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More than 100 students from 40 schools in Dubai took part in the first edition of Dubai Saturday Club for students. Young people aged 13 to 16 from different schools and diverse cultures were given the opportunity to display their creativity in themed workshops and master-classes held across four tracks.

Working together on six Saturdays over a period of three months, the Saturday Club provided students with a first-hand experience of design thinking. The four tracks explored by students included wellbeing, creativity & design, entrepreneurship and technology and through design thinking students came up with future solutions for the world’s current issues.

Inspired by the UK’s National Art & Design Saturday Club, Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in partnership with the Dubai Design & Fashion Council, d3 and Dubai Creativity Clusters Authority created this platform fostered entrepreneurship and design thinking.

Hind Al Mualla, Chief of Creativity, Happiness and Innovation at KHDA said, “It’s a guided approach to building empathy and creating a sense of creative confidence in the students. Seeing the young learners self-organise themselves and develop a sense of shared responsibility to solve real-life problems was truly rewarding.”

Justine Bain, Founder of Sandy Seeds Children’s Wellness project highlighted the success of the Saturday club to the fact that students kept coming back and allowing “their creative switch to be switched on.”

The Saturday club created an opportunity for teenagers to expose themselves to topics and themes they would not normally focus on in school. This platform exposed young people to outside the classroom learning.

When asked about the experience one of the students said, “I learnt to respect others opinions”, the Saturday club “helped me get out of my shell”, it “increased my confidence” and “we got to connect together”.

The initiative helped unite students, social entrepreneurs and inspirational speakers while providing exposure to design careers and creating an awareness of the different careers in design thinking. Students were introduced to design thinking as a methodology to solve complex problems.

The workshops covered various topics and captured the attention of the students by bringing awareness to teenagers and not only learning their own capabilities but what these capabilities can do to our world and the value of giving back.

- KHDA Media