Science and Innovation Week
Planning Mexico City's High-Tech Future
Science and Innovation Week
Planning Mexico City's High-Tech Future
Sam Pitroda (National Knowledge Commission of India), Alvin Toffler,
Jerry Hultin (Polytechnic Institute of NYU), Hugo Santana (IBM Mexico),
Rajendra Pachauri (Energy and Resources Institute), Harry Kroto
(Florida State University), Robert Richardson (Cornell University),
Rajeev Sethi (Asian Heritage Foundation), Robert Engle (NYU Stern
School of Business), Sherwood Rowland (UC Irvine), and Russell Read (C
Change Investments)Presented by Academia Mexicana de Ciencias, Ciudad de México, Ciencia Tecnologia para impulsar tu Ciudad, and the New York Academy of Sciences
Reported by Alan Dove | Posted December 3, 2008
Mayor Marcelo Ebrard, along with the New York Academy of Sciences,
the Mexican Academy of Sciences, and the Science and Technology
Institute of Mexico City, convened Mexico City's "Science and
Innovation Week" beginning September 22, 2008.
Ebrard outlined a plan to get the area's scientific and
technological infrastructure up to world-class standards. The
centerpiece of his initiative is a set of four "knowledge cities"
within Mexico City, each focused on a different aspect of the
innovation economy: education, medicine, communication, and finance.
In six intensive sessions, Nobel laureates and other leaders in
science and innovation addressed the 300-strong crowd of policymakers,
business executives, teachers, and students. The morning sessions
provided a sampling of scientific fields where Mexico City could excel,
and the afternoons focused on innovation, the difficult alchemy of
turning scientific progress into practical and profitable technologies.
This conference and eBriefing were made possible with support from:
When politicians give speeches at scientific meetings, they often
follow a disappointing pattern: many words of praise for the important
work researchers do, some general speculation about the future, and a
non-binding promise to help. Opening Mexico City's "Science and
Innovation Week" on September 22, 2008, Mayor Marcelo Ebrard departed radically from this approach.
a succinct, lucid presentation, the leader of the world's
second-largest metropolis made a clear argument for the centrality of
science in the city's future, then outlined a specific plan to get the
area's scientific and technological infrastructure up to world-class
standards. The centerpiece of Ebrard's initiative is a set of four
"knowledge cities" within Mexico City, each focused on a different
aspect of the innovation economy: education, medicine, communication,
Indeed, it was Ebrard, with help from the New York Academy of
Sciences, the Mexican Academy of Sciences, and the Science and
Technology Institute of Mexico City, who convened the weeklong meeting.
The Mayor's office also commissioned an in-depth study by the RAND
Corporation, a draft of which was released at the meeting, to identify
Mexico City's biggest strengths and weaknesses and recommend strategies
Rosaura Ruiz and Ellis Rubinstein
represented the two scientific academies in the opening session, but
the main attractions came afterward. In six intensive sessions, Nobel
laureates and other leaders in science and innovation addressed the
300-strong crowd of policymakers, business executives, teachers, and
students. The morning sessions provided a sampling of scientific fields
where Mexico City could excel, and the afternoons focused on
innovation, the difficult alchemy of turning scientific progress into
practical and profitable technologies.
The science of success
The scientific portion of the meeting began with a series of
presentations on health and genomics, one of the hottest fields in
modern research. Scientists around the world are now sequencing whole
genomes, tracking the genetic variations that contribute to chronic
conditions, and manipulating the molecules of life in unprecedented new
Bringing genomic and biotechnological treatments into the clinic can
be difficult, though. Besides requiring risky and expensive clinical
trials, new technologies such as stem cell engineering and gene therapy
often raise thorny political and ethical problems. "[Biotechnology
offers] enormous opportunities for improving health, but also enormous
challenges for how we deal with those opportunities and how we
implement them," said Oxford University's Sir Walter Bodmer, who presented an engaging overview of these issues.
Still, Mexico City is already home to world-class life sciences
laboratories, whose work could form the basis for a home-grown
biotechnology industry. It's a business that can take years to turn a
profit, but there is little doubt that the world's demand for
sophisticated new therapies will continue to grow. "As we move to a
situation where hopefully the environment is better throughout the
world, we will be changing enormously the demographic structure and
have to take account of the diseases of older age," said Bodmer.
The second day's scientific session focused on urban infrastructure,
a field that many of the world's rapidly growing megacities have
ignored at their peril. From Bangalore's epic traffic jams to Beijing's
dense smog, the problems of cities are rapidly becoming the problems of
the entire planet.
As Rajendra Pachauri of the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change explained, Mexico City, home to one quarter of
Mexico's population, needs to consider its impact on the nation as a
whole. Mayor Ebrard's new plan provides an opportunity to do just that.
"While this excellent initiative ... would certainly serve the
interests of Mexico City, one has to take a much larger view and see
how such a development and such a vision might actually help all of
Mexican society," said Pachauri.
The bulk of Pachauri's presentation focused on the urgent need for
cities to adapt to the realities of global climate change and disparate
access to technology. "I would say it's a terrible tragedy that in the
21st century we have 1.6 billion people who've never used ...
electricity," said Pachauri. He advocates turning on the lights in
those dark homes with sustainable technologies, such as solar-charged
Pachauri's electrification plan highlights one of the advantages
developing countries have in the 21st century. In areas that missed the
industrial revolution, a complete absence of infrastructure offers a
level playing field for new technologies. For example, rather than
waiting for electrical grids and telephone lines to reach them, many of
the world's rural poor have skipped directly to using solar panels and
The ability to leapfrog from pre-industrial to post-industrial
technology also puts places like Mexico City in a good position to
improve their environmental footprint, which was the subject of the
third day's scientific session on "green science." Speakers in this
session discussed a wide array of developments, ranging from
decentralized electrical generation systems to creative new solar power
Getting individuals, cities, and nations to adopt any of these
innovations, though, will require economic incentives. As New York
University's Robert Engle explained, the economic
incentives provide the world's best hope for a solution to climate
change. Engle urged governments to levy a tax on carbon-emitting fuels,
so that their market price reflects their actual environmental cost.
As recent data prove, such fuel price increases would be powerful
incentives for conservation. "In the U.S. it's become patriotic to save
energy, but $4/gallon [gasoline] has been far more effective than any
patriotism in getting people to change their behavior," said Engle.
From bench to business
After each day's scientific discussion, attendees turned their
attention to the more loosely defined process of innovation, a term
that encompasses the numerous steps needed to turn laboratory results
into useful products. It's a subject that has recently found increasing
interest among policy makers.
Scientists have long regarded product development as a form of
selling out, but the rise of global competition and the fall of old
business models has suddenly turned innovation into a basic survival
skill. That transformation became even clearer right before the meeting
began, as a historic stock market crash spurred the U.S. government to
implement a massive economic bailout plan. "The world got a lot flatter
last week—about $700 billion flatter," said Jerry Hultin
of Polytechnic University, who opened the session on innovation models.
Hultin added that with the world's financial markets suddenly deleting
trillions of dollars from the global economy, "[we] are all going to be
innovators and entrepreneurs for the next decade or more."
Hultin and most of the other speakers at the meeting converged on a
model of innovation that places universities at the center. In this
approach, faculty and students often spin their discoveries into
products and companies themselves, turning the school into a source of
both new knowledge and new economic development.
Participants at Science and Innovation Week, Mexico City
Front row: Robert C. Richardson, Sam Pitroda, Sherwood Rowland, Alvin Toffler, Marcelo Ebrard, Rajendra Pachauri, Rosaura Ruíz.
Middle row: Rajeev Sethi, Maria Esther Orozco.
Back row: Jerry Hultin, Arturo Fernandez, Jose E.
Villa Rivera, Juan Carlos Romero Hick, Jaime Matuscelli, Arturo Molina,
Axel Didriksson, Fernando Brambila.
Of course, some researchers are already pursuing this approach, by
asking how their own work might help solve difficult real-world
problems. Harry Kroto and his colleagues at Florida
State University, for example, have recently been modifying their
laboratory's famous nanotubes to make a variety of practical tools. "We
should be able to take this technology and print onto the surface of
plastic sheets, solar cells, and you name it, and then these [printing
presses] can actually do something useful," said Kroto. He added,
"That's what science and technology should be about, humanitarian
Journalists might contend that printing presses already do something
useful, but Kroto begs to differ. Speaking during the second innovation
session, which focused on educating the future scientific workforce, he
cited the corrosive effect of tabloid journalism. Particularly in the
United States, antiscientific claims are a regular feature of popular
news and entertainment. "If we want young people who are smart and
clever to solve these problems, we certainly have to change some of the
stuff that's out there in the media," said Kroto.
Other speakers in the session presented a variety of solutions for
the current problems in science education. For Mexico City, programs
such as Internet-based distance learning and public outreach by
scientists could help address a range of difficulties, including
underfunded schools and a shortage of scientific role models.
Many of those problems are not unique to Mexico. Sam Pitroda,
the chief architect of India's telecommunication revolution,
highlighted the multifaceted difficulties science's promoters face. "At
times, we have 21st-century technologies, 20th-century organizations,
and 19th-century mindsets," said Pitroda. Upgrading organizations and
mindsets, though, is neither quick nor easy.
Mexico City could become a proving ground for 21st-century infrastructure.
For example, a casual observer might think that India's recent
development occurred suddenly, with an Internet-fueled launch into the
global services industry driving a meteoric rise from third-world
backwater to global competitor. In fact, said Pitroda, the history of
the country's modernization goes back half a century. After wresting
independence from Britain in 1947, one of the first tasks of the
nation's new political leadership was a massive effort to educate the
largely illiterate population. "It took almost 40 years before we could
see some results," he explained.
The final session of the meeting covered the mechanisms that
actually work in getting technology to the marketplace, and the areas
where innovation is needed most. Interestingly, one of the most fertile
areas for new technology is also one where Mexico City could excel:
construction. With a population growing past 20 million in the greater
Mexico City area, the demand for new housing and offices is enormous.
However, the building trades have long been a technological
backwater. "The construction industry is the only industry ...
that has experienced a decrease in productivity over the last 30
years," said Russell Read of the University of
California at Davis, who kicked off the session. Read adds that "when
you look at the construction industry, you're lucky if you get a better
By investing in newer construction and design technologies, Mexico
City could become a proving ground for 21st-century infrastructure. Nor
do these investments need to be considered charity; Read argued
persuasively that investments in sustainable building and energy
technologies are poised to pay huge dividends in the future.
Whatever fields the city chooses to specialize in, local scientists
and business leaders are clearly off to a good start. Collectively, the
speakers at the conference presented persuasive support for a
prediction Sam Pitroda made in his keynote address: "Mexico City can do
it and will do it. Mexico City will become the knowledge capital of
Health & Genomics
- Cities worldwide are now trying to reconfigure their economies around science and technology.
- Mexico City is positioning itself to become the "knowledge capital" of Latin America.
- Mexico City's young scientists are poised to produce breakthroughs in biotechnology, if the country can keep them from leaving.
- Life sciences are one of Mexico's particular strengths, and could form the basis for a home-grown biotechnology industry.
- As new medical technologies become available, providing equal
access to healthcare will become more important, but also more
The thinking cure
By hosting its first Science and Innovation Week in September, 2008,
Mexico City officially declared its intent to become a global hub of
science and technology. It is certainly not the first major urban
center to try this, nor is it likely to be the last. Indeed, the
Academy and other organizations have recently convened very similar
meetings in major urban centers around the world. From Shanghai to New
York, the speakers at these meetings change, but the general theme
remains the same: city leaders want to bring in more science.
Cities suddenly see science as the key to their future.
It's a remarkable shift. Cities, traditionally structured around
industry and commerce, have long regarded science as little more than a
novelty. Now they suddenly see it as an essential component of their
future survival. What's changed?
In a word, everything. With the global population exploding past six
billion, environmental problems mounting, technological revolutions
erasing traditional borders, and the wheels falling off the world's
financial markets, nearly everyone is starting to wonder what comes
next. It might not be pretty.
Author Alvin Toffler, one of the meeting's keynote
speakers, pointed to skyrocketing oil prices and shaky banks as
symptoms of a more significant phenomenon. "These are only superficial
elements of a much, much bigger picture," he said, adding that
"dramatic changes will be needed to bring huge populations out of
misery and to fuel the third wave societies of the world of tomorrow."
Those "third wave" societies, which Toffler and his wife Heidi first
predicted more than two decades ago, are the knowledge centers that
turn science and technology into jobs and revenues—the formula that the
world's major cities are now rushing to implement. To help Mexico City
along that path, the meeting featured three half-day science sessions
surveying the major fields in which the city could focus its efforts.
The destiny of biology
Sir Walter Bodmer of the University of Oxford,
whose pioneering work has advanced both human genetics and the public's
understanding of science, kicked off the series of presentations on
health and genomics. Bodmer led the audience on a brisk but lucid tour
of the current state of genomic technology.
As the cost of sequencing a person's complete genome plummets,
doctors may soon be ordering complex genetic tests as easily as they
now order a blood count. But while technology marches inexorably toward
this future, doctors and patients need to prepare for it. "[This]
involves not only having a medical profession that understands the
nature of [genetic] differences, but also a public that can accept the
knowledge that comes from this and understands what the benefits might
be," said Bodmer.
Public education is critical for biotechnology.
For example, researchers have already found several genes that
predict patients' responses to particular drugs. Knowing who will
respond well to a treatment and who will suffer side effects is
certainly useful, but it also raises some new problems. "It's not a
concept that the pharmaceutical companies are particularly keen on,"
said Bodmer, adding that "you would like to have a drug that works in
everybody ... and not have to test whether someone is going to
respond, but I think the future will be more and more in identifying
those individuals who respond most effectively to a particular drug."
Bodmer also worries that the press of new genomic technologies could
distract attention from more basic needs, especially in developing
countries. Developing new genomic tests is important, but so are
fundamental public health projects such as water treatment plants and
smoking cessation programs.
Fighting the resistance
As Cinvestav's Maria Esther Orozco pointed out,
though, researchers in Mexico are well placed to do both things,
advancing biomedical technology while simultaneously helping to solve
ancient public health problems. The key, she said, is in understanding
where our diseases come from.
Among many other discoveries, modern genetics has provided
unprecedented insight into human origins, identifying five major
migrations of our African ancestors as our species populated the
planet. During these migrations, our tribes' genes and resident
microbes adapted to new environments. The result is a world of diverse
human races, with differences in their susceptibilities to diseases.
Genetics has also revealed how emerging and re-emerging pathogens
evolve, often making substantial changes in their genomes in order to
evade immune defenses and new medications. Researchers, in turn, are
trying to use this knowledge to develop second and third-line therapies
to kill the resistant pathogens. Mexico City presents a unique front in
this arms race, as its world-class scientists live and work in a city
with a substantial infectious disease burden. Orozco argued that the
city could lead the way in developing new antimicrobial agents.
Whatever research the city chooses to promote, it will need to
remain flexible in the future. Concluding a presentation about
cutting-edge biomedical technologies, Thomas Caskey
of the Brown Foundation contended that the real revolution is yet to
come: "While we have incredibly advanced technology in 2008, there are
going to be technologies that eclipse what we're dealing with.
Therefore we must constantly be on the move and be adaptive."
Plugging the brain drain
But as Mexicans know from long experience, a rising tide of
technology does not lift everyone equally. "We are facing a worldwide
[scientific] revolution," said Rafael Palacios,
adding that "the question is ... will we be able to be some of the
actors promoting this revolution, or as usually happens will we have
just secondhand knowledge and secondhand derivatives of this type of
According to Palacios, education is the key to making Mexico City a
leader in innovation rather than a follower. In particular, the city
needs to train more and better scientists, and then provide them with
opportunities to use their knowledge for Mexico's benefit, rather than
using it merely as a ticket out of the country. At the Universidad
Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Palacios has put that thinking into
practice, creating an integrated undergraduate program in math,
computer science, and biology to prepare the next generation of genomic
Future scientists will need incentives to stay in the country.
