Cities: the genius loci in the digital age

Monday 01 June 2015 -
15:15 to 16:30
Session 3.3. Queen Elizabeth II Centre, London.

Looking at the global flows of mobility and talent concentration, we can see that certain places seem to attract (and retain) creative people more than others. Quite contrary to the assumption that in the digital age it does not matter where you live, some cities and areas are being chosen by large numbers of innovative people.  They are looking for inspiration and ideas, attractive environments in which to work and live, and synergies through working with people from other backgrounds and cultural heritage. Universities are, very often, at the centre of this. They are the first gateway into a new country for these young talented people as they undertake undergraduate and graduate studies. Research centres then play an important role in retaining them.

This “world café” offers the opportunity to explore this phenomenon in relation to the attractiveness and uniqueness of cities like Singapore, Cape Town, Chicago, Hong Kong, as well as Birmingham, Nottingham and Montréal. Delegates are invited to consider the role of research centres for urban development, the distinct internationalisation strategies trying to conciliate global look and local flavour, the specific situation of former industrial or harbour cities being reframed into centres of creative industries, the regional appeal of universities to attract students and scholars with talent to rebuild or reshape economies and societies. 

While recent studies point to the five or ten most appealing cities in the world to live and work, how are real academic biographies structured, what stories do internationally mobile people tell? How does international education relate to the shaping of “great places to be”?

This session is curated by Christian Mueller, Director strategy, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Germany, as part of our 2015 guest curated session series.

For further reading on this and related topics, read our speaker interview with Dr Eden Woon.

Nasima Badsha
Chief Executive, Cape Higher Education Consortium, South Africa

Nasima heads the Cape Higher Education Consortium (CHEC). She has held teaching, research & management positions in universities and has extensive experience of policy development & implementation. She was Deputy Director General (for higher education) in the South African Department of Education and has also served as a Ministerial Advisor. Session 3.3

Nasima Badsha

Professor Saul Becker
Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Social Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK

As well as providing strategic leadership to the College, Saul is also leading on the University’s Civic Engagement and Brazil strategies. Saul is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and of the Royal Society of Arts. Saul’s area of research is social policy and social work, with specific focus on ‘young carers’. Session 3.3

Professor Saul Becker

Professor Rebecca Duclos
Dean of Graduate Studies, School of the Arts Institute Chicago, USA

Rebecca Duclos is the Graduate Dean and Professor in the Visual and Critical Studies Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She holds a PhD in Art History and Visual Culture from the University of Manchester, an MA in Museum Studies and a BA in Classical Studies and Near Eastern Archaeology from the University of Toronto, and a B.Ed. in Art Education from York University. Session 3.3

Professor Rebecca Duclos

Professor Dr Peter Edwards
Director, Singapore-ETH Centre, Singapore

Peter Edwards was professor of plant ecology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, where he also served as dean of the Department of Environmental Sciences. In 2013 he was appointed director of the Singapore-ETH Centre for Global Environmental Sustainability, a multi-disciplinary institute conducting research into aspects of urban sustainability and resilience. Session 3.3

Professor Dr Peter Edwards

Dr Warren H. Fox
Chief of Higher Education - Universities and Colleges Agency, Knowledge and Human Development Authority, United Arab Emirates

Dr Warren H. Fox has served in many capacities in higher education at the campus, system, and statewide levels in the US and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority in the Emirate of Dubai, the UAE; he also serves as Chief of Higher Education for KHDA Dubai. Previously he was head of higher education for the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of the UAE. Session 3.3 Session 5.8 Session P.1

Dr Warren H. Fox

Professor Caroline McMillen
Vice-Chancellor, The University of Newcastle, Australia

Professor McMillen took up her current role in October 2011. Over a 30 year career in the HE sector, Professor McMillen has served in research, innovation and teaching leadership positions, as well as national and international roles in medical and health research, strategy and policy development. Professor McMillen is a current Director of the Business Higher Education Round Table Board, a Business Events Sydney Ambassador, and member of the NSW Innovation and Productivity Council. Session 3.3

Professor Caroline McMillen

Christian Müller
Director - Department of Strategy , German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Germany

With an academic background in Social Sciences and German Studies, Christian Mueller has worked at universities in Germany, Portugal and Brazil, has represented DAAD for the last five years in Brazil and directed the DAAD Office in Rio de Janeiro, as well as the German Center for Science and Innovation DWIH in Sao Paulo. Prior to this appointment, he was Director International HE Marketing at DAAD Bonn. Session 3.3

Christian Müller

Douglas Pancoast
Director, Earl and Brenda Shapiro Center for Research and Innovation, USA

Douglas has worked for firms including Richard Meier and Partners, 1100 Architect, BlackBox Studio at SOM, and agency.com. Current interests include examining how large, public data sets (economic, environmental, social, cultural, civic) are a context for creative practice. Recent projects include the Array of Things for the Chicago Open Data Portal and WiBlox for the Chicago Innovation Exchange. Session 3.3

Douglas Pancoast

Dr Eden Woon
Vice-Chancellor, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Hong Kong SAR

Dr Eden Woon is Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Development at HKUST. He was Managing Director of Li & Fung China and Toys ”R” Us China, Vice-President of Starbucks China and Chief Exectutive Officer of Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce. He served in US Air Force, retiring as Colonel, and was China advisor to US Secretary of Defence. Session 3.3

Dr Eden Woon

Professor Hai-Sui Yu
Pro Vice-Chancellor - Internationalisation, University of Nottingham, UK

Hai-Sui Yu is a Professor of Geotechnical Engineering; previously he was Head of the School of Civil Engineering and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering. His research activities have involved theoretical and computational geomechanics, geotechnical testing, and transportation geotechnics. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2011. Hai-Sui has been PVC International since 2011, and was previously PVC for International Campuses. Session 3.3

Professor Hai-Sui Yu