The Global WC2 Symposium: Toronto Today, St. Petersburg Tomorrow
It is already the fourth time that SPbPU is taking part in the WC2 symposium, the major annual forum of the World Cities World Class University Network WC2. Along with SPbPU, ten other key universities from all over the world are members of the Association, including strategic partners of SPbPU from Hong-Kong, Great Britain, and Germany.
In mid-August, more than 150 participants from the world's leading universities arrived in Toronto, where they were to work together at the University of Ryerson on solving the global problems of the new century. The main theme of the Symposium-2018 was “Migration, City and University,” while the participants split up into 6 thematic clubs: “Business,” “Global Health,” “Food Policy,” “Eco Campus,” “Knowledge, Culture and Urban Development” and “Transport”.
A team to represent Polytechnic University was headed by the Deputy Head of the Department of International Cooperation N.M. GOLOVIN and included Director of the Graduate School of Management and Business I.V. ILYIN, Senior Researcher of the Higher School of Software Engineering of Institute of Computer Science and Technology (ICST) N.V. VOINOV, and several most excellent post-graduate and Master’s degree students.
The club work was preceded by a series of working meetings of WC2 coordinators from the participant universities. N.M. GOLOVIN, as an official SPbPU representative, took part in a number of meetings and discussions. The parties suggested the idea of a joint promotion of the universities within the frame of the WC2 network; some discussions were dedicated to financing of joint projects and attraction of funds from various countries, as well as to the global development of the Association.
Alla REVITZER, post graduate student of the IPNT, and Daniil SERGEYEV, graduate student of the ICST, presented SPbPU at the club of Global Health. Young scientists spoke about the migration potential of stem cells and their capacities to repair tissues and about the micro photo recognition of biomedical structures. D. SERGEYEV stressed that in the prospect, this model will allow specialists to simplify early diagnostics of particular types of cancer. Both topics were acknowledged by the competent audience as essential and highly demanded.
Along with other students, ICE Master’s degree students Darya SPRENGEL and Darya BARANOVA developed at the Eco-Campus Club a project of exploiting green roofing of existing university buildings. The participants suggested a whole lot of options: to place solar batteries and water reservoirs on the roof; set up a garden and greenhouses; build a stage and an athletic run; and construct zones for studying and relaxation. In the result of this, the green roofing project brought together the architectural, energy, and environmental components.
In the section of Transport, in which SPbPU was represented by N.V. VOINOV, participants from Russia, Canada, Germany, China and Australia discussed the main areas of research in the scope of transport topics. The issue of switching from gasoline and diesel fuels to their alternatives is essential for many countries. The parties discussed how much the increase of the number of electric vehicles would affect the safety of pedestrians, whether it is profitable or not to use hydrogen rail in Greater Toronto, and whether scientists would be able to automate trains in the nearest future using computer vision algorithms.
The business aspects of the migration issue were in the agenda of the Business Club. The HSBM team composed of I.V. ILYIN and Master’s degree students Sofia KALYAZINA and Denis SURKOV presented a project dedicated to adaptation of migrants using the program of entrepreneurship development. As foreign colleagues stated, the issue was essential for many countries of the world.
Based on the outcomes of the Symposium, a series of joint publications of the clubs’ participants are planned. “Participation in WC2 is a unique experience of team work and intercultural communication. This is an opportunity to put together the best practices of leading specialists from all continents. We are very glad that next year, a jubilee year for Polytechnic University, the WC2 Symposium will take place on the basis of our University, and we hope that together we will be able to find solutions for the key issues of our time,” - SPbPU Vice-Rector for International Relations D.G. ARSENIEV concluded.