KAUST's Office of Enrichment Programs was created as a way to draw faculty, students, staff, partners, collaborators, and community members out of their daily routines and into a curated program of expansive thinking. The programs are shaped to educate, inspire, enrich and contribute to the community, the Kingdom and the world.
Under the umbrella of the VP for Academic Affairs, the Office of Enrichment Programs produces and delivers the two-week-long hallmark event at KAUST Winter Enrichment Program (WEP), the Enrichment in the Fall program, TEDx KAUST, and the Artists-in-Labs programs. The Office of Enrichment Programs puts on festival-style events designed to enrich and inspire participants through lectures, workshops, entrepreneurial, cultural, and recreational events that are not typically found in academic programs.
Since 2010, the Office has produced a total of 1,430 events, invited 1,230 international and in-Kingdom speakers and attracted a cumulative audience of 100,450 attendees from the KAUST community and the Kingdom. The events can also be experienced online, and the 2018 WEP program reached 2.2 million people.
A selection of past keynote speakers includes Abdullatif A. Al Othman, Governor and Chairman of the Board of the SAGIA, Dirk Ahlborn, CEO at Hyperloop, Carolyn Porco, Imaging Science Team Leader of the NASA Cassini Mission, artist Theo Jansen and Kip Thorne, Nobel Laureate in Physics, Caltech.
TEDxKAUST will take place again in 2019, more information about this program to be announced soon. The theme of the 2017 TEDxKAUST event, Impact Factor, organized by KAUST students and the Innovation Center aimed to unleash the personal touch of KAUST community members (students, faculty, and staff), as they reflect on their life experiences on a TEDx stage. The aim was to redefine the term Impact Factor as a qualitative measure of one’s impact on the people and community around them.
This program runs since 2003 by The Institute for Cultural Studies in the Arts (ICS), an international transdisciplinary centre for cultural analysis, cultural theory, and cultural history in the arts related to all topic areas of Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). This program brings artists and scientists together in an experimental framework and has brought the collaboration between artists and KAUST since 2016. www.artistsinlabs.ch. Learn more.