From October 26th to November 1st students of the Spark Philanthropy Program had the unprecedented experience of visiting of one today’s leading foreign aid donors, the United Arab Emirates, and learning from pinnacle models for sustainable philanthropy in the sectors of health, education, humanitarian-aid, and entrepreneurship and innovation. The objective of this global summit was to provide cultural understanding through education and experience, and to allow students to understand how philanthropy and entrepreneurship is approached on a national and international scale by the UAE to give precedence to the welfare of not only the citizens of the UAE but all nations in the pursuit of a peaceful global co-existence.
Students were inspired by interactive meetings with senior executives from some of the largest organizations under the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives: Dubai Cares, Dubai Future Foundation, Noor Dubai, Al Jalila Foundation, UAE Federal Youth Authority and the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. And the rare occasion to meet with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of the Emirate of Dubai and Prime Minister of the UAE. Spark students also had exclusive meetings with some of largest investment and private banking institutions in the UAE and Middle East including Mubadala Investments, ADIA, and Emirates NBD to learn key strategies of endowment management and financial literacy from the leaders of portfolio management in the East.
The innovation, openness and commitment to the collective future of youth experienced by Spark in the UAE was unparalleled, allowing our students to become global citizens with the ability to create lasting positive change on an international scale. We created the Spark Foundation because we believe the most important investment we can make is not in any particular cause but in our youth. We are working to cultivate the next generation of leaders that share the common objective of enhancing society. From the passion, fierce intelligence and raw talent displayed by our students on this our second global summit, we have no doubt that this group will shape the future in a meaningful way.