September 15/16 2015
The Chinese Academy of Engineering recently hosted a major international summit on Global Grand Challenges, a series inspired by the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering , 14 ambitious goals that are believed to be both achievable and necessary to help people and the planet survive.
There was a range of high profile speakers including Alibaba Group Founder and Executive Chairman, Jack Ma; EPC’s former President and Chair of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Standing Committee for Education and Training, Professor Helen Atkinson; Princeton University sustainability expert, Professor Robert Socolow and Charles Holliday, Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell.
The Education segment of the event explored improved methods of teaching, including ways of tailoring learning to individual propensities and abilities on a mass scale. Helen’s talk “The Beginnings of Wisdom…” outlined the challenges in engineering education.
Will.I.Am – seen here with Helen – was another of the event’s high profile speakers. In 2014, as part of a commitment to help inspire a generation of engineers, Will donated £500,000 into the Prince’s Trust to help disadvantaged young people join the digital revolution. In an interview with the Metro, Will commented:
“Nowadays, the music industry isn’t healthy. If you want to do music because you love music then that’s awesome but if you want to do music to survive and get out the ghetto then I have a better thing for you to do – consumer electronics. Be a technician, be an engineer, be a mathematician. The world needs more engineers. It’s very important that kids be brought up to speed on where the world is going.”