Visionary seminar: Can technology cope with the challenges of the 21st century?

'Special edition' - the 25th Visionary Seminar

By the midst of the 20th century, scientists had discovered nearly all basic laws of nature and life itself, upon which engineers built three industrial revolutions (fossil fuels, electricity and ICT), not to mention the enormous potential of nanotechnology, biotechnology and the growing convergence between these and other technology disciplines. This leads to the question whether technology will be able to cope with these challenges. Or is technology too important to leave it to scientists and engineers? Will they be able to handle the growing complexity and need for a thorough multidisciplinary approach? Put differently, can technology help us create a better world?

In this seminar we will analyze the challenges, especially focusing on:
- the rising costs of healthcare and aging of society
- changes induced by the depletion of fossil fuels and the need for sustainable energy production for a growing world population
- the issue of mobility and transport
- societal impact of technology

Target audience:
This special edition targets policy makers, captains of industry, academia from exact as well as human sciences, and anyone interested in our 21st century society.

For more information on the lectures, you can read the abstracts here.

- 09h30: Registration
- 10h00: Welcome and introduction
Speaker: Koen Debackere (General Manager K.U.Leuven)

- 10h15: 21st century business as usual?
Speaker: Hugo De Man (Former Senior Fellow IMEC, Prof. em. K.U.Leuven)
- 11h00: Technology and society: doing it differently
Speaker 1: Josephine Green (Senior Director of Trends and Strategy, Philips Design)
Speaker 2: Alfred Nordmann (Professor of Philosophy and History of Science, Darmstadt Technical University)
- 12h20: Lunch
- 13h20: Technology and challenges: energy and sustainability
Speaker 1: Ronnie Belmans (Chairman Board of Directors Elia, Professor K.U.Leuven)
Speaker 2: Eicke Weber (Professor and Director Fraunhofer Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE)
- 14h40: Technology and challenges: mobility and transport
Speaker: Ben Immers (Senior Research Fellow TNO, Guest Professor Traffic and Mobility, K.U.Leuven)
- 15h20: Coffee break
- 15h50: Technology and challenges: aging and healthcare
Speaker 1: Katrien Kesteloot (CFO University Hospitals K.U.Leuven)
Speaker 2: Henk van Houten (Senior Vice President Philips Research, General Manager Philips Research Europe, Aachen)
- 17h10: Panel discussion
Moderator: Koen Debackere
- 18h00: Closing reception

Practical details:
Date: Thursday March 22, 2007 (09:30-18:00)
Location: Provinciehuis, Provincieplein 1, B-3000 Leuven

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