Connect with us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter!







Speaker Abstracts


Michelle Adler, M.D., M.P.H.
PMTCT Technical Advisor, Division of Global HIV/AIDS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
"Ingenious Impact: Partnerships to Move Prototypes to Practice"

Low-cost technologies are critical to providing quality prevention, care, and treatment in resource limited settings. University programs that foster student ingenuity offer important opportunities for designing and piloting prototypes. This presentation will provide illustrative examples of how partnerships between university engineering programs and international organizations can facilitate the development and refinement of highly effective, low-cost technologies. For these technologies to have impact, they need to be recognized internationally, and investments must be secured to develop and distribute them on a large scale. Creative partnerships with public and private sectors in areas such as production capacity, marketing, and regulatory approval have paved the way for successful adoption of technologies into health programs worldwide.


John Seely Brown
Visiting Scholar, University of Southern California; Co-Chairman, Deloitte Center for the Edge
"New Models of Learning, New Modes of Engagement - Cultivating Resilient Learners, Designers and Researchers for the 21st Century"

In a world of constant change that is increasingly interconnected, more and more of the problems we encounter will be both social and technical in nature. Solutions from a single field will no longer be sufficient to solve them. Indeed, many of today's and tomorrow's problems might be better viewed as so-called wicked problems which require a multidisciplinary, design mentality in order to crack them. Although skills will matter as much as ever, cultivating the dispositions of entrepreneurial learning - questing, connecting and critiquing will be more important than ever. As educators we need to produce a new generation of students who are capable of embracing change, who are capable of understanding how to leverage the new tools of social learning and, most importantly, who are capable of crafting networks of imagination.


Rita R. Colwell
Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland College Park and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health; Senior Advisor and Chairman Emeritus, Canon U. S. Life Sciences; Chairman and President, CosmosID, Inc.
"The Research University in the Global Arena"

The Nation's research universities are entering both a new era and a new environment in the 21st Century. The global expansion of higher education in recent years has been dramatic, especially in the massive investments being made in science and engineering education and research by countries of the world, notably in Asia, Scandinavia, and Latin America. Although the U. S. still leads in number of Ph.D.s conferred each year, at the present rate of growth, the number of doctorates graduating each year in China will soon match that of the U. S. An important aspect of these changes for the U. S. and its higher education institutions is that the best and brightest students may no longer travel to the United States to study and those that do may not remain. Furthermore, the U. S. form of doctoral education has been adopted by many of the countries and, in this context, contributions that have been made by students from other countries to higher education in the United States must be understood. For example, significant benefits have accrued in the form of partnerships, collaborative research, and personal experiences, as well as increased involvement of industry, including international corporations. The role of women in increased graduate enrollments is another positive development. Thus, in addition to a global competition for talent and innovation, the grandest challenge for the Research University will be to determine how it will compete and how it will be funded in this new century.


Cathy Davidson
Ruth F. DeVarney Professor of English and John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Duke University; Co-Founder, HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaboratory)
"The Future of Learning"

Although we think we know what "school" and "work are, we really only know the institutions created by industrial era for the last great "Information Age" when steam-powered presses, machine-made paper and ink made books inexpensive and available to the middle- and working class for the first time in human history. The research university, like the assembly line and the firm, is a product of the 19th century's ideals of timeliness, attention to task, specialization, hierarchy, standardization (as distinct from high standards), uniform metrics, outcomes, and individual accountability. By contrast, the Information Age brought into full fruition in April of 1993, by the commercialization of the Mosaic 1.0 browser, offers possibilities for workflow, multitasking, collaboration, peer-to-peer evaluation, customization, remixing, interaction, and high standards as judged by merits, not test scores. Our lives, our modes of learning, and our workplaces have changed dramatically. Our institutions lag behind. We are doing a good job training students for the 20th century. This talk asks and suggests some answers to the urgent question of how we, together, can transform our institutions of higher learning for the 21st century?


James Duderstadt
President Emeritus and University Professor of Science and Engineering, University of Michigan
"Reinventing the Research University to Serve a Changing World"

The seemingly incompatible imperatives of a changing world–massification (extending college degree attainment), league table rankings (achieving world-class research capacity and quality), exponentiating technologies (cyberinfrastructure, open learning resources, social networking), and shifting public priorities (viewing education as less a public good than a private benefit)–are all posing formidable challenges to higher education. While these are driving many institutional changes at the margin (increasing enrollments, expanding use of part-time faculty, rising tuition levels), recent studies at the international, national, regional, and institutional level suggest that not only is a more fundamental restructuring of higher education necessary, but new paradigms of learning, scholarship, and engagement may be required that will radically change the public purpose, mission, and character of the research university itself.


