Washington, DC
July 18 – 20, 2017


To download a printable copy of the event agenda, CLICK HERE


Tuesday, July 18, 2017  Pre-Summit Events

9:00 AM – 8:00 PM


Registration Open for the GGCS

 George Washington University
21st and H St NW
Marvin Center, 3rd Floor, Grand Ballroom
 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM Student Day Business Model Competition
NAS Building, 21st and Constitution Ave NW
(teams selected by prior competition;
competitors/mentors can pick up their
registration materials at the NAS building on Monday)
Observers Welcome - See Student Day Agenda
 2:50 – 6:00 PM "Change the World" Student Event
(Pre-registration now closed)
National Academy of Sciences Building, Washington, DC
ALL DAY FIRST Global Robotics Competition
 DAR Constitution Hall, 17th and D ST NW
Observers Welcome. Visit: http://first.global
 6:00 – 9:00 PM Summit Opening Reception
University Yard Tent,
George Washington University,
21st and H St NW

Wednesday, July 19, 2017



Global Grand Challenges Summit
George Washington University


7:00 – 8:15 AM Breakfast
University Yard Tent, 21st and H St NW
8:25 – 8:30 AM General Welcome and Introductions of Academy Speakers
 Lisner Auditorium, 21st and H St NW
Gordon England, National Academy of Engineering Chair
8:30 – 9:00 AM Academy Presidents Welcoming Remarks
Zhou Ji, The Chinese Academy of Engineering
David Thomlinson, The Royal Academy of Engineering
C. Dan Mote, Jr., The National Academy of Engineering
  Keynote Addresses
 Lisner Auditorium
 Moderator: Ali Velshi, Chief Business Correspondent, NBC News and Anchor of MSNBC Live
 9:00 – 9:45 AM Keynote: Rajiv Shah, President, Rockefeller Foundation
9:45 – 10:30 AM Keynote: CAE-- To be announced
10:30 – 11:10 AM Break
  University Yard Tent
 11:10 – 11:55 AM Keynote: Alec Broers, Member, UK House of Lords; Member, Original Grand Challenges Committee
11:55 AM – 12:30 PM
Lunch and Student Poster Session
University Yard Tent
12:30 – 1:35 PM Student Poster Session
1:45 – 3:05 PM 1st Workshop: Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence
Lisner Auditorium
Moderator: Ali Velshi
Virtual Reality: After Half a Century, it’s Finally Here - But This is Only the Beginning
Michael Abrash, Chief Scientist, Oculus VR
Advances in Deep Learning Research for Building Intelligent Computer Systems
Jeffrey Dean, Google Senior Fellow, Google
3:05 – 3:45 PM Afternoon Break
University Yard Tent
3:45 – 5:05 PM 2nd Workshop: Engineering and Healthcare
Lisner Auditorium
Moderator: Ali Velshi
 Engineering Biomaterials for Human Health
Molly Stevens, Professor, Imperial College
The Engineering Challenge of Anti-Microbial Resistence
Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, United Kingdom
5:05 – 5:45 PM Grand Challenges Scholars Program
Moderator: Thomas Katsouleas, Provost, University of Virginia
Student Speakers from the Grand Challenge Scholars Program:
Ellen Chisa, Harvard University
Kushal Seetharam, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Aaron Gordon, Clemson University
Amara Uyanna, University of Texas, Austin
6:00 – 8:00 PM All GGCS Attendees Reception
Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC
 7:00 - 9:00 PM Sponsor Dinner, by Invitation
8:00 – 10:00 PM Student-Sponsor Networking Social Event
GWU Marvin Center, 3rd Floor, 21st and H St

