OHM Live, an ambitious 24-hour live celebrity fundraiser produced in Dubai, goes live on May 29. The organisers Jean-Karl Saliba and Zaid Fredericks believe it can help get the world dreaming again
OHM Live, one of the biggest television productions ever put together in Dubai, takes place on May 29. The 24-hour celebrity fundraiser features stars such as Jason Derulo, CeeLo Green, Dua Lipa, Deepak Chopra and Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, and across the broadcast they will be seeking to raise funds for COVID19 relief efforts around the world – contributing to the likes of the Global Gift Foundation, International Red Cross, the Red Crescent, Médecins Sans Frontières and Dubai Cares. By any yardstick, it’s a major undertaking and one with a vitally important contribution to make right now.
For the Dubai entrepreneurs behind the event, though, it’s more than a global telethon. OHM Live is also the launch party for a project they have been working on for the past four years – a platform that wants to connect the world through dreams and, in doing so, reimagine what the world can look like if humanity unites its own best instincts and aspirations.
That platform is called Constellation and it is the vision of Jean-Karl Saliba, the owner of a Dubai-based events company that has worked on some of the biggest projects in the region, and Zaid Fredericks, who runs his own recruitment agency specialising in creatives, also in Dubai. OHM Live is, for them, the catalyst for reigniting dreaming around the world. In addition to the direct impact of fundraising, the performances, interviews, documentaries, public challenges and user-generated stories during the broadcast all have a longer-term goal: to inspire the world to keep dreaming.
Before we got onto OHM Live, let’s talk about Constellation. What is it and what are your hopes for it?
Jean-Karl Saliba: Constellation is a human impact accelerator designed to reignite the world’s imagination and to bring back the notion of dreaming – and aspirational dreams – into the mainstream narrative. It is our deeply-held belief that by helping the world express their dreams, we are going to create a movement that will accelerate human growth.
So, what form will this movement take? How will those aims manifest themselves?
JKS: Through a fully functional ecosystem that creates an economy around dreams – from merchandise all the way up to genuine social impact. Dreams are the golden thread of our project because they are precious and powerful – they’ve lead countries and driven people. We believe that through the narrative of the dream we can amplify online presence into offline experience and that these dreams will result in real life changes.
The launchpad for Constellation is OHM Live, the 24-hour charity broadcast. How are they related?
Zaid Fredericks: OHM Live is the driver of Constellation’s narrative. Constellation is all about the human impact accelerator, connecting the dreams of humanity. OHM Live is a charity event where we are using the voice of artists, musicians, celebrities and influencers to make that message accessible to a wider audience. It’s how we connect humanity around a central narrative, which right now is how to emerge from this pandemic and the sense of fear, hopelessness and uncertainty. We think it this an opportunity to reflect on what it is that we’d like to do – and dreaming can be a springboard for a new narrative. That’s why we’re seeking a billion dreams.
A billion dreams, a 24-hour broadcast… ? These are big ambitions. You’re not making life easy for yourselves, are you?
JKS: We chose 24 hours because we wanted to inspire the whole world and to reach to as many different audiences – and broadcasters – at their prime time. We have created segments of content tailored made for specific markets: India, the Arab World, Europe, Latin America and so on. We’re trying to be as inclusive as possible. Our intention is that, at any given time zone, someone goes on our Facebook page or YouTube stream and get a window into someone’s dream – whether it is a musician, an activist, a sportsperson or just a human from the other side of the world. It’s a 24-hour dream stream!
What do you want people to take away from OHM Live?
JKS: That in this time of isolation we are one humanity, that we have the capacity to amplify our human connection. I’d like the world to know that for 24 hours we came together not for a story of despair or war or disease, but for a story of hope. And this hope can reinstate trust for humanity.
ZF: I want OHM Live to be a catalyst to show people what can be done when we reignite people to dream big. I want people to realise they have the power to change their current situation.
You’re highly successful in your other fields so what was the spark for all this?
ZF: I was wanting to be part of something bigger. In recruitment, I always had that sense that I needed to help. And getting other people jobs was doing that. But at the end of every interview, I’d ask “what is your dream?”. And 60 or 70 percent would say something completely different to what they were interviewing for! They weren’t doing it because of family pressure, or the need to make money. So I realised I couldn’t help as much as I wanted to. Meeting JK and realising we shared similar ideas, we decided to try and create something where people can express their dreams honestly and openly.
To what extent is Dubai a natural home for the ambitions and mission of both OHM Live and Constellation?
JKS: Well, we’re both here, for one thing. It’s where we met and where we work. But for a lot of people, Dubai is the city of dreams. Dubai is the dream of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and it is inspirational to see to see what a city can do when it is led by someone with vision. Dubai is an environment where dreams can thrive. It has shown time after time that anything is possible.
So, when OHM Live’s final credits roll, what happens next?
ZF: One of the things we want to create is a visual map of what the world’s dreams look like. It will show what people around the world want on a micro and macro level. This is the first step in connecting people. We are all interconnected and we can all play a pivotal role in changing the current situation that we find ourselves in.
JKS: Oh, it’s just the start of our journey. It’s the launch of Constellation. We’ll say thank you to humanity for dreaming with us and that we’ll see them soon on the next broadcast, the next show, the next idea. Our next milestone is to get the UN to create an International Day of Dreaming, which we hope will be on 11/11 of each year.
For a full list of celebrities and details on how to donate to the Constellation Dream Fund, visit: ohm.constellation.art