I believe that true learning extends beyond textbooks and lectures. It thrives within the realms of observation, discussion, and exploration of ideas. I extend a heartfelt invitation to each and every one of you. This summit is not a mere event but an opportunity for personal and collective growth. Your voice, your ideas, your opinions matter.
Dear Fellow Students and Visionaries:
As an international student who arrived in London with high hopes from India, I anticipated an enriching experience where I would have the opportunity to learn from peers hailing from various countries and studying a wide array of subjects across different departments. However, throughout the year, most of my lectures took place at the CCLS, Holborn campus (specially designated for postgraduate law students studying commercial and corporate law), leaving no opportunity to interact with students from other departments. Although the university sincerely endeavoured to foster connections, I found myself yearning for meaningful interactions and shared knowledge with students from other disciplines—ranging from management to medicine, architecture to biology, and of course, law—both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The absence of such cross-disciplinary exchanges left me feeling unsettled and unfulfilled.
I believe that true learning extends beyond textbooks and lectures. It thrives within the realms of observation, discussion, and exploration of ideas. And I knew that if I were to contribute meaningfully to solving the global challenges of poverty and wealth inequality and others, I would have to broaden my perspective beyond the confines of legal literature and knowledge. The world's complex problems require input from individuals of diverse backgrounds who will be future decision-makers. It became clear to me that interacting with students from various disciplines would be invaluable in shaping my worldview and preparing me for the complexities of the real world.
Yet, in addition to this challenge, I began to notice a troubling trend within our society and among students, which I sensed in India as well. The volatility of our world, driven by the forces of capitalism and various other unidentified factors, has led to a significant shift in the purpose of education. Increasingly, the focus has been narrowed solely to economic benefits, neglecting the broader scope of evolution. Personally, I find this shift deeply concerning. I firmly believe that the purpose of education is evolution at personal and societal levels. Evolving the scope and strength of human consciousness. We can strive for economic prosperity and sustenance only after achieving personal and collective evolution. I understand that my perspective may be met with varied reactions, but I feel compelled to pour out my emotions and share my observations, as they consistently occupy my mind.
To address these issues, I embarked on a journey of introspection, extensive reading, and engaging in discussions and debates. I pondered over what I could contribute to draw attention to these challenges and initiate efforts towards their resolution. As a student, I encountered stories from fellow students, even within my student accommodation, detailing their sacrifices and the challenges they faced along the way. This evoked a deep sense of concern within me, compelling me to raise my voice in search of solutions.
In this endeavour, I conceived the idea of "Idea for Humanity" in November of last year. The concept revolves around organising a summit where students from various departments unite, providing a platform for us to collectively address critical global challenges that affect all of humanity.
The objective was simple but profound – to create a space for open and honest dialogue surrounding critical global challenges. After all, who better than us, the future leaders of tomorrow, to address these pressing issues? We would collectively explore ways to combat these crises and pave the way for a better world. By immersing ourselves in these conversations, we, as concerned global citizens, can deepen our understanding, inspire one another, and cultivate solutions. History is replete with examples wherein a single idea has led to unprecedented innovation, altering the course of our collective future.
I eagerly proposed this idea as a motion during the Student Union Meeting last year. Despite encountering delays and challenges, it was finally accepted at the end of May this year, thanks to the invaluable support of Jonathan Otter, our Student Voice Manager at QMSU. Also, thanks to Alvin Ramsamy, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at QMSU, who made diligent efforts to hear my concerns and connect me with Jonathan. I am thrilled to announce that our efforts will culminate on July 27 2023, at the Bancroft Building, near Library Square on Mile End Campus. The idea is becoming a reality; hopefully, it will bring the desired change.
Selecting this year's topic was also a challenging task. After extensive discussion with Jonathan, we arrived at the subject of Artificial Intelligence and how it’s evolving education. The rationale behind this choice lies in my realisation of the rapid advancements in AI, particularly since November when OpenAI launched ChatGPT, a product that unveiled the technology's true potential. Through its continuous use and exploration, coupled with statements from Elon Musk and Sam Altman's testimony in the Senate Hearing and insights gained from Lex Fridman's podcasts and various literature on the subject, my concerns deepened. It became evident that young people like us, currently enrolled in colleges, face a future that is characterised by volatility and unpredictability. Hence, understanding the implications of AI and striving to effect change became of paramount importance.
At this point, some of you may question the relevance of the summit's topic, "AI Is Evolving Education," particularly if it seems distant from your chosen field of study. However, I humbly implore my peers to consider that by comprehending the impact of AI on education, we gain a broader understanding of AI as a whole. Engaging in conversations allows us to grasp this future technology's fundamental roots and complexities. If we fail to address or mishandle this burgeoning force, it could potentially become a threat to our very existence. AI is here to stay; it will disrupt and impact every industry. By transforming the way AI shapes education, we can raise awareness and equip ourselves with the skills needed to navigate this technology in the future. Although I do not claim expertise in this field, my concern arises from the knowledge that AI is rapidly advancing. I risk being left behind if I do not stand up and take action.
Thus, I extend a heartfelt invitation to each and every one of you. This summit is not a mere event but an opportunity for personal and collective growth. Your voice, your ideas, your opinions matter. Share your stories, your aspirations, and your questions. Share your ideas, opinions, and suggestions or pose thought-provoking questions on the day of the summit. Simply indicate your query while filling out the form, and your voice will be heard.
Additionally, the summit will facilitate networking opportunities, allowing you to connect with individuals from various departments. Who knows, such connections may even pave the way for future entrepreneurial endeavours!
I eagerly await your presence at the summit.
Together, WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
With unwavering determination,
The Idea for Humanity Summit is taking place on Thursday 27 July 10am-3:45pm in Bancroft Building. This event is FREE for students with lunch provided. Sign up for FREE here.