The research university in its current form represents a remarkable and successful model where education and research and its application are brought together in synergistic ways that produce valuable new ideas, insights, products and services, as well as thought-leadership that informs policy and action (National Research Council of the National Academies, 2012). However, the world in which research universities have …
We have reached a critical moment in time when the digital revolution — brought on by ubiquitous personal, mobile and affordable information devices — is challenging the historical missions of education and research; a challenge for our universities that constitutes a disruptive force and an opportunity for world-class European universities….This IT revolution has given rise to a new generation of …
More than ever, research universities live in an environment heavily impacted by the forces of globalization. Their strategic thinking continues to be influenced by robust competition in critical areas such as funding, enrolment, recruitment and reputation, as well as by developments beyond their national higher education systems.
As president of a German university and chairman of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), it is my special interest to discuss the role of research intensive universities and their impact on global sustainability from a European point of view. One may wonder why the perspectives of European universities should
Obviously, the world is changing rapidly, and not only for the better: Grand challenges for society are arising and demand solutions. Some challenges can be foreseen, some may occur without warning. When societal problems can be predicted, responsible governments have to address their solutions. Early research has to contribute to
In the framework of the demographic evolution foreseen up to 2050, major issues related to sustainability include: food, natural resources (water in particular) and energy. These “grand societal challenges” affect all aspects of our lives and are not contained within geographical borders or specific scientific disciplines.
Last year, I chaired the U.S. National Academies’ Committee that produced the report, “The Hidden Costs of Energy” (2010). Using the most advanced methodology and the best available data, the Committee estimated a lower bound of US$120 billion per year in non-climate damages to Americans from producing and using energy in America.
Universities are a key player in the “knowledge society”. But this increased influx of knowledge and the exponential rate of technical progress also generate anxiety and fear that could undermine the fundamental role of universities to elaborate and disseminate knowledge. Universities should not be locked into the sterile debate of
This paper intends to renew certain paradigms that tend to limit the vision and functions of universities and advance towards the University 2.0, a scheme focused on society and that brings about concrete changes. The University 2.0 works in two great aspects: economic development models and social development models,
The two-way interaction of societal activity with environmental processes now defines clear and present challenges to our well-being. Human activity is changing the climate system and the ecosystem services that support human life and livelihoods. The changes are occurring at an unprecedented and often bewildering pace.
We live in a time of great change, an increasingly global society, driven by the exponential growth of new knowledge and knitted together by rapidly evolving information and communication technologies. It is a time of challenge and contradiction, as an ever-increasing human population and invasive activities of humankind are now altering the fragile balance of our planet.
The story of Canada’s innovation strategy begins with two key measurements: 1. Since 1990, Canada has ranked first fully eight times in the United Nation’s Human Development Index, which examines health, education and income indicators to assess overall quality of life (United Nations Development Programme,
The early years of the 21st century have found the U.S., Europe and Asia increasingly committed to technology-based innovation as the road to economic prosperity. Every CEO has had a catchphrase to this effect on his or her tongue. Etsuhiko Shoyama of Hitachi says “Ceaselessly Innovate”, and Sam Palmisano of IBM says “Innovate or Abdicate”.
Across the World, governments subscribe to the thesis that investment in research is a worthwhile public good for a number of reasons. Such investments are generally predicated on the view that research will lead directly to innovation and, hence, to wealth and employment creation. This “linear” model is an over-simplification of a complex reality
In 1992, Francis Fukyama reflected in The End of History and the Last Man on the transformative events signified by the collapse of the Berlin Wall. He argued that What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War,
Education, research and economic development are among the highest priorities established by King Abdullah for Saudi Arabia. An equally important overriding priority for him is the development of women for greater participation in the workforce. According to UNESCO, women make up 58% of the total student population of Saudi Arabia, and yet only 16% of the Saudi workforce (excluding foreign …
Success today hinges on our abilities to harness human potential, combine creativity with new knowledge and ensure economic impact is quickly derived from money spent on research. U.S. strength continues to lie in the ability to master innovation, but the future increasingly depends on our ability to also collaborate,
While Latin America has achieved relative economic stability and growth over the past decade (37.7% for 1998-2008), as the global financial struck the productive sectors of the economy through a drop in demand from the industrialized countries, declining remittances from abroad and falling commodities prices, in 2008 it grew 4.3%. Latin America is a very diverse region. Some countries have …
After a short tenure in teaching at universities, I have pursued an entrepreneurial career since 1980. Nine years ago, when I joined the MICorporation in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I got reconnected back to the academic world. Together with other like-minded individuals at MIT, I have been experimenting with ways in which to make the innovation at MIT have a bigger
Starting with the rise of Silicon Valley in the 1960s and 70s, the different stakeholders associated with U.S. research universities have emphasized and nurtured the relationship between scientific research and technological innovation taking place at these universities and economic development. The perceived importance of this relationship was reinforced by