Review of the 2023 STS Forum

The 20th Annual Meeting of the Science and Technology in Society Forum (STS forum) was held in Kyoto, Japan from 1st to 3rd October, 2023. The STS forum was founded in 2004 by Koji Omi to bring together scientists and global leaders in the fields of politics, business and academia to meet and discuss how science and technology will impact the future health and sustainability of the planet.

The vision of the 20th Annual meeting was ‘strengthening the lights and controlling the shadows of science and technology’. Our Managing Partner, Mr. Rajesh Narain Gupta attended this 3-day conference along with our Senior Partner & Head of Corporate Practice, Mr. Amit Aggarwal, Partner & Head of Japan Desk, Mr. Ashish Kumar. The conference witnessed many round table discussions on topics of paramount importance. The session which caught our interest the most were ‘Green Technologies’ and ‘AI in Health’, which discussed how to make optimum use of the ever-advancing technology for the benefit of humankind and simultaneously keeping a check on its adverse impacts on nature. The session, Resilient Urban Environments, discussed the need to build sustainability practices in the far remote regions of the world as well as the need to understand the economic scalability of sustainability and the role innovation can play in this area. You may follow the link  to learn about the various sessions held during the forum.

The STS Forum was attended by nearly 1,500 global leaders in science and technology, policymaking, business, and media from over 80 countries, regions, and international organizations. Our Managing Partner, Mr. Gupta recollects his experience of attending the conference as an ‘absolute enriching experience’. He says, “the forum gave an opportunity to rub shoulders and hear the top academicians, scientists, doctors, technological experts and Nobel Prize laureates, including experts from India”. Further, he adds that “in an age where environmental issues and AI are top global priorities around the world, it is important to understand where we currently stand and the best possible way forward”.

Mr. Aggarwal feels the STS Forum is a melting pot for the finest brains from the world of science and technology. The brain-storming sessions and the experiences shared by the speakers will undoubtedly pave a path to finding solutions to multiple problems in AI, health, environment and science.

Mr. Kumar, for whom this was an astounding experience, was selected as Future Leader among other outstanding future leaders in 2017 by the Forum and was invited to participate in the Future Leaders Network and Dialogue between Future Leaders and Nobel Laureates. This year, he attended as Young Leader and actively participated in the special Young Leaders Alumni meeting where he contributed to discussions on the topic Environment/Climate Change/Bioeconomy/Bio sustainability. During the session on Science and Technology for Business chaired by Mr. Terry Brady, President and CEO, UL Research Institutes, USA with senior officials from Toyota Motor Corporation, Dell Technologies, Toshiba Corporation, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd. and Noble Laureate Mr. J. Georg Bednorz  as speakers, Mr. Kumar highlighting the disconnect of law and public policy with the rapid development of science and technology, called upon world leaders to seriously consider this issue. He raised the question of the need to have a global platform with suitable representation from policy makers, scientists and industry experts to align policy with industry and scientific expectations. He proposed the creation of a comprehensive guide of best practices, rules, and regulations to be ratified and adopted by participating nations, promoting research and development of new technology for the larger benefit of mankind.

The spirit of the STS forum fondly reminded us of the vision for this year’s G20 Summit, ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ – One Earth, One Family, One Future.

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