Abu Dhabi Plan 2030: a Poster Presentation

Today was our Strategy class poster presentation about Abu Dhabi Plan 2030 which outlines the vision of Abu Dhabi in the coming decades. Our trip to Cityscape last week, studying the plan in class and lots of creative thinking, resulted in a wonderful event with five unique and great posters. Each group is also writing a guest blog, so they will appear in the coming days as well.

We set up early and also had home made food and karak and gawa to make it feel like an event and not just a boring class.... Thank you Ghanem and your mother for providing the delicious food :) I even cheated on my diet!

Setting up the posters....thank you Joy Saneo for all your logistical and moral support!

Setting out the food.... Home made Emirati specialties is always a treat :)

Ready for our visitors :) Welcome!

Explaining the themes, photos and what they represent
about the development of Abu Dhabi's Strategic Plan

One of the main themes of AD 2030 is connectivity - that is building infrastructure to connect Abu Dhabi to the world - these young men chose the airport and explained how it has, does and will work towards achieving the strategic plans of the city

Economic diversification and development is at the heart of the plan.... And this group choose images that represent that and also chose the mosque to demonstrate that heritage and culture are the over reaching guides to realizing the plan.

Economic diversification through the development of the tourism industry will play an important role is moving away from dependence on the oil industry, as well as providing citizens and residents wonderful things to do in our leisure time.

Education is the key to developing a knowledge economy - and in Abu Dhabi that includes partnerships with foreign universities such as NYU and the Sorbonne as well as investments in our "home" Zayed University

A poster on the four pillars of estidama or sustainability... Culture, society, environment and economy. 

It was a great project and the posters and creativity were worth the sometimes stressful moments of will it be done in time? Of course I know I never have to worry. Please read up on each group's guest post, you will be interested to learn their view points on the future... I know I always am.


Top 5 (and least loved) blog posts after two years and 100 posts

Wow, two years after I started this blog and I am still at it... 100 posts in all, over 25,500 viewers (not all my Mom and Dad surely), many adventures and countless memories. As people like lists I decided to write another list... the top five blog posts of "all time" and a mention for the least loved....

The list includes both research results and "action learning adventures" - although the action took place in the classroom, on a camel farm and in Japan!

Number 5 with 770 views: Advice to Emirati entrepreneurs at each stage of the entrepreneurship process

The advice given is broken up into the four "basic" stages of the entrepreneurship process as illustrated by this fabulous graphic.

Entrepreneurship process in stages
The advice was developed after several years of research (which resulted in the UAE 2011 GEM Report and the first book on Emirati entrepreneurship) and seems to get a reader or two every week, even over year after it was first posted.

Number 4 with 859 views: Camel racing farm visit - another adventure in learning strategy from traditional industries

Given my overarching theme of learning about what strategy is "now" in the UAE by looking to the past and Emirati heritage, we visted two different camel farms in Sharjah, UAE to learn about camel racing and also to think about the strategy of camel racing...
There is a video here about the robot jockey (an Emirati invention) here:

Camel racing is a fascinating sport, with different strategies and tactics used to train, feed and heal camels - all depending on the age of the camel, sex and length of the race. They are also beautiful animals :)

We are interrupting a 5* dinner with imported fresh grass!

Number 3 with 1598 views: ZU Men's Business Association trip to Japan - Emirati planning in action (Part 1)

During the 2012 Spring break the Men's Business Association at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi went on a study abroad trip to Japan. Ten of the founding members of the Association, myself (the supervisor of the Club) and David (awesome instructor in College of Social Sciences and only Westerner I know who speaks local Arabic!) went on a ten day adventure to Tokyo - this is what we did, but more important how it all came together through the amazing support of so many people at ADNOC Distribution (forever grateful), Mr. Hasan (the most Emirati, Japanese person I have ever met), the UAE Embassy in Japan (will never be able to thank you enough) and ZU (many individuals put a rush on things that are not normally rushed).

This is just part 1 of 3 outlining our adventures, but needless to say we had a great time, visited many interesting sites, met wonderful people and learned to get around a country whose infrastructure is very different than our own - and are still in contact with our student translators who volunteered their time to be our guides. We have even had a visit here from one of them :) 

The group with the UAE Ambassador to Japan

Number 2 with 1755 views: Entrepreneurship as Process

I can only assume that describing entrepreneurship as a process is a term paper question... because this post is viewed in "clusters". It is a simple description of the four phases of the process... but I guess simple is a good thing when it comes to usability!

There are four basic phases of the process :

1.      Recognizing opportunities

2.      Assembling resources

3.      Launch of venture

4.      Harvesting and succeeding

Number 1 with 1908 views: Let them eat cake: Learning strategy through celebration

Manchester City won the Barclays Premier League football (soccer for the North American readers) for the first time in 44 years two years ago. Now, you might not know, but Man City is Abu Dhabi's team - Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment owned and run by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan bought the Club in 2009 - and just three short years later we won (yes - I am a fan too).

I learned to use all things football to teach different elements of strategic management early when I began teaching the boys... My plans to watch a video turned into a celebration with cake and pop and a video of the winning goal. And I still use this to teach... and yes, light bulb moments happen each time!

Totally yummy cake!
Now, for the least loved - in fact it was my first post welcoming people to my new blog... lets just say visits are barely into the double digits... but that's OK :)

I will continue with my blog... it will change and adapt as next semester I will not be teaching Strategy, but will be teaching Innovation Management to the girls... our action learning adventures will surely be held mainly on campus, but that just requires a bit of creativity and planning - something Emirati women excel at!


Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2014: a Strategy field trip

Wow! My 100th blog post...

Today we visited Cityscape Abu Dhabi - you can read more about the event here: Cityscape website. It is a lot about real estate (the most real estate companies ever according to one of the organizers we met), but we went because it is also about the Abu Dhabi 2030 Plan and its implementation.

It has been a few years since I did a project on the strategic plan of Abu Dhabi, but I felt it was time again. The students have a guest blog and poster presentation due next week all about the plan... they need to choose 5 photos that represent a "theme" of Abu Dhabi's strategy and then explain why they choose the photos. Many of course are looking at my favorite "theme" of the plan - Estidama or sustainability built on four pillars/pearls: economy, social, environment and culture

Sand sculpture with the Estidama logo... (one of the few Arabic words I know!)

It was organised by one of the students - so we all had passes and every stand we visited we were welcomed and provided with excellent updates about what is being done... the plans are exciting and it was very interesting to see the model and hear about all the great things that await the city, emirate and country.

A few photos of the visit follow... and next week we have several guest blogger groups on the agenda... hopefully a busy time for the blog for the start of the next 100 posts :)

Listening to an Urban Planning Council employee speak about AD 2030

The model is worth the visit itself... I loved seeing my building and looking at things from a "bird's eye view"

A visit to the Abu Dhabi Municipality booth and learning about the street addresses coming and the bar codes associated with addresses and what we will be able to do with the bar codes!

Students arriving a little late :)

Reem Island :) (aka home!)

The space ship is the Zayed University campus and the glowing building are coming in the future...

At the Masdar booth