Global Grand Challenges Summit

21 March 2013
IET Communications team
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Musician will.i.am speaks at the Global Grand Challenges Summit

Musician will.i.am speaks at the Global Grand Challenges Summit at IET London: Savoy Place.

IET London hosts event featuring Bill Gates and musician will.i.am.

For two days last week (12-13 March), IET London: Savoy Place proudly hosted the first Global Grand Challenges Summit, organised by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

The event – considered to be ‘the Davos of engineering’ – featured speeches from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and IET president Professor Andy Hopper, plus a surprise appearance from pop star and innovator will.i.am.

Prior to presenting the Global Grand Challenges Short Film award, the chart-topping musician shared his ideas on how STEM professions can be made more attractive. He said: “You have to make your [STEM] superheroes into rock stars. Your competitors are the companies putting the effort in to impact the minds of youth – you should be doing that too.”

In addition to the main event in London, the IET also hosted a virtual hub at its Birmingham venue, IET Birmingham: Austin Court. Delegates were able to take part in the event via live stream, while also benefiting from networking and interactive opportunities.

Discussions at the Summit covered issues surrounding sustainability, health and the links between technological innovation and worldwide economic growth. UK Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts MP also spoke, and used the opportunity to announce £47 million of government funding for innovative engineering projects.

IET.tv interviewed will.i.am at the event, and you can view this on the IET YouTube channel.