Through the generosity of the Dubai future Foundation, the IDA's reconstruction of Palmyra's Triumphal Arch will be displayed at the entrance to this year's World Government Summit in Dubai. The DFF will use the occasion of this installation to make a major announcement regarding a significantly expanded collaboration with the IDA.
Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) and the Institute for Digital Archeology (IDA) are launching the University of Oxford’s Centre for Future Design (CFD) today at the World Government Summit in Dubai. The CFD will be housed within the University of Oxford’s department of Physics in the historic Clarendon Laboratory. The CFD’s educational programs will be housed, including both classroom and dormitory space, in one of the University of Oxford’s most beautiful colleges, Trinity College, located on Broad Street directly across from the Bodleian Library in the heart of Oxford. In anticipation of this historic partnership, Trinity College’s president, Sir Ivor Roberts (former UK ambassador to both Ireland and Italy) said: “I am particularly delighted that Trinity College at the University of Oxford will have the honour of hosting students on the forthcoming CFD courses.” Sir Ivor added that he “hopes this is the start of a long and fruitful collaboration with the college and with the wider university.”
The Centre's activities will be divided into three categories. First is the Academy. The Academy houses the CFD’s future curriculum courses, including both digital archaeology programs and mid career/executive education courses in humanities, public policy and technical fields. Next is the Laboratory. This houses all of the Centre’s in-house research and development programs, including an advanced imaging program and a fully equipped magnonics laboratory. Third and last is the new Future Opportunity Exchange or “FOx” program. This is an international outreach program that connects students and teachers with educational resources designed to promote future-oriented education in underserved communities around the world. In addition to curriculum development and teacher education, the FOx program also provides services like peer-to-peer tutoring, education expenses advice and conference/workshop support. The CFD also has a publishing arm, the Venetian Press, which published books in 2016 by such distinguished authors as Oxford’s Nigel Wilson and Harvard’s Roger Stoddard.
This strategic partnership, an expansion of an already highly successful collaboration with the IDA, opens the door for Dubai Future Foundation to host some of its state-of-the-art, future-related academic programs, delivered through Dubai Future Academy, on the University of Oxford campus. Dubai Future Foundation will be working closely with both the CFD and IDA to fund a broad range of innovative research, educational and cultural programs. In exchange, the partnership will provide Dubai Future Foundation with direct access to the University of Oxford’s strategic resources facilitating future collaborations in the fields of future studies, 3D scanning and printing, public policy and applied physics, including both advanced imaging technologies and magnonics, a potential key to quantum computing technology. The IDA also maintains an educational partnership with Harvard University creating the potential for future collaborations between DFF and that storied university, as well.
The IDA’s cultural heritage documentation, preservation and reconstruction programs, with crucial support from DFF, have been featured in thousands of TV and print media stories around the world, including scores of stories on/in CNN, the BBC, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the cover of Newsweek. It is hoped that this new collaboration will meet with similar success. As IDA founder and Executive Director, Roger Michel, says of the partnership, “the combination of the agility, integrity and future-oriented thinking of DFF with the enormous resources, brand recognition and traditional academic strengths of world class universities like Oxford and Harvard is simply unstoppable. Joint ventures like these are the natural next step for great universities if they hope to maintain their relevance and, more important, their primacy in the changing world of the 21st century. DFF is the ideal partner for these great institutions. It is an honor to play a role in this extraordinary enterprise.