CDA Invited Lectures, Keynotes & Panel-contributions


International Higher Education and Global Science: Europe-China relations in a Changing World Order

On 4 and 5 November 2021 a trilateral academic conference took place in Utrecht/The Netherlands. Jointly organised by Utrecht University and Georg-August-University of Goettingen/Germany and with support from the Volkswagen Foundation the hybrid event took place with some 250 attendants in the historic setting of the 16th century town palace Paushuize. Distinguished scholars from some of the world’s leading universities in Europe, China and the US met with young scholars to discuss how international higher education, global collaboration, open science, and Sino-European-US connections are evolving in the changing world order. The views of the European Commission were presented by the Science and Technology Section of the EU Delegation to China in Beijing.

Upon invitation of conference host Professor Marijk van der Wende (Utrecht University, University of California Berkeley, Shanghai Jiao Tong University/ARWU) CDA President Alexander G. Welzl contributed to a panel on day 1 of the conference chaired by the Joint Research Center of the European Commission.

In the conference panel on “External views, responses, and discussion” Alexander G. Welzl commented on the global, trilateral research agenda from the perspective of CDA together with Professor Cao Cong (University of Nottingham Ningbo) and Dr. Nana de Graaff (VU Amsterdam) chaired by Dr. Koen Jonkers (Joint Research Center, European Commission).

CDA panel contribution “It’s all about (human) evolution stupid!”

In his remarks Alexander G. Welzl highlighted PR China’s openness to learn and incorporate knowledge from other countries on the one hand and its societal evolution towards a novel national identity in the 21st century as being visualised in the high-tech industries as well as its design and architecture in Chinese metropolises. In the global context he referred to Prof. Simon Marginson’s (University of Oxford) keynote speech that the multilateral rules-based order is ‘blinkered by the colonial outlook with its sense of superiority’. Given the shift of weight in geoeconomics, geopolitics and geoinnovation towards the Pacific region in general and China in specific the narrative giving birth to the global governance architecture tailored as a consequence of the Second World War has to undergo an evolutionary change. Referring also to the ongoing climate conference COP 21 in Glasgow – the 26th meeting of the UN Member States discussing climate change since 1995 – Alexander G. Welzl underlined the need for multilateral, peaceful dialogue and learning to solve the Grand Challenges of mankind together. He therefore emphasized the need to develop planetary awareness and a novel Planetary Patriotism as an answer to the challenges mankind faces in the 21st century as described in the white paper of the Nobel Prize Summit ‘Our Planet, Our Future’ held in April 2021: “Our future in the Anthropocene”.


From right to left (physical-online panel): Nana de GRAAFF (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Alexander G. WELZL (CDA President), CAO Cong (University of Nottingham Ningbo), Koen JONKERS (Joint Research Center, European Commission)

At the occasion of this conference CDA President Alexander G. Welzl also met personally with keynote speaker Professor William C. Kirby and exchanged views on current developments of global research collaboration with Chinese universities and the importance of an evidence-based dialogue in the Sino-European-US trilateral relations. William C. Kirby is T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies at Harvard University and Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. He is a Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor and he serves as Chairman of the Harvard China Fund, the University's academic venture fund for China. Professor Kirby is Faculty Chair of the Harvard Center Shanghai, Harvard's first University-wide center located outside the United States, and he serves as member of the academic advisory board of Tsinghua University’s Schwarzman Scholars.


From right to left: William C. KIRBY (Harvard University & Harvard Business School), Alexander G. WELZL (CDA President)

17th International Symposium on Global Manufacturing and China (GMC 2021)

Titled “Rethinking Global Manufacturing: Resilience, Digitisation and Innovation / 重新思考全球化制造:韧性、数字化与创新“ the 17th International Symposium on Global Manufacturing and China (GMC 2021) started on 11th September 2021, the day of the 20th anniversary of 9/11. This annual event is jointly organized by two leading scientific institutions, the National Institute for Innovation Management (NIIM) at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou (P.R. China), and the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) at University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.


On behalf of the organizers Prof. WU Xiaobo, the Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences of Zhejiang University and Founding Director of NIIM, invited CDA’s President Alexander G. Welzl to give a keynote at this year’s GMC’21. In his speech Welzl addressed the novel notion of geo-innovation related to multinational enterprises in the context of the UN SDGs and the Green Deal of the European Commission.


The GMC’21 conference program and speaker’s bios on WeChat in China:

The GMC’21 conference booklet

The CDA keynote speech of CDA President Alexander G. Welzl


CDA President Alexander G. Welzl was invited as a panel speaker at the final conference of the international project “Academic Silk Road” planned to take place on 5th - 6th November 2020 as a blended international event co-organised jointly by Utrecht University (The Netherlands), University of Goettingen and Volkswagen Foundation (both Germany) with contributions from distinguished colleagues from University of Oxford, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Tsinghua University and Harvard University.


The draft program is available here.

The planned location for the physical conference being Herrenhausen Palace in Hanover (Germany). However due to the pandemic this blended event was finally cancelled.