The GFCC University and Research Leadership Forum serves as a living think tank for identification and discussion of trends and the generation of ideas for optimizing enterprises. Through this initiative, the GFCC develops a better understanding of the contributions by global education/research institutions to innovation and competitiveness, facilitates new collaboration, and provides global visibility to relevant experiences and original thought in the field. 

Presidents, chancellors, executive directors, rectors, CEOs and directors of prominent universities, laboratories and research organizations from around the globe comprise the Forum. The GFCC Executive Team serves as the Secretariat. The Forum develops an annual work plan and carries it out with the assistance of the Secretariat. 

The GFCC University and Research Leadership Forum annual work plan results from conversations among the Forum and includes primary research questions to address during the year. Forum members and the GFCC Executive Team work together over the course of the year to explore the research question. The GFCC publishes an annual report that includes the findings of this collaborative research effort, and features the initiatives of Forum members and other leading education and research organizations. Topics to be discussed by the Forum include university-industry partnerships, how to foster entrepreneurship, new models for intellectual property management and engagement with society. 

Every year, the Forum convenes once for a moderated conversation to review findings and plan for the coming year. Activities over the year are coordinated online and through a series of teleconferences. The GFCC provides the necessary project management infrastructure for activities. Forum members provide the resources for implementation of its research agenda. 

Nazarbayev University, 
Room: Block C3, Room 2001, Floor 2
Welcome and Opening Address

Participants Individual Introductions - Round-Robin Introductions
GFCC University and Research Leadership Forum: State of Affairs 

This session will serve to update GFCC university members on the work done by the University and Research Leadership Forum in the past year and review the recent discussions on future initiatives; providing background for the work to be developed in the workshop. 

Forecasting in Science and Technology and National Context 
University 4.0: What Is Next for Universities? 

Global information connectivity and technology are growing exponentially across a variety of domains, converging to form a contemporary industrial revolution — giving rise to what has been named industry 4.0. The result is that companies, business and engagement models, whole industries, economic landscapes and society as a whole are being challenged and reshaped. Universities will not be immune to the transformations in course. 

  • How will universities be affected by technology growth, expanded connectivity and other global trends? 

  • What shapes will universities take in a hyper-connected and technology-intensive world? 

  • How will they be organized and how will they interact with an increasingly complex array of stakeholders? 

  • How will the mission and the roles that universities play be transformed? 

  • How will universities leverage digital technologies? 


These are all overarching questions to be considered in the development of a future vision for universities. In addition to them, one can think about a variety of domain-specific questions related to organizational structures, education models, program types, university portfolios, community engagement, innovation partnerships, research, collaboration, funding and more. 

In this session, Forum members will work to identify (i) the key questions to be addressed when building a future vision for “university 4.0,” (ii) the main drivers that should be considered in a forward-looking, future-building effort like the one that is being proposed and (iii) the key stakeholders to involve in the process. 

The session will be kick-started by a thought-provoking presentation highlighting some of the key issues that universities face in a rapidly changing world, followed by comments from industry and philanthropy leaders. The session will then transition to a co-creation exercise in which leaders will work in subgroups. 

Moderator                                                            Kick-off Presenters                                        Industry and Philanthropy Perspectives

Talent Transformation in Kazakhstan

In this session, leaders in the University and Research Leadership Forum will hear about trends in talent development in Kazakhstan and explore potential connections with the Forum’s future agenda. 

Presentation by Nazarbayev University. 


Next Steps

In this session, leaders in the University and Research Leadership Forum will discuss and agree on next steps for the Forum’s 2020 agenda.