MDX joins Light It Forward UAE to illuminate Dubai skyline on World Earth Day

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On 22 April 2022 to mark World Earth Day, Middlesex University Dubai (MDX) is launching a landmark partnership with Light It Forward UAE by illuminating Dubai’s skyline with a call-to-action urging world leaders to ‘Invest In Our Planet’…reports Asian Lite News

Created using 500 solar-powered lamps, the solar artwork will be unveiled this evening at sunset at the University’s flagship campus in Dubai Knowledge Park to celebrate the beginning of an ongoing collaboration through this award-winning initiative. Many lamps have been hand built by MDX students and faculty who came together as a community in support of the campaign.

With the UAE hosting the UN Climate Change Conference (or COP28) in 2023, the solar message has been designed to build on Expo 2020’s commitment to act to protect the planet. In addition, the artwork will serve as a reminder to world leaders, who will be in attendance at COP28 next year, about their responsibility to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and take urgent climate action.

Today’s event is the second campaign the British higher education institution has partnered with the Light It Forward UAE to organise in recent weeks, following a highly-successful activation in the Opportunity District at Expo 2020 in March. Led by MDX’s research centre the Institute of Sustainable Development (ISD), a group of students spelt out an inspiring message of ‘This Is Our Time’, encouraging Expo visitors to consider the immediate impact of climate change on their lives and the environment. Further activations and initiatives focused on building awareness of sustainability across the UAE are set to take place in the near future.

Light It Forward is the initiative of Liter of Light, an innovative, global grassroots movement founded by social entrepreneur Illac Diaz that is taking sustainable building solutions to the people who are most in need of low-cost infrastructure.

Spearheaded by the Light It Forward campaign that begun in the Philippines, Liter of Light is committed to providing affordable, sustainable solar light to people with limited or no access to electricity. This flagship initiative has already made a significant impact globally, holding the record for the Largest Climate Action in Asia in 2020, when more than 4,000 participants built solar lamps safely from their homes during the pandemic. It also holds the Guinness World Record for the Largest Sustainable Lesson in the World in 2018.

Illac Diaz, Founder of Liter of Light: “The climate change conference in the UAE will be one of the most important opportunities to make a better future for people and planet, especially inspiring youth to be part of this historical moment as we head for COP28. We began this journey with the Middlesex community to make a hand-built solar billboard with this year’s Earth Day theme, Invest in the Planet.”

Alison Burrows, Campus Programme Coordinator Education and Early Childhood Studies at Middlesex University Dubai: “As the UAE counts down to hosting COP28, we are proud to have partnered with Illac Diaz and the Light It Forward campaign to promote awareness of the local education community’s vital role in combatting climate change and promoting sustainable development. This activation on World Earth Day is part of our ongoing collaboration and symbolises the hope our student community has for their future, which we are committed to safeguarding with the UN Sustainable Development Goals as our guiding principles. Middlesex University Dubai would like to thank Dubai Knowledge Park for supporting this initiative and allowing us to share the important message of ‘Invest in our Planet’ with the world.”

This ongoing collaboration between Dubai’s largest UK university and Light It Forward UAE builds on an existing series of sustainability awareness campaigns and initiatives the British institution has pioneered across the UAE’s thriving international education landscape.

Led by ISD, the University engages with students, educators, companies and governmental organisations in the UAE and across the globe to foster the advancement of sustainability in education, the local community and in professional best practice through outreach, training and research.

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MDX became the first university in Dubai and the second in the UAE to join the UN Global Compact, a global pact encouraging businesses to adapt sustainable and socially responsible principles and report on their implementation. MDX also joined the UN Global Compact’s Target Gender Equality accelerator programme, which builds on the University’s role as a signatory of the UN’s Women Empowerment Principles.

The University also focuses on sustainable development through its extensive programme portfolio, offering a specialist MA Global Governance and Sustainable Development. Sustainability is also a core focus of MDX’s BA Honours Fashion Design, with three groups of Fashion students having reached the Fashion Revolution UAE Student Catwalk & Awards Ceremony, which is taking place this Sunday to promote an equitable and just fashion industry.

Recent ISD industry collaborations include an event with Water Alliance UAE, which saw Andrew Mackenzie, Head of ISD, and MDX alumni ambassadors deliver a workshop about the RE-New Student Water Innovation Challenge to UAE school students. ISD also collaborated with logistics giant DHL to deliver a sustainability training and development series for managers across 11 MENA countries.