The effort appears to be off to an excellent start. Internationally
renowned researchers who have visited the UNAM campus to meet the
program's third-year students have raved about the group's
intelligence, understanding of advanced genomics concepts, and
potential for success. "The tone of these opinions ... is not at
all a patronizing type of opinion, it's really something that comes
from a colleague who sees these kids as colleagues, as equals to any
others in the world," said Palacios.
To drive that point home, one of the advanced students from the
program spoke next, delivering an insightful and articulate description
of the promise and needs of these young scientists. "Even though many
of us will prefer to complete our graduate studies abroad, we want to
come back to Mexico afterwards," she said. But she warned that "when we
come back, we need access to infrastructure and finance, as well as job
positions, so that new and fresh minds can start developing new
projects for this country."
Redistributing the future
Whether the next generation of biomedical breakthroughs come from
Mexican or international scientists, they will be of little use if
policymakers cannot make universal healthcare work. Indeed, in
developing countries, even relatively successful ones such as Mexico,
past technological advances have been applied very unevenly. The result
is what experts like Julio Frenk, Mexico's former secretary of health, describe as "maldevelopment."
"In maldeveloped societies, old and new problems coexist in a
complex present fraught with contradictions and inequalities," said
Frenk. For example, fast food and television have reached many more
poor communities worldwide than window screens and modern plumbing. As
a result, maldeveloped countries are now experiencing a dual disease
burden: obesity and diabetes live alongside malaria and cholera.
Rather than see this trend as cause for despair, Frenk sees it as an
enormous opportunity. Having helped Mexico provide universal health
insurance for its citizens, he argued that pursuing a similar goal
globally could have enormous benefits. "In our turbulent world, health
remains one of the few truly universal aspirations. It therefore offers
a concrete opportunity to reconcile national self interest with
international mutual interest," said Frenk.
- Globally, resource shortages, aging populations, and climate change are creating a huge need for new technologies.
- As more of the world's population moves to cities, cities need to reduce their impact on the planet.
- Mexico City could develop sustainable innovations in biotechnology, medicine, and urban infrastructure.
- Improved building designs could slash cities' energy use while making them more livable.
- Urban farms built into high-rise buildings could reduce Mexico City's agricultural footprint dramatically.
- Current urban power supply systems are appallingly wasteful;
decentralized electrical generation might help cities cope with
Can we build it?
Besides thinking globally, solving the problems of the future will
also require acting locally, especially in the developing world's
rapidly growing megacities. In these metropolises, high-rise office
buildings abut sprawling slums, while vast gridlocks of vehicles fill
the streets. Fixing the numerous defects in such cities will be a bit
like rebuilding an aircraft engine in flight, but speakers in the
conference's urban infrastructure section seemed ready to pick up their
Rajendra Pachauri, who was a leader of the Nobel
Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, began the
session with an eloquent overview of global climate change, a
well-documented phenomenon that some policymakers still make strenuous
efforts to discount. "There is really no scientific basis for doubting
the process of climate change, which is on and which has been on for
quite a few decades," said Pachauri, adding that "we really should set
that controversy to rest."
is there any mystery about the major driver of the process, which is
the enormous and growing quantity of "greenhouse gases," such as carbon
dioxide, that humanity is pouring into the atmosphere to power the
global economy. Reducing that form of pollution will be extremely
costly and difficult, but continuing to ignore the problem will be even
worse. Based on current fossil fuel consumption rates, Pachauri and his
colleagues on the IPCC project an average global surface temperature
increase of anywhere from 1.8° C to 4°C by the end of the 21st century.
Those figures may sound moderate, but their effects, ranging from
rising seas and flooding to crop failures and droughts, would not be.
"The human race cannot possibly witness the impacts of climate change
that would be implied in this rate of temperature change," said
Averting and mitigating these problems doesn't have to be painful.
With urban centers generating 80% of global carbon dioxide emissions,
new infrastructure projects could go a long way toward reducing
humanity's carbon footprint while improving city dwellers' quality of
Getting around and staying put
Transportation and buildings consume the overwhelming majority of
cities' energy, so redesigning these two things is a high priority for
urban science. Often, though, well-meaning designers have focused their
talents on lucrative new construction in green fields, while ignoring
the more complicated problems of renovating established cities.
Brandon Haw and his colleagues at architectural
firm Foster + Partners are trying to reverse this trend. In one
example, Haw described a commission the company received to redesign
the formerly industrial inner harbor of Duisburg, Germany, remaking the
area into a shopping and entertainment destination. The team
incorporated numerous features to conserve and produce energy in the
new buildings, turning an environmental disaster zone into an
attractive landscape that actually generates surplus electricity. "This
is essential for our cities, to take the brownfield sites and see how
to transform them into good places to be," said Haw.
Breakthroughs in logistics can revolutionize global commerce.
While energy-efficient buildings may become landmarks of the future
cityscape, more efficient transportation systems will likely be less
glamorous. In a summary of the essential science of logistics, Martin Wachs
of the University of California, Berkeley, highlighted both the field's
stunning progress and its inexcusably low status on public agendas.
"We're putting far more energy into improving, say, television sets and
video games than we are into improving the infrastructure that makes
our cities work," said Wachs.
Despite this minimal research investment, breakthroughs in logistics
have revolutionized global commerce. Containerized freight improved the
efficiency of shipping dramatically, making globalized manufacturing
possible, and improved railroad and highway networks bring greater
prosperity while decreasing energy use. Looking ahead, Wachs argued
that improvements in Mexico City's logistics infrastructure could
simultaneously boost the area's economy and reduce its environmental
Up on the farm
Dickson Despommier of Vertical Farm Technologies
turned the focus to the humanity's largest environmental footprint, at
least in surface area: agriculture. Eighty percent of the Earth's
arable land is already being farmed, often inefficiently. To reach the
growing populations in cities, the food from these poorly managed farms
must travel long distances, causing even more environmental damage.
Cities can't grow their own food locally, of course, because they don't
have enough space. Or do they?
Citing New York City as an example, Despommier explained that even
where real estate prices are high and development is dense, a
surprising amount of land remains unused. Tallying the city's
collection of abandoned buildings, former industrial sites, and unused
government properties, Despommier and his students have found
substantial acreage going to waste. "If you look around carefully
enough, you can find lots of real estate that would be amenable to an
alternate use," he said.
Rather than plow that land for inefficient 20th-century agriculture,
Despommier proposes building high-rise greenhouses, maximizing growing
efficiency year-round. Several architects have already begun sketching
these vertical farms, including one building, about the size of a
typical office structure, that could feed an estimated 35,000 people.
Power to the people
Besides producing food closer to home, cities of the future should also consider producing electricity nearby, according to David Sweet,
executive director of the World Alliance for Decentralized Energy. He
argued that the current model for power generation, using a small
number of massive power plants to energize an entire national grid, is
too inefficient to remain viable.
Conventional power plants are appallingly wasteful
Standard power plant technology, which has remained largely
unchanged for 50 years, is appallingly wasteful. A typical coal- or
oil-powered generating plant recovers only about one third of the
energy in the fuel, releasing the remainder as waste heat. Expensively
maintained power lines then carry the electricity to distant cities,
wasting more to resistance in the wires.
Sweet and his colleagues propose slashing those losses by building
much smaller, more efficient generators much closer to where the power
is being used. "When you deploy more decentralized power within a
region ... you reduce CO2 emissions by up to 70% and
delivered power costs by up to 40%," he said. The numbers are not
conjectural; in recent years, nations as diverse as Azerbaijan and
Denmark have reaped enormous benefits from decentralizing their power
grids. In the near future, homeowners could even take the process a
step further, using tiny, high-efficiency generators to produce both
heat and electricity for individual houses.
- Putting a price on climate-changing carbon emissions will help drive innovation in several fields.
- New technologies could help cities minimize their environmental footprints while developing their economies.
- Past environmental regulations have worked well, suggesting that an
aggressive carbon policy could go far in combating climate change.
- Energy conservation represents a huge source of "found fuel" that remains to be fully tapped.
The other green
There is little doubt that energy will be a central concern for
every society in the 21st century. As fossil fuel supplies shrink and
environmental damage from burning them mounts, researchers are
redoubling efforts to develop alternative power sources. Appropriately,
energy was a major focus of the meeting's green science and technology
section, but with an interesting twist. Rather than discuss exotic new
ways of producing energy, most of the section's speakers focused on the
real barrier to implementing green technologies: money.
Economics often gets short shrift in scientific discussions, but as Nobel laureate economist Robert Engle
explained in a stimulating keynote presentation, the science is
critical for addressing the world's current energy problems. In
particular, economists have spent decades figuring out how to measure
and price risk. Applying their tools to the risk of energy-related
disasters yields some surprising insights.
As an example, Engle pointed to the stocks of auto makers Honda and
Ford, which in 2000 had nearly identical prices. "So investors in 2000
looking forward were valuing these two investments at approximately the
same level," said Engle, "but we of course know that they chose very
different strategies: Honda produced small, fuel-efficient cars using
nonunion labor, Ford produced large SUVs using union labor." The two
companies had bet their businesses on radically different views of the
future abundance of oil and the future price of labor.
Economists can put prices on energy-related risks.
In 2008, it's obvious that Honda was right and Ford was wrong, and
the two stock prices have diverged appropriately. "The bet that the
Ford management made turned out to be disastrous," said Engle. The
lesson for other companies is that managers need to think about
long-term trends, especially in energy, in order to survive. "It might
be that the stock market will not respond to this right away, but if
you're well positioned, you will be the winner," said Engle.
Policymakers also need to take a longer view, but that tends to be
at odds with their need to be re-elected every few years. Still, Engle
argued that even a very long-term problem, such as global climate
change, could be approached in a politically palatable way. For
example, imposing a hefty tax on carbon-based fuels would certainly cut
consumption and emissions, but it would be politically unpopular. To
address that, Engle proposed taking the enormous revenue from a carbon
tax and redistributing most of it equally to the taxpayers at the end
of each year. People who conserve energy would make money, those who
waste energy would come out behind, and few voters would object to
getting an annual payment in any case.
It's unclear whether any nation will implement a plan such as Engle's, but as atmospheric chemist and Nobel laureate Sherwood Rowland
of the University of California, Irvine explained in his keynote
address, some type of intervention is clearly necessary. Fortunately,
the track record of emissions policies is actually quite good. The
field's most dramatic success to date, the 1987 Montreal Protocol, has
reduced global emissions of ozone-depleting chemicals dramatically,
saving an entire layer of the planet's atmosphere from likely
extinction. That success and others bode well for aggressive climate
change policies, Rowland argued.
Some of those policies will undoubtedly be costly, but others may
actually yield a profit. In a thorough discussion of the potential for
energy conservation, the International Energy Agency's Paul Waide
explained that reducing a nation's carbon footprint need not come at
the expense of its economy. Many nations are already reaping these
In the world's 11 largest economies, energy use grew steadily over
the past 30 years, but energy services—the amount of profitable work
the energy actually does—skyrocketed. "[Improved] energy efficiency is
actually the largest contributor to energy services," said Waide,
adding that these economies are emitting 5.5 billion tons less CO2 today than they would without the past few decades' efficiency improvements.
Pessimists might assume that the low-hanging fruit have already been
picked, and that future efficiency gains will be much harder. The data
say otherwise. Plotting energy use as a function of per capita gross
domestic product, Waide showed that nations differ substantially in
their energy efficiency. Bringing U.S. industry up to Japanese energy
efficiency standards, for example, would reduce global carbon emissions
enormously, without requiring radical new technologies. Energy
consumers simply need the motivation to improve.
In the past few years, they've started to get it. "There's almost
like a perfect storm of rising energy prices, growing concerns about
environmental impacts of traditional energy, and energy security
concerns, which are helping move ... significant sums of finance
into clean energy sectors," said Waide. Besides prompting consumers and
industry to adopt existing energy-conserving technologies, this trend
has also fed a burgeoning green power industry, and alternative energy
sources such as wind turbines and photovoltaic cells are providing a
rapidly increasing percentage of the world's energy.
Ra, Ra for the sun gods
Mexico City, with its high-altitude location in the tropics, is particularly well placed to take advantage of solar energy. As Juan Luis Peña
of Cinvestav pointed out in the introduction to his talk, it wouldn't
be the first time the citizens of this ancient metropolis looked to the
sun for solutions; Mayan ruins throughout the area highlight the
centrality of our nearest star in traditional Mexican beliefs.
For Peña, sun worship consists of building improved photovoltaic
devices to harvest solar energy. With the latest generation of this
technology, made from thin films of cadmium-based compounds, he
estimates that Mexico City could soon produce a substantial portion of
its electrical power from rooftop solar panels, placing the city at the
forefront of an environmental revolution.
Oguz Capan of ROC Enerji also cited ancient sun
worshipers as an inspiration, in his case the Hittites who inhabited
his native Turkey in Biblical times. Capan, a former oil industry
consultant, initially investigated several alternative energy
technologies to try to find one that he could improve, and solar power
immediately interested him. "Photovoltaic cells are very interesting,
very exciting, but then I decided that it was way beyond my capacity,"
Instead, he chose to study a technology that even the Hittites would
have understood: solar thermal power. Rather than use exotic chemicals
to turn photons into electrical energy, solar thermal systems
concentrate the sun's rays to heat a fluid, then use the hot fluid to
warm buildings directly or drive conventional steam power plants.
It's a simple idea that's been surprisingly tough to reduce to
practice. Current systems, including a large facility now providing
power in the California desert, require expensive curved mirrors and
leaky movable pipes. Capan took a much more direct approach, sticking
cheap flat mirrors onto a parabolic surface and keeping the fluid pipes
fixed, eliminating numerous problematic moving parts. The system may
look slightly less elegant than the one in California, but it has
enormous advantages in cost and simplicity. A pilot plant is already
producing steam in Turkey, and Capan's company is now preparing to sell
similar systems worldwide. "We are going to be ready for mass
production and marketing of these units by the end of this year," he
Capan, and most of the meeting's other scientific speakers, also got
considerable attention from attendees in hallway discussions and
post-seminar receptions. The academic and business elites of Mexico
City clearly understood what was at stake—if they don't take advantage
of the new wave of 21st century scientific breakthroughs quickly
enough, someone else surely will.
- The traditional U.S. model of innovation, driven by consumption and defense, is no longer appropriate.
- In the newly emerging model of innovation, universities take the lead to produce products with social benefits.
- Convincing faculty members to become entrepreneurs is difficult, but essential, for promoting a local knowledge economy.
- Appropriately designed clusters of schools and small companies provide fertile ground for innovation.
- Policymakers need to ensure that regulations are clear and don't unnecessarily hinder new technology ventures.
Settling the endless frontier
As World War II broke out, a flinty New Englander named Vannevar
Bush managed to get an audience with U.S. President Roosevelt. Bush
wanted to discuss a topic that had been bothering him for years: the
difficulty of translating basic research findings into practical
technologies. With the German blitzkrieg pounding America's European
allies, and U-boats cruising off the coast of New Jersey, the nation
clearly needed more innovations, and needed them immediately.
In ten minutes, Bush convinced Roosevelt to create a new government
office in charge of scientific innovation for the upcoming war effort,
and to let Bush run it. Over the next few years, this seemingly
impulsive American project brought many revolutionary new products to
the world, including radar, nuclear weapons, and DDT. Coordinating
American basic research with need-driven innovation also fed the
construction of a vast "military-industrial-academic complex" that
continues to drive the nation's research and development efforts today.
The U.S. model of innovation has worked, but is it sustainable?
Even the most strident critics of this approach concede that some of
its postwar products, such as mass-produced penicillin, the Internet,
and satellite navigation, have provided enormous benefits. It's an
innovation model that obviously works. But is it sustainable?
