Monday 22 May 2017 -
16:00 to 17:30

Click play above to watch keynote speaker, Aromar Revi, give his address at the opening plenary

Sir Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive of the British Council officially opens Going Global 2017 followed by a sector address from Professor Janet Beer, Vice-President, Universities UK.

Our keynote speaker, Aromar Revi, thought leader on urbanisation and a global expert on sustainable development, will explore future global challenges and the role of cities as catalysts for solutions in an address entitled 'The University and the City: Shaping the Sustainable Development Agenda'. 

Cities are home to half the world’s seven billion people and contribute to about 75 per cent of global economic output. Five billion people will live in cities by 2050, increasing their share of the world’s population to two-thirds.

Yet, cities and urban areas face major challenges: poverty, unemployment, poor housing and lack of basic services, constraints on productivity, and a concentration risk due to natural disasters, climate change and conflict. This classical view of the city, as a site of inextricable problems, has inhibited interest and investment in them as sites of opportunity and change. The fractured relationship between knowledge creation and everyday life in the city, has contributed to this narrative. 

This address will explore the multi-faceted relationship between the city and the university, over time and across multiple geographies. It will situate this within the context of an urbanising world – one of the 21st century’ most profound socio-cultural, economic and ecological transformations. 

The place-making, boundary-shifting and inclusionary functions of the contemporary university could play an important role in making cities more inclusive, productive, resilient and sustainable. In doing so, the synergy between the city and university, could help shape plural imaginations of a new local and global social contract, in which no one and no place, is left behind. 

See also

Going Global sessions Going Global 2017 session