Lucy Hawking to champion space science and accessibility at Expo 2020 Dubai

Children’s author and journalist, Lucy Hawking, whose father’s work inspired the design of the UK Pavilion, will be participating in the UK programme at Expo 2020 Dubai, starting with International Day of Persons with Disabilities on the 3rd December.

UK Pavllion at the Dubai Expo
To mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities day, Lucy Hawking ran a space sience and storytelling workshop with UAE students as part of a special programme of events which included a panel session, a student book reading and an event aimed at ‘Redefining Accessibility’.The events took place at the UK Pavilion, conceived by Es Devlin and inspired by one of Stephen Hawking’s final projects. Breakthrough Message was a global competition launched in 2016, inviting people to consider what message we would communicate to express ourselves as a planet, should we one day encounter other advanced civilisations in space. The Collective Message at the UK Pavilion invites visitors to donate a word to a message from humanity to the universe. It uses AI technology to generate individual poetic couplets which form the message and are projected from the UK Pavilion’s stunning cone-shaped structure.Lucy’s involvement with the programme began on International Day of Persons with Disabilities when she delivered a bespoke space workshop with students from the Manzil Center for People with Disabilities, UAE and their parents. Lucy then provided interactive ‘journeys across the universe’, exploring the wonders of the cosmos through story-telling. These talks introduced students to the life and work of her father.On the 3rd December, the UK Pavilion hosted a reading from students from the Manzil Center of a book that they wrote in collaboration with UK at Expo 2020 Dubai partner HSBC and the British Council. Also included in the programme of events is a panel discussion on “Changing the Disability Conversation; Redefining Accessibility”, chaired by Nicholas Cheffings, Trustee of CareTech Foundation with panellists Mike Adams OBE, CEO of Purple, Dougal Hawes, Managing Director of Smartbox, Jenny Sealey MBE, Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre and Sahm Cooper, an alumnus of HSBC’s Inclusion Project.

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Laura Faulkner OBE, UK Commissioner General, said, ‘Professor Stephen Hawking, a true British icon and pioneering thought leader, changed the world with his work and continuing legacy and so it is a great honour and privilege to welcome his daughter, Lucy Hawking, to the UK’s programme at Expo 2020 Dubai. Our hope is to spark the minds of future innovators through our content and so we look forward to Lucy helping us to achieve this, sharing the life and work of her father and bringing magic and wonder through the art of storytelling.”Lucy Hawking said“I’m very pleased to see how the UK Pavilion, inspired by my father’s work, is creating a message from humanity with a unique mix of visitors’ words and AI technology. I’m also delighted that this building provides a platform to engage the young generation in the wonders of science and space and to develop imaginative solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges, including increasing accessibility for all.” The first World Expo to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region and the largest event ever held in the Arab world, Expo 2020 Dubai will run for six months from  1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022 – bringing 190-plus countries together in a spirit of hope, optimism and shared purpose.Find out more about the UK’s activities at Expo 2020 and catch up on our events with our new Virtual Pavilion which will be updated throughout Expo. Join the conversation at @UKPavilion2020 #Expo2020The UK at Expo 2020 Dubai

The UK is participating in Expo 2020 Dubai, taking place from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. More than 200 participants, including 190-plus countries, are taking part in what will be the Arab world’s largest event. The overarching theme for Expo 2020 Dubai is ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’. Under the theme ‘Innovating for a Shared Future’, the UK’s participation will boost the UK’s global reputation, drive future partnerships and provide long term economic benefit.The UK’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai will be led by the Department for International Trade (DIT), with support from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the Department for Culture, Media & Sport, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, the Department for Transport, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the Devolved Administrations. The UK’s presence will consist of a self-build country Pavilion, based in the ‘Opportunity’ District and an accompanying business, cultural, tourism and education events programme.Find out more on the UK at Expo 2020 Dubai website 

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