Running from just April 7 – 8 2020, the Dubai Ideathon brought together a selection of international experts to develop potential solutions for the impact brought on by COVID-19 to the UAE’s creative and cultural sector
Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Established in response to the immediate challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the cultural and creative sector in the UAE, the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and Art Dubai Group launched the Dubai Ideathon. Running from April 7 – 8, the workshop sessions brought together international experts from different fields, all working collectively to find solutions.
Beginning on the 22nd of March, the initiative began with online workshops where 70 members of Dubai’s cultural SME’s and freelancers came together to identify the primary challenges facing the local creative community, from which list of challenges was put together.
On the 31st of March, an Open Call was launched to ask for submissions to address the challenges and join the Dubai Ideathon. Within three days, 320 submissions were received which resulted in over 100 people being selected to help find solutions in workshops taking place on the 7th and 8th of April.
Hala Badri, director general of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, expressed her pride in the distinguished results of IDEATHON, stressing its importance in monitoring possible solutions to the challenges facing the cultural sector in the UAE in light of the current crisis. She said: “The IDEATHON initiative provided us with a unique model for the spirit of responsibility and positivity as well as the values of cooperation and solidarity that manifest themselves in the most magnificent forms in the valuable contributions from all institutions and individuals of the UAE creative and cultural community. There is no doubt that this initiative will open broad prospects for us in the next stage to reach potential solutions that can be put into effect to support the creative and cultural societies in the country facing the challenges in the current crisis. It will also allow us to assume our joint responsibility in supporting them as it establishes a new stage that will lead us towards presenting new initiatives and concepts based on the ideas suggested by the participants to promote the future of the sector at all levels, enabling it to continue the cultural and humanitarian march.”
Pav Szymanski – Artist and Fine Art Lecturer – stated: “The Dubai Ideathon united a broad spectrum of creative individuals in a moment of crisis from all over the world. Above all, it gave us a new sense of direction, future vision and fulfilled the most significant of all needs – to belong and actualise.”
On the 20th April, the organisers of Dubai Ideathon, that include ATÖLYE design agency and Alcove Advisors, along with the Art Dubai Group, will collate the numerous ideas conceived and will present a series of solutions to Dubai Culture that will be combination of policy recommendations to help support the cultural industry and community activations that can go into prototyping.