Sam Pitroda, the chief architect of India's telecommunication
revolution, thinks not. "We still continue to follow the U.S. business
model, which is high cost, based on high consumption rates—some of
these models are not scalable," said Pitroda, a keynote speaker at the
conference and chair of India's National Knowledge Commission. Rather
than focus on defense and consumption, Pitroda argues that the
developing world should concentrate on meeting the needs of the poor,
who comprise an enormous but largely untapped market.
To do that, most of the speakers in the meeting's afternoon
"innovation" sessions advocate a decentralized system, led by
universities rather than governments. Examples of this system are easy
to find, ranging from Boston's famous biotechnology corridor to the
cluster of plastics companies built around a polymer science program in
Under the right conditions, universities can act like seed crystals
in a saturated solution, nucleating entrepreneurial communities that
bring the school's science to the marketplace. For Mexico City, already
home to world-class university research, the question is how to
saturate the surrounding solution.
In order to get to its destination, the city first has to figure out
where it is now. Accordingly, Mayor Ebrard commissioned an in-depth
study of Mexico City's current knowledge economy to identify the area's
strengths and weaknesses. This study, prepared by the RAND Corporation
over the past nine months, was a centerpiece of the conference.
Summarizing the study's findings, Steven Popper ran through a
long list of advantages the city enjoys. Comparing Mexico City to
several other successful metropolises, Popper and his colleagues on the
RAND team found a robust academic research infrastructure, including
truly world-class life sciences laboratories. The area also enjoys a
strong economy with a large number of skilled jobs. "So if there are
all these assets, what is the problem?" asked Popper.
There are quite a few. A long legacy of state-directed economies,
uneven education, strains on physical infrastructure and security, and
a lack of government coordination have kept the world's second-largest
city from realizing its potential. Popper and his colleagues suggest
raising education standards, streamlining regulations, and fostering
more collaboration between companies and universities.
It's not a guaranteed formula for success, but the status quo virtually
guarantees stagnation. "There will be many failures, but the time to
start [changing] is now," said Popper.
The knowledge economy is risky, but rewarding.
Why choose a course that will produce many failures? As Jerry Hultin
explained, that's how the knowledge economy works. Because innovation
relies on the risky fields of science and entrepreneurship, many
innovative businesses will fail for every one that succeeds. The key,
Hultin said, is to develop a new model of innovation that encourages
academic researchers to take their findings directly to the market,
even at the risk of failure.
"The mark of a great university in the 21st century is that it takes
the next step, it moves ... research into connection with society,
it creates companies, products, services, jobs, and the power that
changes society," said Hultin. But telling researchers to move from the
world of grants and tenure to the world of venture capital and product
launches is a tough sell. "That, incidentally, will create a revolt in
your faculty," said Hultin, who added that many researchers still
regard business ventures as a form of "selling out."
It's the network
As Alan Paau of the University of California, San Diego
argued, though, these academic traditionalists are drawing an
artificial boundary. "Innovation is really a creative use of your
knowledge, most often in commerce," said Paau. If it's okay to use your
knowledge to publish papers, it should be just as acceptable to use it
to launch companies.
Academic entrepreneurs will drive future industry.
Besides overcoming academic cultural taboos, researchers seeking to
commercialize their results need to find and hire the right staff.
Industry clusters and "open business" strategies can speed that process
considerably. "When you get into the modern day technology industry
clusters, you don't need to have all the elements from manufacturing to
marketing ... everything can be outsourced," said Paau.
Even in a connected, outsourced world, there are tremendous benefits
from having clusters of similar businesses and related academic
research in close proximity. Chance encounters at a local restaurant,
the ability to meet colleagues face-to-face, and the general tendency
of good ideas to breed other good ideas often makes such clusters
extremely successful. But behind the well-known successes of this
model, such as the biotechnology corridors around Boston and San
Francisco, stand many unnecessarily expensive failures.
Making an innovation cluster work requires focus. "There are more
than 210 biotechnology clusters being built by governments," said Mike Standing
of the Monitor Group, but he added that "the reality is that not every
one of those clusters is going to be successful. We're seeing at the
moment literally billions of dollars being wasted in people attempting
to build clusters that are inappropriate, that are not going to create
distinctive capabilities either at a regional level or a global level."
After reviewing the strategies of successful research clusters
around the world, Standing pointed to two areas where Mexico City could
specialize: developing new systems for healthcare delivery and
inventing technologies to improve urban infrastructure. The latter
field is particularly intriguing, as Mexico City is now facing many of
the problems that other global megacities will soon need to tackle.
"Here in Mexico City ... is a potential place where you could
experiment in building what the next generation of cities looks like,"
Testing new recipes for success
Regardless of how a city chooses to specialize, successful
innovation generally requires a combination of local, regional, and
national policies that help—or at least don't hinder—scientific
research and entrepreneurial risk-taking. Even in nations with long
histories of technological success, policymakers are now trying to
adjust to a new way of doing business.
Sylvia Schwaag-Serger of the International Organisation for
Knowledge Economy and Enterprise Development discussed Sweden's
experience with this transition. Despite being home to the Nobel Prize
and a longtime center of European science and industry, the nation
faces some problems in its research infrastructure. For example, much
of Sweden's scientific workforce is transient. "We educate more Chinese
students than the U.S., but they don't show up in business or academia,
and that's because we send them home," said Schwaag-Serger.
Through a new government agency, called Vinnova, Sweden is now
trying to ensure that its scientific investments continue to pay
dividends to Swedish taxpayers. With researchers increasingly enmeshed
in global collaborations, Serger said that goal is "creating new policy
challenges, and I don't think any country has found the answers yet."
Even technologically successful nations need to adapt to the new economy.
Hugo Santana echoed that sentiment in his talk, which focused
on an in-depth study of innovation commissioned by his company,
computer giant IBM. After interviewing hundreds of business leaders
across five continents, IBM concluded that the new knowledge economy is
already in operation, and that competing in it will require a new
approach to product development.
Vannevar Bush's original strategy, with science flowing linearly
from academia to big industry, was tremendously successful in the 20th
century, but it is clearly showing its age. Most of the meeting's
speakers agreed that in the 21st century, a much more diverse,
networked model of innovation will prevail, blurring or eliminating the
lines between academic, industrial, and government research and
Even in the United States, which has dominated technological
innovation for decades, policymakers are scrambling to renovate the
research infrastructure. The New York Academy of Sciences' Karin Pavese
presented a lucid summary of the recently passed America COMPETES Act,
which implements a barrage of changes for the nation's scientific
funding agencies, technology businesses, and educational systems, all
aimed at increasing innovation. Among other things, the law doubles
funding for research in the physical sciences, invests in
entrepreneurship, adjusts standards in intellectual property, and
supports a retooling of America’s manufacturing capacity to face
Pipeline of Talent
- Science and innovation are inherently global processes, bringing people from multiple nations together.
- Improved education and public outreach are critical for cities that want to succeed in the knowledge economy.
- Internet-based classrooms can help overcome the chronic
underfunding and geographical barriers that plague Latin American
- Environmental challenges are inspiring a new generation of students to enter science and engineering.
It takes a village
Developed and developing countries alike are clearly keen to promote
innovation, and the array of policy changes and investments they're now
applying to accomplish that is certainly encouraging. But in order for
a nation, a city, or a company to develop tomorrow's technologies,
they'll need more scientists and engineers. Where will those people
To succeed, cities need to attract more scientists and engineers.
Everywhere. Speaking during the meeting's session on the "pipeline of talent," Nobel laureate chemist Harry Kroto
presented a picture of his laboratory group, with each person labeled
by nationality. The result resembles a United Nations gathering. "This
group of people is international, they don't know any boundaries," said
Kroto, adding that "science is international—we speak a language which
is the same, doesn't matter what you believe, what country you're in."
Depending on your perspective, that's either good or bad news.
Unlike the industrial economy, which relies on natural resources and
access to shipping routes, the knowledge economy relies on science,
which is mobile, globally distributed, and reproducible. Nations and
cities that can train and keep world-class scientists and engineers
will excel, while those with a weak pipeline of talent will fall behind.
One might think that the United States, as a longtime scientific
leader, would be well-placed to capitalize on this trend. One might be
At a well-attended "creationist" museum in Kentucky, for example,
families can see a Biblically-inspired version of the Earth's history
that is directly at odds with Darwinian evolution, biology's central
organizing principle. "This is what's out there, and school children
are going to this, being taught that the Earth is only 5000 years old,"
said Kroto, whose home state of Florida routinely elects politicians
with similarly antiscientific beliefs.
Reach out and teach someone
Education, wealth, and economic development are tightly linked.
While the United States shoots itself in the foot by miseducating
the future workforce, Latin America struggles with a different set of
problems, including a lack of funding for schools, geographical
barriers that separate teachers from students, and tremendous
disparities in access to technology. The impacts are clear. Only about
half of Latin Americans finish high school, those who do score
consistently low on internationally standardized science tests, and the
region produces relatively few PhD-level scientists and engineers.
"Education isn't a panacea, there are a lot of traditional things
that need to be addressed, [such as] reinforcing social programs," said
Juan Romero, president and CEO of Pearson Education
Latin America, but he added that education, combating poverty, and
economic development are tightly linked. Better education may not be
sufficient for an economic revival, but it is necessary.
A progress report on a distance learning program begun in Mexico in 2007.
To address some of the region's biggest educational problems, Romero
and his colleagues are developing and distributing distance learning
software. Taking classes via the Internet is often considered inferior
to traditional classroom approaches, but it has distinct advantages in
some areas. For example, students who fall behind the rest of the class
are often difficult to reach in a classroom. "When you do a traditional
environment of instructor-led classroom only, it's very expensive to
address the remediation," said Romero. Several projects have
demonstrated that new software-based approaches can improve remedial
math students' success rates up to 40%, while cutting teaching costs in
Distance learning technology and educational software aren't the
only places where science education can improve, though. Indeed, the
older tools of traditional classrooms are still far from perfect, even
in some of the world's most advanced educational systems.
Carl Johan Sundberg of the Karolinska Institute
gave the example of basic biology textbooks, which have been a staple
of science teaching for more than a century: "When I wrote a textbook I
found out [in] the last 30 years almost no scientist had written a
textbook of biology in Sweden ... for kids 12–16 years old."
Previous editions of that nation's standard text, usually prepared by
science journalists, were well-written but not current enough for a
modern biology class.
Sundberg and other Swedish scientists have also been making a
concerted effort to bring cutting-edge science to the general public,
through a combination of open forums, public seminars, and media
education campaigns. "We brought science and scientists out to the open
so to speak," said Sundberg, adding that "it is possible, it is fun,
and there's a lot to learn."
Re-engineering the pipeline
Besides doing a better job educating the general public, societies
need to do a better job training the next generation of scientific and
engineering professionals. As Dartmouth College's Joseph Helble
argued, engineers are particularly important for putting science to
practical use—in other words, for a nation's or a city's success in the
Traditionally, engineering schools have focused on training people
to design products and infrastructure. But is that what really inspires
students to go into the field?
The classic example of engineering recruitment is Sputnik, the
pioneering 1957 Soviet satellite that allegedly inspired a generation
of American students to enter engineering. "Not so," said Helble.
Graphing the number of engineering students in the country over the
course of the 20th century, he showed that enrollments barely rose
through the 1950s and 60s, but spiked dramatically during the 1970s oil
crisis. "Engineering in the United States did not show significant
increases until there was this immediate connection to global problems
and the need for engineers to solve them," said Helble.
As another global oil crunch joins a menagerie of other looming
crises, Helble and his colleagues have started a new graduate-level
engineering program at Dartmouth. Focused on training engineers to
address specific global challenges, the program also promotes
entrepreneurship. Students in the program are already translating their
thesis projects into early-stage companies, allowing them to reap the
rewards of their work immediately.
Besides helping students get ahead individually, better science and
engineering education can advance entire nations. Nobel laureate Robert Richardson,
who recently helped prepare an influential report on this subject for
the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, argued that even during the 20th
century, much of the country's tremendous economic growth was driven by
homegrown science and innovation. The gathering storm of resource
shortages and global competition makes educating the next generation of
researchers even more important.
Technology to Marketplace
- Clear intellectual property laws and a critical mass of entrepreneurs are essential for innovation.
- To attract the scientific workforce for a knowledge economy, cities need to provide more than bare necessities.
- Universities must be careful to preserve their core values when commercializing their research.
- Relatively small, strategic investments can have enormous influence in getting new technologies to the marketplace.
Where the rubber meets the road
Once Mexico City chooses a general model for innovation and decides
how to train the workforce for that system, the final step of the
process will be to bring real technologies to the marketplace. That
step, which is really the essence of innovation, was the focus of the
meeting's final session.
MIT's Carlos Martinez-Vela, one of the world's
foremost thinkers on this issue, summarized the results of his own
in-depth studies of innovation at the meeting. Martinez-Vela's
widely-cited findings form the foundation of the university-led,
entrepreneurial approach to technology transfer that most experts in
the field now advocate.
Other speakers in the session focused on the details of implementing this approach. The Academy's own René Bastón,
formerly a technology transfer administrator for Columbia University,
discussed the strategies universities can use to commercialize faculty
research. It's not simply a matter of patenting inventions and selling
them; universities must be careful not to undercut their core
educational missions in the quest to make a profit. "Universities are
both engines of knowledge and economic engines, and there is a tension
between those two possibilities," said Bastón, adding that "in the
middle of this lies technology transfer."
Clear intellectual property laws can spur technology development.
In the United States, revenues from technology transfer show a
marked inflection point in 1980, when Congress passed the landmark
Bayh-Dole Act. The law defined clear ownership rights for the results
of government-sponsored research, and spurred universities to patent
and license their innovations, making them much more attractive to
The results have been dramatic, with one estimate showing $40
billion in economic activity now stemming from commercialized
university research. Bastón said that for Mexico to achieve similar
success, the nation will need to establish much clearer intellectual
property laws for its universities: "Clearly this is one of the
challenges of creating technology and knowledge transfer and
Show me the money
With more efficient technology transfer, Mexico's universities would
be especially well placed to capitalize on the biotechnology
revolution. As Dennis Purcell of the Perseus-Soros
Biopharmaceutical Fund explained, foreign biotechnology investment in
the country has doubled in the past ten years, and nearly 3000
biotechnology-based therapies are now being tested in the country.
Adding innovations from Mexico City's own life sciences labs to that
pipeline would keep more of the profits local.
Strained energy supplies have whet investors' appetites for new technologies.
Commercializing new discoveries also requires investment, though,
and many of the business leaders at the meeting were undoubtedly
wondering where that money will come from. According to Russell Read, venture capitalists are ready and eager to help, especially in fields where older technologies are reaching their limits.
The growing global energy crisis provides a good example. Soaring
consumption, stretched supplies, and catastrophic environmental damage
are placing enormous strains on the world's energy sector. That makes
new energy technologies very attractive. "We love these stress
conditions, they create the conditions for innovation, the conditions
for investment, so from a pure investment standpoint we couldn't be
more excited," said Read.
Venture capitalists are also keen to invest in new building
technologies, and Mexico City, which has a tremendous need for new
residential and commercial structures, could become a hotbed of
innovation in construction. "This is an area that has been long overdue
for innovations in materials and approaches," said Read.
An influx of private investment could help compensate for a dearth
of government funding in some areas, particularly energy. "The largest
U.S. pharmaceutical company spends twice as much on R&D as the
United States government is spending on R&D in energy," said MIT's Bill Bonvillian, adding that "These funding levels are not going to make a technology revolution."
For companies willing to invest in energy, the potential rewards are
obvious. "In the United States alone, it's a $2 trillion sector, so you
don't have to invent a whole new sector, you've got ... money on
the table," said Bonvillian. Despite that, U.S. energy companies still
invest much less in research and development than any other industry.
Bonvillian argued that a combination of incentives, ranging from prizes
to government funding for energy demonstration projects, could help
spur more innovation in this field.
Nor do investments have to be huge to make a big difference. Describing the work of the New York City Investment Fund, Maria Gotsch explained how relatively small, strategically distributed dollops of money can wield disproportionate influence in innovation.
