28 February 2017
- Two-day event held at NYUAD to explore long-term "moonshot" challenges facing the globe

- Speakers include: HE Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Buzz Aldrin, HE Dr Mohammed Al Ahbabi

Abu Dhabi - The Aspen Abu Dhabi Ideas Forum, a two-day event designed to tackle large, complex challenges facing the world, today announced its lineup of more than 30 influential Emirati and international speakers.

Part private conference, part public festival, the Aspen Abu Dhabi Ideas Forum takes place at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) from 4-5 March 2017, and will feature a series of discussions on social, scientific, and technological advances that will shape our future, seeking answers to the following questions:

-          Can we prevent a global ‘system shock’ and calm the politics of anger?

o   Speakers include: HE Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi - UAE Minister of State for Tolerance; Gideon Rachman - Financial Times Columnist; Walter Isaacson - President & CEO, The Aspen Institute; Niall Ferguson - Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

-          Can we govern our societies to target ‘all-in’ human welfare?

    • Speakers include: Steven Clemons - Editor-at-Large, The Atlantic; Stephen Dubner - Founder, Freakonomics; Robert Frank - Cornell University; Nouriel Roubini - Chairman & CEO, Roubini Macros Associates

-          Can we extend the healthy human lifespan by 20, 30, 40 years?

    • Speakers include: Aubrey de Grey - Chief Science Officer, SENS Research Foundation; Prof. Fabio Piano - Provost, NYU Abu Dhabi; Brad Perkins - Chief Medical Officer, Human Longevity Inc.; Dr. Anthony Atala - Director, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine; HE Dr Maha Barakat - Director General, HAAD; Laura Deming - Partner, The Longevity Fund; Dr. Tomislav Mihaljevic - CEO, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi

-          Can the human race live sustainably beyond earth? 

    • Speakers include: Buzz Aldrin - Astronaut; Dr. Robert Zubrin - President, The Mars Society; HE Dr Mohammed Al Ahbabi - Director General, UAE Space Agency; Ellen Stofan - Chief Scientist, NASA; Dr. Andrew Aldrin - Director, Buzz Aldrin Institute; Dr. Dava Newman - former Deputy Administrator, NASA;HE Sara Al Amiri - Chairwoman, Emirates Scientists Council; Naveen Jain - Founder and Executive Chairman, Moon Express; Anthony Previte - CEO, Terran Orbital; Rick Tumlinson - Founder, New Worlds Institute; Anousheh Ansari - CEO, Co-Founder, Prodea Systems Inc.

The Aspen Abu Dhabi Ideas Forum is a collaboration between Tamkeen, a Government of Abu Dhabi-owned company, and the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organisation based in the US. The event is held partnership with McKinsey & Company, the UAE Space Agency, Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, Health Authority Abu Dhabi, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, US-UAE Business Council, NYUAD, The NationalDubaiEye and Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas.

Walter Isaacson, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute, said: “We are delighted that the Aspen Abu Dhabi Ideas Forum is bringing people together in the UAE’s capital, an idea-powered city and strategic intersection between east and west.”

Isaacson continued: “Abu Dhabi is an environment eager to facilitate the kinds of conversations that know no boundaries, and it is a city where science and technology meet artistry and creativity with spectacular results. I know this weekend of dialogue and discussion will provide new context on some of the most complex and exciting challenges before us.”

A Special Fellows Program will run during the Forum, designed to inspire and expose future Emirati leaders to today’s global thinkers by giving 10 high-achieving Emirati youth the chance to attend and participate in the Aspen Abu Dhabi Ideas Forum.

On Saturday 4 March, a free one-day public Festival will take place at NYUAD alongside the invitation-only Forum, offering the Abu Dhabi community the chance to explore some of the most important ideas and innovations sweeping the globe.

NYUAD’s colonnades and plazas will be transformed into a street festival featuring food trucks, art, interactive displays, educational activities and games, making the event a perfect day out for families and individuals looking for a fun, rewarding and thought provoking experience.

For more information, please visit www.ideasforum.ae


About The Aspen Institute
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization that has gained a reputation for gathering together diverse, nonpartisan thought leaders, creatives, scholars and members of the public in order to address some of the world’s most complex problems. Based in Washington, DC, the Institute has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and offices in New York City.

About Tamkeen
Tamkeen is an Abu Dhabi Government-owned company that delivers projects to meet the Government of Abu Dhabi’s vision of knowledge-based development. This is achieved by collaborating with a variety of local and international institutions to enrich the Emirate’s social, cultural and educational landscape in line with its Vision 2030.

For more information please contact:
Aditi Mane
T: +971 (0)50 738 4146
E: aditi.mane@finsbury.com

© Press Release 2017