The Role of Global Universities in Promoting Sustainable Future

The moderator: Vesselin Popovski. Speakers: Prof. Feridun Hamdullahpur, Prof. Dr. Michael Hengartner, Prof.C.Raj Kumar, Alicia Wilson, Dr. Guy Ngayo
Prof. Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Waterloo, Canada points to the importance of sustainability for the prosperity and highlights the necessity of participation of universities in this integral concept. He believes that every country must take it seriously and all the talks must be converted into actions, integrating everything that we teach, study and research in Institutions.

Alicia Wilson, Vice President, Economic Development for Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Health System, Baltimore, USA speaks about the attitude and steps the USA made towards sustainability concept implementation. The country has already embedded the concept into Universities and schools and tried to incorporate the local communities into conversation about sustainability and even had some results.

Prof.C.Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor,O.P. Jindal Global University, India states that Universities are almost the center for sustainability because it can get everything we want to achieve through the impact of that Institutions, organizations , corporations and organizations that they have on society. Universities have the opportunity to shape young minds and should also promote knowledge, and the education. Professor also mentions the importance of partnership for India and learns a lot from the experience.

Prof. Dr. Michael Hengartner, Rector, University of Zurich, Switzerland agrees with Prof.C.Raj Kumar and thinks that Universities have two missions-to research and to teach. New researches and better solutions can bring the Universities and Institutions better leverage effect. Also, it is mentioned that sustainable financing will make big leverage effect with the clients as well. Scientists focus on remote sensing and getting higher support and high-detailed data about how the world changes in order to find the areas to focus the attention.

Dr. Guy Ngayo, Leadership Development, Lausanne Business School, Switzerland expresses the ideas and shares his experience how sustainability can be implemented into the curriculum. He believes that the next step is to incorporate the sustainability into every aspect of business evolution.

The moderator asks the question about the things and actions that make the Universities global.

Prof. Feridun Hamdullahpur states there are some basic elements that make them global. One of them is being connected to the whole world in the way that every single person is in tune with opportunities and the challenges of the world. If we want long-term sustainable solutions for all problems the scientists work on, it must be a part of the broader world.

A lot of the solutions need to be applied in communities we operate as it is often said "Think globally, act locally".

Prof.C.Raj Kumar speaks about the necessity for Universities to speak to power and assert their commitment towards global engagement. Universities should empower students and faculties to appreciate these issues and focus on researches, knowledge, publication and influence domestic and public policies.

Prof. Dr. Michael Hengartner claims Switzerland to be the only country in the world that is non-Swiss doing research development in Switzerland. Most of the researchers are not citizens. Also the country is with the second highest diaspora of scientists per capita. This circulation of specialists is thought to be essential for mutual understanding and getting ideas moved.

Speaking about student exchange and possible problems, experts find 3 main challenges such as communication barrier, the tendency to making groups based on origin and usage just Western companies cases, though understanding the mentality, approaches and culture of other countries is of high importance.

It is the case for Caspian Region to understand the importance of how Universities can transform society not only socially, but also economically.

Moreover, it is suggested to have local presence from international Universities in different regions of the world to demonstrate opportunities, culture etc to students in order to reduce the gap of different approaches and thinking models.

One of the aspects of responsibility Universities have is to inspire young minds to achieve something extraordinary and to make impact on the world.

Johns Hopkins University allows students to proceed investigating and creating all the innovations and researches young minds studied and made up before graduation from the University. It underlines the sustainability concept the University actively applies.

Experts claim that new technologies play supplemental role to education, inspiration and imagination that can be received in Universities. It is added that the companies and corporations which are involved in technologies and innovations can engage with Universities to apply these new technologies for monitoring, examination, recording and in other useful ways.

The moderator: Vesselin Popovski. Speakers: Prof. Feridun Hamdullahpur, Prof. Dr. Michael Hengartner, Prof.C.Raj Kumar, Alicia Wilson, Dr. Guy Ngayo