For example, New York has long given short shrift to biotechnology
investment; the city receives more federal research funding than
Boston, but has less than a fifth as much commercial lab space. "That
tells you we're doing all the hard work at the universities, but when
you get to commercialize it and the companies start to pay taxes and
hire people, they do it somewhere else," said Gotsch. To combat that
problem, the Fund has invested in lobbying efforts and outreach
programs. For an expenditure of only $50–$60 million, Gotch and her
colleagues have now persuaded private companies to pump over $500
million into the city's biotechnology infrastructure.
Small investments in innovation can yield big dividends.
Gotsch split her speaking time with Bill Haseltine,
a researcher, inventor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, who discussed
how similar targeted funding strategies can work in developing
countries. In one effort in India, a small initial investment by a
private foundation helped a company build a rapid-response emergency
medical system. The new system is analogous to the U.S. "911" network,
but it operates at a fraction of the cost of the American system. The
key, Haseltine explained, was taking advantage of India's
world-renowned call centers and software developers to optimize the
Roberto Tapia-Conyer of the Carso Health Institute
is also using strategic investments to improve public services,
especially healthcare. In Mexico City, Tapia-Conyer and his colleagues
have already started deploying a suite of software applications to help
patients manage chronic conditions. Simply by sending a text message or
signing up through a simple Web-based form, people with conditions such
as AIDS or heart disease can now receive a variety of services,
including regular medication reminders, appointment scheduling
assistance, and secure storage for their electronic medical records.
As the meeting drew to a close, attendees were tired but upbeat.
While nobody knows exactly what the future knowledge-driven economy
will look like, its outlines are clearly starting to emerge. Success in
this economy will happen in places where cutting-edge science,
entrepreneurial talent, and diverse cultures can meet. In other words,
places like Mexico City.
Science and Technology Institutions in Mexico
Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT)
Mexico's Science Consulting Council of the Presidency of the Republic
(CCC) is composed of researchers, technologists, and scholars who have
been honored with the National Science and Arts Award, and has a
twofold mission: advising the country's president on matters pertaining
to science and technology (C&T), and on problems that require the
most sophisticated application of specialized knowledge.
Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología del Distrito Federal (ICyTDF)
The Institute for Science and Technology of the Federal District
(ICyTDF) is a government institution established by Marcelo Ebrard
Casaubon. Its purpose is to solve the problems of the city through the
use of science and technology.
Unidad Mérida del Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados (CINVESTAV)
Established in 1980, the Mérida, Yucatan, unit is part of a visionary
program to decentralize and promote the development of science and
technology in México, contributing to regional development.
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
The Center for Genomic Sciences at UNAM is devoted to scientific research (see Research programs) and undergraduate and graduate education (see Education@CCG) in genomics. It is located in the Morelos Campus of UNAM in Cuernavaca, state of Morelos.
Health & Genomics
Human Genome Project
Completed in 2003, the Human Genome Project (HGP) was a 13-year project
coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National
Institutes of Health. During the early years of the HGP, the Wellcome
Trust (U.K.) became a major partner; additional contributions came from
Japan, France, Germany, China, and others.
The Human Genome: Your Genes, Your Health, Your Future
This Web site aims to provide readers with key information about the
human genome: the science, its role in health and medicine, and the
broader social impact of unraveling its mysteries. The site is produced
by the Wellcome Trust, the independent research funding charity in the
UK that aims to improve human and animal health.
Human Genome Organisation (HUGO)
The Human Genome Organisation is an international coordinating scientific body for research on the human genome.
J. Craig Venter Institute: Infectious Disease Research
One of the longstanding research focus areas at the JCVI is microbial
and viral genomics and how those relate to human infectious disease.
U.S. National Office of Public Health Genomics
The National Office of Public Health Genomics (NOPHG) promotes the
integration of genomics into public health research, policy, and
practice in order to improve the lives and health of all people. Public
Health Genomics is an emerging field that assesses the impact of genes
and their interaction with behavior, diet, and the environment on
WHO | The Genomic Resource Center
The Genomic Resource Centre (GRC) has been developed by World Health
Organizations's Human Genetics Programme to provide information and to
raise awareness on human genetics and more recently human genomics, a
new and rapidly developing science. This site provides an overview of
the issues and concerns around human genetics and public health and, in
particular, addresses the ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI)
Bodmer W, Bonilla C. 2008. Common and rare variants in multifactorial susceptibility to common diseases. Nat. Genet. 40: 695-701.
Bodmer WF. 2006. Cancer genetics: colorectal cancer as a model. J. Hum. Genet. 51: 391-396. Full Text
Conaghan P, Ashraf S, Tytherleigh M, et al. 2008. Targeted
killing of colorectal cancer cell lines by a humanised IgG1 monoclonal
antibody that binds to membrane-bound carcinoembryonic antigen. Br. J. Cancer 8: 1217-1225. Full Text
Ntouroupi TG, Ashraf SQ, McGregor SB, et al. 2008. Detection of circulating tumour cells in peripheral blood with an automated scanning fluorescence microscope. Br. J. Cancer 99: 789-795.
Beaudet AL, Belmont JW. 2008. Array-based DNA diagnostics: let the revolution begin. Annu. Rev. Med. 59: 113-129.
van de Vijver MJ, He YD, van't Veer LJ, et al. 2002. A gene-expression signature as a predictor of survival in breast cancer. N. Engl. J. Med. 347: 1999-2009.
Wolins NE, Quaynor BK, Skinner JR, et al. 2005. S3-12, Adipophilin, and TIP47 package lipid in adipocytes. J. Biol. Chem. 280: 19146-19155.
Asgharzadeh M, Kafil HS. 2007. Current trends in molecular epidemiology studies of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Biotechnol. Mol. Biol. Rev. 2: 108-115. (PDF, 434 KB)
Hahn BH, Shaw GM, De Cock KM, et al. 2000. AIDS as a zoonosis: scientific and public health implications. Science 287: 607-614.
Morens DM, Folkers GK, Fauci AS. 2004. The challenge of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. Nature 40: 242-249.
Climate Change and Energy
Energy Information Administration
Provides official energy statistics from the U.S. government.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
The IPCC Working Group I Fourth Assessment Report Summary for Policymakers (PDF, 1.25 MB), focusing on the scientific basis for climate change, is now available, as is a summary of the Working Group II report on climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability, and the Working Group III report on mitigation of climate change.
International Energy Agency
The International Energy Agency (IEA) acts as energy policy advisor to
28 member countries in their effort to ensure reliable, affordable and
clean energy for their citizens. Current work focuses on climate change
policies, market reform, energy technology collaboration and outreach
to the rest of the world, especially major consumers and producers of
energy like China, India, Russia and the OPEC countries. The IEA
conducts a broad program of energy research, data compilation, publications, and public dissemination of the latest energy policy analysis and recommendations on good practices.
World Alliance for Decentralized Energy
WADE works to accelerate the worldwide development of high efficiency
cogeneration, onsite power, and decentralized renewable energy systems
that deliver substantial economic and environmental benefits.
Carso Health Institute
The Carso Health Institute is a not-for-profit organization that
mobilizes private resources to finance projects of social interest in
the areas of health, nutrition, and the environment.
The national health insurance program of Mexico provides access to
health care and financial protection against the impact of catastrophic
disease to 50 million mostly poor Mexicans, who had been previously
excluded from medical insurance. It has a healthy pregnancy program, coverage to ensure children's health, and more.
Infrastructure and Sustainability
The CONSENSUS Institute
The CONSENSUS Institute for CONStructed Environments and Sustainable
Urban Systems is a not-for-profit corporation, dedicated to the
long-term sustainability and resiliency of the built environment.
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals
The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals is a nonprofit professional organization that publishes the Annual State of Logistics report for its members, and provides case studies in supply chain management.
Foster + Partners—Duisburg Inner Harbour Masterplan
The largest inland harbor in the world, Duisburg Inner Harbor's renewal
provided the opportunity to test, at a large scale, ideas about mixed
use and sustainability. The master plan aims to draw the life of the
city to the waterfront, establishing the harbor as an attractive place
in which to live and work.
National Academy of Engineering: Grand Challenges for Engineering
Among the grand challenges for engineering identified by an international group of leading technological thinkers are to restore and improve urban infrastructure, to provide access to clean water, develop carbon sequestration methods, and to make solar energy economical.
The Vertical Farm Project
Dickson Despommier's organization advocates using urban land to build
multistory buildings in which crops are grown under controlled
Books and Articles
Frenk J. 2008. Group Carso, health philanthropy, and tobacco. Lancet 371: 1243-1244.
Frenk J. 2006. Comprehensive reform to improve health system performance in Mexico. Lancet 368: 1524-1534.
Frenk J. 2006. Bridging the divide: global lessons from evidence-based health policy in Mexico. Lancet 368: 954-961.
Whitelegg J. 1993. Transport for a Sustainable Future: The Case for Europe. John Wiley and Sons, New York.
Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA
The Global Monitoring Division's mission is to observe and
understand—through accurate, long-term records of atmospheric gases,
aerosol particles, and solar radiation—the Earth's atmospheric system
controlling climate forcing, ozone depletion, and baseline air quality.
Economics in Depth: The Pew Center on Global Climate Change
The objective of the Pew Center's Economics Program is to advance
public and private policy-makers' understanding of the complex
interactions between the climate change problem and the economy.
Global Wind Energy Council
The global wind energy council is the global forum for the wind energy
sector, uniting the wind industry and its representative associations.
International Emissions Trading Association
IETA is dedicated to the objectives of the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change and ultimately climate protection: the
establishment of effective market-based trading systems for greenhouse
gas emissions by businesses that are demonstrably fair, open,
efficient, accountable, and consistent across national boundaries; and
maintaining societal equity and environmental integrity while
establishing these systems.
International Solar Energy Society (ISES)
ISES has been serving the needs of the renewable energy community since
its founding in 1954. A UN-accredited NGO present in more than 50
countries, the Society supports its members in the advancement of
renewable energy technology, implementation, and education all over the
Books and Articles
Carmody J, Ritchie D. 2007. Investing in clean energy and low carbon alternatives in Asia. Asian Development Bank, Philippines. (PDF, 3.29 MB)
Engle RF. 1982. Autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity with estimates of the variance of U.K. inflation. Econometrica 50: 987-1008.
Engle RF, Kozicki S. 1993. Testing for common features. Journal of Business and Economic Statistics 11: 369-380.
Engle RF, Rangel JG. 2006. The spline-GARCH model for low frequency volatility and macroeconomic causes. (PDF, 686 KB)
Juan Luis Peña
Hernández MP, Alonso CF, Martel A, et al. 2000. Barrier height behavior for In/CdTe polycrystalline junction. Phys. Status Solidi (b) 220: 209-213.
Meinardi S, Nissenson P, Barletta B, et al. 2008. Influence of the public transportation system on the air quality of a major urban center. A case study: Milan, Italy. C7915-7923.
Menéndez-Proupin E, Gutiérrez G, Palmero E, Peña JL. 2004. Electronic structure of binary and ternary components of CdTe:O thin films. Phys. Status Solidi (c) 1: S104-S107.
Zapata-Torres M, Chalé-Lara F, Castro-Rodríguez R, et al. 2005. Production of thin CdSxTe1-x films with cubic structure for 0<= x <=1. Rev. Mex. Fis. 51: 138-143.
Baker AK, Beyersdorf AJ, Doezema LA, et al. 2008. Measurements of nonmethane hydrocarbons in 28 United States cities. Atmos. Environ., 42: 170-182. doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2007.09.007
Barletta B, Meinardi S, Simpson IJ, et al. 2008. Ambient
mixing ratios of nonmethane hydrocarbons (NMHCs) in two major urban
centers of the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region: Guangzhou and Dongguan. Atmos. Environ. 42: 4393-4408.
Rowland FS. 1990. Earth's changing atmosphere: chlorofluorocarbons and ozone. Environ. Impact Asses. 10: 359-370.
GMEC—Global Medical Excellence Cluster
GMEC, the largest Global Medical Excellence Cluster in Europe, brings
together leading universities, pharmaceutical and medical device
companies, and hospitals to build the capabilities which will ensure
the UK remains globally competitive in medical research. The goals
include improved innovation and product development, more productive
leading edge research activity, new employment opportunities, and
enhanced patient outcomes.
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
ITIF is a nonpartisan research and educational institute—a think
tank—whose mission is to formulate and promote public policies to
advance technological innovation and productivity internationally, in
Washington, and in individual states within the U.S. Recognizing the
vital role of technology in ensuring American prosperity, ITIF focuses
on innovation, productivity, and digital economy issues.
Innovate America, Council on Competitiveness
This Web site contains a wealth of information about efforts to encourage innovation in the U.S., including the National Innovation Initiative final report, and information about legislation aimed at promoting innovation.
Polytechnic Institute of NYU
Polytechnic Institute of NYU, founded in 1854 in Brooklyn, New York, is
an important resource in science, technology, research, and management
education in the metropolitan area.
Vinnova (Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems)
VINNOVA is a Swedish government agency working to enhance the growth
and prosperity throughout the country. Its special responsibility is
innovations linked to research and development—that is innovative,
successful products, services or processes with scientific basis. Its
tasks are to finance the needs of reasoned research as a competitive
economy and a prosperous society needs, and to strengthen the networks
that are necessary around the work.
Books and Articles
Archibugi D, Iammarino S. 2002. The globalization of technological innovation: definition and evidence. Rev. Int. Polit. Econ. 9: 98-122. (PDF, 213 KB)
2008 Global R&D Report: Changes in the R&D Community. R&D Magazine (September, 2007) (PDF, 1.38 MB)
Atkinson RD. 2007. The Globalization of R&D and Innovation: How Do Companies Choose Where to Build R&D Facilities? Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (October 7).
Committee on Prospering in the Global Economy of the 21st Century:
An Agenda for American Science and Technology, National Academy of
Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine. 2007.
Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing & Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.
Globalization Alters Traditional R&D Rules. 2006. Battelle Global R&D Magazine (September) (PDF, 781 KB).
Gonzalez-Brambila C, Lever J, Veloso F. 2007. Mexico's Innovation Cha-Cha. Issues in Science and Technology (Fall).
Hill C. 2007. The post-scientific society. Issues in Science and Technology (Fall).
Keeping America Competitive. 2008. Business Week (September 22).
Lester RK. 2005. Universities,
innovation, and the competitiveness of local economies: A summary
report from the local innovation systems project – Phase I. Industrial Performance Center. Massachusetts Institute of Technology IPC working paper series. MIT-IPC-05-010 (PDF, 3.17 MB)
Measuring regional innovation. 2005. Council on Competitiveness (October).
Par Hansson, Karpaty P, Lindvert M, et al. 2008. Summary: Swedish business sector in a globalized world. Swedish Institute for Growth Policy Studies (ITPS). (PDF, 94.6 KB)
Pew NGA Report – Investing in Innovation. 2007. National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices and the Pew Center on the States. (PDF, 1.81 MB)
Toffler A, Toffler H. 2007. Revolutionary Wealth: How it will be created and how it will change our lives. Doubleday, New York.
Toffler A. 1984. Future Shock. Bantam Books, New York.
Toffler A. 1990. Powershift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Power at the Edge of the 21st Century. Bantam Books, New York.
Action MedTech—Key Measures for Growing the Medical Device Industry in Sweden. 2007. Royal Institute of Technology, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital (December). (PDF, 2.58 MB)
Life Sciences Industry Cluster Strategy for Shanghai-Pudong. 2005. Monitor Group (November). (490 KB)
Rural clusters of Innovation: Berkshires Strategy Project.
2006. United States Department of Commerce, Berkshire Economic
Development Corporation, Monitor Company Group, LLP. (PDF, 606 KB)
Super Cluster: Ideas, perspectives, and trends shaping the global impact of the Massachusetts life sciences industry. Vol. II. 2008. PriceWaterhouseCoopers (June).
