INNOVATON SOCIETY/ THE VENUE

Creating a context where people can think

Education delivered online has pros and cons. One important drawback: it is consumed in isolation, losing the benefits of personal interaction, group discussions, dedicated professional guidance, and access to a pool of resources that would allow students to put in practice the theory absorbed. This venue is designed to overcome this drawback.

Knowledge Theatre
PLACE X

Our branding thought process is still in progress, but here are a few reasons why we like this name:

POWER OF X

If you have heard of TED, you probably also heard of TEDx. If you have heard of Harvard and MIT, you may have also heard of their alliance to deliver EdX. If you have heard of Stanford and Silicon Valley, the name StartX could be familiar. In education, entertainment and entrepreneurship alike, the X has come to symbolize a revolutionary shift in how we create and disseminate knowledge.

PLACE PHILOSOPHY

Much importance is placed today on open spaces, based on the belief that they encourage collaboration. We think an open space is just as bad as a closed one - it takes away choice! Our venue is conceived as a place of many hidden nooks, where people can retreat between bookshelves to be alone with their thoughts, or easily step out into the common areas to connect with others. This choice is symbolized by the "X" - our guests get to fill-in the blank.

THEATER

Here we stage in-house events, witness remote events via live stream, and screen video content for a public audience, in the spirit of sharing ideas and pursuing knowledge.

IN-HOUSE EVENTS

We run events on a license from TED and operate an Open Stage free to use by social educators, guest lecturers, and performing artists. We seek to balance intellectual events with themed evening performances: i.e. Theater Sundays, Open-Mic Mondays, Stand-up Comedy etc. (see sample Weekly Schedule)

SCREENED EVENTS

Whenever we do not have in-house events scheduled, we will be screening live high-quality events that fit the profile of a venue dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge. Among our favorites we count the MIT Media Lab Talks, TED and TEDx talks, the London Web Summit, and so on.

MAJLIS 2.0

DIALOGUE PLATFORM

Twelve chairs and one round table. An iComm screen covers one wall, bookshelves cover the others. Here we conduct our thought leadership sessions, workshops, and the courses offered in our curriculum.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

We work to advance business knowledge by creating dialogue platforms that cut across traditional industry boundaries. We identify the best minds on a specific business topic, we gather them around a table, and we get them to ask of each other the questions they would otherwise only ask of themselves.

Example - We pick an issue – say, UAE healthcare finance. We identify current stakeholders (regulators, payers, providers, suppliers, patient groups) and emerging stakeholders (ex. financial and telecommunication services converging with healthcare) and invite them to the conversation. We add value by bringing in macroeconomic perspectives (e.g. The Economist, FT, or Bloomberg), academic perspectives (e.g. Duke, INSEAD, MIT, or Harvard), and specific domain expertize (e.g. Bain, McKinsey, Monitor, Booz & Co, or BCG). Cain plays the role of moderator and devil's advocate.

MEDIA LAB

The Media Lab hosts three main functions: research, development, and post-production.

THE RESEARCH FUNCTION

complements our curriculum with pre-event and post-event intelligence support. We also offer entrepreneurs access to premium databases they could not otherwise afford. (e.g. Zawya, Economist Intelligence Unit, MEED)

THE DEVELOPMENT FUNCTION

complements curriculum classes intended to teach basic programming skills. Here is a space where participants who cannot yet afford their own equipment can apply the knowledge accumulated in class.

THE POST-PRODUCTION FUNCTION

the lab features two workstations for post-production of video content captured in-house. This resource enables us to create and disseminate local content.

RECORDING STUDIO

A gentleman lacking sword-fighting skills would have been considered uneducated one century ago. We do not teach sword-fighting today because the skill is no longer needed. But just as some skills become obsolete, others emerge as basic requirements for modern education.

We think the ability to express one's thoughts in video form should be considered a basic education requirement, on par with the ability to read, write, and address an audience. This studio is dedicated to the mission of promoting video production skills to a general public.

We use the studio to produce video content that furthers our mission to create local knowledge and distribute it to a global audience: in-house TEDxTalks and TED Talent Search auditions (for upload on TED.com), video content related to our entrepreneurial education curriculum (lectures, classes, video pitches, and expert interviews for upload on Wamda.com), as well as events recorded on the Open Stage (for upload on CainTV).

BRAIN FUEL

Books and electronic equipment do not fit well with food - so we do not mix them. Besides, we already have a few awsome elements of the entreprenurial ecosystem that fill-in the need of the hungry mobile worker (i.e. The MAKE Business Hub in JBR, the Shelter in Al Serkal Avenue, and the Pavilion Downtown.

But brain work can be exhausting, so we have incorporated two sources of brain fuel: a chocolaterie and an espresso bar. Our mission is to craft your daily cup of happiness. No more, no less.