何毓琦的个人博客分享 http://blog.sciencenet.cn/u/何毓琦 哈佛(1961-2001) 清华(2001-date)

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Grand Challenge Summit Meeting among USA/China/UK (2)

已有 1358 次阅读 2019-9-19 04:01 |个人分类:S&T|系统分类:海外观察

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A few personal observations

This is not the usual technical type of conference where specialists get together. Instead it is a conference designed to address BIG problems of the world and encourage young scholars to be familiar with them and to address them. Thus there are participants from all fields - politics, newspapers, inventors, snd social scientists. As one panelist said it well : “ Our generation created these problems (climate change for example) and your generation will have to solve them”. Each country, USA/UK/China, gets to send 100 students to this conference and they are the main targeted audience of the meeting (except for one NAE colleague and one Tsinghua professor, I did not meet anyone I know nor who knows me). But I did learned a few interesting pieces of data about climate change and smart cities.  One Chinese panelists reported that data- impact- adaption are three different phases of solving problems of smart city. He gave the example of solving traffic and parking problem in Hangzhouu where real data showed surprising inefficiency in the utilization of city spaces. Another example is the delivery of medicine to low income family which had tremendous inefficiency and the clever solution used to solved it.  Inventors also reported CO2 removers like trees that can remove CO2  From the air we breathe. There may be many such real world problems waiting for the academic researchers on smart cities to solve rather than some imagined problems. If successful, then good PR will automatically follow. Thus, by all means academics should spend sometime talking to the people in city government  to find out their real problems waiting for you to help solve. The solution often may be very simple but the impact can be very real. The panelist liken the smart city problem as coordination between the body and the brain. In a city, the city government is the brain and all the infrastructure and services are the body. In ordinary human the brain and the body grow up together in coordination. But a city government are often Ilike an mmature, misinformed, and poorly coordinated and knowledgeable brain that is not coordinated well with her body. Smart city needs a smart city brain to serve her population well. Good data resources is  one part of a smart city brain. One more example reported is the fact that the city of Beijing and the country of Ethiopia have approximately the same population yet Beijing requires 8 times the water as Ethiopia to survive. WHY? It is food for thought. 

By the way, many Chinese student at the conference took pictures with me. Will you please send mea copy of the photo and tell me who you are. You can just google my name and get my e- mail address



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