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Gro Brundtland Week of Women in Sustainable Development opens today at NCKU

Tainan, Taiwan, February 21, 2016

National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) kicked off its weeklong science event featuring female scientists in sustainable development today with over 250 scholars, researchers, students who are interested in sustainability research.

Gro Brundtland Week of Women in Sustainable Development scheduled from February 21 to 26 features four plenary sessions, symposiums, panel discussions and exhibitions about global issues related to sustainable development in public health.

At the opening ceremony, NCKU President Huey-Jen Jenny Su extended her warmest welcome to the distinguished speakers and female scientists who have travelled long distance to join the event.

“The Gro Brundtland Week for young scientists in sustainable development was a generous and visionary initiative from the Tang Prize Foundation as well as Dr. Brundtland,” said President Su.

She also mentioned that the event will move to the Academia Sinica in Taipei on Feb. 25, where an ambitious program is about to launch under the umbrella of international Future Earth initiative to tackle on the new horizon of research and practice for global sustainable development.

President Su who is happy to see so many high school students attend the science event said, “It is hoped that we will be able to plant in their minds the seed of believing in the value of sustainable development and they will become the sustainable cadets in the endeavors for a sustainable future.”

Academician of Academia Sinica Chao-Han Liu gave his remarks and talked about how to reach the Sustainable Development Goals, which are eight anti-poverty targets that the world committed to achieving by 2015.

He also brought up two points for future discussion throughout the week, one is how are universities can cultivate students with the ability to work in an integrated, multidisciplinary environment to solve real challenges; the other is how can we attract and convince accomplished scientists to start work for sustainability sciences.

At the first plenary session, Prof. John D Spengler, Akira Yamaguchi Professor of Environmental Health and Human Habitation T.H. Chan Harvard School of Public Health, gave a talk on what we do for sustainable development that focuses on natural and human assets.

Prof. Spengler who also served as the director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment said, our center is partnering with corporations, NGOs, governments and other academic institutions to advance human and ecological wellbeing as an immutable tenet of sustainability.

In his talk, Prof. Spengler provided a new formula for sustainability, S=f(MHN)s*k, which involved Materials(manufacture capital), Human Capital(well-being), Natural Capital(eco-services+), Social(Integrity of Institutional structures), and Knowledge(capacity to innovate).

Prof. Spengler said he is hopeful for a sustainable future, “not by national government but by cooperates and companies that have good values.”

“And that’s why I said we have to get closer to companies so they will go forward together with the best of our research knowledge putting into practice,” he added.

Responding to his young audience, Prof. Spengler said, “Young generation utilizing technology and social networking could rapidly accelerate the reinforcement of good behavior.”

“So you have the network, you have purchasing power, and you have the decision on what company you want to work for,” said Prof. Spengler adding that now companies are distinguishing themselves from values.

The five Gro Brundtland Award recipients also attended the event. They are Bushra Khalid from Pakistan, Chia-Hsin Ceng from Taiwan, Erlyn Rachelle Macarayan from Philippines, Mst Marzina Begum and Towfida Jahan Siddiqua from Bangladesh.

A symposium where Bushra Khalid presented her research work and a panel discussion were held in the afternoon session on the first day.
Provider : NCKU News
Date : 2016/02/21
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