David Edwards, PhD
Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Biomedical Engineering, Harvard University
"CellBags, WikiCells, and Breathable Healthcare for the Developing World"

Over the last five years, we have been exploring a new innovation model for sustainable change driven by art and design experimentation at frontiers of science. In this model, driven by organizations in Paris, France, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, sustainability derives from value contributed during the experimentation in educational, cultural, commercial and humanitarian contexts. Resources invested to generate these various kinds of value combine to propel idea development with local integration and inherent sustainable models. Three specific ideas will be described, one related to breathing nutrients into the mouth, and not into the lungs, and its relevance to developing world health and notably the problem of anemia. The other two projects derive from the notion that the biological cell can give us insight into how to design ways to better transport and consume water. The CellBag is a handbag/gourde with multiple benefits related to carrying large amounts of water. The CellBag emerged out of a Harvard classroom, and is now being used in a rural community in South Africa and sold in Paris. Sale of the product in the developed world sustains use in the developing world and is the basis of plans for a South African company to further develop and commercialize the CellBag. WikiCells are another technology that spun out of the early Harvard project. WikiCells are a technology for creating "edible bottles," essentially biological forms for packaging drinks and food. WikiCells can be produced locally and inexpensively and decrease the use of oil-derived plastics.


Amy Gutmann
President and Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania
"How Universities Can Make the Most Difference, Locally and Globally"

To educate students to creatively understand and constructively change their world, universities must offer curricula that do more than simply prepare students for a job. We must educate them for lives of engaged citizenship. Universities can do this by better integrating liberal arts studies with a fulsome understanding of professional roles and responsibilities, because their lives and their societies are profoundly shaped by the professions. The unprecedented power of knowledge-driven professions over individuals and societies makes cultivating this creative understanding across the liberal arts and professions a worthy goal for universities intent on making the most difference, locally, nationally, and globally.


Burton J. McMurtry
Emeritus Trustee, Rice University and Stanford University; Founding Partner, Technology Venture Investors and Institutional Venture Associates
"Global Problems and Multidisciplinary Initiatives: Observations from Stanford University"

In the early 2000s president John Hennessy and provost John Etchemendy led an effort to get Stanford focused on some of the world's really big problems. Attempting to solve these problems requires expertise from many fields. Stanford launched a series of multidisciplinary initiatives focused on: human health, environment and energy, international relations, K-12 education and arts. This talk will make some observations about that process. It does not attempt to be a detailed analysis, but it will hopefully be enlightening to those contemplating similar initiatives.


Hunter R. Rawlings III
President, Association of American Universities; President Emeritus, Cornell University
"The Biggest Problem Confronting Universities Is Not What You Think It Is"

Our research universities are wondrously complex institutions that defy easy analysis or understanding. We tend to focus our attention upon their most visible components, such as scientific research, star professors, state-of-the-art facilities and communications technology, economic impact, international outreach, and football and basketball programs. It is in their least visible domain that our universities face their largest challenge: educating undergraduate students, the citizens of tomorrow. The undergraduate curriculum has become at most research universities an incoherent melange of courses having little or no relationship to each other, a smorgasbord sampled by poorly advised students with insufficient understanding of what lies before them. Exacerbating the problem is the fact that administrators and faculty members do not know how to address this state of affairs: the curriculum is the province of the faculty, and the faculty has no confidence in its ability to reach consensus on the proper curriculum for all students, particularly those in colleges of arts and sciences.


Charles M. Vest
President, National Academy of Engineering; President Emeritus and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"Openness, Brain Integration, and the Meta University"

The primary product of research universities is opportunity: opportunity for individuals, regions, and nations. The range of opportunity and the modalities of education and research are changing rapidly in today's interconnected world. Higher Education worldwide is adjusting to globalization in many ways. The most effective way forward is through openness and integration of information, knowledge, brainpower, and facilities.


Henry T. Yang, PhD
Chancellor and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara
"Engineering a Brighter Future for the Developing World"

Coming Soon!



Paul G. Yock, PhD
Martha Meier Weiland Professor of Medicine and BioEngineering; Director, Biodesign, Stanford University
"Setting the Stage for Collaborative Innovation in Global Medtech"

We are in the early stages of an historic shift in medical technology innovation in which global developing economies will play a critical role. The markets for medical technologies are expanding much more rapidly in the BRIC countries than in the West, particularly China and India. The dynamics of these markets are spawning new technologies with a much lower cost profile than in the U.S. or Europe. At the same time in America we have entered a "perfect storm" for medical technology innovation, with increased regulatory barriers, uncertain reimbursement reform and diminished venture funding combining to slow the rate of new technology introduction here. One positive aspect of this situation for America is the potential for a "virtuous cycle" of low-cost innovation -- that is, more affordable technologies developed for markets abroad will enter the U.S. market... which in turn will help force a new emphasis on cost effectiveness for products developed here.


Robert Zemsky
Professor, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania; Chair, the Learning Alliance for Higher Education
"Trapped in an Ecclesiastes Moment: Why Universities Find It So Hard to Do Things Differently"

In the 1980s all the elements for a national reform agenda were in place. Understanding why higher education didn't move forward then is a prerequisite for understanding the inertia that holds higher education hostage today. The most obvious cause is that faculty have demonstrated little zest for change. Twenty years ago Henry Rosovsky bemoaned the loss of the social contract that once bound faculty to their institutions. Since then, few have thought through how faculty might better discharge their obligations in a fundamentally changed world. Less obvious is a regulatory environment that seeks control over institutions. The result a host of dysfunctional regulations that increase costs, freeze processes, and create a looming sense that to change is to invite unwanted scrutiny.



DeLange Conference Home Rice University March 2, 2012