With these words, renowned futurist and motivational speaker, John Sanei, set the tone for the recent online conference hosted by the American University in Dubai (AUD).
Entitled The future is not what is used to be, the conference pondered the question on how to adapt to an uncertain future.
“Disruption, turmoil and uncertainty have forced us all to reassess what our futures hold. Our previous assumptions are challenged, our visions for the future are altered and our plans are severely disrupted,”mentioned Maryke Luijendijk, EMBA Program Director at AUD and one of the conference organizors. “We gathered various experts in the field to help us make sense of this new future.”
The conference drew over 250 sign-ups from the GCC region and beyond. The keynote from John focused on the necessity to become comfortable with the unknown and leap into the future. This was followed by a session in which Dr Pedro Sigaud Sellos, faculty member at AUD, explained how being resilient and becoming antifragile can provide answers in uncertain times. Dr Tatiana Zalan, another AUD faculty member, closed the conference by stressing the importance of things that need building, particularly things that add value to human life.
As part of the conference attendees could interact with speakers throug the online conference features and visit various virtual exhibitor booths where they could request personal discussions with exhibitors. AUD utilised these booths to showcase the admissions and recruitment offices for it’s graduate degree programs - all conference speakers are faculty and/or collaborators with AUD graduate programs.
Feedback from attendees were overwhelmingly positive with many requesting more similar type of events. “Suffice to say that we can view our first ever online conference as a huge success and shall definitly be hosting more conferences of this nature in future,” Maryke concluded.