Delegates attending a lecture (image)

Global Grand Challenges Summit

Exploring multidisciplinary approaches to tackling global grand challenges

12 – 13 March 2013 | View the live broadcast and contribute from IET Birmingham: Austin Court


2013 report summary

About the event


The Global Grand Challenges Summit is a major new initiative by the national academies of engineering in the UK, the US and China.

The Summit will see leading international engineering thinkers and innovators sharing ideas with the next generation of engineers and policy-makers on how to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.

The IET is hosting a webcast hub, allowing you to watch and engage in the entire event on-screen at IET Birmingham: Austin Court. You will be able to place questions to the speakers via the web link and will enjoy all the networking usually associated with an IET event.

Tickets to the physical event, being hosted at IET London: Savoy Place by the Royal Academy of Engineering, are now sold out, so this is your exclusive chance to access the content from the summit, while still benefiting from the ample networking opportunities the summit has to offer.


Key themes of the summit

The prosperity of future generations relies on unprecedented levels of inter-disciplinary and international cooperation in pursuit of solutions to global challenges.

Whether the task be providing clean water for a soaring global population, or developing the resilience of our infrastructure to climate change, solutions demand more than isolated efforts. Instead, it is time to explore what could be accomplished with a globally-integrated systems approach.

This two day event will spark discussion and debate between thought leaders of today, and over 400 of the business, research and policy leaders of tomorrow, on how to develop the collaborations, networks and tools needed to solve our common global challenges.

Early career stage researchers, industry and policy professionals who are either engineers or committed to working with engineers, are invited to this global event to build and develop the collaborations, networks and tools that will be needed to tackle our common global challenges.


Speakers will include

  • Bill Gates, Co-chair and Trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (by video link)
  • Professor Frances Arnold, Dick and Barbara Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry at California Institute of Technology
  • Professor Dame Anne Dowling, Head of the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge
  • Professor Lord Darzi, Professor of Surgery at Imperial College London
  • Dr Regina Dugan, Senior Vice president of Motorola Mobility
  • Professor John Hennessy, President of Stanford University
  • Dr Robert Langer, Institute Professor at MIT
  • Professor Chris Wise, co-founder of Expedition Engineering

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