Conference Programming


Students will be placed into a track of their interest upon acceptance to the HGEM Innovation Challenge. Each track comes with a prompt, written below, and expanded upon in a background guide. Students will be teamed up to debate the nuances of each track topic and eventually create an innovative solution addressing the prompt corresponding to their track. For more information, read our Innovation Challenge 101 Guide.


Track 1: Sustainability & Infrastructure

Sustainability is always an issue for a city. Simply put, large cities cost large amounts of money to provide energy for. With such a large fraction of the city budget dedicated to providing energy for the city, finding ways to refine energy production or save energy costs is always helpful for Dubai. The biggest issue Dubai faces in the vein of sustainability is in the metropolitan area’s infrastructure. Dubai has had increasing tourism and increasing rates of vehicles on its roads, all of which call for a revamped infrastructure as more and more people flock to the beautiful city. Dubai’s main method for getting water is its desalination plants. However, the salinity in the gulf water has been rising in recent years which will inevitably lead to rising costs in desalination as the ocean becomes more salinized. Sewage treatment is also a city issue, as work on a state-of-the-art sewage system has begun to deal with an underdeveloped sewage system. For this track we would like teams to focus on innovative solutions to problems within the vein of sustainability and infrastructure by researching issues that they think are important to address.

Track 2: Public Health

There is no place in the world that does not face challenges to public health. Health epidemics are produced in various ways and for varied reasons. With many changing cultural and lifestyle factors, public health challenges have emerged in Dubai. Among the largest difficulties for Dubai, has been an increased rate of diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. The Dubai Diabetes Survey released that the incidence of diabetes among residents of Dubai is nearly 19 percent. This statistic stems from shifting lifestyle practices, diet, and often a lack of awareness. This presents a major challenge for health officials as diabetes epidemics can be extremely costly for the public. This is only one example of the public health challenges that the Dubai Emirate faces but there are many other public health challenges in various forms for the populace of Dubai. For this track, students will be asked to formulate strategies to help ameliorate specific challenges to public health in Dubai.



Track 3: Education

Education is an empowering force for many peoples and countries. Education creates a more skilled workforce and a more capable citizen. Governments, businesses, and individuals are always searching for methods of improving educational systems. This may come through improvements to educational access, more efficient curriculums, or other various strategies. Improvements may target changes to public education systems, private education, or businesses and social movements that act as a form of educational distribution. Dubai is currently in need of creative citizens to deal with the infrastructural and sustainability issues that will arise in the future, making it crucial for the city to have a workforce that can maintain this. For this track, we ask students to formulate strategies to tackle issues in education, and/or devise potential strategies of improving educational distribution, either within the Dubai or more generally the MENA region.