On 22 April 2022 to mark World Earth Day, the Middlesex University Dubai community launched 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’.
Created using 500 solar-powered lamps, the solar artwork was unveiled at sunset at the flagship MDX campus in Dubai Knowledge Park to celebrate the beginning of an ongoing collaboration through this award-winning initiative. Many lamps were 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 builds on Expo 2020’s commitment to act to protect the planet. In addition, the artwork also serves 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.
This event is the second campaign MDX has partnered with 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.
Illac Diaz, Founder of Liter of Light, said: “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.”
Dr Cedwyn Fernandes, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Middlesex University and Director of Middlesex University Dubai, said: “This ongoing collaboration with Light It Forward UAE builds on an existing series of sustainability awareness campaigns and initiatives Middlesex University Dubai has pioneered across the UAE. Our campus-wide efforts are led by our Institute of Sustainable Development, which collaborates with students, educators, companies and governments globally to foster the advancement of sustainability in research and professional practice. I am immensely proud of our University’s achievements in this field – from becoming the first university in Dubai and the second in the UAE to join the UN Global Compact to our students in Fashion Design who have just triumphed at the Fashion Revolution UAE Student Competition, which focuses on creating an equitable fashion industry. I cannot wait to see what our students and faculty achieve next, as we commit to Invest In Our Planet.”
Alison Burrows, Campus Programme Coordinator Education and Early Childhood Studies at Middlesex University Dubai, said: “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.”
To learn more about the work of Light It Forward, please visit: https://lightitforward.ph/