UAE University students undergoing their ‘summer internship’ at the S.S. Lootah Group embarked on a unique project of analysing the four axes of the ‘UAE Vision 2021’; United in Responsibility, United in Destiny, United in Knowledge and United in Prosperity and linking them to draw results for a sustainable knowledge economy with emphasis on the energy sector. Presenting the analysis of the first stage of their research, the students concluded that 25% of the energy in the UAE by year 2021 will be from clean and renewable sources.
The students used a non-traditional methodology of ‘Backcasting’ for their research – a reverse-forecasting technique which starts with a specific future outcome and working backwards to identify policies and programs that will connect it to the present. In this case, to achieve the Vision 2021, students identified tangible policies already in place such as adoption of government standards for green buildings, selection of the UAE as the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), investments in infrastructure projects, new programs for scientific research and other initiatives that aim to achieve comprehensive and sustainable development.
The students also pointed out that close cooperation between the government and private sector in vital areas such as energy, education and health provide a successful model and distinctive partnership for the development of infrastructure projects and human capital, all contributing towards the Vision 2021. They concluded by saying that the UAE can look forward to several world-class universities specialising in hi-tech scientific research in areas such as wind, solar and other renewable technologies.
The annual summer training is part of the S.S. Lootah Group’s program titled Mustakbali, Arabic for ‘My Future’ that strives to empower Emirati students to build their own future along with that of the country. The program aims to nurture a new generation of future leaders and enable the students to meet challenges and compete globally. This year’s trainees include students from Zayed University, American University in Dubai, Higher colleges of Technology in Sharjah, and National Institute for Vocational Education. As part of the program, students will also have the opportunity to meet and interact with accomplished entrepreneurs from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Est. for SME Development (MBRE) who will offer insights on varied subjects such as business excellence and sustainable development, and motivate the students to explore their potential.