Academics invited to save the world

Students, young academics, professionals and entrepreneurs are being encouraged to present fixes to some of the world’s most pressing challenges - in three minutes.

August 23, 2013

The Falling Walls Lab competition calls on people under the age of 35 to succinctly present their “breakthrough” concepts – whether business ideas, research projects or social initiatives – to a jury from academia, research institutions and business.

Winners from the London competition, held on 20 September, will join others from parallel rounds in Berlin, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Moscow and São Paulo in a grand final in Berlin on 8 November.

Previous winners have tackled topics such as the application of nanotechnology in the fight against cancer, how making working times shorter can increase worker efficiency and questions such as “Why is there no EU in Asia?”

Last year’s global winner, Swiss-Austrian Thomas Rippel, sought to show how science could “Break the Wall of Sustainable Farming”.

“The aim of the Lab is to establish a networking platform for the young research community to exchange ideas and inspiration,” said Tatjana König, managing director of the non-profit Falling Wall Foundation, which organises the competition.

The foundation also hosts the Falling Walls Conference, which will follow immediately after the competition. Each year this brings together around 600 “forward-thinking individuals” on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and includes presentations from 20 of the world’s leading scientists.

In its third year, the Falling Walls Lab is expanding for the first time into the Americas, Africa and Russia.

Applications to take part in the London qualifier of the Falling Walls Lab close on 30 August.

elizabeth.gibney@tsleducation.com

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