Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator

New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) and the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator Foundation (GESDA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Abu Dhabi to provide a formal framework for a long-term strategic engagement between the two institutions.

This commitment will contribute to the success, promotion, and development of the international Hackathon for Social Good in the Arab World. In its 11th edition, the hackathon brings together 200 students from 24 countries to build applications of quantum computing, one of the most promising technologies of our times.

GESDA’s aim with the collaboration is to extend our reach to global youth and foster their engagement with our Open Quantum Institute (OQI) proposal. The OQI’s mission is to ensure quantum technologies are developed inclusively and are leveraged in favor of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The role of youth is crucial for the initiative.

“I am delighted to witness the commitment of global youth and NYUAD to leverage quantum for the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Marieke Hood, who leads the OQI project at GESDA. “I am also glad to see that the idea of involving as many people as possible in technological progress through an Open Quantum Institute is gaining traction.”

GESDA will support the Hackathon by calling on OQI’s global community to contribute as participants, mentors, judges, and high-level speakers. GESDA and NYUAD are committed to aligning the Hackathon applications with the SDGs. The SDG framework is core to science diplomacy and the Hackathon has demonstrated the strong commitment of quantum researchers and developers to support it by accelerating quantum applications.

“We are thrilled to partner with GESDA on this exciting initiative that brings together cutting-edge science, diplomacy, and innovation to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges. This MOU signing marks an important step in advancing our shared commitment to promoting sustainable development and fostering the next generation of leaders in this field,” said NYU Abu Dhabi Provost Arlie Petters.

“The NYUAD Hackathon is an excellent platform for students to showcase their creativity and problem-solving skills, while also contributing to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the emerging field of quantum computing,” he said. “We look forward to working closely with GESDA and our students to create innovative solutions that make a positive impact on our world.”

GESDA will award an annual Open Quantum Institute prize that will provide mentorship to the top Hackathon team, connect them with industry and academic researchers to advance their project, and invite them to attend GESDA’s annual summits, among other global events.

NYUAD will provide regional and international visibility to GESDA and OQI as key impact partners for the Hackathon. Both institutions will work to raise awareness, particularly in the international and trade press, about the relevance of quantum computing to the SDGs and the importance of quantum computing education for all.

GESDA is an independent, private, non-profit foundation governed by Swiss law that is established in Geneva and operates on the principle of public-private partnerships. We focus on projects that can use the best science available to provide solutions to current and future technology-related challenges. GESDA spearheaded the institute’s creation to promote the coming of age of quantum computing.

NYUAD is a first-of-its-kind global university that represents a transformative shift in higher education, one in which the intellectual and creative endeavors of academia are shaped and examined through an international and multicultural perspective.

Designed to draw the most talented and creative students and faculty from around the world, it enables those students and faculty to circulate throughout a network while retaining access to the university’s intellectual community and resources.

NYUAD’s international composition, rigorous academic program, innovative research capacity, and location at the crossroads of the Arab world creates valuable opportunities for faculty and students across the global network to engage in academic dialogue in the Middle East and beyond.

About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective program with majors in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, arts, and humanities with a world center for advanced research. Its campus enables students to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world, and to advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from some 120 countries and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU’s campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents. 

About the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator Foundation (GESDA)

An independent non-profit foundation under Swiss law and a private-public partnership with the Swiss and Geneva authorities, GESDA was created in 2019 to strengthen the impact and innovation capacity of the international community through scientific and diplomatic foresight. For more information, please visit the Foundation’s website at

For all questions and interview requests, please contact Jean-Marc Crevoisier at