Pipeline of Talent
B @ UNAM is the option offered by the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de
Mexico to Mexican migrants in the United States to attend high school
(equivalent to high school) at a distance with materials developed in
their mother tongue. It is aimed at those who, for various reasons,
have not been able to attend school in person. This high school will be
taught remotely from the four UNAM sites, three in the U.S., located in
San Antonio, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; and Los Angeles, California; and
one in Canada, located in the country's capital, Ottawa–Gatineau.
EuroScience Open Forum 2004
The first Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF2004) was held at Stockholm City
Conference Centre in Stockholm, Sweden, August 25–28, 2004. More than
1800 persons participated (of which 350 were international
journalists), in this first pan-European scientific meeting staged to
provide an interdisciplinary forum for open dialogue, debate, and
discussion on science and technology in society.
The Karolinska Institute is one of Europe's largest medical
universities. It is also Sweden's largest center for medical training
and research. Its mission is to improve the health of mankind through research and education.
Keeping Pace k-12
Keeping Pace provides an annual review of U.S. state-level policy and practice of online education, as well as other reports.
Articles about science careers from the journal Nature.
North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL)
NACOL strives to ensure all students have access to a world-class
education and quality online learning opportunities that prepare them
for a lifetime of success.
NSF Division of Science and Engineering Statistics
Publications, data, and analyses about U.S. science and engineering resources.
OECD Programme for International student Assessment (PISA)
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an
internationally standardized assessment that was jointly developed by
participating countries and administered to15-year-olds in schools.
PREAL—Programa de Promocion de la reforma educative de America Latina y el Caribe
PREAL's mission is to improve the quality, equity, and efficiency of
education in Latin America by helping governments and civil society to
promote informed debate on education policy, identify and disseminate
best practices, and monitor progress toward improvement.
PhD Innovation Program at Dartmouth College
The Thayer School at Dartmouth College offers the United State's first
doctoral-level engineering Innovation Program meant to provide PhD
graduates with the entrepreneurial training they need to turn research
discoveries into marketable applied technologies.
The New York Academy of Sciences' Science Alliance for Students and
Postdocs is a consortium of universities, teaching hospitals, and
independent research facilities in the New York City metro area and
around the world. Its goal is to provide unparalleled career and
professional development mentoring for students and postdocs in the
sciences and engineering, through a series of live events and a
dedicated web portal.
A comprehensive guide to science careers from the journal Science.
Technology to Marketplace
Association of University Technology Managers
AUTM is dedicated to promoting and supporting technology transfer through education, advocacy, networking, and communication.
Better World Project
The Association of University Technology Managers, an international
nonprofit membership organization, launched the Better World Project in
2005 to promote public understanding of how academic research and
technology transfer benefits you, your community, and millions of
people around the world.
Columbia University Science and Technology Ventures
As Columbia University's technology transfer organization, Science and
Technology Ventures (STV) serves as a bridge between Columbia's faculty
and researchers and the business community. STV's core objective is to
transfer inventions and innovative knowledge from the University to
outside organizations and society at large.
Licensing Executives Society, USA and Canada
Established in 1965, the Licensing Executives Society (U.S.A. and
Canada), Inc. (LES) is a professional society comprised of over 6,000
members engaged in the transfer, use, development, manufacture and
marketing of intellectual property. The society publishes Les Nouvelles, a technology transfer and licensing journal.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Energy Analysis
Analysis at NREL aims to increase the understanding of the current and
future characteristics, roles, and interactions of government, markets,
and technologies. The acquired understanding is used to inform
technology, benefits, market, policy, and program decisions as energy
efficient and renewable energy technologies advance from concept to
commercial application. NREL also works with industry and organizations
to transfer renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies into the marketplace.
New Energy Finance
New Energy Finance is a specialist provider of information and research
to investors in renewable energy, low-carbon technology, and the carbon
New York City Investment Fund
The New York City Investment Fund is a private fund with a civic
mission. The Fund was established in late 1996, under the auspices of
the nonprofit The Partnership for New York City.
The Fund has built a network of top experts from the investment and
corporate communities who help identify and support New York City's
most promising entrepreneurs in both the for-profit and not-for-profit
Simmons & Company International
Simmons & Company is the only independent investment bank
specializing in the entire spectrum of the energy industry. Their Web
site contains statistics and analysis of the sector.
WorldTel invests in and develops telecoms and Internet companies in
emerging markets. It invests private equity capital to help start-up
and early stage operating companies establish themselves and develop
operations that provide service. WorldTel was created by the ITU
(International Telecommunication Union) and is wholly owned by global
corporations interested in investing in telecom and Internet
Berger S. 2005. How We Compete: What Companies Around the World Are Doing to Make it in Today's Global Economy. Doubleday Business, New York.
Kim L. 1997. Imitation to Innovation: the Dynamics of Korea's Technological Learning (Management of Innovation and Change Series). Harvard Business Press, Cambridge, MA.
Nelson RR, ed. 1993. National Innovation Systems: A Comparative Analysis. Oxford University Press, New York, NY.
Romer P. 1990. Endogenous Technological Change. J. Polit. Econ.,
Vol. 98, No. 5, Part 2: "The Problem of Development: A Conference on
the Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise Systems." pp. S71-S102.
Perez C. 2003. Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, Northampton, MA.
Robert Engle, PhD
New York University Stern School of Business
Robert Engle, the Michael Armellino Professor of Finance at New York
University Stern School of Business, was awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize
in Economics for his research on the concept of autoregressive
conditional heteroskedasticity (ARCH). He developed this method for
statistical modeling of time-varying volatility and demonstrated that
these techniques accurately capture the properties of many time series.
Engle shared the prize with Clive W. J. Granger of the University
of California, San Diego.
Engle is an expert in time series analysis with a long-standing
interest in the analysis of financial markets. His ARCH model and its
generalizations have become indispensable tools not only for
researchers, but also for analysts of financial markets, who use them
in asset pricing and in evaluating portfolio risk. His research has
also produced such innovative statistical methods as cointegration,
common features, autoregressive conditional duration (ACD), CAViaR, and
now dynamic conditional correlation (DCC) models.
Before joining NYU Stern in 2000, Engle was Chancellor's Associates
Professor and economics department chair at the University of
California, San Diego, and associate professor of economics at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He received his master of science in physics and doctor of philosophy in economics from Cornell University.
Polytechnic Institute of NYU
web site | publications
Throughout his career, Jerry Hultin, 10th President of Polytechnic
University, has been an innovator in the worlds of government,
business, and higher education.
A graduate of Ohio State University and Yale University Law School,
Hultin spent more than 25 years in Ohio and Washington, DC, on the
cutting edge of the practice of law, management of small businesses,
and business consulting in areas including technology, defense, health
care, finance, and the environment.
From 1997 to 2000, Hultin served as under secretary of the Navy, the
department's number two civilian leader. In this position, he created
new programs to support innovation and strategy in warfare and business
operations to meet the needs of the Navy and Marine Corps in the global
21st century. From 2000 to 2005, Hultin served as the dean of the
Wesley J. Howe School of Technology Management and professor of
management at Stevens Institute of Technology.
Hultin is currently guiding Poly through an historic merger with New
York University and creating what will be one of the most innovative
research and technology universities in New York City and the world.
The new Polytechnic Institute of New York University will infuse its
curriculum with invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship in order to
encourage students and faculty to reach new heights in using science,
engineering, and technology management to solve the problems of the
increasingly global 21st century.
Harold Kroto, PhD
Florida State University
web site | publications
Harold Kroto is the Francis Eppes Professor of Chemistry at Florida
State University in Tallahassee and a professor emeritus at the
University of Sussex in Brighton, England. He is a graduate of the
University of Sheffield.
Kroto's fascination with spectroscopy, which allows for the
identification and study of different types of molecules based on how
they absorb or emit light or other kinds of electromagnetic radiation,
led him to quantum chemistry, his main area of research. Using
microwaves as opposed to visible light, he discovered long, chainlike
carbon molecules in the atmospheres of stars and their associated gas
clouds; attempts to re-create such carbon chains in the laboratory led
to the discovery of a previously unknown form of carbon known as
buckminsterfullerene; given their resemblance to soccer balls, these
molecules are commonly called buckyballs.
The discovery of buckyballs opened up an entirely new branch of
chemistry and earned Kroto the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Tubular
assemblies of carbon atoms, which are a close kin to the buckyballs,
play a central role in Kroto's current main area of research:
Kroto is a staunch supporter of science education and in 1995 set up
the Vega Science Trust, which creates high-quality science films for
Rajendra K. Pachauri, PhD
The Energy and Resources Institute
Rajendra Pachauri is chief executive of the Energy and Resources
Institute, North America. He was chairman of the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize
with former Vice President Al Gore. He has served on several
international and national committees, including the Economic Advisory
Council and the Advisory Board on Energy (ABE), which report to the
Prime Minister of India. He is a senior advisor to the administrator of
the United Nations Development Programme. He has been president and
chairman of the International Association for Energy Economics, and
president of the Asian Energy Institute. In April 1999 he was appointed
member of the board of directors of the Institute for Global
Environmental Strategies, Japan, and continues to hold this
appointment. In acknowledgement of his contributions to environmental
studies, Pachauri was awarded the Padma Bhushan,
one of India's highest civilian awards for distinguished service to the
nation. The President of India also awarded him the Padma Vibhushan,
the second highest civilian award, for his services in the field of
science and engineering. Pachauri has PhDs in industrial engineering
National Knowledge Commission of India
Sam Pitroda is an internationally respected development thinker,
telecom inventor, and entrepreneur who has spent 40 years in
information and communications technology and related human and
national developments. Credited with having laid the foundation for and
ushering in India's technology and telecommunications revolution in
the1980s, Pitroda has been a leading campaigner to help bridge the
global digital divide.
During his tenure as advisor to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the
1980s, Pitroda headed six technology missions related to
telecommunications, water, literacy, immunization, dairy, and oil
seeds. He was also the founder and first chairman of India's Telecom
Currently he is chairman of India's National Knowledge Commission,
reporting to the Prime Minister. The commission's mandate is to offer a
series of recommendations on how to leverage India's knowledge
strengths to help it become a knowledge economy.
He holds close to 100 worldwide patents and has published and lectured widely in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
Russell Read, PhD
C Change Investments
Prior to founding C Change Investments in 2008, Russell Read served
as chief investment officer for America's largest pension fund, the
California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS). During his
tenure, he made CalPERS a leader in clean technology and environmental
investments, while producing superior returns among public pension
plans. Read also served as chairman of the Investors' Committee for the
President's Working Group on Financial Markets, establishing best
practices for hedge fund investors.
Prior to CalPERS, Read served as deputy chief investment officer for
Deutsche (Bank) Asset Management (Americas) and Scudder Investments and
also served as head of quantitative investing, product design, risk
management, and commodities investing at Oppenheimer Funds. He also
held senior investment, portfolio management, and economist positions
at Prudential, CNA Insurance, and First Chicago.
Read is a founder of the P8 Group of the world's eight largest
pension systems coordinating towards scalable green investment
solutions. He was recognized by SmartMoney in 2007 in its Power 30 list
of the most influential people in business and finance, and by
Institutional Investor in 2008 as #35 on its list of the 75 most
effective chief executives.
He received his undergraduate degree in statistics and his MBA in
finance and international business both from the University of Chicago.
He received his masters degree in economics and his doctorate in
political economy from Stanford University. He is also a chartered
financial analyst (CFA), a chartered life underwriter (CLU), and a
chartered financial consultant (ChFC).
Robert C. Richardson, PhD
Bob Richardson was born in 1937 in Washington, DC. He attended
Virginia Polytechnic Institute between 1954 and 1960 where he obtained
both BS and MS degrees in physics. He obtained his PhD in physics from
Duke in 1966.
In 1966 he began work at Cornell University in the laboratory of
David Lee. Their research goal was to observe the nuclear magnetic
phase transition in solid 3He. In collaboration with Douglas Osheroff,
a student who joined the group in 1967, they worked on cooling
techniques and NMR instrumentation for studying low temperature helium
liquids and solids. In the fall of 1971, they made the accidental
discovery that liquid 3He undergoes a pairing transition similar to
that of superconductors. The three were awarded the Nobel Prize for
that work in 1996.
Richardson has been on the Cornell faculty since 1967. He is
currently the F. R. Newman Professor of Physics and the director of the
Kavli Institute at Cornell. During his tenure at Cornell he has led an
active research program in studies of matter at very low temperatures.
He has published more than 95 scientific articles in major research
Having been active in teaching introductory physics at Cornell,
Richardson is currently working with his wife, Betty Richardson, a
senior lecturer in physics, and Alan Giambattista, both of Cornell, on
the production of an introductory college physics textbook.
Sherwood Rowland, PhD
University of California, Irvine
Sherwood Rowland is a professor of chemistry and earth system
science at the University of California, Irvine. He has a PhD from the
University of Chicago in physical chemistry. His research involves
measurement of the atmospheric emission and accumulation of gaseous
chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and methane, and their atmospheric
He was a co-recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (with
Paul Crutzen and Mario Molina). The official press release stated, "By
explaining the chemical mechanisms that affect the thickness of the
ozone layer, the three researchers have contributed to our salvation
from a global environmental problem that could have catastrophic
He is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences,
the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,
the American Philosophical Society, and a foreign member of the Royal
Society (UK). From 1994 to 2002, he was the foreign secretary of the
National Academy of Sciences. During 1991 to 1993, he served as
president and then chairman of the Board of the American Association
for the Advancement of Science. From 1994 to 2002, he was the foreign
secretary of the National Academy of Sciences. He has received eleven
U.S. honorary degrees and seven from the United Kingdom, Canada,
Australia, Italy, and Japan. He is the author of more than 400
scientific papers in the fields of atmospheric chemistry,
radiochemistry, and chemical kinetics.
Hugo A. Santana
Hugo Santana is CEO of IBM Mexico. From April 2007 until assuming
his current responsibilities, he served as director of the finance
sector of IBM Mexico. In 2002 he was appointed general manager of IBM
Venezuela, which under his leadership registered 14 quarters of
consistent growth and accelerated its service-oriented profile in the
country through the Innovation Business Center.
In 2000, he was manager of the PC Division. According to IDC, under
Santana's leadership, the division reported 50% growth in the Intel
platform (PC's, laptops, and servers). During this period he was
recognized with six awards from the corporation, including the LA
Leader Award for his leadership at the regional level, and the
2001Golden Award. Hugo Santana was recognized with the Hundred Percent
Club Award in 2004, 2005, and 2006. In 2006, Santana won the Best
General Manager Award from Revista Gerente.
Santana has a masters degree in information systems from the Andres
Bello Catholic University, and has an Advanced Diploma in Management
from the prestigious Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración
(IESA) in Venezuela.
Asian Heritage Foundation
Rajeev Sethi is noted internationally for his innovative
contribution to preserving and celebrating South Asia's rich cultural
heritage. For over three decades, through his work in design and
architecture, exhibitions and festivals, he has identified ways to
bring contemporary relevance to the time-honored skills of traditional
artists and artisans, thereby creating a basis for their continued
livelihood in an era of industrialization and globalization.
Sethi was born in New Delhi and received his formative education in
history. In college, he held one-man shows of his paintings, batiks,
and mixed media works, earning him French and Indian government
scholarships to study in Paris. Sethi is the founder of the Asian
Heritage Foundation in New Delhi.
Alvin Toffler is an American writer and futurist, known for his
works discussing digital, communications, and corporate revolutions and
technological singularity. His early work focused on technology and its
impact (through effects like information overload). Then he moved to
examining the reaction of and changes in society. His later focus has
been on the increasing power of 21st century military hardware, weapons
and technology proliferation, and capitalism. Toffler literally
invented the role of the futurist with the publication of his seminal
work, Future Shock, creating an all new discipline around the study of change and its impact on business and culture.
