Programme

Pre-summit day
All of these pre-summit sessions are optional and can be selected during registration. There is a limited capacity, so please register as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

08:00 - 09:30

What will the world of research look like 10 years from now?


Elsevier

According to many experts, research has reached a tipping point; how research is conceived, completed and communicated will change dramatically over the next 10 years. In the Research Futures report, produced by Elsevier in conjunction with Ipsos MORI, a foresight exercise (involving literature reviews, expert interviews, a survey of 2,000+ researchers and stakeholder workshops) has identified three plausible scenarios. This session explores these scenarios - the growth of open science, the emergence of technology giants and the rise of East Asian research - and evaluates the possible opportunities and challenges ahead. How do we best prepare for the impact of these potential drivers of change? What are the future implications of the decisions we make today? How do we ensure we are ready to prepare the workforce of tomorrow?

A light breakfast will be served.
Speakers
10:00 - 16:00

Getting to know Zurich

10:10 – 11:55 and 14:10 – 15:45
The city on the water
Take a short guided boat trip on the lake and admire the city of Zurich and the Alps from the water.

10:00 – 12:00 and 14:00 – 16:00
Walk the Old Town
Pass the spots where Goethe and Zwingli would hang out and see the local Zurich highlights on foot.

Times available on request, please email us here
Can you say: ETH THE eTukTuk?
A guided eTukTuk sustainable city tour.
10:30 - 12:30

Meeting of the alliances

Location: Marriott Hotel
Allowing talent to thrive: how do we create the conditions for creative researchers to realise their full potential and make the next big breakthrough?
A special roundtable debate, featuring the leaders of the world's leading research-intensive universities and their representative bodies.
Chair
Speakers
14:00 - 15:30

Cultural visits

14:00 – 15:30
FIFA World Football Museum: Is talent a given or can you develop it through hours of daily practice?
Tour the home of football with its 10 highlights and learn about the greatest talents of the past in the world’s most popular sport.

14:00 – 15:00
Kunsthaus Zurich: We are open
Join a guided tour of the permanent collection of the modern museum of art in Zurich. Christoph Stuehn, director of sales and services, will discuss the definition of talent and will answer all your questions.

14:00 – 15:00
Museum Rietberg: Greener on the other side
See the Indian collection housed in one of the most beautiful estates on the lake of Zurich, established in lush grounds on the edge of the city. The museum director will welcome you and give you an introduction to the talent on display.
14:00 - 16:00

Industry visits

Join one of the following pre-summit immersions on- or off-site, for an in-depth look at how different organisations deal with talent, and explore some of the underlying themes of the summit from their points of view. Transportation will be organised, but please allow for an hour of travel time ahead of the start of your visit.

the adecco group

Making the future work for everyone
As the world’s leading provider of human resources solutions, creating social value is in the DNA of the Adecco Group. The Adecco Group Foundation serves as the home of social value creation activities, and functions as a social innovation lab focused on making the world of work a fairer, more accessible and better place through targeted innovation projects. Join this site visit to learn how the Adecco Group is unlocking hidden potential and delivering thought leadership on work readiness for youth, athletes and underserved groups, and driving workforce vitality.


Google

Research @Google: Working on computer science problems that define the technology of today and tomorrow
Why does Google invest in research? What differentiates research at Google from research in an academic setting? How does Google collaborate with universities and research institutes? This visit will explore these questions and offer an inside glimpse into the life of a “Zoogler” researcher, showcasing what makes Google one of the most popular industrial research labs in the world.


