When I was young, I remember commenting aloud that in the future cars should be something people ride in, not drive. A person would just hop in, say where you want to go, then sit back and read a newspaper. People laughed at me.
Today, I experienced that world, except that now a person just reads their Iphone. The future has arrived, at least in Masdar City.
I was a big a fan of the Jetsons. I thought that in my older years I could dress in silver Spandex, wear a beanie and ride around in a PRT, That world is here but limited. Unless you are a young future scientist type.
Right now, residents of Masdar are very carefully selected (7000 applicants,400 acceptances this year) from the elite of science students worldwide. If you get selected, you pay no tuition, get free books,free housing and a living allowance. All of this is from the coffers of the ruler of Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi is like the 7th leading producer of oil in the world. The leader could do any damn thing he wants with what is HIS money. This wonderful guy has decided to spend who know how much money (Forbes says 22 billion USD) on Masdar Institute. . His father, the founding father of the UAE, left him a legacy to “not rely on oil alone…and construct economic projects that will ensure a free, stable and dignified life for the people.” He also said the real asset of any nation is its educated people, The slogan of the institute is “Learning to Change the World”
Masdar institute is the heart of Masdar city. The institute is up and running, and the city will grow up around it.
In both these photos you will notice the roofs are covered with solar panels. Masdar also has a gigantic solar panel “farm” that produces so much power that they sell the excess to Abu Dhabi.
Masdar faculty comes from MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, and few more of those little colleges. To be on the faculty of Masdar you must pass a review by MIT, and then spend one year on the Cambridge Mass campus developing graduate level course materials and participating in shared research projects.
Masdar has attracted tourists like Hillary Clinton and other potentate types.The ideas developed here should help the world progress past a dependency on oil. Don’t you find it ironic that oil is paying for it?
Thanks for reading, share with a friend and BACK TO THE FUTURE!