Global Grand Challenges Summit 2019


Location:London, UK

Host:Royal Academy of Engineering;US National Academy of Engineering;Chinese Academy of Engineering

Organizer:Royal Academy of Engineering;US National Academy of Engineering;Chinese Academy of Engineering



The first in a second series of the grand challenges events in collaboration with the National Academy of Engineering in the USA and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the Summit will convene speakers not only within the industry but beyond.

The Summit is taking place at the Queen Elizabeth II Hall on London’s South Bank, overlooking the Thames, offering a central location for discussion.

Please note that Summit timings, details, sessions and speakers are subject to change. 

GGCS Agenda (273.36 KB)


Monday 16 September 

Afternoon  Registration
Evening  Welcome reception

Tuesday 17 September

Morning Registration

Welcome session: The role of engineering in an unpredictable world 

Young speakers present their vision for engineering and technology in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering

  Opening keynote

Better businesses: What do AI and transformational technologies mean to the world of work?

AI and other data-driven technologies are transforming industries, from manufacturing to healthcare, all around the world. This session will explore the technologies underpinning this revolution and their integration into our businesses and workplaces. How can businesses take advantage of these technologies to address social and business needs? And what sort of workforce do they need to make that happen?


Ethical AI: What does 'good' digital technology look like?

AI and other digital technologies increasingly let us outsource our decision making. This generates huge opportunities but also significant ethical questions. What decisions should machines be allowed to make? Will they deliver fair and equitable answers? And how will we know if they go wrong? This session will explore these questions, and the role of engineers in delivering responsible technology to drive positive change


Transformational technology: How will new innovations revolutionise our world?

In this session, speakers will present their visions for how two cutting-edge technologies – space travel and autonomous vehicles – have the potential to change the way we live in cities and communities around the world (and maybe beyond!)


Improving lives: The transformational impact of engineering innovation

This session will showcase entrepreneurs supported by the Academy’s international programmes who have developed scalable technology solutions to local challenges, delivering improved quality of life and economic development

Evening  Intergenerational evening events 

Wednesday 18 September

Morning Opening address

Student Co-lab competition final

This session will see the top four Student Collaboration Lab event mixed country teams pitch their innovations to the Summit


Increasing resilience: How can engineering reduce the risks of climate change?

Delivering a sustainable energy supply, while mitigating the risks associated with changing climate, is undoubtedly one the toughest and most pressing challenges of our time, for developing countries and advanced economies alike. This session will explore how engineers can help address these dual challenges and deliver a low carbon resilient global future


Future cities: How do we create sustainable living places for 10 billion people?

Increasing numbers of people creates increasing demand for appropriate housing, workplaces, and access to food, water, energy, and waste services. Will smarter technology in ever-bigger cities be the answer? Or is there an alternative future? This session will explore the central role engineers must play in meeting these challenges, and moving our cities towards a circular economy


Future wellbeing: How do we sustain a healthy population of 10 billion?

New technologies, from AI doctors to novel neural interfaces, have the potential to deliver life changing health benefits or even to change humanity itself. But is technology always the best way to improve wellbeing? Will it be accessible to 10billion people? And who decides where limits should lie?

  Closing session
Evening  Closing reception 

Keyword tag


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