IBM

Fostering a culture of collaborative innovation
This visit to IBM Research Zurich takes you to the European hub of one of the world’s largest and most influential corporate research labs. Explore how IBM Research is continually pushing the frontiers of science and technology and has been fostering a culture of academic-industry collaboration. This includes the Zurich Lab’s state-of-the-art Binnig and Rohrer Nanotechnology Centre, the MIT–IBM Watson AI Lab and the IBM Q Network. IBM Research will also showcase the latest cutting-edge technologies and explain how they are transforming industries and education.


impacthub-zurich           stadt zurich stadtentwicklung

How to build an innovation ecosystem
More than 1,000 freelancers, innovators, start-ups and large companies come together at the Impact Hub Zurich to shape a collaborative, cooperative and sustainable future. Join this site visit organised by the City of Zurich to learn more about how the partners in this ecosystem benefit from each other and how the gap between start-ups, corporates, cities, foundations and universities in the acceleration of innovation can be bridged.


microsoft

New models for industry-academic collaboration
Microsoft has a long history of close collaboration with ETH Zurich. This includes developing opportunities for exchanges and even joint positions at the interface of both ecosystems. Join this site visit to understand how creating a great supply of local talent at the university level and a close collaboration in research is helping companies like Microsoft realise its mission to empower people and organisations to achieve more.


open systems new

Corporate culture: Talent, passion and success spaces
Providing IT solutions in the field of networks and security, Open Systems has had a strong collaborative relationship with ETH Zurich since its inception in 1990. Join us on site at Open Systems to learn more about this partnership, and understand how workplace architecture and location factor into finding and honing the talent that contributes to the success of this global technology company.


Verity

Creative drone technology: A crossover of art, engineering and entrepreneurial talent
At the nexus of science and art, this site visit takes you behind the scenes of an official ETH Zurich spin-off company, Verity Studios. See its start-up environment first-hand to understand how drone technology works in the context of the creative entertainment industry, meet some of the talent behind the scenes, and hear what the latest developments in this field are from founder and ETH Zurich professor Raffaello D’Andrea.
14:00 - 17:30

Site visit: A creative ecosystem where talents flourish


ETH logo

Since its founding in 1855, ETH Zurich has stood for world-class academic education, training outstanding experts in their fields and preparing its students to assume positions of responsibility as critical members of society. Researchers at ETH conduct leading-edge science and rank among the best in their fields. Join a site visit to get an impression of the pioneering efforts by ETH to create a learning culture, inspiring students and researchers to develop their talents and think critically about the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Depending on your interests, you can join an ETH site visit with a focus on either research or education. On the Research visit, you will see the innovative building Arch_Tec_Lab, the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Lab and the Quantum Device Lab, all situated at ETH Zurich’s Hönggerberg campus. On the Education visit, you will experience ETH Zurich’s initiatives in computational and critical thinking as well as the AMZ Racing Team, all situated at the main campus.

Research @ ETH (Hönggerberg Campus): hosted by Detlef Günther, vice-president of research and corporate relations, ETH Zurich
Education @ ETH (Main Building): hosted by Sarah Springman, rector, ETH Zurich

Both groups will come together for a debriefing at the Main Building, after which participants will be accompanied to the Welcome reception.
18:00 - 19:30

Welcome reception

Location: focusTerra Museum
THE and ETH Zurich welcome you to the World Academic Summit 2019 with an informal networking reception ahead of the start of the conference.
08:30 - 09:00

Registration and welcome refreshments

09:00 - 09:20

Opening remarks

Speakers
09:20 - 12:15

SUB-THEME: REDEFINING TALENT

What is the nature of talent in the 21st century and what is the role of universities in sourcing, creating and maintaining talented individuals? Is the market's current definition of a "talented young graduate" understood, respected or helpful to university leadership? With regard to postgraduates, how can deans compete with industry in identifying talent and providing the environment where that talent can thrive? Universities must consider the best kind of university experience for young people, but lifelong learning is expanding, so do they also need to reorientate their teaching and learning towards the needs of mature students, with potentially different definitions of talent?
09:20 - 09:50

How can we ensure that politics does not hinder talent?

