Soumitra has called for the creation of a global network among universities to fast-track innovation and technology in tackling world-scale challenges.
Soumitra Dutta, Peter Moores Dean and Professor of Management, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, was speaking at a plenary session of the Business 20 (B20) Inception Meeting in India on January 23. He called for global collaboration between businesses, entrepreneurs and universities to create ‘clusters of excellence’ and bolster the response of governments around world in tackling crises.
B20 is the official G20 dialogue forum with the global business community, and the meeting comes ahead of September’s G20 summit in India.
Soumitra said: ‘In order to solve the geo-techno challenges, the industry, businesses and academia must collaborate on research and development. A global network of universities and clusters of excellence must be created to speed up innovation.’
What the students, business leaders of the future, and faculties need is inspiration as there is no shortage of capital, Soumitra told the B20 plenary session titled ‘rethinking and revitalizing innovation to drive inclusive impact’.
‘I do think, today, if I look at entrepreneurship and innovation, there is a need for more inspiration. I honestly do not think capital is a constraint, I think inspiration is the most important issue. If students are inspired, if faculties are inspired, they do great things,’ Soumitra said.
Commenting that ‘we live in times of global crises, yet unprecedented opportunities’, he asked:
‘The question really is how I inspire. The most common source of inspiration is another individual - another fellow colleague, another student, another professor who has done something great. So, can we, in fact, try to build a global platform across universities that connects entrepreneurs, faculty members, together with other relevant industry leaders?’
Soumitra said, ‘A lot of the solutions we seek for the global crises will have to come from technology and innovation, the government alone cannot solve all these challenges. Business will have to play a very key role.
‘The universities are another important partner in the solution, because the universities have to be sources of talent, research and innovation in countries all around the world.’
While universities have made progress in terms of research, supporting entrepreneurship and innovations of various kinds, a lot more can be done for which inspiration is required, he stressed.
Entrepreneurs who are successful professionals would also benefit from interacting with students and faculty across the world in different universities, Soumitra said.
‘Can we together, under the auspices of G20 and B20, propose a global network of universities that connect right talent and individuals across them and perhaps even think of more interesting configurations like creating clusters of excellence?’, Soumitra proposed.
The B20 India 2023 dialogue takes place under the theme of 'RAISE', an acronym for responsible, accelerated, innovative, sustainable and equitable businesses. The dialogue focuses on developing strategies that will enable business action towards driving faster, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth, according to Natarajan Chandrasekaran, B20 India Chair. Its plenary sessions bring together global policy makers, thought leaders and heads of international organisations.
India holds the current term presidency of G-20 or Group of Twenty, an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union which works to address major issues related to the global economy, such as international financial stability, climate change mitigation, and sustainable development.
Soumitra is the creator and founder of two important global technology indices, namely the Global Innovation Index and Network Readiness Index.