Ghaith is an urban planner and sustainable development advisor with extensive experience in city planning and sustainability advisory projects in the Middle East. His strength is to bring a strategic perspective to complex urban challenges, setting out holistic frameworks founded on robust evidence base and clear systems thinking. Ghaith proactively work to promote sustainable planning and design principles both in the industry and academia. This involves being a guest lecturer at several regional universities as well as a panellist at high-profile international and regional events, including the recent be COP27  event where he was a speaker on a panel in the Blue Zone, tackling the principles of sustainable urban planning. Some of his recent contributions to professional publications that support the transition to a net positive future include the State of Play Report for Circular Built Environment in Gulf Cooperation Council, which was prepared for the One Planet Network’s Sustainable Buildings and Construction Programme.


30 October, 2023 | 12:35 to 13:20
Beyond Sustainability - from immersive education to living buildings

The topic of sustainable future is certainly one of the leitmotifs not only in education, but in every area of our life. However, the issues of the future of the educational environment, including the school building as such, go beyond sustainability as it is usually understood. Within this panel, we propose to address the following questions and try to find answers by approaching urban planners and those engineering solutions that are already ahead of the future:

•          The school building is rapidly becoming outdated; hybrid forms of education constantly demand varieties of different spaces; sustainability paradigm demands to address environment issues – thus we need to catch a glimpse of the future, what are the areas of further development? What solutions can we offer here in terms of engineering, technologies, design and architecture?

•          What are the “futuristic” scenarios of a learning environment? Is it possible for a school building to become "immersive" or "alive"? Can it respond to a certain state of mind and body? or anticipate some type of activity? Is it possible for a school building to be responsive to the emotional needs of our teachers and students? Would schools accept such an offer from designers and engineers? 

•          What can existing “futuristic” sustainable and regenerative schools offer to other schools? Any recipes for others to start doing something today?

Within our panel three representatives of three incredible progressive schools are going to discuss some of the issues described with the representative of Arup company - a trend setter for future engineering solutions and urban planning. School is never just a building – it’s always a larger ecosystem, a community builder.