On Saturday April 9, the Student Leadership and Ethics Board sponsored a day-long symposium organized by Columbia Future Leaders, a group of 25 students from across 13 Columbia University schools. The conference, Building Leaders: Revolutionizing the Future, convened 120 students from across the University and 40 speakers from around the world representing public, private, and social sectors to brainstorm a roadmap for the future.
The aim of the conference was threefold:
- Empower students to join the dialogue about how to impact change in the world.
- Break down the silos of Columbia University — to see the world with a fresh perspective.
- Learn from the leaders of today.
Participants discussed innovative solutions to global problems — ranging from rural agriculture to capital market access; from competitive investments for Fortune500 companies to financial regulation; and from the use of innovative media tools to alternative energy technology. The structure of the day included two keynote sessions and seven collaboration sessions, in which student leaders organized small groups of participants to dialogue about a specific issue for the future. Collaboration sessions were meant to catalyze dialogue, innovation, and collaboration. These session topics included:
- Education: Disruptive Innovation Changing the US Education Model
- Health: Keeping a Finger on the Pulse: What's Next in Healthcare Innovation?
- Urbanization and Transportation: Planning for Rapid Urbanization by 2050: 2X in 40Y
- Economy: Developing Economies: Rising Tide Lifts All Boats
- Environment: Envisioning a Sustainable Food System
- Human Development: Our Adaptability to Change: Discussion on the evolution of Human Development
- Media and Technology: Power to the People: Social Media’s Revolutions
The need for collaborative action among government, business, academia, and civil society will only continue to grow in the coming decades. By bringing students across these disciplines together earlier in our careers, and connecting us to recognized influential leaders, we hoped to inspire and accelerate collaboration across generations, sectors, and geographies.