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KAIST to hold online forum with MIT, Tokyo Tech, Northwestern University

A poster of the KAIST summit (KAIST’s official website)
A poster of the KAIST summit (KAIST’s official website)
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea’s leading science and tech university, will launch an online forum with three other renowned universities, exploring ways to gain a competitive edge in the industrial sector in the COVID-19 era.

The online forum titled, “The Roles and Responsibilities of Universities in a Global Crisis,” will be livestreamed on Wednesday, featuring a range of issues that affect universities in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The two-hour-long KAIST summit will host presidents of KAIST, MIT, Tokyo Tech and Northwestern University. The keynote speakers are KAIST President Shin Sung-chul, MIT President L. Rafael Reif, Tokyo Tech President Kazuya Masu, and Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro.

Following the keynote speech session, the speakers will take part in a panel discussion on three topics: “The Digital Divide,” “Emerging Challenges in AI,” and “Social Entrepreneurship and University-Industry Collaboration.”

The panel discussion will involve an in-depth conversation on not only universities’ role in bridging the digital divide brought by 4IR disruptions, but also ethical challenges of AI and robotics. Building a strong university-industry cooperation is one of the key goals that all four universities are aiming for.

A Q&A session will be followed afterwards, with an online audience consisting of KAIST faculty, staff, students as well as high school students in South Korea.

“One thing for sure is that universities cannot go back to the way they used to exist and operate,” KAIST President Shin Sung-chul said. As the 4IR will penetrate into our daily lives, universities should take the initiative in pursuing bold and innovative steps to continue on engaging with the society, Shin said.

During the summit, Shin also plans to roll out a set of strategic innovation plans for KAIST in the five areas of education, research, technology commercialization, globalization, and future strategy.

The online summit, also in celebration of KAIST’s 50th anniversary, will be broadcast on KAIST’s official YouTube channel (, on Wednesday at 10 a.m. local time (Tuesday at 7 p.m. CST).

By Kim Hae-yeon (