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Dubai Culture & Google conclude ‘MENA Creatives Bootcamp’ – Sustainability Edition

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 The Dubai Culture and Arts Authority concluded its inaugural ‘MENA Creatives Bootcamp – Sustainability Edition’, organised in collaboration with Google, aimed at guiding and empowering the creative community members to explore environmentally friendly design practices, leverage artificial intelligence-supported technology, and harness it in the service of creatives to enhance their creative presence and impact and to develop their projects. This initiative is part of the Authority’s efforts to strengthen Dubai’s cultural and creative industries, creating a sustainable creative ecosystem capable of empowering and developing the skills and capabilities of talents across various fields.

Shaima Rashed Al Suwaidi, Director of the Marketing & Corporate Communication Department at Dubai Culture, affirmed that the ‘MENA Creatives Bootcamp – Sustainability Edition’ played a crucial role in raising environmental awareness among artists and designers in the UAE and the region and encouraging them to integrate sustainable practices into their various artistic approaches, stating: “Dubai Culture is committed to providing the creative community with the support they need in terms of new practices and skills that contribute to inspiring and encouraging them to apply sustainability in their creative and artistic productions. Through the bootcamp, we have equipped participants with new and innovative tools that enhance their sustainability practices, thus supporting the infrastructure of Dubai’s cultural and creative industries and cementing the emirate’s position as a global centre for culture, an incubator for creativity and a thriving hub for talent.”

The camp, held over three days at Google’s offices in Dubai, offered participants 1:1 mentoring sessions with googlers staff and subject matter experts, in addition to sessions and workshops discussing ways to achieve sustainability, use eco-friendly and recyclable materials, and implement environmentally friendly design practices. Hani Asfour, VP of Innovation & Institutional Partnerships at Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation, highlighted the importance of the right mindset, context and emotions in design during his ‘Sustainable & Design’ session. Andreas Mielenhausen, Creative Lead for Creative Works MENA  at Google, discussed the value of branding in the ‘Advertising & Creativity for Artists’ session. Bruno Bianchini, Head of MENA, Global Partnerships at Google, engaged the participants in a thought-provoking discussion on sustainability in his session ‘Why Does Sustainability Matter?’.

Christine Wilson from PeaHead.eco covered her challenges and wins in upcycled design projects and shared sustainability tips from her years in the creative industry. Karim Zouein, Strategic Partner Manager at YouTube Creator & Artist Development MENA at Google, took participants through key insights into YouTube’s approach towards its various stakeholders in ‘YouTube + Artists (Branding + Marketing).’ Giannis Kollias, Creative Strategist MENA at Google, discussed the ABCs of building an effective creative ad in his ‘YouTube 101 for Artists’ session.

Rami Jawhar, Programme Manager at Google Arts & Culture, highlighted the benefits of machine writing in ‘Google Arts & Culture: Using Technology for Cultural Preservation,’ while Adi Narayanan, Head of Materials Science & Engineering at Google, discussed Google’s circular economy approach in ‘Eco-friendly Materials and Google’s Recycled Innovations’ and Richard Wilson, Founder of Colab, highlighted homegrown initiatives that have developed innovative sustainable materials in the UAE.

Ameen Altajer, infiniteware and Google for Start-ups mentor, shared his expertise and tips on Stable Diffusion during his workshop on ‘Tinkering with Stable Diffusion programme. Additionally, Zélie Roche, Institutional Affairs & Sustainability Manager at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, delved into the artist’s role in society during her session on ‘A Museum Perspective: The Artist’s Role in Today’s Society,’ while Mansi Bavishi, Make Works UAE coordinator at Tashkeel, introduced the participants to the Make Works UAE portal aimed at facilitating collaboration between the creative sector and manufacturers, fabricators, and suppliers in the UAE.

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