Students Brainstorm over Earth's Future

10/21/2011 1:18:16 PM

Eight of 10 students want universities to revamp traditional learning environments while over 90 percent want to join or start a green advocacy group on their campus. 64 percent of students believe that the world has a chance to reverse carbon emissions by 2025, and 60 percent believe that education and efficient transportation offer the best hope for sustainability of our cities.

These are just a few of the findings of a "crowdsourcing" process held by IBM called the Smarter Planet University Jam. Nearly 2,000 students and faculty from more than 200 universities from 40 countries took part in the Jam along with top IBM personnel, clients and business partners.

"Jammers" contributed hundreds of progressive insights, brainstorming on topics including the skills students need to be competitive in the globally integrated economy; environmental protection, water management and conservation; fostering pollution-free and inexpensive energy; and providing advanced healthcare as the world's population continues to grow rapidly, especially in developing nations.

Jammers foresaw the need to create a new model of university education around smarter campuses, which are interconnected, enriched and fed by on-the-ground knowledge being developed over social networks. Universities would incorporate broader use of virtual environments and videoconferencing to enhance learning, interaction, networking and communication. In a poll conducted during the Jam, 82 percent of those polled believed that "virtual worlds" are a great place to learn these future skills.

In addition, faculty and student jam participants contributed over 100 examples and ideas of how their universities are, or could be, "going green," including:

   --  Using deterrents like expensive campus parking to encourage walking, extra charges for plastic bags in all campus shops, and setting weekly printing limits.
   
   --  Solar powered and LEED-certified campus buildings, and electric campus vehicles, to promote smart energy use.
   
For more information, visit  http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/presskit/27726.wss

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