The pressures and tensions in regional and global infrastructure have been brought to the forefront by the Covid-19 pandemic, and a few local institutions are instituting an open call for unique and creative solutions to tackle inefficiencies and structural challenges faced by Kuwait.
The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) has revealed the KFAS Emergency Resilience Program, advertised as a portal on their domain. It serves as a hub for initiatives and resources aimed at mitigating the adverse side effects of the current crisis. It features a virtual cornucopia of content that includes several courses aimed at Kuwaitis of all ages, KFAS’ proprietary bookstore "which translates important international texts into Arabic and distributes them locally",a collection of webinars, a media library and recently relevant published studies.
The foundation has also put out a special call for proposals and studies that immediately tackle currently prevailing issues.
The Call for Practical Solutions on National Food Security and Supply Chain Disruption is accepting proposals that are specifically targeted towards farm-to-table digital solutions, the scaling of agriculture and aquaculture production to meet rising demand, food storage solutions and food waste management and recycling solutions.
The Call for Practical Solutions on Business Continuity and Kuwait's Ability to Leverage New Technologies is looking for submissions in the areas of robotic assistance, advanced manufacturing and production, machine learning, predictive systems and cybersecurity.
KFASERP is also aiming to completely digitize K12 education through three requests-for-proposals. The first, RFP 2020-01, is accepting proposals that will either outline the selection, integration and development of an e-learning system (sometimes called learning management systems) that abides by the curricular guidelines of the Ministry of Education or proposals that will aid in the development of a proprietary national e-learning system unique to Kuwait. RFP 2020-02 deals with the procurement of e-learning content and resources that also abide by MOE curricula and standards. The third, CFI 2020-03 is an open call “on all interested individuals and establishments to share their ideas or volunteer their time, expertise, or resources to assist KFAS in succeeding (sic) in achieving its goals as set by its Emergency Resilience Education Program.”
The scope and relative freedom afforded by these requests provides an incomparable opportunity for local specialists and thinkers to set their minds to the task of redefining our local infrastructural landscape. Unique proposals that stand out have a chance of fundamentally altering the way many of us live our lives here in Kuwait and could significantly ease the burdens currently faced by many.
These resources and calls to action are all available at kfas.org.
There is definitely a vacuum in the regional digital environment for a platform that would enable creatives and consultants to market their services globally. Coupled with linguistic support for monolingual customers and sellers, this has the potential to lower the barrier of entry for Kuwaitis to engage in cross cultural discourse and economic exchange and enable serious growth and self sufficiency of educated and talented locals who are struggling to find or are unsatisfied with local career offerings.
Local specialists and experts in niche fields with some time to spare may consider online group lectures and informal education as a supplementary form of income while, of course, reaping the satisfaction of passing on their knowledge to a curious new generation.
Creatives may also play a role in incentivizing locals to abide by social distancing guidelines. An example might be a local musician playing a short improvised song with a viewer’s name in it on Instagram Live after they’ve verified staying at home for a certain number of days.
What kind of steps do you think individuals can take to ease the collective burden of this upcoming year? We’d like to hear from you and hope you take the discussion to your newly digital diwaniyas.