09:50 - 10:00

Summarising the findings from the 2019 Davos breakfast on cultivating talent

Speakers
10:00 - 10:30

Networking refreshments

10:30 - 11:00

How industry redefines talent through business evolution

Disney has been honing the art of animation and diversifying its creative output since the iconic Mickey Mouse 90 years ago. Talent is at the core of its business. Join this private, off-the-record session to learn about the latest developments at the Walt Disney Studios and to discover the secrets of how this iconic brand finds and develops the talent behind the legendary characters it creates.
Speakers
11:00 - 12:15

New definitions of talent

Talent. A resource fought over by universities and industry alike. A resource that transcends borders, age and racial stereotypes. The next Einstein may well come from Africa, Asia, or Latin America. How can universities and industry encourage and promote talent mobility and tap into fresh sources of talent based on migration, diversity, inclusion? Leaders from some of the world's top universities and knowledge-based industries will dissect the nature of talent in the 21st century - and discuss the role of universities in to sourcing, creating and maintaining talented individuals.
Chair
Speakers
12:15 - 13:30

Networking lunch

13:30 - 17:00

SUB-THEME: CLOSING THE SKILLS GAP

Creativity and critical thinking are key attributes of redefined talent as discussed here; what other skills are required to cope with the fourth industrial revolution?

Our work may not be immediately threatened by automation, but in the future a tech-heavy labour-light economy requires adaptation. Therefore, we shall explore how universities that have distinguished themselves by developing highly talented graduates fit into the economy of the future. What value does "genius" have in a world of machine learning?

Possible traits of our future economies are more part-time work, remote work, short-term contract work, consulting, crowd-sourcing, automation and artificial intelligence. Will sourcing competencies be more important than sourcing people in the future? Are curricula adapted to give this agility and adaptability to students? If curricula cannot be adapted, by what other ways and means can universities provide these skills? But it is not just about skills: adaptability is also about mindset and creating a failure-tolerant culture.

Can universities build on providing expertise to include developing an ability to translate facts and research into societal benefits? If there is no longer any market demand for genius, should that matter for university leadership?
13:30 - 14:45

Are universities about producing skills, or knowledge?

Universities already develop highly talented graduates with creative and critical thinking skills, but increasing automation will lead to a tech-heavy, labour-light economy needing different skills, so how will universities adapt their offering? Is this the natural 21st-century evolution for research universities, from a Humboldtian model towards centres that develop highly skilled graduates? How do leaders balance the ability of their faculty to conduct high-quality research as well as develop and deliver curricula, with the demands of their external stakeholders and the expectations of their students? And, irrespective of the balance, how do leaders decide which skills or knowledge are necessary?
Chair
Speakers
14:45 - 15:15

Networking refreshments

15:15 - 15:45

Is there a market demand for genius?

What value does “genius” have in a world of machine learning? Physics prodigy Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski will discuss with Nobel laureate and vice-chancellor of Australian National University Brian Schmidt what means are available to effectively recognise extremely talented individuals. What environments and support can best enable that talent to flourish, and how have they altered over the past 50 years?
Speakers
15:45 - 17:00

Adapting the skills of the future

Possible implications of our future economies are more part-time work, remote work, short-term contract work, consulting, crowd sourcing, automation, and artificial or augmented intelligence. Will sourcing competencies be more important than sourcing people? Are curricula adapted to give this agility and adaptability to students? If the curriculum cannot be adapted, by what other means can universities provide these skills? Can universities build on providing expertise to include developing an ability to translate facts and research into societal benefits? And the crucial question must be who pays for this development? The industry that benefits? The individual learner? Or the state?
Chair
Speakers
17:00 - 17:10

Closing remarks

Speakers
18:45 - 19:30

Drinks reception

Location: Aura Restaurant
19:30 - 22:00

Gala dinner

Location: Aura Restaurant
20:00 - 20:30

Exclusive launch of the THE World University Rankings 2020

Location: Aura Restaurant
The overall top 10 global institutions and regional highlightswill be revealed and celebrated in the publication of the world's biggest and most authoritative ranking of more than 1,300 research universities across the globe.
Chair
08:00 - 09:30

THE World University Rankings 2020 data masterclass

Chair
Speakers
09:30 - 14:45

SUB-THEME: WHO, WHAT, WHERE?

