the report did not elaborate enough to understand modern educational techniques, it encourages us to make a new cognitive transformation.

Having virtual schools and classrooms, using virtual reality in general to teach science and the willingness of the best scientific universities in the world to make part of their research and curriculum available to anyone who wants it, providing additional teaching methods and focussing on the four most important educational areas; science, technology, engineering and mathematics will help us achieve this. Scientific developments in education will help us to catch up as the concept of education for adults and children is changing today. Developments in the sciences are the achievements of the human mind which differentiates between one nation and another.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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