WPI Kicks Off Celebration of The Global School, Hosting Yearlong Speaker Series on Global Challenges | News


As part of a yearlong celebration of the launch of The Global School, WPI kicks off a monthly virtual series in October featuring experts on the most pressing global issues of our time—among them sustainability, the environment, the future of work, and the impact these have on people and the diverse regions of the world. The virtual speaker series will focus on global challenges and the impact of the work that WPI is doing to address these problems in collaboration with academic, corporate, government, and nonprofit partners around the world.

First announced earlier this year, Provost Wole Soboyejo says, “The Global School will enhance WPI’s impact as a leader and innovator in addressing great problems by creating a platform for realizing the university’s long-held vision of building a true global polytechnic with a reach and an impact far beyond what has previously been possible.”

The inaugural Oct. 9 event will offer more details about The Global School, which builds upon the strengths of WPI’s distinctive project-based education and research to address increasingly urgent and complex global grand challenges in interdisciplinary teams. Dr. Robert Langer, Institute Professor at MIT, recognized as the “Edison of Medicine” and the most-cited engineer in the world, will be the keynote speaker.

WPI faculty will share their perspectives in a session on Global Grand Challenges that will include an overview of WPI projects on the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy, climate change, energy, water, health, sustainability, and the future of work and the worker. WPI’s Center for Global Public Safety will also be discussed.  

“The Global School virtual event series is intended to engage all of the potential stakeholders in The Global School. These will include alumni, faculty, staff, students, and potential industrial collaborators or policy makers who could become part of the fabric of The Global School,” Soboyejo says. “The monthly interdisciplinary virtual events will allow our faculty to share their passions and progress around research, scholarship, and related initiatives; gain third-party endorsement from renowned colleagues around the world; and engage the WPI community.”

Events will focus on regional and global issues within the context of ongoing collaborations with partners from Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Oceania, Asia, Europe, and local communities.                 

  • Oct. 9, “The ‘Edison of Medicine’ Robert Langer’s Quest to Solve Global Health Challenges Using Biotechnology”
  • Nov. 6, Africa, H.E. Dr. Barfuor Adjei-Barwuah, Ghana’s Ambassador to the US
  • Dec.2, Latin America, “The Amazon Near a Tipping Point: The Need of a Novel Bioeconomy of Forests Standing and Rivers Flowing,” with Dr. Carlos Nobre, Member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize

Winter/Spring 2021 Sessions:

  • January: Middle East
  • February: Oceania
  • March: Asia
  • April: Europe
  • May: The Future of Work          

Click on this link for updates to the 2020–21 schedules and to register for any of the 2020–21 virtual series events.

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