Monthly Report No.39 (June. 12, 2013)
Dear AC21 Members,
Greetings from the AC21 General Secretariat!
Thank you very much for your continued support of AC21 and its activities. The following are updates and some recent news from AC21.
1. AC21 International Graduate Summer School
AC21’ s new project, the AC21 International Graduate Summer School (AC21 IGSS) was held from May 31 to June 4 at Chulalongkorn University and Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand. The main theme of the AC21 IGSS was “Green Science and Technology for a Sustainable Future”. The AC21 IGSS addressed two sub-themes dealing with the current global issues “Green Mobility and Energy (sub-theme A)” and “Agricultural Sciences and Food Production (sub-theme B)”. This event was co-hosted by three member universities, Chulalongkorn University, Kasetsart University and Nagoya University. The AC21 IGSS was attended by many participants, including students, keynote speakers and lecturers, distinguished guests, staff members of the patronage organizations and sponsoring companies, AC21 communicators, and faculty and administrative staff of the host universities. 81 graduate students from AC21 member universities and international students from neighboring countries of Thailand who are studying at either Chulalongkorn University or Kasetsart University attended the AC21 IGSS. The home countries of the international students are diverse: Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Laos, Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam, etc. We had the honor to have a total of 20 top scholars and business leaders from our member universities or their alumni. During the IGSS, five keynote speeches and 15 lectures were delivered (8 lectures for sub-theme A and 7 lectures for sub-theme B).
Day 1 (venue: Chulalongkorn University)
Day 1 began with the student orientation, which included presentations by four sponsoring companies giving company introductions to students as part of their recruiting activities. The opening ceremony of the AC21 IGSS was held jointly with that of the 100th Anniversary of the Engineering Department of Chulalongkorn University. Over 500 people participated in total. The opening ceremony started off with welcome addresses by the presidents of the three host universities, Professor Pirom Kamolratanakul (Chulalongkorn University), Associate Professor Vudtechai Kapilakanchana (Kasetsart University) and Dr. Michinari Hamaguchi (Nagoya University), and greeting addresses by Mr. Etienne Clément, Deputy Director (UNESCO Bangkok Office), and Associate Professor Dr. Boonsom Lerdhirunwong, Dean of Faculty of Engineering (Chulalongkorn University). One of the highlights of the AC21 IGSS was the plenary speech by Dr. Ryoji Noyori, Special Professor of Nagoya University and President of RIKEN. Dr. Noyori spoke about how “Science Shapes Your Future”, and gave insightful advice to the participating students and younger scholars. A welcome reception was held after the opening ceremony. After the welcome address was delivered by Professor Pirom Kamolratanakul (Chulalongkorn University), Mr. Etienne Clément of UNESCO gave pre-toast remarks and Mr. Shuichi Ikeda, Chief Representative (Japan International Cooperation Agency) delivered the greeting address. The invited guests, keynote speakers, lecturers and students all had the chance to talk to one another.
Day 2 to Day 5 (venue: Kasetsart University)
From the second day onwards, one one-hour keynote speech and several two-hour lectures were delivered each day. We had distinguished keynote speakers from various fields: Mr. Takeshi Uchiyamada, Vice Chairman of the board of Toyota Motor Corporation (first chief engineer of hybrid car, Prius), Dr. Peeradet Tongumpai, Director of Agricultural Research Development Agency, Professor Gregory Parsons (North Carolina State University), and Professor Ruzhu Wang (Shanghai Jiao Tong University). The lecturers for sub-theme A: Green Mobility and Energy were: Professor Bundhit Eua-Arporn (Chulalongkorn University), Mr. Ninnart Chaithirapinyo, Vice Chairman of Toyota Motor Thailand, Mr. Suparat Sirisuwanangkura, Senior Vice President of Toyota Motor Thailand, Professor Thomas Heiser (University of Strasbourg), Professor Alan Brent (Stellenbosch University), Professor Kazuya Takeda (Nagoya University), Professor Ronghou Liu (Shanghai Jiao Tong University), and Professor Xiaobing Luo (Huazhong University of Science and Technology). The lecturers for sub-theme B: Agricultural Sciences and Food Production were: Associate Professor Ed Sarobol (Kasetsart University), Professor Danfeng Huang (Shanghai Jiao Tong University), Professor Motoyuki Ashikari (Nagoya University), Professor Eric Marchioni (University of Strasbourg), Mr. Willem Botes (Senior lecturer, Stellenbosch University), Professor Andi Trisyono (University of Gadjah Mada) and Professor William Hutchison (University of Minnesota).
In addition to the keynote speeches and lectures, participating students were placed in groups of four to six, and held group discussions to give final presentations on what they learned from the keynote speeches and lectures they heard and their proposals for the sustainable future on the final day.
Besides studying indoors, organized optional tours, a dinner party and optional factory tour of Toyota Motor Thailand were offered. Students had the chance to explore Bangkok at their own expense in the evening after the day program was over. At the dinner party, participants enjoyed talking with one another, as well as Thai cultural performances and music. The tour of the Ban Pho Factory of Toyota Motor Thailand provided students with a great learning experience of how this leading automaker is moving towards sustainability by using innovative and environment-friendly technology in every production process; initiating the ‘eco-forest’ project and establishing ‘Biotope’.
The host universities are grateful for the cooperation and support in various ways from the member universities, patronage organizations and sponsoring companies for the success of the AC21 IGSS.
2. The Fifth AC21 Working Breakfast at NAFSA 2013
AC21 General Secretariat attended the NAFSA 2013 Annual Conference at the end of May in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. and the Fifth AC21 Working Breakfast hosted by Chemnitz University of Technology on May 28. Four AC21 member universities (Chemnitz University of Technology, Nagoya University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and University of Minnesota) attended the Working Breakfast.
Presentations were given on “e-learning systems and platforms” and
“MA and PhD course Merge-Technologies” followed by active discussion on the importance of strengthening ties between academic institutions in order to facilitate exchange programs. The report of the meeting will be provided in the next issue of the AC21 Newsletter.
3. The Fifth AC21 Student World Forum
We are happy to announce that the Fifth AC21 Student World Forum will be hosted by Tongji University from October 16 - 22, 2013 at Tongji University, Shanghai, China. The main theme of the Fifth Student World Forum is “Sustainable Mobility and the City of the Future”. The 11th Steering Committee Meeting will be also hosted by Tongji University on October 16 and 17. The announcement of the Student World Forum was already sent from Tongji University to AC21 Communicators on May 27. We hope that all member universities will be able to send their students in order to take full advantage of this great opportunity!
4. The Seventh AC21 International Forum 2014
We are also happy to announce that the Seventh AC21 International Forum 2014 will be held from April 13 - 16, 2014 in Stellenbosch, South Africa and will be hosted by Stellenbosch University. The 12th Steering Committee Meeting and Sixth General Assembly will also be hosted by Stellenbosch University. Please mark your calendar with these important dates!
If you would like to share some news or events with the other members through this monthly report, please send them to the AC21 General Secretariat at the following e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org).
AC21 General Secretariat