On Wednesday and Thursday Deputy Vice-Chancellor Anders Malmberg participated in the Global University Summit 2013 in London. This was the sixth time a “University Summit” was organized for the leaders of the so-called G8 meeting (which this year takes place in mid-June in Northern Ireland). More than 200 people were gathered to discuss the captioned theme, and to adopt a declaration submitted to the G8 summit.
Despite the global ambition, the British home ground advantage was clearly reflected both among the participants and in the rostrum. Memorable appearances were conducted by, for instance, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Dr Vince Cable (“the link between academia and Mammon’s world was an impossible thought in the 1960s, but has now been institutionalized”) as well as the charismatic and eccentric London Mayor Boris Johnson (“London is a nuclear reactor loaded with talent”). The Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge, Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, delivered a tribute to the wide research university inherent of dynamism and creativity, and stressed the need for both institutional autonomy and academic freedom. This was a healthy counterbalance to the (even for an innovation and collaboration enthusiast) slightly too one-sided utilitarian thinking that otherwise characterized the meeting.