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[ICF 2019] "Innovation – The Power of Youth" PKU Youth Forum 2019 held

OCT . 24 2019
Peking University, Oct. 24, 2019: The Peking University Youth Forum, a main event of Peking University International Culture Festival 2019, was held on October 19.

Themed "Innovation - the Power of Youth", the forum invited young people from home and abroad to partake in the sharing of their unique views and experiences concerning innovation, creation, mission and responsibility. The forum is not only a platform for PKU students to present a well-expressed Chinese story, but also serves as a stage for overseas youth to weave their glittering ideas into a more inclusive Chinese story.

At the opening ceremony

The forum comprises four sessions, including the opening ceremony hosted by Caleb Huffman and Emily Vincent from PKU’s Yenching Academy, keynote speeches given by insightful youths from different departments and countries, a group discussion, and the closing ceremony.

Group photo

After the opening ceremony, Li Yongmei, assistant dean of College of Engineering, delivered a speech with the topic of "Innovation and Entrepreneurship - A Practice at Peking University." She briefly introduced the history of the College of Engineering and the role played by engineers in Chinese modernization. "Practice First, Innovation Best," she said, was the slogan of the college, whose innovation pattern involved the talents cultivation system, the practice system, the fund system, and the research and cooperation system. Li also introduced "PKU Makers Lab", which offered all university students cutting-edge devices to realize their innovation dreams and develop their own startups.

Li Yongmei

Xiao Wei, deputy director of the Administrative Office of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, and also a student of Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development, shared with the audience his views on "The Role of Youth Generation in the Time of Intelligence". Xiao traced the advancements of AI technology, supercomputing system, massive data, etc., and listed the widespread applications of AI-related technologies. After pointing out the changes and uncertainties faced by the government and communities, Xiao urged youngsters to keep an open-minded, cooperative, and inclusive attitude to promote and participate in the development of relevant laws, policies, regulations, and more importantly, the innovation of technology.

Xiao Wei

Wang Shaoxin, a Ph.D. of College of Engineering, gave his keynote speech on "Innovation for a Better Environment." Having authorized more than 10 national patents and published two SCI papers, Wang shared his original vision about the relation between innovation and environment. Highlighting key points such as the fabrication and application of environmental materials, he presented to the audience new models of innovation to tackle environmental issues in a creative way. By exhibiting some experimental results in his study of the mechanism of NH3SCR catalyst, he pointed out that fly ash, long viewed as a solid waste, could be utilized as a catalyst component to purify air; thus, by the innovative application of the "misplaced resource", air pollution could be dealt with duly and effectively.

Wang Shaoxing

Madi Aldabergenov, a graduate student of Yenching Academy, shared his personal experience in his speech "Innovation - the Power of Youth: Personal story." Madi first clarified the meaning of "innovation" and stressed the significance of transformation from ideas to values. Sharing with the audience his education and career background, particularly the program of "Dubai Future Accelerators (DFA)" he was involved in, Madi put an emphasis on a passionate attitude towards entrepreneurship and executive innovation.

Madi Aldabergenov

Ouyang Ruize, a graduate student of School of International Studies, looked into the everyday life that had been transformed by sci-tech innovations in his speech "How to Deal with Lifestyle Transformation Caused by Technology Innovation." By displaying diverse charts and tables in his research, Ouyang indicated that the rate of digital addiction, and the ensuing anxiety, depression, and suicide had been on the rise, and that people nowadays were more likely to feel lonely with less time to spend with friends. Seeing this, he advocated the effective use of technical products and the wise selection of target information. The important role of youth power, he implied, lay in the establishment of a common culture and the cultivation of an open and inclusive mindset.

Ouyang Ruize

Wang Yiwen, an undergraduate student of School of Life sciences, highlighted "Interdisciplinary Communication for Defining What We Have for the Future." Wang also analyzed the conflicts between technological advancements and social issues, using the example of the controversial geneticist He Jiankui who attempted to foster HIV immunity and to bring forth the first gene-edited babies. 
She then introduced the deficit model and indicated that biotechnology might have transgressed certain orders. In the face of such controversies, Wang underscored the great import of the interaction between law and human nature to reduce the friction between technology and conscience. 

Wang Yiwen

Steven Yue Heng Yang, a graduate student of Yenching Academy, put his research emphasis on "The Impact of AI on Global Income Quality." Yang found that under the theory of narrative economics, demand and wages may grow for professionals with digital and cognitive skills, but shrink for workers who perform repetitive tasks.

Steven Yue Heng Yang

Deng Tianyi, an undergraduate of School of Health Humanities, pointed out that "we are in a time that conviction of valuing technology over humanity should be changed." Deng made clear to the audience the concept of "Narrative Medicine", which suggested that by taking a patient-centered approach, hearing the stories of illness, and rescue the patients' stories, we could achieve more human, ethical, and effective healthcare. By studying the cases of the hospice center in Beijing Haidian Hospital and other healthcare centers, Deng called for more attention on humanity in the practice of healthcare. “Why don't we give equal attention to institutional buildings and humanistic care," Deng raised her doubt.

Deng Tianyi

He Yuqing, a graduate student of School of Earth and Space Sciences, raised the question "How can we make the world different through our own ability?" Specializing in data processing from which she gleaned useful information, He wanted to share her unique perspective and expertise with the "outsiders". By citing "crime analysis" as an example, she showed to us the working mechanism of the prediction platform on which the process of data collection, data integration, data visualization, and results sharing were accomplished.

He Yuqing

Following the keynote speeches was the group discussion, the most interactive part of the event. All attendees of the forum sat together in small groups to discuss any topics that appealed to them, and sparks of fresh ideas were kindled in the heated discussion. Amaia Perea, a Spanish student of Yenching Academy, spoke out her insightful views about the forum, "It was like a very profound exchange of visions, and it offered a good opportunity to talk with students and experts of different majors and age groups. The big names, big titles, big topics seemed confusing to me at first, but everything turned out to be terrific at last. I like the forum."

Reported by: Wei Yunqi, Ye Yimeng
Edited by: Huang Weijian