Shared Future Through Innovation

Nov 3 2017
Written by NYU Shanghai

Last weekend, Chancellor Yu Lizhong addressed the opening ceremony of the 2017 Annual Conference of the Education Forum for Asia, calling for the cultivation of innovative talents as support for the “Belt and Road Initiative.”

This year’s conference, held in Chengdu, Sichuan province from Oct 28-29, was under the theme of “A Shared Future Through Innovation.” More than 600 delegates from 29 countries and regions discussed topics ranging from building academic think-tanks, popularizing sciences, promoting international education and stimulating teenage creativity.

In his speech, Chancellor Yu introduced NYU Shanghai’s implementation of a new model of joint-venture universities and talked about training students to be culturally-effective global citizens who can adapt to social changes.

“The ‘Belt and Road Initiative,’ is an opportunity for the whole world, and it will require more students with a global vision and an urge to build connections between different countries and cultures,” he said.

Speaking of the qualities young people today should improve, Chancellor Yu encouraged schools to stimulate students’ curiosity, encourage active learning, foster critical thinking, enhance humanistic literacy and promote multi-disciplinary integration.

“Our education should not just focus on where our students will be working in five or ten years, but on the long-term development of our students -- the role they will play in our future society,” Chancellor Yu said.

Following the opening ceremony, Dean of Arts and Sciences Maria Montoya joined the panel discussion with experts from other Sino-Foreign joint venture universities in a sub-forum on international education. Montoya also offered insight on risks and opportunities faced by joint venture universities.



A Cultural Thinkers Talk

In the evening of Oct 28, Luke Thinkers Talk, a cultural platform in Chengdu, hosted Chancellor Yu Lizhong, Professor Montoya and Professor Zhang Jun, who gave three TED-like speeches to a local audience.

Professor Zhang shared his aesthetic pursuits amid his daily research in hydromechanics, presenting sketches he had drawn in Antarctica and near the North Pole. Professor Montoya explored the historical relationship between water and community, comparing the Aswan Dam in Egypt and the Grand Coulee Dam in the US with the Three Gorges Dam in China.

Chancellor Yu closed the three-hour evening talk with his observations on education globalization and multicultural integration. “Multicultural integration is what allows students to think critically about the world around them at NYU Shanghai. Having a global vision is the highlight of new education systems,” he said.