Can a Story Build a City? Danish Farhan, CEO of Xische on how Stories, Tech and Government are Shaping the Future of the UAE

Published November 18th, 2018 - 01:50 GMT
Danish Farhan describes himself as someone who 'Builds Nations With Stories' (Al Bawaba)
Danish Farhan describes himself as someone who 'Builds Nations With Stories' (Al Bawaba)

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At first glance, Xische may appear much like some of the larger global consulting brands. It’s corporate structure is categorised into brand communications, policy and strategy, research and training.




Take a closer look, and you’ll find that Xische is going beyond providing reports or advising third parties in government. The consultancy has been intimately connected to the vision of Dubai, and the ambitious strategy of the United Arab Emirates for a number of years.

This vision that places a massive emphasis on technology.

Dubai's blockchain strategy (courtesy Xische / Dubai Future Foundation)

From blockchain government services, to new ways of leveraging data to audit happiness, CEO Danish Farhan believes that the UAE’s towering skyscrapers and rapid economic advancement began not so much with oil, as with as really well told story. 

Understanding that Dubai’s story in particular is a strength, the team at Xische are playing a demonstrable role in curating a conversation on how technology will power the future of the UAE. In so doing, they may also be contributing to a global conversation on the future of government itself.

A lot of this is new in the Middle East.

Over the past decade, the conversation in the region has focused around private investment, venture capital and individual charismatic entrepreneurs.

But as technological change begins to deliver change on the macro level - altering the makeup of cities, the functioning of societies and the basis of economies - policymakers, city experts and technologists from across the public and private sector are beginning to collaborate at pace.

'State of Play. Smart Cities Media Kit' (Courtesy Xische Reports)

As an ‘outsider’ as well as an ‘insider’ Danish Farhan has a birds-eye view on the conversations that are shaping public policy and 'government as a startup' inside the UAE, in the process creating case studies for the rest of the word.

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