Throughout his long career, Toffler has remained one of the world's
most prescient, insightful, and influential voices in business and
intellectual life. He has continued to produce creative ideas that
define how we think about our world.
What makes Alvin Toffler so extraordinary is that he asks questions
nobody else has thought of and then answers them by fundamentally
redefining things in ways that keep making sense as the future unfolds.
He's created several lasting thought paradigms—new frameworks for
understanding ourselves and the way we change—that offer invaluable
strategic advantage to those who are paying attention. And he pegs
these frameworks with predictions and insights that consistently verify
that his sense of direction is right on.
Health & Genomics
Walter Bodmer, PhD
University of Oxford
web site | publications
Walter Bodmer completed his PhD with R. A. Fisher at Cambridge
University in population genetics and then did his postdoctoral work
with Joshua Lederberg at Stanford University. Later, as a member of the
Stanford faculty, he initiated work with his wife, Julia Bodmer, and
with Rose Payne, that contributed to the discovery of the HLA system,
as well as advances in somatic cell genetics.
In 1970, Walter Bodmer returned to the UK as chair of genetics at
Oxford. In 1979, he accepted the directorship of research at the
Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories in London and was appointed
the first director-general of the Fund in 1991. In 1996, he returned to
Oxford as principal of Hertford College until 2005, and is currently
head of the ICRF Cancer and Immunogenetics Laboratory at the Weatherall
Institute of Molecular Medicine.
Walter Bodmer was a leader in the Human Genome Project and was first
a vice-president, and then the president of HUGO. He made major
contributions to human population genetics, somatic cell genetics,
understanding the HLA system, and cancer genetics, especially
Walter Bodmer was elected FRS in 1974, Knighted in 1986 for his
contributions to science, is a foreign associate of the U.S. National
Academy of Sciences, and is the recipient of more than 30 honorary
degrees and memberships and fellowships of scientific and medical
Thomas Caskey, MD
Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine
web site | publications
Thomas Caskey attended Duke University Medical School. As a research
associate with Marshall Nirenberg at NIH, his work showed the
universality of the genetic code for living organisms. While he was at
NIH, he discovered the mechanism of code punctuation (stop) is
translated by proteins, not tRNA. Caskey joined Baylor College of
Medicine and was an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
from 1976 to 1994. During this period, he discovered the "triplet
repeat" diseases (fragile X and myotonic dystrophy) and the molecular
basis of "disease anticipation" (triplet expansion generation to
generation). After a sabbatical at the MRC in Cambridge, he served as
director of the NIH Genome Center at Baylor College of Medicine. In
1994 he became senior vice president for research at Merck. It was
there that the adenoviral vector HIV vaccine was created by his
Caskey became founding director and CEO of Cogene Biotech Ventures
2000. In 2006 he was appointed COO and director-/CEO-elect of the Brown
Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine and executive vice president
of molecular medicine and genetics at the University of Texas Health
Science Center-Houston. Currently he is the director and CEO of the
Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine. Caskey is a member of
the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the
Royal Society of Medicine.
Julio Frenk, MD, MPH, PhD
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; CARSO Health Institute
web site | publications
Julio Frenk divides his time between Seattle and Mexico City. In
Seattle, he serves as a senior fellow at the Global Health Program of
the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is the chairman of the board
of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of
Washington. In Mexico City, he is the president of the Carso Health
Institute, a foundation focusing on health systems innovations in Latin
Frenk served as minister of health of Mexico from 2000 to 2006. His
administration was involved in an ambitious effort to provide universal
health insurance which currently aids nearly 50 million, mostly poor
Frenk's career included executive positions at the World Health
Organization and the Mexican Health Foundation. He was the founding
director-general of the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico,
is a visiting professor at Harvard University, and was awarded the
position of national researcher in his country. His professional
associations include the National Academy of Medicine of Mexico and the
Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science in the U.S. He
has authored 29 books and monographs including two best-selling novels
for youth explaining the functions of the human body.
Frenk holds a medical degree from the National University of Mexico,
as well as a master's of public health and a joint doctorate in medical
care organization and sociology from the University of Michigan.
Esther Orozco, PhD
Science and Technology Institute of Mexico City
web site | publications
Esther Orozco is president of the Science and Technology Institute
of Mexico City. She studied bacteriology and parasitology at the
Autonomous University of Chihuahua. Orozco received her PhD from the
Center for Research and Advanced Studies (CINVESTAV) and the National
Polytechnic Institute (IPN). From 1995 to 2005 she was an International
Howard Hughes Researcher. Orozco has been honored with the Women in
Science award from Loreal-UNESCO, the Pasteur Medal, awarded by UNESCO
and the Pasteur Institute, the Miguel Otero National Award from the
Ministry of Health, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Fogarty Fellowship.
Orozco has been named a distinguished citizen by the Honorable Congress
of Chihuahua, Mexico, and received the Medal of Merit awarded by the
Scientific Legislative Assembly of Mexico City, as well as many other
Orozco has been a visiting professor at Harvard University, the
Weizmann Institute, and the Cancer Institute in Amsterdam. She has
given lectures in highly renowned institutes in the United States,
Israel, Holland, Germany, France, Turkey, and other countries. She is a
member of the advisory board of the Autonomous University of Mexico
Orozco has dedicated her career as a researcher to the study of genes and proteins involved in the virulence of Entamoeba hystolytica, a parasite that causes amebiasis, opening the way for the development of a future vaccine.
Rafael Palacios, MD, PhD
National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)
Rafael Palacios received his MD in 1969 and his PhD in biochemistry
at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 1970. From
1970 to 1973 he did his postdoctoral training in molecular biology in
the laboratory of R.T. Schimke at Stanford. He subsequently returned to
Mexico to become a pioneer in the introduction of modern molecular
biology. His collaboration with other scientists and students, in
particular with Jaime Mora, resulted in the creation of the Nitrogen
Fixation Research Center of the National University of Mexico in
Cuernavaca. Palacios was its first director and his leadership resulted
in the international recognition of this center. He currently runs a
research laboratory, is an advisor to a committee for the development
of genomic sciences in Mexico, and coordinates the Undergraduate
Program on Genomic Sciences of the UNAM. Palacios has been recognized
with the Scientific Prize of the Mexican Academy of Sciences, the
Scientific Prize of the National University of Mexico, the National
Prize of Sciences and Arts, the National Prize of the Private
Foundation Ricardo J. Zevada, and the international TWAS Prize. He is
an honorary professor of the National University of Mexico and a member
of the National Academy of Sciences.
Dickson D. Despommier, PhD
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
web site | publications
Dickson Despommier is a professor of public health in the Department
of Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University's Mailman
School of Public Health in New York City, where he teaches medical
ecology, environmental science, and microbiology. Medical ecology is an
emerging science that focuses on direct environmental influences on
human health. For nearly 30 years, Despommier has been involved in
lab-based research on parasites and the health risk they pose to large
segments of the poor population in the tropics. He has authored three
books on the topic of parasites, including West Nile Story.
More recently, Despommier has turned his attention to new approaches
to sustainable urban life. As founder and director of the Vertical Farm
Project, he is looking into how agriculture can be adapted and
integrated into city living. He envisions multistory indoor farming
facilities that allow for year-round supplies of fresh, organic, and
locally grown food. Such an endeavor could benefit the environment by
returning existing farmland to nature and restoring the natural
functions and services of the ecosystem.
Despommier has received awards both as an innovator and as a highly
successful teacher; notably, in 2003, he was named "Teacher of the
Year" by the American Medical Students Association, and he has earned
the same distinction six times at Columbia. He will be featured by the
Chicago Museum of Science & Industry in a major upcoming exhibit as
one of ten great innovators.
Foster + Partners
Brandon Haw obtained his bachelors degree in architecture from the
Bartlett School in London and received his masters degree from
With 21 years experience at Foster + Partners, he has worked on
numerous projects from the ITN Headquarters building in London to
masterplans in Kings Cross, Barcelona, Washington, and India. He was
the resident director for the Commerzbank Headquarters Building in
Frankfurt, Europe's tallest and the world's first 'green' skyscraper.
He later went on to design the Al Faisaliah Tower and mixed-use
development in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In Canary Wharf, London, he was
responsible for the HSBC World Headquarters tower and the Citicorp
Returning to New York, where he had lived before joining Foster +
Partners in 1987, he was responsible for the competition entry for the
rebuilding of the World Trade Center site after 9/11. He went on to
design the 80-story Tower 2, currently under construction. Haw was also
the senior partner responsible for the award-winning Hearst Tower on
57th Street, Manhattan's first gold LEED certified office tower. As
leader of one of the practice's Design Groups over the past 4 years,
with a wide portfolio of projects, his role has expanded more recently
to be responsible for the practice's international development with a
growing number of commisions in India and Latin America.
David M. Sweet
World Alliance for Decentralized Energy (WADE)
David Sweet is the executive director of the World Alliance for Decentralized Energy (WADE) based in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Prior to joining WADE, Sweet served as a director of the United
States Energy Association, the U.S. arm of the World Energy Council, as
executive director of the International LNG Alliance, vice president of
the Independent Petroleum Association of America, an attorney in
private practice, and as an expert witness on financial, rate, and
permitting issues at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Sweet serves as president of the Natural Gas Roundtable, a member of
the North American Energy Standards Board, a vice chairman of the ABA
Section of Public Utility, Communications, and Transportation Law and
its gas committee, a member of the World Energy Council Committee on
Cleaner Fossil Fuel Systems, and on the board of advisors of the
Institute for the Analysis of Global Security. Sweet also serves as a
U.S. representative to the International Gas Union and is heading up
the IGU study on regulation of the natural gas industry. He received
his law degree with honors from George Washington University and an MBA
from the University of Maryland.
Martin Wachs, PhD
Martin Wachs is director of the Transportation, Space, and
Technology Program and of the Supply Chain Policy Center at the RAND
Corporation. Until the end of 2005 he was professor of civil &
environmental engineering and professor of city & regional planning
at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was also director
of the Institute of Transportation Studies. He spent 25 years at UCLA,
where he was chairman of the Department of Urban Planning.
Wachs is the author of 160 articles and four books on subjects
related to relationships between transportation, land use, and air
quality, transportation needs of the elderly, techniques for the
evaluation of transportation systems, and the use of performance
measurement in transportation planning. His research also addresses
issues of equity in transportation policy, problems of crime in public
transit systems, the response of transportation systems to natural
disasters including earthquakes. His most recent work focuses on
transportation finance in relation to planning and policy.
Wachs served on the executive committee of the Transportation
Research Board for nine years and was the TRB chairman during the year
2000. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Rockefeller
Foundation Humanities Fellowships, a UCLA Alumni Association
Distinguished Teaching Award, the Pyke Johnson Award for the best paper
presented at an annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board,
and the Carey Award for service to the TRB. He is a fellow of the
American Institute of Certified Planners and a lifetime associate of
the National Academy of Sciences. In 2006 he was named "Member of the
Year" by the San Francisco Chapter of the Women's Transportation
Seminar and was awarded the lifetime achievement award as
"Distinguished Planning Educator" by the Association of Collegiate
Schools of Planning.
Cameron Brooks, PhD
Cameron Brooks is the director of solutions and business development
for the Big Green Innovations Group of IBM in Somers, NY. This is a new
group within IBM focused on incubating and growing a portfolio of
environmentally-focused initiatives. In 2008, one of the major
objectives of this group is to grow an Advanced Water Management
business for IBM. In his prior role, Cameron was program director for
the IBM Blue Gene supercomputer. He has been employed at IBM for 12
years, and has successfully led several initiatives involved in
bringing innovative new technologies to market. Cameron has also held
several technical roles in the Systems & Technology Group of IBM,
having started his career in Burlington, Vermont as a Development
Engineer in the Microelectronics Division. Cameron holds a BS degree in
Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, Canada, and MS
and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of
Michigan. He also holds an MBA degree from the New York University
Stern School of Business.
Brooks has been issued 6 U.S. patents and has authored over 20
technical papers. He is married, a father to two girls, and lives in
Westchester County, NY.
Oguz Capan is the founder, CEO, and chief inventor of ROC Enerji.
Prior to founding ROC Enerji he worked as a consultant and an
entrepreneur in the oil industry and has extensive knowledge of this
sector. As a former oilman himself, he has studied and recognized the
problems with the sector and decided to focus on alternatives to
petroleum. He formed ROC Enerji with a focus on solar thermal energy.
Capan studied the existing solar thermal technologies and worked on
optimizing and solving these problems, patenting new ideas and designs.
In addition to his solar thermal technologies he has won the 2006 World
Bank/Bill Gates Foundation Development Marketplace contest for his low
temperature desalinization & water purification process, which he
Andrew Dasinger is presently sustainable strategies leader for UTC
Power, a United Technologies Corp. (UTC) company. In this position, he
supports UTC's co-chair role on the Energy Efficiency in Buildings
project of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development,
which is developing a roadmap for achieving drastic reductions in
energy consumption by commercial and residential buildings across the
Since 1996, he has worked for UTC in a variety of technical and
marketing management positions in the environmental and energy fields
at Sikorsky Aircraft, UTC corporate headquarters, United Technologies
Research Center, and UTC Power. Prior to joining UTC, Mr. Dasinger
managed environmental projects at several engineering consulting firms.
A licensed professional engineer, Dasinger completed his
undergraduate studies at Cornell University in Civil Engineering,
received his MS in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology and was awarded an MBA from the Tepper School of Business
at Carnegie Mellon University.
Honeywell Specialty Materials
Bryan Magnus is a global marketing manager for Honeywell Specialty
Materials in the business unit that manufactures and markets blowing
agents that are used in spray foam insulation for homes, buildings and
appliances. In this role his responsibilities include leading the
strategic development processes and driving business development
efforts to grow the business into new areas such as the
commercialization of new Low Global Warming alternatives. Magnus also
sits on Honeywell's Corporate Energy, Environment and Sustainability
committee where he helps provide guidance to senior leadership. Bryan's
previous positions with Honeywell include strategic marketing analyst
for Transportation Systems and senior analyst for Honeywell's Corporate
Magnus holds an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the
University of Michigan and an MS in Environmental Policy from the
School of Natural Resources at the University of Michigan. He is an
alumnus of the Fredrick A. and Barbara M. Erb Institute for Global
Sustainable Enterprise and currently serves on the Environmental
Advisory Committee in his home town of Maplewood, New Jersey.
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Kyung-Ah Park is vice president in the Environmental Strategy Group
at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and is responsible for supporting the
implementation of the firm's environmental policy and its business
commitments. In this capacity, she coordinates all environmental
initiatives across the firm and also helps manage the Center for
Environmental Markets, which provides research grants and partners with
nongovernmental organizations to further market-based solutions to
She joined Goldman Sachs in 1998 in the Mergers & Acquisitions
Department in New York and also spent several years in the Advisory
Group in Hong Kong. Most recently, she was vice president in the
Industrials Group in the Investment Banking Division. Prior to Goldman
Sachs, she was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company. She
received an MBA from Harvard Business School and BA from Yonsei
University in Seoul, Korea.
Juan Luis Peña
Juan Luis Peña Chapa is a researcher from the Research and Advanced
Studies Center of the National Polytechnic Institute (CINVESTAV) in
Mérida, Mexico, where he leads the New Materials group. He graduated
from the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon. Peña did his PhD at
CINVESTAV in Mexico City. Peña collaborates with researchers at the
University of Parma, Italy; the University of Barcelona and the
Autonomous University in Madrid, Spain; the National Institute of
Standards and Technology, USA; the National Autonomous University of
Mexico, and the Autonomous University Yucatan and of Nuevo Leon.
He was president of the CINVESTAV, Mérida campus from 1988 to 2006,
and in 1999 he founded and managed the Applied Science and Advanced
Technology Research Center at IPN. Currently, Peña's research is
focused on thin films for solar cells.
