Daejeon, Republic of Korea, January 17, 2014 -- The 2014 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), known as the Davos Forum, will kick off on January 22-25 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, under the theme of "The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics, and Business." Each year, the Forum attracts about 2,500 distinguished leaders from all around the world and provides an open platform to identify the current and emerging challenges facing the global community and to develop ideas and actions necessary to respond to such challenges.
President Sung-Mo Steve Kang and Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, KAIST, will attend the Forum and engage in a series of dialogues on such issues as Massive Open Online Courses, new paradigms for universities and researchers, the transformation of higher education, the role and value of scientific discoveries, and the impact of biotechnology on the future of society and business.
At the session entitled "New Paradigms for Universities of the Future" hosted by the Global University Leaders Forum (GULF), President Kang will introduce KAIST's ongoing online education program, Education 3.0. GULF was created in 2006 by WEF, which is a small community of the presidents and senior representatives of the top universities in the world.
Implemented in 2012, Education 3.0 incorporates advanced information and communications technology (ICT) to offer students and teachers a learner-based, team-oriented learning and teaching environment. Under Education 3.0, students study online and meet in groups with a professor for in-depth discussions, collaboration, and problem-solving. KAIST plans to expand the program to embrace the global community in earnest by establishing Education 3.0 Global in order to have interactive real-time classes for students and researchers across regions and cultures.
President Kang will also present a paper entitled "Toward Socially Responsible Technology: KAIST's Approach to Integrating Social and Behavioral Perspectives into Technology Development" at another session of GULF called "Seeking New Approaches to Critical Global Challenges." In the paper, President Kang points out that notwithstanding the many benefits we enjoy from the increasingly interconnected world, digital media may pose a threat to become a new outlet for social problems, for example, Internet or digital addiction.
Experts say that early exposure to digital devices harms the healthy development of cognitive functions, emotions, and social behavior. President Kang will introduce KAIST's recent endeavor to develop a non-intrusive technology to help prevent digital addiction, which will ultimately be embedded in the form of a virtual coach or mentor that helps and guides people under risk to make constructive use of digital devices. President Kang stresses the fundamental shift in the science and technology development paradigm from research and development (R&D) to a research and solution development (R&SD), taking serious consideration of societal needs, quality of life, and social impacts when conducting research.
Professor Sang Yup Lee will moderate the IdeasLab session at the Davos Forum entitled "From Lab to Life with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech)." Together with scientists from Caltech, he will discuss scientific breakthroughs that transform institutions, industries, and individuals in the near future, such as the development of damage-tolerant lightweight materials with nanotechnology, the ability to read and write genomes, and wireless lab-in-the-body monitors. In addition, he will meet global business leaders at the session of "Sustainability, Innovation, and Growth" and speak about how emerging technologies, biotechnology in particular, will transform future societies, business, and industries.
As a current special adviser of the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Chemicals Industry Community, Professor Lee will meet global chairs and chief executive officers of chemical companies and discuss ways to advance the industry to become more bio-based and environmentally friendly. He served as a founding chairman of WEF's Global Agenda Councils on Biotechnology in 2013.