World Academic Summit 2016: more speakers announced

LinkedIn co-founder, a Nobel laureate and more than 10 university presidents among high-profile speakers at Times Higher Education’s flagship event 

August 9, 2016
Houses and hills of Berkeley, California
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More than 10 university presidents from across four continents are among a prestigious line-up of speakers confirmed for Times Higher Education’s World Academic Summit in September.

The event, which takes place at the University of California, Berkeley, from 26 to 28 September 2016, will also hear keynote speeches from Robert Reich, Berkeley's professor of public policy and former US secretary of labor under Bill Clinton; Nobel laureate and Berkeley professor Saul Perlmutter, who won the 2011 Nobel prize in physics; and Mary Sue Coleman, president of the Association of American Universities, which encompasses 62 leading public and private research universities in the US and Canada.

Meanwhile, Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, will speak in conversation with Berkeley chancellor Nicholas Dirks, as well as during part of a breakout session on universities and the business sector.

Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, vice-chancellor of the University of Cambridge, and Tan Chorh Chuan, president of the National University of Singapore, will also give keynote speeches.

Other confirmed university leaders speaking at the event include Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University; Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California system; Bernd Huber president of LMU Munich; and Jianhua Lin, president of Peking University.

The event will be on the theme world-class universities and the public good and include sessions on philanthropy, university-business interactions, uses and misuses of university rankings and teaching for the 21st century. It will also explore whether academic freedom, institutional autonomy and a democratic culture are essential ingredients for creating a world-class university; how institutions with limited state support can best maintain excellence; and the role that universities can play in generating start-ups. 

Martin Shell, vice-president for development at Stanford University, will speak as part of a breakout session on building universities of the highest calibre, while Renee Hindmarsh, executive director of the Australian Technology Network, will discuss how best to develop new performance metrics on innovation and impact. Vicki Thomson, chief executive of Australia's Group of 8, will discuss how universities can reinvent their financial models.

There will also be a World University Rankings masterclass from THE rankings editor Phil Baty. 

A fringe event on how universities and the academe shape their brands, organised by THE and Inside Higher Ed, will take place on 26 September. Attendees will partipate in practical workshops and explore unpublished data behind the THE World Reputation Rankings, to find out how universities can best stand out and what the general public thinks about higher education.

Speakers include Joseph Castro, president of California State University, Fresno; Lara McKay, executive director of marketing and communications at the University of Melbourne; and Tania Rhodes-Taylor, director of marketing and communications at Queen Mary University of London.

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