Wednesday 13, January 2016

Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2016 will convene a series of events – several unveiled exclusively for ADSW 2016 – designed to engage youth, students and families across the UAE. With ‘awareness’ serving as one of the four key pillars of ADSW 2016, the programmes aim to promote greater understanding of the core topics of renewably energy, clean technology, and sustainable development.

Speaking on the importance of the array of youth engagement activities, Masdar CEO Dr Ahmad Belhoul said, “One of the most important missions of ADSW is to engage our local community in the UAE – especially our youth community – to understand more about why sustainability matters and how each person can be part of a more sustainable future. It is my hope that these special programs inspire the next generation of Emirati scientists and engineers who will become the leaders of the industry and the policy-makers of tomorrow.”

The key events designed to engage the local community in the UAE are:

The Student Exclusive (19 January). For the first time, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week will feature a special event dedicated to students as part of the main conference programme. The Student Exclusive will expose students of ages 15 and up to the complex topics of sustainability and renewable energy, and to encourage them to take an active role in being part of the solutions for a sustainable world.        

Event highlights will include an exclusive interview with Grammy-nominated singer and solar entrepreneur Akon, a performance by a Paraguayan orchestra, which created instruments from garbage retrieved from a nearby landfill, videos capturing the work of the finalists of the eighth Zayed Future Energy Prize in the Global High Schools category, speeches from Emiratis who successfully turned their passion into real action, and live artistic renderings that reflect how young children see the future of sustainability. The programme will also feature a live debate between some of the most important global figures in sustainability and students in the UAE.

Students may register for the event by emailing  

Sustainability and Future Energy Workshop (January 20). Benefitting from the international reach of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, local students are being given the opportunity to engage with their peers from the 14 finalists in the Global High Schools category. The interactive Sustainability and Future Energy Workshop brings together student representatives from high schools in 14 different countries, visiting Abu Dhabi for the eighth Zayed Future Energy Prize awards ceremony, with young people from local schools.

Hosted by the Zayed Future Energy Prize, with support from the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) and Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), the workshop features a tutorial to assemble simple and sustainable bottle lamps from recycled materials by previous prize winner, Liter of Light. In addition, local students will hear from the soon-to-be announced winners of the prize’s Global High Schools category on their experiences of submitting a project proposal for the prize followed by an exciting discussion on the merits of sustainable energy.

ADNEC Tours. Throughout the week, students and teachers will be welcomed to the main exhibition centre at ADNEC for self-guided tours of the ADSW Exhibition. With over 2000 students already registered for the event through their schools, the tours will present an opportunity to explore first-hand the cutting-edge technologies at the forefront of energy, transport and cities.

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in Schools (ADSWS) (January 18-23). With the mission of inspiring the young scientists and engineers of the future, ADSWS returns with an emirate-wide educational program from Mubadala aimed at increasing awareness of sustainable development. Participating schools will receive packs with sustainability-focused activity workbooks containing hands-on project based learning modules on topics like “how to build a sustainable model home”. This year, the program will include a solar car challenge, which will culminate at The Festival at Masdar City.

The Festival at Masdar City (January 22-23). Masdar will continue the tradition of hosting a two-day street festival for UAE families at Masdar City. Against the backdrop of one of the world’s most sustainable cities, families can partake in a series of interactive activities that relate to clean energy and sustainable living.

Highlights of this year’s Festival will include a workshop on how to grow your own food, opportunities to craft art and jewellery from recycled materials, a gaming area with quizzes, mazes and sports, all related to sustainability, a marketplace that will promote sustainable consumption through vendors selling handmade treats and eco goods, and a variety of performances that feature a sustainable living message.