Richard Lyon's visionary plan for the future of innovation at Berkeley.
- UC Berkeley's new vision to be carried out by Rich Lyons, its new chief innovation and entrepreneurship officer.
- Richard Lyons talks with Big Think about the need to transform universities' "intellectual capital."
- All educational disciplines could benefit with greater innovative principles.
UC Berkeley’s new position<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMDE4MjY0NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY3MjY0NjkyMn0.zQgZlpYSByPP8RTeNUWh0CJswzwAe51Q5LWs3C7mzmM/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C98%2C159%2C92&height=700" id="8a028" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="613983840362598c86411956d6f198c5" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.<p>A UC Berkeley <a href="https://news.berkeley.edu/2019/07/09/former-haas-dean-named-new-campus-innovation-officer/" target="_blank">press release</a> announced that Richard's role would be effective January 1, 2020, after which he would go on to start developing and communicating Berkeley's intellectual and innovative portfolio throughout campus, the community, and the business world at large. </p><p>Vice Chancellor for Research Randy Katz sees this leadership position as one that'll take on a dynamic role both within the university and outside of it. In an email statement Katz stated: </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The CIEO role has two parts: to be an evangelist for Berkeley entrepreneurship to the outside world of the Bay Area, national, and international innovation ecosystem, and to work on advancing our campus culture for entrepreneurship and innovation." </p><p>On the subject of these two parts — Berkeley advocacy and fostering a campus culture of entrepreneurship — Lyons felt that acting on both fronts was equally important. At the core, Lyon's is focused on asking the tough questions: </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"What opportunities are we trying to address? The intellectual creativity of Berkeley is truly remarkable. How is that 'intellectual product' going to be transformed into a benefit of society?."</p><p>Lyons has served as dean for 11 years, during which he helped to foster a culture of entrepreneurship and lay the groundwork for the campus' larger innovation goals. Lyons launched a number of entrepreneurship programs. One example of note is the <a href="https://skydeck.berkeley.edu/" target="_blank">Berkeley SkyDeck startup accelerator</a> created in 2012.</p><p>The creation of the position comes off the heels of an important and extensive report titled "<a href="https://vcresearch.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/2018-08/Entrepreneurship_at_Berkeley.pdf" target="_blank">Entrepreneurship at Berkeley.</a>" This was a year-long study conducted by the former Vice Chancellor for Research Paul Alivisatos, commissioned for the university to figure out how they could expand their entrepreneurship environment into the greater community.</p>
Future role at the university<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMDE4Mjc0NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NDUxNjA5Mn0.d8BNMZVNR17CRVR-7Jz_LajKrTZkrMCZCSL-i7BdxSY/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=32%2C73%2C122%2C91&height=700" id="6d7a4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a16f2323306ac6700082d86250306d6e" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Photo credit: Noah Berger / University of California, Berkeley<p>A role like CIEO comes with a lot of uncharted territory. But it's also an absolutely necessary role moving forward in the future university landscape. Richard sees the role as an entrepreneurial challenge in itself. Like an upstart, he'll be tasked with using resources that he himself doesn't control, and will have to put together the pieces as he goes along.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"One of the fun things is. . . the role is yet to be designed and created. There are a lot of degrees of freedom to put the priorities where we feel they should be. I know the institution very well and can marshal the resources and people around the vision to get things done."</p><p>With a growing interest on college campuses worldwide in entrepreneurial activities, the current higher educational industry is poised with the unique opportunity to prioritize innovation throughout the whole system.</p><p>Whether that's forming new partnerships with startup communities, commercializing research, or giving students the resources they need to succeed in the choppy waters of entrepreneurship — the result will hopefully be a net gain.</p>
Strengthening a culture of innovation<p>UC Berkeley is one of the world's top public schools for <a href="https://news.crunchbase.com/news/which-public-u-s-universities-graduate-the-most-funded-founders/" target="_blank">graduating the most-funded startup founders</a>. It has a rich tradition of churning out innovative entrepreneurs and successful companies. The fulfillment of this new position seems to be the next logical step in the university's bid to transform their business outreach.</p><blockquote>Great institutions are obsessed with getting better. – Richard Lyons</blockquote><p>Even more so than just printing out new founders and startups, Lyon's vision is to also impart the enterprising mindset to students of all disciplines. "We put a lot of remarkable people into society from the sciences, business world, and humanities," he says. </p><p>Lyons imagines the many possibilities for incorporating this mindset into numerous types of undergraduate studies. He believes that students who are less receptive to a business mindset might reconsider its value if the principles of entrepreneurship were presented to them correctly.</p><p>Berkeley has a rich history of divergent thinking. The Bay Area has been home to some of the <a href="https://bigthink.com/culture-religion/1960s-counterculture-created-silicon-valley" target="_blank">most important cultural events in the past century. </a>Lyon's mentions the rich cultural artifacts we have left over from the 1960s. </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Think about the enterprising spirit of the 1960s. These things didn't just happen. You have to get people's attention, organize and communicate in certain ways. These are all things that would fascinate a humanist or really anyone... and speak to the wisdom of the people, who haven't always been included in the dominion of the entrepreneurship spirit."</p><p>Lyons has set a number of, what he calls, "measurable milestones" that he's looking forward to accomplishing in this exciting new position. Perhaps the most standout, the transmission of entrepreneurial skills to the avant-garde student body at large. </p>
Some of the world's most prestigious universities aren't in America.
