NYU Abu Dhabi recently had the honor of welcoming former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown for his second visit to the University. During his stay, Brown gave a public talk, put on by the NYUAD Institute, that focused on issues and solutions in the aftermath of the Global Economic Crisis. The event, which was open to both the NYUAD and local communities, took place in the impressive exhibition hall at Abu Dhabi's Manarat Al Saadiyat visitor center, not far from the location of the future NYUAD campus.
After a brief introduction by Reindert Falkenburg, NYUAD's vice provost for Intellectual and Cultural Outreach and dean of Arts and Humanities, Brown started his talk by congratulating the NYUAD community and NYU President John Sexton for their work. "It is a real pride for me to be in Abu Dhabi, to be with you, and to work with NYUAD," he said. Brown also praised the University for the development of the global network, which, according to the former prime minister, will have a "transformative effect" not only locally but across borders, as it has the potential to meet some of today's pressing challenges.
Following the lecture, Peter Henry, dean of the Stern School of Business at NYU, asked Brown several questions and opened up the floor to members of NYUAD's student body who had the unique opportunity to speak directly to Brown and receive answers to their questions about current economic problems. Later, Manarat Al Saadiyat's foyer was filled with event attendees, who enjoyed some delicious gourmet specialties while discussing the talk and waiting to take historical pictures with Brown.
"What I liked about the lecture was the idea that all these global problems will require global solutions," said Zahida Rahemtulla (NYUAD '15). Indeed, during his talk, Brown expressed hope that political leaders will achieve cooperation on global economic coordination, which he believes may be the only way to solve the current economic issues.
For some, the event offered the opportunity of a lifetime. "I've been following the news and the blog posts of Mr. Brown for a year as part of a school project, and I've become really interested in him as a politician, but I never even imagined I could meet him in person and listen to his talk. But I've come to Abu Dhabi, and my dream came true," said NYUAD freshman Yuqi Sun.