This week marked the graduation ceremony of the Future Innovators Academy, a one-month innovation program run by Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi and twofour54’s creative lab in partnership with the Emirates Youth Council, Lamsa and Eight Hub Technology.
The program’s first edition aimed to select young Emirati Nationals aged 17-25 and provide them with sessions and workshops around innovation, creative thinking and entrepreneurship with the aim of developing their skills for the workplace or their own business ventures. With a competitive process, the participants were selected for their passions and commitment to creative solutions for the country.
The initiative of twofour54 has been instrumental in developing this program and launching its first edition through Flat6Labs. H.E Maryam Al Mheiri, CEO of twofour54 said: “developing young Emirati talent in the creative industries is a top priority for twofour54 as part of our remit to build a thriving media and entertainment industry in Abu Dhabi to serve the nation’s economic and cultural agenda.”
Eng. Ali Al Nuaimi, Member of the Emirates Youth Council, stated: “Developing the skills of the Emirati Youth is a priority set forth by the leadership of our country and is being fulfilled with the numerous initiatives of H.E. Minister Shamma Al Mazrui. The program has effectively promoted innovation and the entrepreneurial mindset among the participants"
24 Emirati Nationals with a 70 percent female majority coming from Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Dubai and Al Ain successfully graduated from the Future Innovators Academy. The four-week experience designed by Flat6Labs encompassed many workshops around themes such as design thinking, business model, value proposition, pitching and public speaking, prototyping, influencer media, digital web development, etc…in a total of 30 hours of training.
The participants also received the great opportunity to pitch stories about the program to Lamsa, a children’s Arabic reading app, which may go on to be selected for production and showcased to millions of children in the Arab World through the app, maximizing the impact of the experience.
Speaking about the program, Victor Kiriakos, Managing Director at Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi stated: “We are very proud of the Future Innovators Academy and the impact we have seen on the 24 participants who highlighted the amazing potential of the Emirati youth. It is a strategic priority of Flat6Labs to actively engage with the local community and we hope that this initiative is replicated within other verticals and locations in the UAE and beyond”.
The program has also been very impactful among the participants, adding value that goes beyond the four weeks of the program. Khalid AlQassimi, a 19 year-old student of Maths and Physics at the American University in Sharjah said: “The people at Flat6Labs did a great job and nurturing one’s ability to really get out there and practice using their voice. It showed me there was nothing to fear, and that all ideas are worth at least sharing.”
In a closing event at the Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi offices, the participants received certificates from the CEO of twofour54 and the Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi team, in an informal ceremony where they discussed their learnings from the program and how the program will impact their corporate or entrepreneurial careers. The program aimed to ensure that the participants are now equipped to explore their next career challenge or entrepreneurial venture and encourage them to positively contribute to the development of the country.