November 2017

Smart Dubai Leads Delegation on Study Tour and Team-Building Workshops in Denmark and Norway

The Smart Dubai Office (SDO) and its affiliate organisations – the Smart Dubai Government Establishment (SDG) and the Dubai Data Establishment – have sent a delegation on a study tour, including team-building workshops, to the Nordic countries of Denmark and Norway on November 20-24, 2017.

The visiting delegation will have to opportunity to learn from the experience of these countries in promoting happiness: Norway and Denmark are consistently rated as the happiest countries in the world in the annual World Happiness Index, issued by the UN General Assembly’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The Index, which is based on Gallup polls in 157 countries, ranked the UAE as the happiest in the Arab region in 2016.

The trip is set to include activities and workshops to identify the best practices implemented in Scandinavian countries, which boast high levels of happiness, productivity and institutional performance. The objective is to replicate the best of these solutions in Dubai’s smart transformation plans and achieve the strategic objectives of Dubai Plan 2021.

Her Excellency Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director-General of the Smart Dubai Office (SDO), said: “His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, has taught us that human development depends on the strength of his ideas and their ability to spread across countries and continents. With that in mind, we organised this training programme for Smart Dubai’s senior management, along with our partners and affiliates. Delegates were taking on a tour of the Scandinavian countries, which consistently rank as the happiest in the world according to the 2017 World Happiness Report.”

“This tour allows our team to learn the practices and approaches to happiness implemented in Scandinavian countries and incorporate them into our activities as we go about making Dubai the smartest and happiest city on earth,” Dr Aisha added. “With its interactive workshops, the field visit provides an opportunity to introduce participants to the importance of team-building to improve performance and create a happy working environment. Delegates also learned how best to harness technology to serve humanity, which aligns with Smart Dubai’s strategic goals.”

The first stop on the tour will be in Oslo, Norway, where experts from Bjørnson Organisational Psychologists will give a presentation around happiness in Scandinavian countries, followed by another session on boosting the use of artificial intelligence. Norwegian start-up No Isolation – which was founded to reduce loneliness by creating solutions to bring people together – will be giving a presentation on day two, followed by three presentations from consulting firm Miles, including workshops to strengthen relationships among team members.

Next, the delegation will head to the LEGO House in Billund, Denmark, where they will spend a full day with one of the world’s best brands. Attendees are in for a behind-the-scenes tour with LEGO’s “disruption team”, which focuses on future tech, accelerators and start-ups, before taking part in LEGO Serious Play, an innovative communications and team-building workshop.

At their third and final stop in the Danish capital Copenhagen, delegates are set to take part in a workshop on organisational disruption at Thürmer Tools, which has been producing high-quality thread-cutting tools for more than 100 years. The workshop is then followed by a presentation on what makes Scandinavian workplaces some of the best in the world, given by the Great Place to Work Institute and Oxford University. Also in Copenhagen, the team will be taking part in a workshop with strategic design and innovation firm Bespoke on forecasting the future and planning strategic scenarios.

All in all, the Nordic tour will have included three different team-building workshops: the first using FuelBox Team, which uses open questions to challenge, inspire and motivate team members. The second workshop with Miles consultancy uses Playing Lean, a fun and engaging team-building board game, while the third workshop at LEGO uses the company’s Serious Play, which facilitates communication and innovation.