DUBAI – It was the turn of pupils from schools to voice their opinions on how space exploration could be used to improve life on Earth during a discussion entitled ‘Planet B: Starting Again and Doing Things Differently’ as part of the Next Gen World Majlis programme at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Eight students from different schools participated in the panel discussion, giving their input on critical issues that need to be tackled to save Earth from environmental disaster.

Rohan Roberts, author, entrepreneur and educational consultant, who moderated the session, said in his introductory remarks that as 34 per cent of the UAE population is under the age of 35, it is imperative to give the younger generation a voice to try to undo the damage that has been inflicted on the planet for centuries.

“World Expos have always been catalysts for human creativity and talent. Here at Expo 2020 Dubai, Space Week has been bringing several relevant issues to the fore. This session featuring young adults from different schools is of huge importance, because by listening to their views and empowering them we can leave a really meaningful legacy for future generations,” Roberts said.

The participants focused on the need to change the mentality of the current generation, with change starting at an individual level, consuming more sustainable materials, and switching to green transportation and energy.

They agreed that the real purpose of exploring space and discovering new planets was to find innovative solutions to Earth’s problems, and contribute to medicine or fighting climate change. The students also felt that technology would gradually overcome the problem of exploring planets that have a hostile environment.

The participants included Mohammed Faizaan Ahmed from Delhi Private School Dubai; Fatima Blushi from Al Thait High School, Ras Al Khaimah; Mohammed Al Ketbi from Al Dhaid High School, Al Ain; Elyazeya Al Mansoori from Dubai National School, Dubai; Wasayef Al Zaabi from Jamela Bu Haired, Sharjah; Shouq Qambar from Sharjah American International School, Dubai; Khaled Al Naqbi from UAE University; and Maya Beleznay from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The Next Gen World Majlis is a series of conversations connected to the World Majlis programme. It is intended to spark conversations with and amongst young adults on themes that matter for the future.

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