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Educating for Sustainability: KAIST's Graduate Schools of EEWS and Green Growth
At the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Annual Meeting (Davos Forum) January 17-20, 2017 in Davos, Switzerland, the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN) and the Global University Leaders Forum (GULF) shared exemplary case studies for teaching “sustainability” on campuses, which were implemented by 30 leading universities around the world. KAIST President Sung-Mo Kang participated in the meeting and introduced two of the university’s graduate schools and their main activities in 2016: The Graduate School of EEWS (energy, environment, water and sustainability) and The Graduate School of Green Growth. President Kang explained that the EEWS Graduate School, created in 2009, represents KAIST’s commitment to interdisciplinary education and research, addressing key issues of today’s global challenges including energy, environment, and water for a sustainable society. The graduate school hosted its first international forum last October, “The EEWS 2016: Progress and Perspective of Energy Science and Technology.” Over 200 participants from Korea and across the world discussed and learned about recent advances, challenges, and future opportunities in energy science and technology, such as the development of sustainable energy harvesting and storage, catalytic energy conversion technology, green chemical materials, and photocatalytic systems for sustainable water treatment. He also presented the Green Growth Graduate School as KAIST’s initiative to a build global alliance for sustainable growth. Established in 2013 in the College of Business, the graduate school provides world-class education and research on green business, finance, and policy. Among many international conferences and workshops it hosts, the school has held the Seoul Climate Energy Conference annually since 2014. Last year alone, over 400 international participants including climate and energy policy makers and scholars gathered at the conference and strengthened partnerships with the global community. The school has been an active member of international organizations that advocate for green economies and sustainable development, the Global Green Growth Institute and the United Nations Environment Programme, for example. President Kang noted that KAIST has been at the forefront of formulating and implementing holistic and cross-disciplinary approaches to foster learning and research environments in which university members can take on global issues, which are critical to humanity and our ecosystem, and work toward a more sustainable future. Founded in 2007, the ISCN is a non-profit association of globally-leading colleges and universities representing over 30 countries and working together to holistically integrate sustainability into campus operations, research, and teaching. Created in 2006, the GULF is one of the WEF’s expert communities, which consists of top leaders from 26 global universities, including the University of Cambridge, Peking University, Stanford University, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. The GULF offers in-depth discussions and exchange of ideas on the future of higher education and the role of science in society. Since 2012, KAIST has been a member of GULF, the only university from Korea. The ISCN and GULF have held a meeting each year at the Davos Forum since 2011 to share information, insights, and best practices for achieving sustainable campus operations and integrating sustainability into research and teaching. To see the full report on the 2017 WEF ISCN-GULF case studies, please go to http://www.international-sustainable-campus-network.org/downloads/general/462-educating-for-sustainability/file.
Davos 2017: Global Science Outlook
President Sung-Mo Kang of KAIST participated in the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting January 17-20, 2017 in Davos, Switzerland. On January 20, President Kang joined the Arena discussion on the outlook of global science in the year ahead with a group of distinguished scientists, including the Director of the US National Science Foundation, France A. Córdova, and the Editor-in-Chief of Nature, Philip Campbell. Under Dr. Campbell’s moderation of the session, the panelists introduced their perspectives on 2017 and engaged in free discussions among themselves and with the audience. President Kang began his talks on four major technological trends that have caught much of our attention in recent years, which he called “ICBM.” The “I” stands for the Internet of Things (IoT), “C” for cloud computing, “B” for brain, in other words, cognitive computer science such as artificial intelligence, and “M” for mobile technology that has been widely applied to unmanned ground vehicles and drones. He noted the emergence of brain research as one of the most exciting fields in the coming years, and accordingly, we will learn more about its functions and develop promising results in treating brain-related diseases, i.e., a nanoscale memory chip being inserted into a patient suffering from dementia for targeted therapy. President Kang also mentioned the role of higher education in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, for example, how to foster scientists and engineers to responsibly meet with the challenges anticipated in today’s rapidly changing technological environments. He said that robots would replace many jobs, and it is important to come up with real solutions for such changes. Lastly, President Kang stressed that the scientific community should continue its efforts to communicate with the public, accurately informing them of key scientific issues and offering opportunities to hold public discussions and debates that have greater influence over society. He presented a case of Korea’s latest outbreaks of Avian Influenza that resulted in destroying hundreds of thousands of infected chickens to prevent the spread of the disease, and highlighted the need for maintaining a strong communication channel between science and the public. The full list of the participating panelists included Sung-Mo Steve Kang, President, KAIST; Marc N. Casper, President and Chief Executive Officer, Thermo Fisher Scientific, USA; France A. Córdova, Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), USA; and Fabiola Gianotti, Director General of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Geneva, Switzerland. To watch the entire discussion, please go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bF-joYnyYa0.
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