- China's Tsinghua and Peking University are on par with Harvard and MIT.
- These 10 universities consistently shuffle around for top tier status in Asian college rankings.
- Universities in Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and China have churned out dozens of Nobel Laureates and other renowned figures.
Tsinghua University<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTYzNDY5Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0Nzk2Mzg0NH0.GiCyvWDr-UBlWW6oVg2T2R_z8xA2VEXEt7qxTL6mrNs/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=34%2C116%2C114%2C73&height=700" id="20f22" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1b4926e0fbe8ad386f2dc0952b46d66c" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Tsinghua University is one of the most prestigious institutions in China. Leading a rigorous multidisciplinary system for the past three decades, it has gone through many iterations and changes since its creation in 1911.</p><p>Known as one of the most elite schools in China, and referred to some as the "MIT of China," the school prides itself on its strength in engineering and the sciences. Admitted students must have excellent scores on their national exams. Tsinghua consistently ranks in the top 30 of <a href="https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings" target="_blank">The World University Rankings.</a></p><p>The campus is located in northwest Beijing alongside other colleges inside of a designated university hub. Built on the former Qing Dynasty royal gardens, the campus has a remarkably beautiful synthesis of ancient Chinese and Western architecture. Two Nobel Prize winners have either went to or worked for the university. Many graduates go on to become influential in Chinese politics.</p>
Peking University<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTYzMzA1OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MzY5NzM3OH0.OUs8EXYuAsBNHPyZMhNiWOC9q_ZlRhQx3P2jQ2dCds4/img.jpg?width=980" id="16386" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="36118e05981131daea4d60093fd4e4be" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Peking University is considered to be the first national university in China, having been founded in the late 19th century. Dubbed the "Harvard of China," it is a major cultural hub and center of China's humanities.</p><p>Peking also sits on former Qing Dynasty imperial gardens. Over 2,000 international students attend the university every year. It is well known for having one of the largest libraries in all of Asia, with over 11 million books and other printed resources in its massive library. Three Nobel prize winners have been associated with the university.</p>
National University of Singapore<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTYzMzA2MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNzQ3NzMwOX0.ugg6N7aKjc0X-ZHwu_X59a9dwYvUZBbNk3LT3MXXPTg/img.jpg?width=980" id="5aaf0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ef3ec96611ae28f238118d482b5d6256" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>The National University of Singapore or (NUS) is the oldest university in the country and has the greatest amount of students, too. While it is an outstanding school for engineering and technology, it also has a dedicated center for innovation and entrepreneurship in the tech field. This "technopreneurship" focus has been around for the past 30 years.</p><p>The university has a flexible degree granting system — the students have the ability to transfer between departments and different faculties early on to facilitate a more robust, cross-disciplinary education rather than focusing too much on one subfield. </p><p>Their four "Research Centres of Excellence" focus on quantum technologies, cancer research, mechanobiology, and environmental life sciences. They have an impressive list of alumni that include four Singaporean prime ministers and presidents and two Malaysian prime ministers.</p>
University of Tokyo<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTYzMzA2MS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyOTE0Nzg1OH0.JHntgB1IQhqcIPgyHTlp6RrVMim-nswkY5wEsgcdUEQ/img.jpg?width=980" id="b6ce0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="479447a911739987524ad4f8663feb41" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>University of Tokyo is the first national university of Japan established in 1877. Spread between three campuses between Hongo, Komaba, and Kashiwa, the University of Tokyo has a number of facilities throughout the metropolitan area. </p><p>The university has a unique course structure, where students embark first on a two year liberal arts education at one campus before transferring to another location to finish their intended major. From a previous ranking by the Professional Ranking of World Universities, the University of Tokyo ranked second behind Harvard University in having the most number of alumni having CEO positions in Fortune 500 companies. </p><p>One of their campuses (Shirokane) has one of the largest supercomputers in the field that is focused on genome research.</p>
Seoul National University<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTYzMzA3OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNjg3NDE1M30.NQpGaUUizBW6eVxG5Ri-B_kzQ-Uj4sC5zuAPtZAGpvQ/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C29%2C0%2C64&height=700" id="4b94d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d130632aa302865bca45bce23c9bde99" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Originally founded by the Japanese empire in the 1940s, the Japanese imperial college standing was eventually abolished and merged into the university with a number of other nearby institutions. </p><p>Seoul National University consistently ranks globally and in the top universities in Asia. It is situated in the heart of South Korea's capital city. The main campus, Gwanak has over 200 buildings for all of its students and staff and even comes with its own subway station. </p><p>There are a number of famous alumni and international political figures that include the former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon, Song Sang-hyun former president of the International Criminal Court and Lee Jong-wook, former head of the World Health Organization.</p>
