An Unusual Tech Dialogue

Masdar City, an advocate for sustainability and technology, has long embraced the importance of knowledge-sharing. In line with this commitment, we have embarked on a dynamic new platform: podcasts. Future Forward, a distinctive podcast that combines the realms of entertainment and education, with a primary focus on illuminating weighty topics within various industries. Our goal is to foster a culture of knowledge sharing and provoke insightful discussions. Each episode of Future Forward features subject matter experts who lend their expertise, enabling us to delve into pressing issues and generate thought-provoking conversations. Our podcast knows no geographical boundaries, as we actively engage with experts from around the globe, exploring cutting-edge technologies across different regions.


When will electric vehicles become more mainstream? How will high-tech precision farming change the way we eat? Why can’t we stop hearing about the metaverse?

Welcome to the Future Forward podcast, an unusual tech dialogue which sheds light on all sorts of amazing technology developments around the world, and why they should matter to you. Brought to you by Masdar City, and hosted by Steve Severance, Head of Program Management and Marketing, and co-host comedian Ali Al Sayed, this quirky podcast asks the questions you want answered on a range of topics including 5G, electric vehicles, agri-tech, AI, and the famed Metaverse. Featuring a line-up of exciting experts and changemakers as guests, join us in our 6 episode series to explore the advancements leading us into the future.

Hosted by

Steve Severance

As a leader in technology development, including district cooling, mobility, and smart city initiatives, Steve drives new business models, strategies, and partnerships with global companies. Steve oversees numerous projects that balance sustainability and economic requirements, guaranteeing each project meets sustainability, revenue, cost, and schedule targets

Hosted by

Ali Al Sayed

Dubai’s Ali Al Sayed started writing, performing and producing comedy in 2008. His lightning-fast wit and rapport with audiences has allowed him to perform in numerous shows on the iconic and historic Comic Strip Live in New York – Headlining in Caroline’s on Broadway, performing in the Gotham Comedy Club and the New York American Arab Comedy Festival. As the Co-founder of Dubomedy, who do “all things comedy”, Ali co-started the first comedy school in the region, introducing Stand-Up Comedy from an Arab perspective.

Episode 6: Space, with Astrobiologist & Future Mars Walker, Alyssa Carson

June 21, 2022


Special guest

Alyssa Carson (NASA Bluberry) Electric

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to really go to space? Considered what inventions were actually created initially for space explorers before they made their way mainstream? In our last episode of Future Forward series one, our unusual tech dialogue goes skyward, chatting with astrobiologist, sky jumper and future mars walker Alyssa Carson, to delve into her incredible career at just 21 and the truth about space.

Episode 5: Agri-tech, with CEO & Founder of byAlinePate, Richard Pate

June 14, 2022


Special guest

Richard Pate

With the world constantly changing, new technology may be one of the only ways to not only save but develop agriculture around the world. In this latest episode of Future Forward, join us for an unusual tech dialogue into how Agri-tech can in fact improve people’s lives with CEO & Founder of byAlinePate, Richard Pate, who has developed an app-controlled smart garden creation.

Episode 4: Artificial Intelligence with Dr Abdel Rahman AlMahmoud, Principal Big Data and Analytics Researcher

May 31, 2022


Special guest

Dr Abdel Rahman Al Mahmoud

Artificial Intelligence may evoke images of robots in the movies, but it is in fact something that’s changing the world we live in. In this episode of Future Forward, our unusual tech dialogue delves into AI developments and concerns, with the brilliant Dr. Abdel Rahman AlMahmoud, Principal Big Data & Analytics Researcher and Leading Secure Cloud and Machine Learning at the Technology Innovation Institute located at Masdar City in Abu Dhabi.

Episode 3: 5G with Tommy Adebayo, Digital Creator aka GadgetsBoy

May 26, 2022


Special guest

Tomi Adebayo Gadgetsboy

Have you ever wondered... what actually is 5G? Are planes going to fall out of the sky around 5G towers? Why all the rumours about 5G causing illnesses and spreading Covid-19? In our third episode of Future Forward, our unusual tech dialogue attempts to de-mystify 5G technology, supported by our guest Tomi Adebayo, a.k.a. Gadgets Boy, one of the world’s most influential online tech experts. Join us for a fascinating conversation into network connectivity and whether it will make a difference in your life.

Episode 2: The Metaverse with Timoni West, Vice President of Unity

May 23, 2022


Special guest

Timoni West

This week the Future Forward podcast steps away from the physical world and into the Metaverse, to understand how it works, why it’s relevant and what challenges emerge when you try to live your life in a virtual world. Joined by the authority in all things meta, Vice President of Augmented & Virtual Reality at Unity Technologies in California, this unusual tech dialogue is not to be missed!

Episode 1: Electric Vehicles with Sam Collins, Formula 1 TV Presenter & Motorsport Journalist

May 10, 2022


Special guest

Sam Collins

In our first episode of the Future Forward podcast, our unusual tech dialogue delves into the world of electric vehicles and how they are changing the world for the better. Our guest this episode is Sam Collins, one of the world’s leading journalists and commentators in the field of tech development within F1. Join us for an engaging conversation which starts at the fascinating history of electric vehicles, and ponders all your questions on how and when, they will become mainstream.

