How talent thrives

10 September 2019

The THE World Academic Summit 2019, held at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, 10-12 September, explored the theme: "How talent thrives". It was attended by more than 400 leaders from universities, research organisations and businesses, from 57 countries.


Next year THE’s World Academic Summit will be held in partnership with the University of Toronto, Canada, from 1 to 3 September 2020.


It will focus on the theme of “the power of place”, exploring universities’ influence on communities near and far; the importance of location to universities and how that shapes an institution’s mission; whether digital has replaced physical space; and whether local impact can support global ambition in higher education. 


Register today and save with the super early bird rate, available for a limited time.


Watch the 2019 highlights video to get an overview of the event.


Tuesday 10 September 2019

Meeting of the alliances

Phil Baty,chief knowledge officer, THE

Jean Chambaz, president, Sorbonne University, chair, LERU

Kurt Deketelaere, secretary-general, League of European Research Universities

Dawn Freshwater, vice-chancellor, University of Western Australia, chair, Group of Eight (Australia)

Feridun Hamdullahpur, president, University of Waterloo, former chair, U15 (Canada)

Hironori Kasahara, senior executive vice-president of research and IT promotion, Waseda University

Joël Mesot, president, ETH Zurich, member, IARU

Anton Muscatelli, principal and vice-chancellor, University of Glasgow, chair, Russell Group

Abel Olayinka, vice-chancellor, University of Ibadan, chair, ARUA

Gilles Patry, executive director, U15 (Canada)

Brian Schmidt, vice-chancellor, Australian National University

Eng Chye Tan, president, National University of Singapore, member, Asian Universities Alliance

Vicki Thomson, chief executive officer, Group of Eight (Australia)

Viola Vogel, head of the Department of Health Sciences and Technology

Wednesday 11 September 2019

Opening remarks

Phil Baty, chief knowledge officer, THE

Joël Mesot, president, ETH Zurich and member, IARU

The future of work and the role of universities in nurturing talent

Saadia Zahidi, managing director and head of the Centre for the New Economy and Society World Economic Forum

New definitions of talent

YS Chi, chairman, Elsevier

Howard Gardner, senior director, Project Zero, Harvard University

Feridun Hamdullahpur, president, University of Waterloo, former chair, U15 (Canada)

Lily Kong, president and Lee Kong Chian chair professor of social sciences Singapore Management University

Lan Xue, dean of Schwarzman Scholars, Tsinghua University

Are universities about producing skills, or knowledge?

Manu Kapur, chair of learning sciences and higher education, ETH Zurich

Luc De Brabandere, corporate philosopher, Boston Consulting Group

Katherine Fleming, provost, NYU

Jay Lee, director, Saudi Aramco-KAIST CO2 Management Centre KAIST

Karin Vey, executive innovation consultant, IBM ThinkLab and IBM Research Zurich

There's no market demand for genius

Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski, theoretical physicist, Harvard's Center for Fundamental Laws of Nature

Brian Schmidt, vice-chancellor, Australian National University

Adapting the skills of the future

Eng Chye Tan, president, National University of Singapore, member, Asian Universities Alliance

Anant Agarwal, chief executive officer, edX, professor, MIT

Alessio Figalli, full professor and chair in mathematics, ETH Zurich

Gordana Landen, group chief HR officer, Adecco Group

Jack Lu, president of the human resources management department, Huawei

Thursday 12 September 2019

THE World University Rankings 2020 data masterclass

M'hamed el Aisati, vice-president of product management, funding and content analytics, Elsevier

Phil Baty, chief knowledge officer, THE

Duncan Ross, chief data officer, THE

Will the winners still take it all? The sustainability of global academic imbalances

Dirk Van Damme, senior Counsellor, Directorate for education and Skills OECD

THE Leadership data - the trajectory to the top

John Gill, editor, THE

Achieving diversity in leadership

Sarah Springman, rector, ETH Zurich

Roya Mahboob, founder and chief executive officer, Digital Citizen Fund

Jane Naana Opoku-Agyeman, former minister for education Ghana

Christer Windeløv-Lidzélius, principal, KaosPilot

The impact of AI: reversing a talent brain-drain

Shalini Trefzer, contributing editor, Diplomatic Courier

Moustapha Cissé, research scientist and lead, Google AI Centre, Accra

Sophie-Charlotte Fischer, PhD candidate, Center for Security Studies ETH Zurich

Michel Servoz, senior advisor to the president, European Commission

Review: what have we learned?

Sara Custer, digital editor, THE

Chris Luebkeman, head of global foresight, Arup


Phil Baty, chief knowledge officer, THE

Joël Mesot, president, ETH Zurich, member, IARU

Exclusive preview of the THE World Academic Summit 2020

Meric Gertler, president, University of Toronto

Corine Mauch, mayor, City of Zurich