Paul Waide, PhD
International Energy Agency
Paul Waide is a senior policy analyst in the Energy Efficiency and
Environment Division of the International Energy Agency where he has a
prominent role in the agency's work on energy efficiency, which
includes supporting the G8 countries in developing their plan of action
addressing Climate Change, Clean Energy, and Sustainable Development.
He provides analysis for the agency's influential long-range energy
scenarios including the World Energy Outlook and Energy Technologies Perspectives
publications and is also the principal author of some of the agency's
main publications addressing energy efficiency policy and technology
including Light's Labour's Lost: Policies for Energy Efficient Lighting and Cool Appliances: Policy Strategies for Energy-Efficient Homes.
Many of the recommendations deriving from these analyses have been
adopted by government and in particular sixteen concrete
energy-efficiency policy recommendations made by the IEA have been
endorsed by the G8 and IEA Energy Ministers.
Prior to joining the IEA he worked as an international energy
efficiency consultant for 14 years wherein he was involved in the
promulgation of equipment energy efficiency programmes (especially
those concerned with standards and labelling) in Europe, China, South
Africa, and numerous other countries. Waide is on the board of two
energy efficiency NGOs (CLASP and IMT) and has a PhD in applied energy
from Cranfield University in the UK.
Enrique Dussel Peters, PhD
National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)
Enrique Dussel Peters is a professor of economics at the National
Autonomous University of Mexico. He has taught more than 90 courses at
the BA, MA, and PhD level in Mexico and internationally, and
participated in more than 260 national and international seminars and
conferences. His research has concentrated on theory of industrial
organization, economic development, and political economy, as well as
on the manufacturing sector, trade, and regional specialization
patterns in Latin America and Mexico. He has collaborated with and
coordinated projects with UNAM, the Economic Commission for Latin
America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the International Labor Organization
(ILO), the Ford Foundation, and the Interamerican Development Bank
(IDB), among other institutions. He received several research
distinctions in 2000 and 2004.
Dussel Peters completed his BA and MA studies in political science
at the Free University of Berlin and received a PhD in economics at the
University of Notre Dame.
Alan Paau, PhD
Alan Paau is responsible for the strategic management of all
technologies and intellectual property that arise from the research
activities at Cornell University. From 1998 to 2007, Paau was assistant
vice chancellor and director for technology transfer at the University
of California, San Diego. Previously, he was executive director of the
Iowa State University Research Foundation and associate director of the
Biotechnology Center at the Ohio State University. Before returning to
the academic environment, Paau held various research and management
positions in the Cetus Corporation and the W.R. Grace & Co.
organization for 12 years.
Paau holds a PhD in biological sciences and an MBA. He is the
inventor of 8 U.S. patents and the author of 36 journal articles and
book chapters. As a director of intellectual property and a certified
licensing executive, he supervised the execution of over 950 licenses
and option agreements and the formation of over 100 startup companies
using innovations licensed from universities.
Karin Ezbiansky Pavese, PhD
New York Academy of Sciences
Karin Ezbiansky Pavese currently serves as the director of
Innovation & Sustainability Initiatives at the New York Academy of
She received her PhD in inorganic chemistry from the University of
Pennsylvania in 2000. Subsequently, she joined the General Electric
Company as part of a two-year Technical Leadership Program. There,
Pavese led product and process development while completing management
training. Upon graduation from General Electric's management program,
she assumed a leadership role as a Six Sigma Black Belt directing
research projects in the area of nanoparticle-filled coatings where her
most recent focus was on optical media. She played a major technical
role in the launch of a limited play DVD product named ez-D (FlexPlay
Pavese left General Electric in 2004 to serve as a congressional
fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science
(AAAS), sponsored by the Optical Society of America (OSA) and the
Materials Research Society (MRS). Selected by U.S. Senator Joseph I.
Lieberman (CT), she played a key role in developing a landmark piece of
legislation that addressed American competitiveness and innovation in
science and technology.
Pavese is currently a member of the New York University Science
Advisory Board, the chair of the Grassroots Committee for the Materials
Research Society's Government Affairs, and most recently elected to a
director-at-large position of the American Chemical Society's New York
Steven Popper, PhD
Steven Popper is a RAND senior economist and professor of science
and technology policy at the RAND Graduate School. From 1996 to 2001 he
was the associate director of RAND's Science and Technology Policy
Institute (S&TPI). His S&TPI work provided research and
analytic support to the White House Office of Science and Technology
Policy and other agencies of the executive branch.
Popper is currently leading a project on science- and
technology-based economic development for Mexico City. He also has
projects on energy policy and has done research in the field of energy
security. He is active in projects of the RAND Pardee Center for
Longer-Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition. He was
coauthor of the flagship study, Shaping the Next Hundred Years,
which provides a new methodological framework for considering problems
raised by future uncertainty. His current Pardee Center work is on
emerging infectious disease, human development, and social security.
Popper has conducted research and has served as consultant to
several governments as well as multilateral international organizations
such as OECD on issues of regional economic development, industrial
restructuring, and technology planning. He led RAND's first Summer
Institute, a week-long workshop on science, technology, and U.S.
economic competitiveness. Prior to joining RAND, he worked as a
researcher in physical chemistry and enzymology, as country account
officer for Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia at Bank of
America, and as consultant to the World Bank on issues of industrial
restructuring in East Europe.
Julio A. de Quesada
Executive Council of Global Companies (CEEG)
Julio de Quesada has been president of the Executive Council of
Global Companies since its foundation in 2004. This business
organization includes 36 international companies, all leaders in their
sectors and committed to Mexico. The organization has attracted new
investment projects representing 38% of Mexico's foreign direct
investments. Their annual sales contribute 10.5% of the Mexican GDP and
they create more than 500,000 direct and 1.5 million indirect jobs.
De Quesada was appointed CEO of Grupo Financiero Citibank (Holding
Company for all Citigroup's legal vehicles in Mexico) and Citibank,
S.A. (its banking subsidiary in Mexico) in March 1994. He headed the
company's Mexico businesses until November 1991 when Citigroup
purchased Grupo Financiero Banamex. De Quesada formed part of the
leadership team that integrated the operations of both banks. After the
integration, Citi asked him to stay on and head up the combined
Corporate and Investment Banking businesses of Banamex and Citibank in
Mexico. In August 2006, he was given additional responsibilities
heading up Banamex's Treasury operations, the largest in the Mexican
financial system, and was appointed CEO of the Banamex Financial Group
Corporate and Investment Bank and Treasury businesses.
De Quesada was born in Cuba and is a naturalized U.S. citizen. He
holds an MBA in finance from the Wharton School at the University of
Pennsylvania and a BS in engineering from Brown University.
Sylvia Schwaag Serger, PhD
Swedish Government Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA)
Sylvia Schwaag Serger serves as director of international
collaboration and networks at the Swedish Government Agency for
Innovation Systems (VINNOVA) and is a senior research fellow at the
Research Policy Institute at the University of Lund.
From 2005 to 2007, Schwaag Serger was Swedish science counsellor in
Beijing. She has published several papers on China's economic and
scientific development, advises Swedish ministries and agencies on
China-related issues, and has been commissioned by the European
Commission as a China expert in several projects. During these two
years, she was the Swedish national expert in the OECD for a project
focused on China's innovation system.
From 1992 to 2002, Schwaag Serger was a senior researcher at the
Swedish Institute for Food and Agricultural Economics (SLI), analyzing
decision-making in the European Union. From 1997 to 1999, she worked at
the Ministry of Industry and Trade in Stockholm on innovation policy.
She was also an expert on a Swedish governmental committee on the
European Monetary Union (EMU). Schwaag Serger holds a PhD in economic
history from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
and a Master's in International Relations from the Paul H. Nitze School
of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University
Mike Standing is a partner at Monitor Group in London and leads one
of its 10 core consulting operating units. He works with major
organizations undergoing fundamental transformation. His clients
include governments and pharmaceutical, healthcare, and not-for-profit
institutions. He has special interest in public policy development.
Standing is leading Monitor's current efforts to support New Profit's
collaboration with an Irish foundation piloting venture philanthropy
José E. Villa Rivera, PhD
National Polytechnic Institute
José Villa Rivera is president of the National Polytechnic
Institute. Villa Rivera is a native of Sinaloa State in Mexico. He has
a PhD in petroleum engineering from the French Institute of Petroleum.
His studies in France, combined with several foreign stays, allowed him
to develop a global vision for higher education, technological
scientific activities, and innovation.
Among other awards, he is recipient of honorary degrees from the
Autonomous University of Sinaloa and the Lyon INSA, Sinaloa's Model
Citizen in the World award, the French Légion d'honneur award, and the
2004 Sinaloa Science and Technology award. He has been included in the Mexican Leaders journal as one of the 300 most influential leaders for three consecutive years.
Pipeline of Talent
Sergio M. Alcocer
National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)
Sergio Alcocer is a civil engineer on the faculty at the National
Autonomous University of Mexico. He obtained his doctorate in
engineering at the University of Texas, Austin. Since 1994 he has been
a national researcher. He served as the director of the engineering
institute at UNAM and director of research at the National Center for
the Prevention of Disasters. Currently, he is the secretary general at
UNAM and president of the committee that revises the Complementary
Technical Norms construction regulations for the design and
construction of masonry structures in Mexico City. He is a member of
several technical committees of the American Institute of Concrete and
a member of the Board of Directors. Alcocer was the president of the
Mexican Society of Structural Engineering and president of the
technical committee of the Organismo Nacional de Normalización y
Certificación de la Construccion y Edificacion, S.C. He is also a
member of the Engineering Academy, the Mexican Academy of Sciences
(AMC), and an advisor for the ICA foundation.
In 2001, he received the distinguished award for his technical
research from the AMC and from the National University for Young
Academics in the areas of innovation technology and industrial design.
In 2007, he received an award in structural engineering for housing
from the Mexican Society of Structural Engineering.
Axel Didriksson, PhD
Secretary of Education, Mexico City
Axel Didriksson Takayanagui, holds a bachelor's degree in sociology,
a master's degree in Latin American studies, and a doctorate in
economics. He was the director of the Centre for University Studies at
the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), which became the
Institute for Research on Universities and Education (IISUE). He is the
coordinator-general of the Network of Public Macro-universities of
Latin America and the Caribbean, and vice-president of the executive
committee of the Union of Latin American Universities (UDUAL). He is a
Level-2 member of the Mexican National System of Researchers. Since
1995, he has held the UNESCO Chair on Regional Integration and the
University. He is a regular member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences
and has been an educational researcher for 30 years. He has written 10
books, the most recent being The University in the Knowledge Society, published by UNESCO Mexico in 2006, and coauthored 30 books.
Juan Alberto González
As general director, Juan Alberto González is responsible for the
operations of Microsoft Mexico, an organization with more than 500
employees. Additionally, González manages the social responsibility
initiative, where Microsoft Mexico has one of the best practices
Before joining Microsoft Mexico, González was general director of
the Andean region, including Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. In
this particular region, he oversaw a growth of 70% in a three-year
period. Before becoming general director of the Andean region, González
was director at the subsidiaries in Colombia for two years, and later
in Peru for another three years. During this time he achieved a 20%
increase in profitability. He managed the negotiations for a master
plan of cooperation between Microsoft and the Peruvian government.
Due to his great passion for social responsibility, in 2000 González
founded the Microsoft Solidario program, which engages employees and
their families in social responsibility efforts in Colombia. González
is one of the few young leaders to receive several awards, such as Best
Sales in Latin America in 2005, and in 2006 an award for the best
Joseph J. Helble, PhD
Joseph J. Helble is professor of engineering and the 12th Dean of
the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. Prior to joining
Dartmouth in 2005, Helble was the Roger Revelle Fellow of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), enabling him to
spend a year addressing technology policy in the office of U.S. Senator
Previously, Helble was chair of Chemical Engineering at the
University of Connecticut, with research in the areas of energy, air
pollution, and nanoscale materials. Earlier he was employed as a
research scientist at Physical Sciences in Andover, MA, specializing in
energy technology development. In 1993, he also worked at U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters in Washington DC as
a AAAS science and policy fellow.
Helble has served on several EPA Science Advisory Board panels, and
is presently on the editorial boards of two scientific journals and a
member of the Board of Advisors of the University of Vermont College of
Engineering. He is the author of over 100 research publications and 3
U.S. patents, a recipient of a young faculty Career Award from NSF, an
outstanding young faculty award from the University of Connecticut
School of Engineering, and the university's inaugural environmental
faculty leadership award.
Helble received his PhD in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Julio G. Mendoza, PhD
Julio Mendoza obtained his PhD in physics from the State University
of Campinas in Sao Paulo Brazil. He is a member of the Mexican Academy
of Sciences and has been a member of the National Investigators since
1984. He is also a member of the Mexican Society of Physics, the
American Physical Society, and many other academies and societies.
Mendoza is chairman of the Scientific Society of CINVESTAV, was
research and planning coordinator of the National Polytechnic Institute
from 1999 to 2000, a member of the review committee for physical
sciences at Conayct from 1999 to 2002, and a visiting professor at the
Semiconductor Laboratory of CETUC at Pontificia Universidade Católica
in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He has published over 130 papers.
Juan Manuel Romero
Pearson Education Latin America
Juan Manuel Romero has been president and CEO of Pearson Education
Latin America since 2005. He is responsible for 850 employees in over
20 countries, generating $150 million in revenues. Pearson Education's
products and services in Latin America reach over 10 million students
every year in three primary markets: primary/secondary school, English
as a Second Language, and Higher Education. Pearson's offerings include
textbooks, educational software, online distance learning, instructor
professional development, online products, and various educational
Prior to joining Pearson Education Latin America, Romero ran the
Regulatory Division of Thomson Brazil (IOB) and was responsible for
developing Primedia's business in Latin America. In addition to his
extensive experience in Latin America, Romero has a strong track record
in marketing, finance, strategy, and general management. He earned his
BA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and his
MBA from Columbia University.
Carl Johan Sundberg, MD, PhD
web site | publications
Carl Johan Sundberg is a senior university lecturer in
bioentrepreneurship at the Karolinska Institute and heads the Unit for
Bioentrepreneurship where research and education in entrepreneurship
and innovation for students, researchers, and clinicians are conducted.
He works half-time as investment manager in a biotech VC fund and is
also a licensed physician and associate professor in the Department of
Physiology and Pharmacology, where his research group focuses on
physical activity and the molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis and
mitochondrial biogenesis in human skeletal muscle.
Sundberg is programme director for a Master Programme in
Bioentrepreneurship and course director for courses such as From
Science to Business, Medicine for Journalists, and Popular Science
Communication for medical and PhD students. He has received the
Karolinska Institutet Prize for Teaching Excellence, a Certificate of
Commendation for Communication in the Life Sciences from EMBO,
Ångpanneföreningen's Prize for Research Communication, and the European
Commission's Descartes Communication Prize for Excellence in Science
Communication 2005. He is vice-president of Euroscience and was the
founder of Euroscience Open Forum, a large international science
conference on science, technology, business, and science communication.
Sundberg has served as member or chairman on numerous company and
academic boards, including NsGene A/S and Alfta Rehab AB.
Technology to Marketplace
René Asomoza, PhD
René Asomoza is the president of the Center for Investigations and
Advanced Studies (CINVESTAV) at the National Polytechnic Institute
(IPN). He received a doctorate in solid state physics from the Paris
University XI in Orsay, France, and a second doctorate in physics from
the same university. He became an assistant professor on the science
faculty at Paris University. Since 1984, when the National System of
Researchers was created, he has been a member and in 1996 he became a
level 3 member. Currently he serves as professor "D" in the Electrical
Engineering Department at CINVESTAV, where he also held titles such as
academic coordinator and section supervisor in the department.
He has published approximately 92 articles in international
magazines and others. He has taught courses at the postgraduate level
at the Physics and Mathematics School at the IPN and in the
Technological Institute of Tokyo. He has participated in several
Mexican science societies and has been a member of several evaluation
committees, qualifying juries, and commissions.