We will examine the driving factors that produce the current "top talent" and debate the positives and negatives of current models with a view to the future. For example, in the US, a 2018 study found that a third of top professors gained PhDs from just five universities. Is this concentration reinforcing excellence, or a weakness? For senior leaders at the summit, do they feel that their path to the top was truly merit based? Or do they think that it needs reform for the next generation?

The 2020 THE World University Rankings will be exclusively published at the summit, so we will review the data and ask participants if they believe it is possible for countries in the majority world to challenge the dominance of the THE top 200 research universities? And is this dominance a challenge against our rapidly evolving globalised society?

How might universities enable traditionally disadvantaged groups to succeed in academia or industry? Can increasing diversity of excellence be a specific strategic strength of a university, or a nation, that counters any challenge from being more isolated geographically?

Location also links back to culture and inclusion: you need to be inclusive to be diverse, which in turn is a prerequisite for dealing with complexity such as that presented by a rapidly changing world. Is becoming a new "Silicon Valley" a desirable aspiration, and how can we create spaces that are conducive to research collaboration, cultural exchanges and finding solutions to global challenges requiring the cooperation of multiple stakeholders?
09:30 - 09:40

Welcome comments

Speakers
09:40 - 10:10

Keynote

Speakers
10:10 - 10:30

THE Leadership data - the trajectory to the top

For the first time, Times Higher Education will reveal an exclusive analysis of the most common characteristics and academic qualifications of the leaders of the 200 top-ranked universities in the world. If there is a “typical” university president, this study aims to reveal who they are. For senior leaders in the room, do they feel that their path to the top was truly merit based? Or do they think that it needs reform for the next generation?
10:30 - 11:00

Networking refreshments

11:00 - 12:15

Achieving diversity in leadership

The 2020 THE World University Rankings will be published this morning: this session will ask participants if they believe it is possible for countries in the majority world to challenge the dominance of the top 200 research universities. A study by Tolga Yuret (Scientometrics, October 2018) found that in the US, a third of top professors gained PhDs from just five universities. Is this concentration reinforcing excellence or a weakness? How can traditionally disadvantaged groups be helped to succeed? Can increasing diversity of excellence be a specific strategic strength of a university, or a nation, that counters any challenge from being geographically isolated?
Chair
Speakers
12:15 - 13:30

Networking lunch

13:30 - 14:45

The impact of AI: reversing a talent brain-drain

There has been an explosion in AI-related computer science publications over the past five years, with the majority originating from institutions in the US and China. Building on their superior access to research funding, academic talent and user-data, a race is emerging for dominance over current and future technologies and norms that may define our world. But where does this leave universities, researchers, companies and governments elsewhere? This session will explore whether diversity can be maintained, the opportunities in computer science outside China and the US, and how regulators may protect against a bipolar world of artificial intelligence.
Chair
Speakers
14:45 - 15:15

Networking refreshments

15:15 - 15:45

Closing review

Speakers
15:45 - 16:00

Closing remarks

Speakers
16:00 - 16:30

The power of place

Location links back to culture and inclusion: you need to be inclusive to be diverse, which is a prerequisite for dealing with the complexities of a rapidly changing world. Is becoming a new Silicon Valley a desirable aspiration, and how can we create spaces that are conducive to research collaboration, cultural exchanges and finding solutions to global challenges requiring the cooperation of multiple stakeholders? This concluding discussion between the mayor of Zurich and the president of the University of Toronto will provoke ideas around the optimum space for talent to thrive – and introduce the focus of the 2020 World Academic Summit, to be held in Toronto.
Speakers