Ortiz Travels to United Arab Emirates for the Festival of Thinkers

Ortiz Travels to United Arab Emirates for the Festival of Thinkers
University President Michael Ortiz

Cal Poly Pomona President Michael Ortiz will join Nobel laureates, distinguished thought leaders and decision makers from all around the world at the Festival of Thinkers, from Oct. 21-24. The event will open in Abu Dhabi and close in Dubai.

The biennial event focuses on fostering creativity at the scientific and social levels.

“Many of the issues surrounding higher education and technology are bigger than our region, our state, and even our country,” said President Ortiz. “I'm looking forward to taking part in these discussions with concerned citizens from all around the world.”

The event will explore themes pertaining to protecting the environment; sustainable development; globalization and entrepreneurship; women and children of the world; health and wellness; the role of educators; poverty; and conflict. There will panel discussions and round-tables on each theme.

According to organizers, nearly 25 Nobel laureates will attend the event along with leaders and intellectuals in a wide range of fields, including scientific research, philosophy and information technology.

Participants include Werner Arber, 1978 Nobel Prize laureate for work that would lead to the development of recombinant DNA technology; Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize recipient for her persistent struggle for democracy, human rights and environmental conservation; and Mortimer Zuckerman, editor in chief of US News and World Report.

Festival of Thinkers is organized by the Higher Colleges of Technology in the United Arab Emirates, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

“Such an undertaking is timely and will greatly benefit the young in search of their future,” said His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, who is chairing the event. “It will also benefit leaders in their quest for the best of those entrusted to them, and it will benefit researchers in following their goal. In fact, we feel that the festival will help foster the ability to adapt to challenges.”