Dr. Calestous Juma, an internationally recognized authority on the role of science, technology, engineering and innovation in sustainable development, delivered the 2015 Pardee Distinguished Lecture sponsored by the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future on April 14.
Prof. Juma, Director of the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project and Professor of the Practice of International Development (on leave) at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), presented an address titled “Technological Innovation and Development: Long-Range Perspectives for Africa.”
Prof. Juma’s talk focused on the role that innovation will play as a driver of long-term economic development on the African continent. He explained the traditional perception that African development will be driven by one of two processes – growth through R&D or through natural resources – and presented a “middle road” of leveraging human competence and technological innovation. Prof. Juma drew on examples in robotics, mobile phones, and drones to highlight the capacity to use existing scientific and technological knowledge in new or different ways to solve local problems. The ability of African countries to search a vast pool of knowledge, and then apply lessons to harness that technology for local conditions, presents a distinct advantage to being a technological latecomer, Prof. Juma said.
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About Dr Calestous Juma, member of the Aga Khan University Board of Trustees
Dr. Calestous Juma is an internationally recognized authority in the application of science and technology to sustainable development worldwide. In addition to his roles at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School, he also directs the School’s Agricultural Innovation in Africa Project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. His latest book, The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa was published by Oxford University Press in 2011.
Dr. Juma provides high-level policy advice to governments, the United Nations and other international organizations on science, technology and innovation. He chairs the Global Challenges and Biotechnology of the US National Academy of Sciences and serves as co-chair of the African High-Level Panel on Modern Biotechnology of the African Union and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.
Dr. Juma led international experts in outlining ways to apply science and technology to the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals arising from the UN Millennium Summit in the year 2000.
Dr. Juma is Professor of the Practice of International Development and Director of the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Originating from Kenya, he was Africa’s first science and environment journalist at Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper. Juma received an MSc in Science, Technology and Industrialization and a DPhil in Science and Technology Policy from the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex. He has written widely on science, technology and sustainable development and contributes to a weekly column in the Nairobi-based Business Daily.
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He regularly tweets (@calestous) about issues related to sustainable development, technology innovation, and more.
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