UNGA 78 | The role of universities in boosting the economy


Universities can play a vital role in bolstering local economies. In the United States and Brazil, for example, universities and research institutions are driving job creation and innovation and strengthening the economy. In many countries, however, higher education institutions are more narrowly focused on awarding qualifications and academic research, with less importance placed on the role of universities in spurring innovation.

In this roundtable discussion, held at the Goals House pop-up in New York City on the sidelines of the 2023 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Summit and the United Nations General Assembly, Community Jameel and guests will discuss the distinct role universities play in boosting local economies. The roundtable will look, in particular, at the MIT-Jameel World Education Lab and its plan for Campus Innovation Hubs

With only seven years left to meet the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the discussion will tackle four key themes:

  1. The role of universities as engines of economic growth and the future of work
  2. What lessons we can learn from the US and Brazilian market
  3. Current funding structures towards universities, with a focus on emerging markets and developing economies
  4. Devising a template for transforming the role of universities in emerging markets and developing economies using the MIT-Jameel World Education Lab’s plan for Campus Innovation Hubs as a case study
Goals House, Tavern on the Green, Central Park West, New York City
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Andrew Jack

Global education editor, Financial Times

Anjali Sastry

Faculty director, Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab

Paolo Nussenzveig

Provost for research and innovation, University of São Paulo

Renee Robins

Executive director, Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab

Dr Luis Benveniste

Global Director, Education, World Bank

Deborah Quazzo

Managing Partner, GSV Ventures

Julia Quinn

Director of philanthropy, Citadel

George Richards

Director, Community Jameel



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