Smart Dubai Launches ‘Designing Cities’ Training Programme 2019 in Tokyo

Times India Today | : Oct 31,2019 02:17 PM IST

Smart Dubai Launches ‘Designing Cities’ Training Programme 2019 in Tokyo

- The programme is under one of the four Happiness Agenda portfolios – the ‘Educate’ portfolio. 

- The training programme brings together 35 Happiness Champions from government and semi-governmental entities across Dubai.


Smart Dubai has launched ‘Designing Cities’ training programme 2019, to be held this time in Tokyo, Japan, on November 24-29. Designing Cities is one of a series of training programmes that Smart Dubai organises and manages for Happiness Champions, which feeds into achieving the ‘Educate’ portfolio of the Happiness Agenda.

The Designing Cities training programme has three fixed main pillar: Smart, Citizen, and Design. The Smart pillar focuses on technology and innovation for happier citizens; the Citizen pillar consists of a user-centred approach to happier smarter nations, and Design focuses on Service Innovation in the public sector. The programme’s ultimate goal is the Citizen.

This year’s training programme, which will be held in Tokyo, sheds light on policies and tools that help improve city experiences based on data-driven approaches that take into account different cultures while designing an experience or a service, highlighting factors that service providers should take into consideration when designing services in a multicultural city.

Smart Dubai held an onboarding session for the Happiness Champions who are participating in this year’s training programme, presenting detailed information about the daily schedule and expected outcome from each participant. The session was attended by Her Excellency Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of Smart Dubai, along with Happiness Champions from various entities in Dubai, and representatives from the Japan International Cooperation Centre (JICE) and the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO). The two organisations had co-created this year’s training programme in close alignment with Smart Dubai.

The ‘Designing Cities - Tokyo’ training programme follows two successful previously organised editions, namely, the ‘Quality Services’ programme, designed by the Disney Institute in Florida, which brought together 30 Happiness Champions in 2017, in addition to  the tailor-made ‘Designing Cities’ training programme in 2018, organised and managed by Smart Dubai, which was held in Copenhagen and attended by 30 Happiness Champions from more than 25 Dubai Government entities.

The ‘Designing Cities - Tokyo’ training programme was conceived to promote and explore quality service design across different cultures, all while participants were immersed in an entirely different and unique culture like Japan’s. Participating Happiness Champions will have the opportunity to learn about innovative designs that enhance the role of data in decision-making, which results in increasing people’s wellbeing and happiness.

“Spreading happiness among people is a primary objective of Smart Dubai’s strategy,” said H.E. Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of Smart Dubai. “This, in turn, embodies the vision of our wise leadership, who have underlined the importance of embracing advanced technologies to design services and experiences that make Dubai’s residents and visitors happy. These training programmes, which were tailored to meet the needs of the community in Dubai, offer a platform for us to work together and build an effective and robust service ecosystem, all while continuously improving city experiences in Dubai, and ensuring higher levels of happiness and wellbeing.”

“We are delighted to be launching this year’s Designing Cities training programme, from a country with completely different customs and traditions. This exposes our Happiness Champions to new experiences and expertise in designing cities and services in diverse communities with a rich culture,” H.E. Dr Aisha concluded.

Japan was selected for this year’s training programme primarily due to its customs and traditions, which differ greatly from Dubai’s, as well as its outstanding performance on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2019, where Japan came in sixth place globally in the overall assessment. The country came in first place in the health pillar of the report, sixth in embracing communication and information technology (ICT) pillar, seventh in innovation capability, and sixth globally in research and development (R&D) expenditure.

The official programme inauguration will be held at the Cabinet Office of Japan, in the presence of several high-profile Japanese government officials. The programme is set to include visits to ministries and local government offices, including, among other entities, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The Happiness Champions will conclude their training programme with a leadership course, delivered by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research.

Smart Dubai has set five key objectives for the programme: Understanding Smart, Happy applications; Exploring the importance of cultural diversity in design; Learning the impact of data-driven city design experiences; Finding tools and methodologies to increase product adoption; and Implementing data-driven city-wide group projects.

This year, the Designing Cities training programme saw the largest participation from Happiness Champions since 2017, with 35 participants including five members of Smart Dubai, taking part.

The entities participating in this year’s programme are: Dubai Courts, Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Community Development Authority, Financial Audit Authority, Dubai Statistics Centre, Dubai Women Establishment, Emirates Telecommunication Group Company PJSC (Etisalat), Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company PJSC (du) , General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs - Dubai, Roads and Transport Authority, Supreme Council of Energy, Dubai Police, Dubai Culture, Dubai Airports, Emirates Airlines, Dubai Sports Council, Dubai Media Incorporated, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, Dubai Health Authority, GEMS Education, Department of Finance, Dubai Municipality, DP World, Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, and the Mohammed bin Rashid Housing Establishment.

Last year, Smart Dubai organised the ‘Designing Cities’ training programme in Copenhagen in collaboration with Innovation Lab, Denmark’s leading knowledge, technology, R&D, and business centre. The training focused on how to embed trust in designing experiences and services. The 30 Happiness Champions who participated in the programme explored different tools and methods to achieve these objectives.

In 2017, Smart Dubai organised a ‘Quality Services’ course with Disney Institute in Florida, which brought together 30 Happiness Champions at the Institute, introducing them to tried-and-tested methods to improve services offered to the community.

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