René Bastón, MA
New York Academy of Sciences
René Bastón has extensive contacts and broad experience in both
academia and industry. As the chief business officer at the New York
Academy of Sciences, he has created alliances in the U.S. and
internationally with leading universities, governments, and
multinational corporations in pharmaceuticals, biotech, real estate,
venture capital, IT, electronics, consumer goods and other areas
related to life sciences, physical sciences and engineering. During the
four years of René's tenure, business development revenues have
increased 250%. René also initiated and helps lead the Academy's annual
Strategic Planning exercises and created and leads its Science &
Technology Innovation and Economic Development advisory practice.
Prior to joining the NYAS, Bastón was an associate director at
Columbia University's Science & Technology Ventures, where he was
responsible for identifying promising emerging technologies, protecting
the intellectual property, and negotiating licenses and research
collaborations with established or startup companies in the areas of
biotechnology, biomedical informatics, medical imaging, and
Bastón was also the cofounder, vice president of Business
Development, and acting CTO of Medihub, a New York based provider of
software and consulting services to the medical industry. Bastón
founded Medihub after spending several years in the technology
enablement and business transformation divisions of Ernst & Young's
Healthcare Consulting Group where he was one of the founding members of
the E&Y e-Health Incubator Team.
Before making the transition to industry, René received a graduate
degree from the Medical Informatics Program at Columbia University,
where he performed research on the application and development of
controlled medical vocabularies. He also spent several years performing
neurobiology research in the laboratory of Nobel laureate Eric Kandel
at the Columbia University Center for Neurobiology and Behavior.
René is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Columbia
University Center for Advanced Technology and holds a black belt in Tae
William B. Bonvillian
William Bonvillian has been director of the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology's Washington, DC, office since January 2006. Prior to
that position, he served for 17 years as legislative director and chief
counsel to U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman. He has taught science and
technology policy and innovation issues at Georgetown, MIT, and George
Washington universities. He serves on the Board on Science Education of
the National Academies of Sciences and was the recipient of the IEEE
Distinguished Public Service Award in 2007.
His recent articles include, "Power Play — The DARPA
Model and U.S. Energy Policy" (2006) in American Interest; "The
Politics of Jobs" (2007), "Meeting the New Challenge to U.S. Economic
Competitiveness" (2004) and "Organizing Science and Technology for
Homeland Security" (with K.V. Sharp, 2002), all published in Issues in Science and Technology; "Will the Search for New Energy Technologies Require a New R&D Mission Agency?" (2007) in Bridges; and "Science at a Crossroads" (2002), published in Technology in Society and reprinted in the FASEB Journal.
Early in his career, he served as the deputy assistant secretary at
the U.S. Department of Transportation. He received a BA from Columbia
University with honors, an MAR from Yale; and a JD from Columbia Law
School, where he served on the Columbia Law Review. Following law
school, he served as a law clerk to a federal judge in New York.
Rafael Funes is general manager at DynaWare and chair of the board
of directors for the Mexican Association of the Information Technology
Industry. He is an industrial engineer and systems engineer on the
Monterrey campus of Mexico State. In 1985 he began software development
by building his own database driver, an electroencephalogram analysis
and cerebral mapping system, and other diverse operative,
administrative, financial, and accounting applications.
In 1996 he completed the first version of DynaWare, the first
Integral Business Information System created in Mexico that was
considered by global analysts to be among the best in the world. On
December 2003, through INDAUTOR and with OMPI's consent, the secretary
of public education awarded him with the National Merit of Honor for
Authors for developing DynaWare. In 2006 he received the Science and
Technology State award from Enrique Peña Nieto, governor of the state
His lectures, as well as his contributions on information technology
to the Mexican media and abroad, have turned him into a well renowned
opinion leader. He is an advisor to the Center for the Development of
Information Technology and Electronics (CEDETIE) for the Monterrey
Technological Campus and a member of the advisory council of Emprende
He participated on the committee that supervised the preparation of
the Vision 2020 document "For the Mexico that we all want," which was
developed by AMITI and CANIETI, as well as the "Mexico Vision 2030"
Maria G. Gotsch
New York City Investment Fund
Maria Gotsch is president and chief executive officer of the New York City Investment Fund.
The Fund has built a network of top experts from the investment and
corporate communities who help identify and support New York City's
most promising entrepreneurs in both the for-profit and not-for-profit
sectors. It also provides financing for projects that contribute to the
economic renewal of blighted areas and alleviation of poverty. The Fund
is the vision of Henry R. Kravis, founding partner of Kohlberg, Kravis,
Roberts & Co., who serves as its founding chairman. Russell L.
Carson, general partner of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, and
Richard M. Cashin, managing partner of One Equity Partners, serve as
the Fund's co-chairmen.
Prior to joining the Fund in 1999, Gotsch was a managing director at
BT Wolfensohn (now part of Deutsche Bank), providing strategic and
financial advice related to mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, joint
ventures and the development of business strategies. Before starting
with Wolfensohn, Gotsch worked at LaSalle Partners in the New York area
and for Merrill Lynch Capital Markets in New York and London. Maria has
an MBA from Harvard Business School. She was also the recipient of a
Fulbright Fellowship to study international relations at the Institut
Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales in Geneva, Switzerland.
William Haseltine, PhD
Haseltine Associates, Ltd.
William Haseltine is chairman and CEO of Haseltine Associates, Ltd.
and president of the William A. Haseltine Foundation for Medical
Sciences and the Arts. He is a professor at the Scripps Research
Institute and sits on the board for the Institute for One World Health.
In 1992, he founded Human Genome Sciences, serving as its chairman and
CEO until October 2004. A Harvard University faculty member from
1976–1993, he created and served as chair of two academic
departments—the Division of Cancer Pharmacology and the Division of
Human Retrovirology—at Harvard's Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
Haseltine founded The Journal of AIDS Research and Retrovirology and The Journal of Regenerative Medicine.
He has received numerous awards and honors for his research on cancer,
AIDS, and biotechnology. His business career includes establishing
seven biotechnology companies—among them, Dendreon, Diversa, and Human
Genome Sciences—and participating in the formation of another 20,
including Medimmune, as a Healthcare Ventures advisor. Active in the
scientific and public policy communities, he sits on numerous boards.
Haseltine did graduate and postgraduate work with Nobel laureates James
Watson, Walter Gilbert, and David Baltimore. He earned his PhD in
biophysics from Harvard University.
Ascent Biomedical Ventures
Steve Hochberg has been an active founder and investor in
early-stage medical technology companies since 1992. Companies
cofounded by Steve include Biomerix Corporation, Eminent Research
Systems Inc. (acquired by PPD, Inc. in 2003), Clinsights, Inc.
(acquired by PPD, Inc. in 2003), Med-E-Systems/AHT Corporation (initial
public offering in 1996), and Physicians' Online (acquired by
Mediconsult in 1999). Steve currently serves on the Board of Directors
of Biomerix Corporation, Synecor, LLC, Crosstrees Medical, Inc., and
Ouroboros. Steve is member of the board of governors of the New York
Academy of Sciences. Steve is also a member of the board of trustees
and executive committee and chairman of the Finance Committee of
Continuum Health Partners, one of the largest nonprofit hospital
systems in New York City.
Earlier in his career, Hochberg was an investment banker with Alex
Brown & Sons and a strategy consultant with Bain & Company in
the technology and healthcare areas. Steve holds an MBA from Harvard
Carlos Martínez Vela, PhD
Carlos Martínez Vela is a postdoctoral fellow in the Industrial
Performance Center (IPC) of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT). Martínez Vela holds a BS in engineering physics from the
Monterrey Institute of Technology (Mexico) and a MS in technology
policy from MIT, where he also has been a Martin Fellow for
Sustainability. He obtained his PhD in technology, management, and
policy from MIT in February 2007. Martínez Vela is a specialist in
innovation policy and the role of universities in creating improved
conditions for industrial innovation and regional economic development.
At the IPC he was a founding member of the Local Innovation Systems
project and served as director of the international conference on
universities, innovation, and the competitiveness of local economies.
In his most recent research, he examined the role of universities in
the emergence of the energy technology industry in Eastern
Massachusetts. He became a John Adams Fellow at the Innovation
Institute at MIT in October 2007. In that role, he assists the John
Adams Innovation Institute, the economic development arm of the
Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, in policy design and project
evaluation for innovation and economic development. He is a native of
Dennis Purcell is senior managing director of Aisling Capital. He
previously served as managing director of the Life Sciences Investment
Banking Group at Chase H&Q (formerly Hambrecht & Quist) and
served on the executive committee of Hambrecht & Quist. He was
directly involved with over 200 completed transactions and supervised
over $10 billion of financing and advisory assignments in the
pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical products industries. During
his tenure, BioWorld and other industry publications cited H&Q as
the leading underwriter of life sciences securities. He was honored in
the "Biotech Hall of Fame" by Genetic Engineering News and named to the "Biotechnology All-Stars" list by Forbes ASAP.
Purcell also currently serves as a director of Auxilium
Pharmaceuticals, Bridge Pharmaceuticals, Dynova Laboratories, and
Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals. He peviously served as a director of Aton
Pharmaceuticals, Cengent Therapeutics, and Valentis. He is also a
member of the board of directors of the Biotechnology Industry
Organization (BIO)-Emerging Companies Section. He has served as a
member of the advisory council at Harvard Medical School. Purcell
received his MBA from Harvard University.
Wal-mart of Mexico, SA
Eduardo Solórzano has been president and chief executive officer of
Wal-Mart of Mexico SA, a subsidiary of Wal-mart Stores Inc. since
February 25, 2004. Prior to that, Solórzano served as chief operating
officer of Wal-Mart Mexico. Solórzano joined Cifra, the predecessor
company to Wal-Mart Mexico in 1985. He worked in a variety of
operations, merchandising and logistics areas and became chief
operating officer in 2003. In 1994, he became commercial director for
the Mexican retail firm Soriana. He rejoined Wal-Mart in 1998 and has
been a director of Wal-Mart de Mexico S.A. since 2000. Solórzano has a
degree in economics from the Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey and a
master's degree in economics from the Universidad de las Americas.
Roberto Tapia-Conyer, MD, MPH, MSc, DrSc
National University of Mexico (UNAM)
web site | publications
Roberto Tapia-Conyer is a senior professor and tutor of masters and
doctorate in sciences at the National University of Mexico (UNAM), as
well as a professor in the College of Health Science at the University
of California, Irvine. Tapia-Conyer holds a MD from UNAM. He also holds
both MSc and MPH degrees from Harvard University, as well as a
doctorate in sciences conferred by the UNAM. As a scholar, Tapia-Conyer
has published more than 180 research articles in national and
international peer-reviewed medical journals, authored seven books on
public health topics, and contributed chapters to close to 20 books.
Tapia-Conyer joined Mexico's Ministry of Health in 1982 where he has
built his institutional career. In 1997 Tapia-Conyer was appointed vice
minister of prevention and health promotion, a position which he held
until December 2006. In this position he oversaw the design and
development of innovative and effective public health policies and
programs that continue to be employed by the current Mexican government.
Tapia-Conyer is an active member of the Mexican Academy Sciences,
the Mexican Academy of Medicine, the Mexican Academy of Surgery, and
the Mexican Public Health Society, where he served as president from
1997 to 1998. He is also a member-fellow of the National Researchers
System-level III in Mexico's Council of Science and Technology. He was
chairperson (2005–2008) of the Strategic Technical Advisory Group of
WHO's TB Program and has been a member of the Technical Advisory Group
for Vaccine Preventable Diseases of the Pan-American Health
Organization since 1997. Tapia-Conyer was recently nominated by WHO's
director-general to be a member of the Influenza Global Action Plan
Since 2007, Roberto Tapia-Conyer has served as director-general of
the Carso Health Institute. The Carso Health Institute is a nonprofit
organization funded by the Carlos Slim Foundation that invests
resources for the development of public and social projects in health
and nutrition for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Klaudia Brix, Dr. rer. nat.
Jacobs University Bremen
web site | publications
Klaudia Brix is a professor of cell biology at Jacobs University
Bremen, Germany. Jacobs University Bremen is a highly selective,
private institution for the advancement of education and research. Its
academic programs and cultural environment prepare graduates for
international leadership and global citizenship. Klaudia Brix is
coordinator of the biochemistry and cell biology undergraduate program
and representative of cellular and molecular biology in the graduate
program of molecular life science at Jacobs University.
Klaudia Brix was trained as biologist receiving the Dr. rer. nat.
from University of Bonn, Germany, in 1987. She was Lise-Meitner Fellow
and received the Venia legendi in cell biology in 1997. She
has been working in the field of molecular cell biology for over 20
years and has supervised 26 diploma students and 15 PhD students.
Brix's research focuses on the biological significance of extracellular
proteolysis, with a special emphasis on proteases in physiological
functions of epithelial organs. She has published over 40 papers as
book chapters and in peer-reviewed journals. She is on the editorial
board of EJCB and serves as reviewer for a variety of
international universities, scientific journals as well as for
international foundations and research councils. She is a member of the
American Society for Cell Biology, the British Society for Matrix
Biology, the European Society of Endocrinology, and is vice-president
of the International Proteolysis Society.
Sarah Caddick, PhD
Gatsby Charitable Foundation
Sarah Caddick received her doctorate in neuroscience in 1993 from
the University of Southhampton in the United Kingdom. After working in
research at the Medical College of Virginia and Duke University Medical
Center she left the lab to pursue the business of science.
Leaving the bench, she started a career in the nonprofit sector
involving a range of experiences from scientific grant management to
nonprofit start-up. Early positions she held were as director of award
programs for the Cancer Research Fund of the Damon Runyon-Walter
Winchell Foundation and director of medical and scientific programs for
the Steven and Michele Kirsch Foundation.
In 2003 she became executive director of the Wadsworth Foundation
before joining FasterCures, The Center for Accelerating Medical
Solutions, as executive vice president / chief scientific officer.
In 2005 she was hired by renowned neurobiologist Thomas Jessell to
be executive director of Columbia University's Center for Neuroscience
Initiatives (CNI), a position she held until April 2007. In May 2007,
she became principal advisor to Lord Sainsbury of Turville and his
efforts through the Gatsby Charitable Foundation in supporting
world-class experimental and computational research in neuroscience.
Juan Carlos López, PhD
Juan Carlos López was born in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 1967. He obtained
his first degree in biomedical research at the Universidad Nacional
Autónoma de México, majoring in neuroscience. Juan Carlos got his PhD
from Columbia University (New York), studying synaptic plasticity in
neuronal cultures. He then carried out postdoctoral work at the
Instituto Cajal (Madrid), studying presynaptic mechanisms of
transmitter release. During this period, Juan Carlos wrote a book on
the neurobiology of memory (El Telar de la Memoria, Algar Editorial),
for which he won the IV European Scientific Dissemination Award in
1998. Two years later, Juan Carlos left experimental research to become
editor of Nature Reviews Neuroscience in London. In January 2004, he returned to New York to become the chief editor of Nature Medicine.
Office of National Technology, Microsoft Mexico; ITAM
As national technology officer, Erick Stephens is responsible for
advancing Microsoft's technology policy agenda with governments and
academic elites in Mexico. Erick focuses on the following key areas of
technology policy: security, privacy, economic development,
interoperability and open standards, as well as technical computing. He
is a federal, state, and local ITC and innovation consultant,
e-government, education, and security policy analyst, and spokesman for
Digital Policy magazine at NEXOS Group.
Stephens is coauthor of "The Citizen Service Matrix," in The Authority: The Citizen,
a book published by the Committee of Informatics, State, and Municipal
Civil Service, AC (CIAPEM) in 2008. He has a degree in computer
engineering and an MBA from the Mexican Autonomous Institute of
Technology (ITAM). Stephens teaches at ITAM, where he received a
Professional Excellence Award in 2007.
Alan Dove is a science writer and reporter for Nature Medicine
, Nature Biotechnology
, and Bioscience Technology
. He also teaches at the NYU School of Journalism, and blogs at http://dovdox.com