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Dialogue with Global Innovation Experts at PKU
Apr 09, 2021

Peking University, April 9, 2021: Fancy meeting the director of Friends to talk about the movie industry? Want to talk to a National Geographic photographer about film? Would you like to hear from the Chief Architect of the Shanghai World Expo about his thoughts on design?

From design to coding, you can hear from all of these experts in their respective fields all in one module at PKU.

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PKU established the "Dialogue with Global Innovation Experts" module. With over a hundred top-tier experts from academia to industry, and from the arts to the sciences, this course has everything that you're looking for!

Here, everyone is provided with a platform from which they can interact with our Innovation Experts. Who knows, maybe this will ignite a spark in you and you'll be our next expert!

A gift to our readers: we have collated all of the videos for this course at the end of this WeChat post.

The Best Minds, Now with PKU

This is likely the class with the highest density of world-class experts.

You will get the opportunity to interact with industry leaders from all over the globe in English, without needing your passport or having to step out of the PKU Campus. From ground-breaking developments in computer science, to pioneering art styles, there's bound to be something that appeals to you in our multi-disciplinary, multi-industry course – PKU College of Engineering's "Dialogue with Global Innovation Experts".

In Spring 2021, 16 industry leading experts will be breaking boundaries and joining in online and offline. Standing on the shoulder of giants, these experts will provide us with a diverse array of opinions on the latest developments in their respective fields.

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Every year, we have countless experts gather at the PKU Campus to share their own innovation experiences and mindsets with students. With their diverse backgrounds including the disciplines of arts, education, and computer science, it is unsurprising that these multi-disciplinary sessions are a forum of enthusiastic discussion.

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Film producer Max Howard sharing the art of story-telling

In this lecture theatre, we have had the previous assistant director-general of education of UNESCO, the founder of Apple's programming language, a fellow of the Royal Society, an academician of US National Academy of Engineering, National Geographic photographers, Hollywood soundtrack designers, the chief architect of the Shanghai World Expo, the list goes on.

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One of our speakers, Patrick Gottelie: Director of School of Design at Falmouth University, expert in fashion design

In 2011, the PKU College of Engineering kicks tarted "Dialogue with Global Innovation Experts". Since then, we have had more than 100 leading figures from various fields who have conducted sharing sessions in PKU

May science and art meet at the summit

Esteemed French writer Gustave Flaubert once said, "science and art break up at the foot of the mountain and meet at the summit."

That's the magic of this module: while art and science may seem completely unrelated, the two disciplines seemingly meld together as our experts speak. Technology nudges artists to think out of the box and use various art forms, while beauty and art inspires scientists to view the world from a more aesthetic lens.

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Guitar expert Jose does a live performance and talks about how music has given his life inspiration

Roy Accost talked about how technological advancements have revolutionised traditional principles and value systems in art. Art education shouldn't be annihilated by history, instead it should be fused with the digital world. Cyberspace should collide with wet media; in fact, it is by doing so that we can allow youths, who are often the most progressive of their era, to rejuvenate the arts scene.

De Boer feels that design is the convergence of human values, technology, and commerce, it is the force that spearheads corporations and sparks innovation. In a vibrant economy like China's, especially in the internet era, design is omnipresent in commerce. In fact, he believes that the value of design lies in the design of value.

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De Boer, an expert in public space and image communication

Communication, design, education, environment, and technology… all of these issues are pertinent globally. Leading thinkers of the world will explore these topics in our course, stimulating the minds of participants by providing them with fresh perspectives.

Standing at the Crossroads of the Decade

This year, "Dialogue with Global Innovation Experts" enters its 10th year since its establishment. The course managers have continuously been looking at ways to dive deeper into innovation and this year is no exception.

In 2011, PKU College of Engineering started inviting experts from various fields to give talks at PKU so they could share their years and breadth of experience with PKU students. Every session was packed to the brim and students genuinely cherished the opportunity to interact with these experts.

With more experts joining us on this journey, the course managers wanted to organise these invaluable resources into a structured module. After the managers had agreed that the goal of this module should be to nurture creativity, they have tirelessly worked towards this goal in the past decade while fine-tuning the content. We can confidently say that this course has progressed from simply gathering knowledge to nurturing wisdom.

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At the end of the course, every student received a book as a memento

This course allows for close interactions between professors and students and provides for unique hands-on experiences. Activities range from creative designs to camps, and workshop visits to touring incubators, there are plenty of resources to let these bright young minds blossom. "From industry to industry"—students need not be afraid of failure while they are in the good hands of our experts.

College of Engineering PhD Candidate Wang Shaoxin has always been a big fan of innovation, evident in his design of a smart air purifier. Under the guidance of world-acclaimed industrial designer Hartmut Esslinger, Shaoxin received invaluable advice from the former's experience working at Apple and Olympus. Shaoxin's product was in the global top 5% in the 2017 European WEBIT Festival and within the top 6 in Asia. Wang Shaoxin and his peers established a start-up named Zhixiang Keji and more designs are in the pipeline.

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Students visiting Hartmut Esslinger's workplace

After attending Esslinger's workshop, a student remarked that he had a "clearer understanding of the designing process and that this module method was far more efficient and meaningful than the alternative of listening to a three-day theory class."

It is hoped that students will get a broad overview of developments in each industry as well as innovation experience, and more importantly, the innovation mindset

Rocking the World with Innovation!

Whenever these experts talk about innovation, most of their inspiration comes from daily life and these are the ideas that have ultimately revolutionised their industries.

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One of our previous seminars: "Creative and Critical Thinking"

Through this module, you'll realise that innovation isn't just a paradigm, it is a way of life. Every time ideas collide, students develop new understandings of innovation and explore their own pathways. With this new-found attitude and way of life, it is hoped that students will carry this spirit into their respective fields.

PKU School of Electronics Engineering & Computer Science student Qiao Mu has been captivated by the high level of student participation in this module. After listening to Richard Greene's seminar, he expressed awe at the pace at which society is developing and remarked that "new problems are always surfacing, and it is only when we think of new ideas and designs that we can progress as humanity."

As technology becomes an integral part of our lives, the core behind technological developments is human capital. Our module seeks to enrich students' knowledge and do our bit in aiding global progress by aiming to nurture innovative thinkers.

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A previous seminar, "Why Branding"

Looking at the decade ahead, PKU will aim to partner with even more experts to develop a multi-disciplinary and intercultural talent ecosystem. One module is all it takes to stimulate countless minds and nurture talents for various industries to take on the most pressing issues of the 21st century.

Missed this gem of a module?

Feeling depressed?

Want an opportunity to hear from all these experts?

Fret not!

Subscribe to PKU's Wechat Account (@PekingUniversity)  and send “Global Innovation Experts” to get the recorded lectures of this module!

Designer: Pu Hairui

Source: Peking University Wechat Account

Written by:
Ng Joong Hwee
Edited by:
Christopher Mahoney, Pu Hairui