Future Forward – the unusual tech dialogue brought to you by Masdar City – is back for a second season! Join us as we travel the world to showcase cities of the future. Have you seen the first metaverse-based virtual influencer from Atlanta? Or wondered how Stockholm became the first-ever European Green Capital? How about the steps Abu Dhabi is taking to usher in the new age of tech start-ups? Steve Severance, Masdar City’s director of growth, Nermeen Negm, the acting head of marketing and communications, and Lucy Hedges, a gadget geek and tech journalist, are joined by expert guests from around the globe for a journey through the ever-changing world of future-forward tech.

Hosted by

Steve Severance

As a leader in technology development, including district cooling, mobility, and smart city initiatives, Steve drives new business models, strategies, and partnerships with global companies. Steve oversees numerous projects that balance sustainability and economic requirements, guaranteeing each project meets sustainability, revenue, cost, and schedule targets.

Hosted by

Nermeen Negm

Nermeen is instrumental in formulating and executing marketing and communications strategies that reinforce Masdar City's position as a leading ecosystem for innovation and sustainable technology businesses. Nermeen is responsible for the identification of new markets and partners with a focus on innovation and technology, as well as achieving increased value for existing partners and Masdar City's Free Zone.

Hosted by

Lucy Hedges

Lucy specializes in consumer technology, whose obsession with gadgets began back in the 90s when middle-of-the-night SNES marathons were considered normal. She is a former editor for Metro and presenter for BBC Worldwide Travel Show. Lucy is also a frequent speaker and host at several live events.

Episode 6: Building Bridges to the Future: London's Sustainable Tech Innovation

August 16, 2023


Special guest

Juliet Davenport

Explore London's journey to a sustainable future in the final episode of our second season. Delve into the city's green spaces, energy-efficient housing, and technological advancements driving transformation. Learn from Juliet Davenport, a prominent figure in the sustainable energy sector, as she discusses programming languages for energy, eco-friendly innovation hubs, and the role of SMEs. Don't miss the insights about diversity, innovation, and community in shaping a greener London.

Episode 5: Creating a Start-Up Paradise: The Abu Dhabi Story

June 7, 2023


Special guest

Ahmed Ali Alwan

In this episode of Future Forward, we’re staying in Abu Dhabi, a leading city in sustainability and innovation. Dive into the thriving tech scene and discover how Abu Dhabi's ecosystem nurtures startups and drives technological advancements. Our guest, Ahmed Ali Alwan, Deputy CEO of Hub71, provides valuable insights into the city's role in shaping a sustainable future. Uncover the diverse initiatives, partnerships, and opportunities that establish Abu Dhabi as a global innovation hub. Tune in to this captivating episode where we delve into the intersection of sustainability, technology, and Abu Dhabi's vision for a brighter tomorrow.

Episode 4: Harnessing Digital Twins: Singapore's Journey towards Sustainable Innovation

May 24, 2023


Special guest

Linh Le

Singapore has become one of the world's strongest economies and is the number one smart city in Asia, but do you know the work that’s been done to get it there? In this latest episode we learn about Singapore’s commitment to green spaces, developing affordable housing for all and its relentless pursuit of technology to continue to transform. Our guest for this episode is Linh Le, the principal program manager at Amazon Web Services. Watch as he also explains all about how Singapore is the only country in the world to create a digital twin of its entire nation!

Episode 3: Investing in Innovation: A Look at Jerusalem's Tech Growth

May 10, 2023


Special guest

Jonathan Medved

Were you aware that Jerusalem is one of the world’s leading tech cities? Setting the scene for global development and discovery in the food production and medical space, learn all about the incredible work being done to change the way we look at the world and use it’s resources from Jonathan Medved - Founder and CEO of OurCrowd.

Episode 2: Explore Stockholm, the first European Green Capital

April 26, 2023


Special guest

Anna Jerlmyr

Discover the secrets behind Stockholm's journey to become a fossil-free city by 2040 with Anna König Jerlmyr, former Stockholm mayor, president of EUROCITIES and member of C40 Climate Group. From real-time data to green energy in public transport, hear how the city is using sustainable practices to improve citizens' day-to-day lives. Join us on the Future Forward podcast and get inspired by the innovations and technologies shaping the cities of tomorrow.

Episode 1: Meet Zero, the first Virtual Influencer from Atlanta

April 12, 2023


Special guest

Zero and Christopher Travers

What do a Metaverse-based virtual influencer (@zerofromnexus) and his creator from Atlanta think about the future of virtual reality? And how has Atlanta shaped the world’s approach to technology and sustainability? To find out, join us in the first episode of Future Forward season two, where we’ll delve into the world of the metaverse, discover Atlanta’s approach to green tech, and ask all the questions you’re eager to know about a virtual influencer!

By Masdar City

Episode 6