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IBM Convenes Asia Pacific Education Summit in Shanghai to Prepare Talent for Innovation Economy


With the US, Europe, Japan, China and India facing a shortfall of 32 million technically specialized professionals between 2010 to 2020*, the need to focus on educating today’s youth with the skills required in a globally connected innovation economy has never been more important.

With a sense of urgency that this statistics highlights, more than 50 of Asia’s leading educators are gathered in Shanghai for the inaugural IBM (NYSE:IBM) Asia Pacific Reinventing Education Summit. The two-day Summit will address the challenges facing educators across Asia Pacific, offer delegates the opportunity to share experiences and the opportunity to hear from leading thinkers on the future of education.

Speakers include Prof. Rosabeth Moss Kanter, of Harvard University, Distinguished Professor Yong Zhao the Executive Director for the US-China Center for Research on Educational Excellence, Mr.Tom Bentley, Founding Director of the United Kingdom’s Demos Think Tank and Mr. Stanley Litow, Vice President, Corporate Community Relations and Corporate Affairs and President of the IBM Foundation.

According to Mr. Litow of IBM, the education imperative for countries around Asia Pacific is even greater with the emergence of the globally connected “Innovation Economy.”

“The innovation economy is generating entirely new requirements for talent and leadership so every country must respond and improve their education system to deliver students equipped with skills for the 21st century,” Mr. Litow said.

The summit aims to devise a collaborative response to this challenge and leverage new technologies to find the best way forward for each country.

“Schools are a vital training ground for innovation and we need to transform our education systems to prepare students to be innovators throughout their lives,” Mr.Litow added.

Delegates attending the Summit are drawn from 13 different countries and include leaders of government departments, education associations, universities and think tanks as well as school principals, university deans and education academics.

IBM, launched the Summit as one more initiative in its range of education programs. IBM invests around $100 million annually worldwide in education programs (see fact sheet for more details of these programs).

As part of the Summit delegates will be able to join local school children between the ages of 11 and 14 who will gather for The Science and Future of Gaming event, a recent addition to IBM’s volunteer “On Demand Community” program which encourages IBM employees to work with local school communities to help teach, inspire and support students.” The Science and Future of Gaming event focuses on demonstrating to children how they can have an exciting and varied career in science and technology – careers vital for the Innovation Economy.

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