Shared ambition – Changing the world through collaboration

05 May 2011

Necker Team Photo April2011

Leading researchers from the School’s most cutting edge institutes have returned to Oxford after showcasing their latest findings to a select audience of entrepreneurs and philanthropists.

Last month the School joined forces with Sir Richard Branson to explain the level of impact our research can have on the greatest challenges and opportunities of the future, and how business leaders can help affect positive change.

The event which took place on Sir Richard’s private Caribbean island provided an opportunity for directors of five of the School’s research institutes to work with entrepreneurs and philanthropists from around the world.

The School’s Director, Dr Ian Goldin, led the team of speakers:

“‘Oxford meets Necker’ provided a wonderfully enjoyable and productive opportunity for leading professors from Oxford University to engage deeply with entrepreneurs and philanthropists. The resulting cocktail of professors from the Oxford Martin School and leaders from business and foundations allowed for discussions which I am confident will translate into advances in research and in actions which make a real difference to tackling the problems of the world.”

Professor Yadvinder Malhi, Director of the Oxford Centre for Tropical Forests who was among the academics at the event, noted that Necker Island is an example of a relatively intact Caribbean ecosystem, with many species reintroduced and thriving whilst being almost extinct in much of the region. He explained:

“A walk through the intact ecosystems of Necker Island was a thought-provoking insight into what much of the Caribbean might have looked like at the time of Columbus. It gave the delegates a chance to engage with their environment and develop a greater understanding of how they can help preserve it for future generations. I had the pleasure of being able to give the second half of my talk from a beach on Mosquito Island, getting the audience to hug and measure toxic trees, measure the carbon flow from the dry forests and walk over the island."

The event was the first stage of what is hoped will be an ongoing collaboration with Virgin Unite to catalyze and build a community of entrepreneurs engaging with academics and their latest research.