University of Hong Kong<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTYzMzA3OC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMjA1MDg4Nn0.eXHvtPoQb6dpVOevHSkP91Iw0re-nKn3SA2JIfKsLPI/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C0%2C0%2C124&height=700" id="2aee2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="be96f9aa8ca14117da480b2003ad036c" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Founded by a British governor in 1911, the University of Hong Kong (HKU) was originally a prominently English-based university. In 1927 it began to integrate within the surrounding Chinese culture and begin offering courses and degrees in Chinese. Their main building was built in 1912 and is considered a national monument, alongside it are a number of other British colonial architecture buildings.</p><p>As a very selective school, it's a highly sought out after place for students from mainland China. All students are required to be proficient in both English and Chinese language courses. Many HKU graduates go on to become Chinese politicians and hold positions of power in private industry. </p>
Duke Kunshan University<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTYzMzA2NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY3NTMxMDI1M30.W2Os43rNYMZcTEmCDDi2k0GQ75qNDIARYH_GRzcB0M4/img.jpg?width=980" id="b1563" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="dfdacb34d7f23560b0287de5e6003cea" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Duke Kunshan University sets itself apart from the other top asian schools on this list, as it is relatively new — it was founded in 2013. The university is an international partnership between Duke University and Wuhan University. This said, it offers a wide range of world-class academic programs for Chinese and international students. </p><p>Duke Kunshan is based in Kunshan, Jiangsu province, China. Situated on a 200 acre area, the entire campus is decidedly modern and in close proximity to Shanghai by means of a high-speed rail. The city of Kunshan has become a leading hub of high tech research and manufacturing in China. It also considered to be one of the fastest areas of growth in all of China. </p><p>Their Global Health Research Center has been established with the Duke Global Health Institute, in order to address health issues endemic to China and the region. Many of its research programs are centered around the Chinese population and the health problems they face, such as chronic disease and environmental health.</p>
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTYzMzA2Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1ODcyNDk1N30.4I3p4yNJ_uQImo3CwNxiJ1qeJGqa_ONdzpRMK8esXPc/img.jpg?width=980" id="82e7a" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="56ba1975d82914cb8f5e7f38b211d5f2" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Another prestigious university in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology was created in 1991. Their main focus is on science, technology and engineering. The campus is based in the Northern part of the Sai Kung district and is built out of terraces carved in the hillside.</p><p>Their Lee Shau Kee Library is known for containing one of the largest collections of maps of China and Asia — they were produced by cartographers over the past 500 years. Alongside many other prestigious Asian universities on this list, HKUST has previously ranked as a top university of all of Asia. A recent Global University Employability Ranking, found that graduates have some of the highest employment rates in all of Greater China within the past five years.</p>
Kyoto University<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTYzMzA3Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNjY0NjQ4OH0.H3lhIC_gjysO7Jur4KIJrMPaZesMbmFbciw7pmr-QcQ/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C26%2C0%2C26&height=700" id="8338a" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ccec868e5264d16ab5de4ab2ed3e4ab4" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Kyoto University is the second oldest Japanese university and one of Japan's National Seven Universities. Its campus is spread between three campuses residing in Yoshida, Uji, and Katsura. Founded in 1897 and originally known as the Kyoto Imperial University, the institution received its new name in 1947.</p><p>It has a number of notable research facilities, such as the Yukawa Institute for theoretical physics, which has produced many Nobel Laureates — 10 to be exact. While predominantly a Japanese institution, the university offers a 15-week program at the Education Center for Japanese Language and Culture for international researchers that want to learn and study the language.</p>
Pohang University of Science and Technology<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTYzMzA3My9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0ODgzMDY0MX0.1SwLLDXcjC_WT-m9X4xsaPdMpb7Y9XqIHd46uLXHtwU/img.png?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C10%2C0%2C11&height=700" id="cb93d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="92f585ef056f7091c33ff6955d5981ff" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Another great university to come out of South Korea, established in 1986 the Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) is a leading research facility with tight ties to the technological industry. It has a bilingual campus, making it a popular university in both South Korea and the world.</p><p>A privately-run institution, POSTECH is a great school for international English students as more than 85 percent of the classes that count for credit are conducted in English. With a small enrollment and research centered approach, the university attracts a number of top students from all over the world. </p>
Why Asia and America are trading places<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="soMXszM1" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="eaf2ff6b9242fcaabd70a1a664509ed8"> <div id="botr_soMXszM1_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/soMXszM1-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/soMXszM1-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/soMXszM1-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div>
While we often criticize the humanities for not providing an education that leads directly to employment, one philosopher argues they have an even more important role to play in our societies.
We’ve discussed before that Socrates, one of the greatest things to come out of Athens, hated Athenian democracy. While he had many reasons to do so, one of the primary ones was that the typical Athenian had no idea what they were discussing, and were prone to using emotion over reason when making important political decisions. They lacked both the skills for critical thinking and viewing the world outside their own perspective to be proper democratic citizens.
But, as philosopher Martha Nussbaum argues, we can avoid those problems by placing a high value on an education in the humanities. A high value which today is often difficult to find.
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