Our Learning Festival

Our Learning Festival is an initiative by the Office of the Vice Chancellor and Learning & Organizational Development in partnership with offices across campus, for all NYU Abu Dhabi community members to share and learn knowledge and skills.

Join us on Wednesday, April 24, 2024
11:30am to 5pm
John Sexton Square, Art Gallery, Arts Center, and A6 StartAD space

Headline Acts

Time Location Course Description RSVP to Attend
12:30pm StartAD Room, A6-015

Generative AI and the Future of Work
By: Professor of Practice of Political Science; Director, Hilary Ballon Center for Teaching and Learning, Nancy Gleason

People, societies and institutions are changing due to the impact of generative AI and other disruptors. How work is done and integrated in organizations is shifting as a result. The fourth industrial revolution (4IR), and artificial intelligence within it, is enabling the automation of cognitive tasks, changing the nature of expertise  the future workplace requires. Women can benefit from the positive contributions that generative AI can make to efficiencies in our work. In some cases, this shift is happening very fast. The session will address emerging phenomena and offer ideas for AI upskilling.

RSVP to Generative AI and the Future of Work                                                        
1:30pm StartAD Room A6-015

Gravity's Cosmic Shadows: A Mathematical Unveiling
By: Provost, Arlie Petters

Step into the mesmerizing world of cosmic shadows with Arlie as he unveils the patterns hidden within them! Like the intricate shadow designs we drive through on our daily commute, to the ethereal dance of shadows in pools, similar patterns are also cast throughout the universe by the gravitational fields of stars and galaxies. Inspired by Einstein's groundbreaking theory of general relativity, join Arlie as he guides you through a captivating journey where mathematics meets the cosmos.

RSVP to Cosmic Shadows
2:30pm StartAD Room A6-015 First Art: Gardens of Eden and the Human Condition
By: Vice Chancellor, Mariët Westermann

The Garden of Eden is the most famous work of horticulture in history, but it is better known for what happened there than for being a garden. If the Garden of Eden existed, it would have been somewhere in our region. In this session, Mariët will give a glimpse of her long-running J-term course on Gardens of Eden in the cultural life of the Abrahamic religions. The class considers how people in these communities made gardens and thought about them, and why the first paradise still holds significance for our challenged earth today.
RSVP to First Art: Gardens of Eden and the Human Condition

Learning Zones (11:30am-1:30pm)

Five learning zones are set up across campus building on the values of the university, to cultivate belonging, and foster sustained learning in our community.  Swing by between 11:30am to 1:30pm to explore the zones.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Learning Zone Details Location
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence takes many forms across the university – from the “Robodogs” and VR headsets, to how to get started with Chat GPT and the importance of prompt engineering, this is your opportunity to experience hands-on learning about the power of AI. Sexton Square

Join an interactive workshop in the Art Gallery Reading Room and access VIP tours of the current exhibition ‘In Real Time.’ Guests will be encouraged to experience the exhibition and create their own unique work using glass, clay and spatial art and are invited to discover the space from 11.30am-1.30pm.

A community piano will be available in Sexton Square for anyone to play a tune or sing along with. Gather your dancing shoes and head over to the East Plaza for our Silent Disco. Grab a headset and dance with fellow festival-goers. Explore the Arts Center with a scavenger hunt, or drop into an interactive media session. Whether it's art, music, or dance, there's a creative outlet for everyone.

Art Gallery Reading Room and Arts Center
Majlis Ever wondered what ghawa is, how the coffee gets made, the ritual and significance of Buhoor, or why Faiza is a falcon? Experience interactive learning about Emirati culture in our Majlis Zone, and join the Office of Inclusion and Equity for wider conversations around identity and inclusion, diversity, belonging, and equity. Sexton Square
Sustainability Heard about our Climate Action Plan but you are not really sure what it means? Wondering what the University is doing about food waste, printing, and other community ways to benefit the environment? Come and enjoy some interactive learning while swotting up on all things sustainable at NYUAD. Sexton Square
Community Learn more about how the University supports cross-constituency community gatherings such as Our Learning Festival and the upcoming Louvre Takeover, and how you can get involved. Sexton Square

Well-Being Activities

Throughout the day, there will be a number of interactive and well-being focused activities for you to join in, including a community piano and opportunities to learn important well-being skills, including:

Mindful Conflict Management
5:15pm, A6-015, Sign Up

Dealing with interpersonal conflict can be a difficult and anxiety inducing experience. Join the Office of Inclusion and Equity for a workshop to learn how to be mindful and present during interpersonal conflict and moments of tension. Mindful conflict resolution utilizes mindfulness and presence to become more aware of one's own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors during a conflict, as well as the other person's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This will include mindfulness practices such as breathing and body awareness exercises to attune to the body during moments of tension, as well as skill building on how to effectively communicate and listen actively to oneself and others from a place of presence.

From the Cosmos to the Garden's of Eden: Sound and Art discovery 
5:15pm, location TBD, Sign Up

Join a guided sound healing journey followed by a creative exploration using the powerful dynamics of ARTiculation art therapy. During this exercise you will lie down or be seated for a sound healing journey, followed by creating a piece of art. Duration 1hr 15 minutes.

Our Learning Community

Our Learning Community is part of a wider Our Learning Festival programming. Building on our philosophy that we are all learners and educators, all community members – including students, staff, faculty, and contracted colleagues – were invited to propose and teach a 25-minute mini-course of their own design. From cross-stitch to crossfit and mindfulness to Malay, you can expect a variety of topics being taught.

The list of mini-courses for the afternoon will be announced by April 18. Courses will be on a first come first serve basis, and you can attend as many of these mini-courses as you like. 

Mini-Course Schedule

Course list will go live by April 19, 2024.