On the occasion of the Times Higher Education World Academic Summit 2018, a delegation from ETH Zurich travelled to Singapore to attend the meeting on the impressive campus of the National University of Singapore. This presence was important in several ways. President Lino Guzzella spoke on a panel highlighting the importance of “constructive failure”, a term coined by ETH Zurich Professor Manu Kapur, which then became a buzzword for the rest of the Summit. Rector Sarah Springman spoke on another panel of the importance of promoting lifelong learning options and strategies.
Creating meaningful content and interactions for an international gathering of leaders of the world’s best and most ambitious universities, including leading figures from government, policymaking and industry.
Probably the most important reason for making the journey was to announce that ETH Zurich will host the World Academic Summit 2019. Officially launching this event at the end of the Summit in Singapore, the ETH Global Team has already laid the groundwork for the meeting through a deep and ongoing close collaboration with Times Higher Education. The theme of the forthcoming meeting in Zurich will be “How Talent Thrives”. The main objective is to address a set of underlying challenges through meaningful dialogues and debates on how to redefine talent, close the skills gap, and consider issues relating to gender, inclusivity, culture and geography.
The process of brainstorming the content and format of the conference along the design principle “form follows function” is at the heart of the work of ETH Global. By focusing on the design of a participant’s journey that begins long before the Summit itself, and extends after the closing session of the meeting, our goal is to create a sense of continuity. While we are aiming to set the bar high in terms of the content of the discussions, we would also like to push the boundaries on how we create a meaningful value proposition for participants that we host here at ETH for such events. These ambitions include a comprehensive sustainability strategy that will be an integral part of the experience. After all, talent does not happen by mere chance.
Sarah Springman with to the right Mamokgethi Phakeng from the University of Cape Town, Ben Nelson from Minerva, and Marjaan Suutarinen from the University of Helsinki. This breakout session on “The role of research universities in continuing education for a tech-drive future” was moderated by John Ross from Times Higher Education (far left). (photo credit: Viktoria Ivarsson/ETH Zurich)
Details of the Summit, which will take place on 10-12 September 2019, can be found here: https://www.theworldsummitseries.com/WAS
We look forward to interacting with the ETH community in creating this event and showcasing ETH and Switzerland to a prestigious international audience. If you have any questions or ideas, please feel free to get in touch with my colleague Viktoria who is happy to discuss any of your contributions: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the author
Gisbert Schneider is a full professor at ETH Zurich, holding the Chair for Computer-Assisted Drug Design, and the Associate Vice President for ETH Global. He received his PhD in Biochemistry from Freie Universität Berlin. He then joined Roche Pharma in Basel as a cheminformatics group leader. From 2002 to 2009, he was a full professor at Goethe-University in Frankfurt (Beilstein Endowed Chair). His research focuses on the integration of artificial intelligence into practical medicinal chemistry.