Capital March-April 2013 : Page 6

News Desk RPI PRESIDENT : WHAT'S HAPPENING IN CAPITAL REGION BUSINESS Science Is the Answer R Jackson calls for synergy in tackling societal challenges ensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson has called for a new way of working and learning to harness the power of science and technology— particularly in the arenas of “Big Data,” high-performance computing, and web science—for the urgent purpose of developing answers to the intersecting challenges of energy, food, water, health and national security, climate change, and natu-ral resource allocation, which are fundamental to our daily lives and to the long-term viability of the planet. Jackson spoke at the Royal Academy of Engineer-ing, in London, England, delivering the 2013 ERA Foundation International Lecture in January. Calling for increased collaboration across disci-plines and sectors, Jackson said, “The urgent, global concerns that we face in the 21st century, and beyond, are more complex and even more subject to intersect-ing vulnerabilities. “These challenges … will take all that we have in terms of ingenuity, collaboration, and good judgment. These are challenges of unprecedented magnitude, too complex to be resolved by the independent ac-tions of those working in isolation. Because they are critical to our world, and to the ultimate survival of humankind, they demand the best of our imagination and creativity, careful deliberation, tremendous re-sourcefulness, and the strictest focus and discipline.” Envisioning a “new Polytechnic,” Jackson noted that “e ective use of advanced technological, collab-orative platforms strongly suggests the need for a shift beyond traditional leadership, both in process and in personal approach.” As the world becomes more digitally interconnect-ed and data driven, Jackson said, “We will use data in ever more sophisticated ways, while exploiting our ubiquitous interconnectivity. In fact, the intercon-nectivity of people and things is generating massive amounts of data. RPI President Shirley Ann Jackson delivered the 2013 ERA Foundation International Lecture at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London, England. “To make sense of all that data requires us to exploit that very interconnectivity to collaborate in new ways. It requires us to break out of disciplinary silos, exploit new technological tools, employ high-performance computing, data aggregation, and analytics. “The new Polytechnic requires that leaders acquire new skills for a digitally interconnected environment, that they balance authority with engagement, under-stand nuances of culture and language, seek new ways to establish trust among, within, and between virtual teams. For the text of the lecture, titled “The “With more diverse, New Polytechnic: Collaboration and digitally connected audi-Leadership Across Disciplines and ences—participants who Sectors to Address Urgent Global Challenges,” visit rpi.edu/president/ may never before have speeches/ps012213-era.html. had a voice, and may even be volunteers—and with less hierarchical dynam-ics, there will be concerns about trust on multiple levels. “Leaders must recognize value in divergent per-spectives and manage opposing expectations. And, they must accomplish all this in a virtual environment where the leader may never look participants in the eye or shake their hands,” Jackson said. CAPITAL | 03-04/2013 6

RPI President: Science Is the Answer

News Desk<br /> <br /> WHAT'S HAPPENING IN CAPITAL REGION BUSINESS<br /> <br /> Jackson calls for synergy in tackling societal challenges<br /> <br /> Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson has called for a new way of working and learning to harness the power of science and technology— particularly in the arenas of “Big Data,” high-performance computing, and web science—for the urgent purpose of developing answers to the intersecting challenges of energy, food, water, health and national security, climate change, and natural resource allocation, which are fundamental to our daily lives and to the long-term viability of the planet.<br /> <br /> Jackson spoke at the Royal Academy of Engineering, in London, England, delivering the 2013 ERA Foundation International Lecture in January.<br /> <br /> Calling for increased collaboration across disciplines and sectors, Jackson said, “The urgent, global concerns that we face in the 21st century, and beyond, are more complex and even more subject to intersecting vulnerabilities.<br /> <br /> “These challenges … will take all that we have in terms of ingenuity, collaboration, and good judgment. These are challenges of unprecedented magnitude, too complex to be resolved by the independent actions of those working in isolation. Because they are critical to our world, and to the ultimate survival of humankind, they demand the best of our imagination and creativity, careful deliberation, tremendous resourcefulness, and the strictest focus and discipline.” <br /> <br /> Envisioning a “new Polytechnic,” Jackson noted that “effective use of advanced technological, collaborative platforms strongly suggests the need for a shift beyond traditional leadership, both in process and in personal approach.” <br /> <br /> As the world becomes more digitally interconnected and data driven, Jackson said, “We will use data in ever more sophisticated ways, while exploiting our ubiquitous interconnectivity. In fact, the interconnectivity of people and things is generating massive amounts of data.<br /> <br /> “To make sense of all that data requires us to exploit that very interconnectivity to collaborate in new ways. It requires us to break out of disciplinary silos, exploit new technological tools, employ high-performance computing, data aggregation, and analytics.<br /> <br /> “The new Polytechnic requires that leaders acquire new skills for a digitally interconnected environment, that they balance authority with engagement, understand nuances of culture and language, seek new ways to establish trust among, within, and between virtual teams.<br /> <br /> “With more diverse, digitally connected audiences— participants who may never before have had a voice, and may even be volunteers—and with less hierarchical dynamics, there will be concerns about trust on multiple levels.<br /> <br /> “Leaders must recognize value in divergent perspectives and manage opposing expectations. And, they must accomplish all this in a virtual environment where the leader may never look participants in the eye or shake their hands,” Jackson said.<br /> <br /> For the text of the lecture, titled “The New Polytechnic: Collaboration and Leadership Across Disciplines and Sectors to Address Urgent Global Challenges,” visit rpi.edu/president/speeches/ps012213-era.html.

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