Thursday, July 20, 2017


7:00 – 8:15 AM Breakfast
University Yard Tent
8:25 – 9:45 AM 3rd Workshop: Sustainability
Lisner Auditorium
Moderator: Ali Velshi, Chief Business Correspondent, NBC News and Anchor of MSNBC Live
The Increasing Risks of the Global Climate Change and Sustainable Governance
Ding Yihui, Senior Advisor, China Meteorological Administration
Urbanization: Its Global Challenges and the New China Solutions
Wu Zhiqiang, Vice President, Tongji University
9:45 – 10:15 AM Morning Break
University Yard Tent
10:20 – 11:40 AM 4th Workshop: Re-engineer the Brain
Lisner Auditorium
Moderator: Ali Velshi
Understanding the Circuit Elements That Make Up a Brain
Christof Koch, President and Chief Scientific Officer, Allen Institute for Brain Science
Miniaturized and Minimally Invasive Interfaces to the Brain
Rikky Muller, Professor, UC Berkeley
11:40 AM – 12:25 PM
A Discussion with Martha Lane Fox,
Entrepreneur, Member, UK House of Lords
Moderator: Ali Velshi
12:25 – 1:45 PM Lunch and Brain Storming Session
University Yard Tent
Small Group Discussions, Participants Choose Preferred Topics During Registration
1:55– 3:15 PM Education/Public Engagement
Lisner Auditorium
Moderator: Ali Velshi, Chief Business Correspondent, NBC News and Anchor of MSNBC Live
 Education Panelists:
Scott Settar, Program Manager, Technology and Engineering Education and STEAM Integration, Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia
Pamela Brumfield, Principal, Thomas A. Edison High School, Alexandria, Virginia
Katherine Shirey, Program Manager, Lever Engineering Group, Knowles Science Teaching Foundation
Francis Reyes, Global STEM Challenges Program Participant,  Edison High School, Alexandria, Virginia
Public Engagement Panelists:
Deanne Bell, Host of CNBC’s “Make Me a Millionaire Inventor”
Dean Kamen, Inventor, Entrepreneur, Founder of FIRST Robotics
Tim Kaine U.S. Senator (D-VA)
3:15 – 3:45 PM Next Steps: Brainstorming Wrap-up
Moderator: Richard Miller, President, Olin College
Yannis Yortsos, Dean of Engineering, USC
Thomas Katsouleas, Provost, UVA
3:45 – 4:15 PM GGCS Student Awards
Moderators: Yannis Yortsos, USC
Rod Makoske, Senior Vice President Corporate Engineering, Technology and Operations, Lockheed Martin
Student Day Competition Winners
Poster Winners
4:15 – 4:35 PM Closing Remarks
C. Dan Mote, Jr., National Academy of Engineering
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GGCS Student Poster Competition

The 2017 Global Grand Challenges Summit includes an opportunity for students to present research posters. Graduate and undergraduate students were invited to submit abstracts of their research for consideration. Over 100 selected abstracts were chosen for the poster presentation, which will take place during an extended lunchtime session (11:55am to 1:35pm) at the Summit on July 19th, 2017.

Evening Activities

GWU University Yard

FIRST and GGCS Evening Reception

GGCS participants are invited to join FIRST attendees to enjoy light hors d’oeuvres at a welcome reception, held at University Yard, on the campus of George Washington University. Suggested attire is business casual.

Evening of July 18, 2017


GGCS Welcome Reception

GGCS participants are invited to enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres at a reception at the United States Institute of Peace, on Constitution Avenue, overlooking the National Mall and Lincoln Memorial. The GGCS welcome reception will give attendees the opportunity to interact with Summit speakers, and fellow attendees. Suggested attire is business casual.

Evening of July 19, 2017

Top 5 Reasons to Attend the 2017 Global Grand Challenges Summit

Wide Audience

GGCS will bring together a diverse group of individuals ranging from promising students and early-career engineers to renowned international experts.

Speakers & Sessions

The Summit combines plenary speakers and technical sessions that ensure interactions between the audience and speakers to forge new insights into the Grand Challenges for Engineering.


Aiming to inspire not only engineers but also artists, economists, designers, philosophers, scientists, politicians, industry leaders, and educators to address humanity's important challenges and opportunities.


The interactive nature of the Summit will provide many opportunities to network and create lasting connections with other attendees.

Unique Location

The Summit will be held in Washington, DC, vibrant US capital and home to the US National Academy of Engineering, host of the 2017 GGCS.

Due to overwhelming response, registration for the Global Grand Challenges Summit has reached capacity and is now closed.

Please click on a link below to be added to the waitlist.