Georgia Tech Joins Global Thought Leaders in World Economic Forum

Posted September 13, 2011 | Atlanta, GA

The Georgia Institute of Technology has established a set of strategic collaborations with the World Economic Forum, a Geneva-based non-profit organization that focuses on the most pressing issues facing the world.

Georgia Tech is among the top U.S. public and private institutions invited to be part of the World Economic Forum’s Knowledge Advisory Board, a group of senior representatives from the foremost 200 universities worldwide that will advise the forum on how to engage with academic partners and the field of higher education.

“The World Economic Forum is the premier convener of thought leaders around the world,” said Steven McLaughlin, Georgia Tech’s vice provost of international initiatives. “Having Georgia Tech as the only public university in that group expands our global impact and influence, and connects us to an important international network of leaders.”

McLaughlin will be traveling to Geneva this fall to represent Georgia Tech on the Knowledge Advisory Board.

The partnership between Georgia Tech and the World Economic Forum has yielded other initiatives.  Several Georgia Tech faculty members, for example, will be participating in the Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China, Sept. 14-16.

Known as “Summer Davos,” the Annual Meeting of the New Champions is the foremost global business gathering in Asia and is designed to foster interaction, generate insight and achieve impact across more than 1,500 participants attending.

Four faculty members will be representing Georgia Tech at “Summer Davos” in Dalian.

Elizabeth Mynatt, interactive computing professor and executive director of Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology (IPaT); Blair MacIntyre, interactive computing professor; Ian Bogost, literature, communication and culture professor; and Michael Best, associate professor of international affairs, will be presenting in the “IdeasLab with Georgia Tech: Connectivity and Social Interaction.”

They will discuss persuasive gaming to address societal issues; augmented reality in media, healthcare and politics; creative discovery to manage personal information; and social media in civic engagement and political development. The IdeasLab is a unique format during the meeting in which the world’s top academic institutions present their current thinking and the audience interacts on their ideas.

MacIntyre and Bogost will also be filming a short documentary at the meeting that profiles their research work, and Mynatt will be participating in an executive think tank on Innovation and Energy Technology hosted by NBC, Harvard Business Review, Caixin Media and Shell.

Besides holding meetings, the World Economic Forum produces a series of research reports and engages its members in sector-specific initiatives.  Georgia Tech faculty members have been asked to be academic partners on three studies for the forum.

  • Renu Kulkarni, founder & executive director of FutureMedia and principal research associate at Georgia Tech, will be serving on a World Economic Forum Steering Committee focused on “The Future of Content." This committee, comprised of such global media companies as Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters, comScore and Disney, will examine the disruptive role media is playing across many industries worldwide. Findings of the report will be issued at Davos in 2012.
  • Mustaque Ahamad, director of the Georgia Tech Information Security Center and professor of computer science, will be directing a study on cyber security.
  • Donald Ratliff, executive director of the Georgia Tech Supply Chain and Logistics Institute, has been invited to become a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Logistics and Supply Chain for the 2011-2012 term. In this role, Ratliff will lead a global trade supply study.

In addition to Dalian, the World Economic Forum hosts an annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, which brings together top business leaders, international political leaders, selected intellectuals and journalists to discuss world issues.