Sub-session on International Relations
Theme: China-U.S. relations and its impact on the world
The pattern of China-U.S. relations has entered a state of flux. Bilateral relations are on a downward trend, with increasing competition across an array of areas and a sharp decline in cooperation. Despite the first phase of the bilateral economic and trade agreement reached in January 2020, the two countries have failed to prevent continued deterioration of the relations. In particular, the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 epidemic has brought new and huge uncertainties to China-U.S. relations. As two major countries with important influence on the world, the differences and contradictions between China and the U.S. have a great impact on international and regional dynamics. How to improve future China-U.S. relations has become a topic of concern and aroused heated discussion between China and the U.S. and even beyond. In view of this, the Sub-session on International Relations of the 4th TCF will discuss around the topic of “China-U.S. relations and its impact on the world”.
I. Can China-U.S. relations be “restarted” after the 2020 U.S. presidential election?
II. To what extent will China and the U.S. “decouple” and how will this affect China, the U.S. and the world?
III. How to perceive China-U.S. relations at present and that in the future?
Sub-session on Education and Culture
Theme: Construct the spectrum of vocational ability of future talents
Digital technology is not only profoundly changing the demand of future industries for talented people, but deeply transforming people’s modes of life, and ways of learning and working. Against the backdrop of the rapid development of digital technology and the continuous advancement of globalization, the cross-border and cross-industry flows of professionals have become increasingly frequent. Some professionals have transformed from traditionally centralized occupations to independent and network-aggregated occupations. There are significant changes in the structure and construction of the future talent’s vocational ability spectrum.
On the supply side of novel vocational talents, how should various entities of vocational education (government, colleges, teachers, students and enterprises) adapt to the changes and cultivate professionals in line with the needs of the times? On the demand side of novel vocational talents, how should enterprises identify the growth path and professional abilities of their employees to save the cost of interviewing and employing personnel?
I. Major changes of countries in their vocational qualification framework
1. Germany, the UK, the U.S., and Australian governments, among others, are undergoing a new round of vocational qualification framework adjustment. How do these adjustments reflect new changes of the industrial demands for skill sets and what new characteristics will be brought to countries’ vocational education?
2. How does China’s vocational education adapt to new changes?
3. What are the attempts, dilemmas and practical ways for China to build a vocational qualification framework?
II. The construction and identification of the ability spectrum of novel vocational talents
1. The role of enterprises in developing the ability spectrum of novel vocational talents;
2. Motivation and positioning of enterprises to participate in the development of the micro-certificate (1 + X certificate);
3. New prospects brought by new technologies for mapping the ability spectrum and growth path of vocational talents;
4. How do enterprises identify and track the growth path of novel vocational talents?
III. Bridge-building for multilateral cooperation
1. In the process of a new round of adjustment for vocational qualification frameworks, how can vocational education of different countries connect effectively with each other?
2. The significance of the multilateral vocational qualification framework for multinational enterprises.
3. How can China’s vocational education achieve cooperation in the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)?
Sub-session on Advanced Technology
Theme: Maintaining global biosecurity through emerging science, technology and innovative mechanisms
Since the beginning of the 21st century, there have been outbreaks of new and sudden infectious diseases throughout the world, and in particular, COVID-19 that outbroke at the beginning of 2020, have seriously affected the health of mankind and the economic well-being of all countries. The outbreak of new and sudden infectious diseases not only threatens human life causing large-scale casualties, but also threatens to disrupt society and suggests changes to the international order.
The issue of biosecurity has expanded beyond the scope of pure laboratory research and emerged as a common security challenge of all humanity. The international community needs to work together to strengthen the building of a system for biosecurity risk prevention and control as well as governance, and to reinforce the biosecurity governance capability. Evolving and emerging technologies will play a critical role in enhancing global biosecurity and providing effective solutions to new and emerging global infectious diseases.
While it is true that recent developments in biotechnology, including gene editing and synthetic biology, may pose a threat to biosecurity, they also offer great benefits to human health. For example, biological software algorithms, biosecurity key equipment manufacturing, and biosecurity protection R&D, among others, have enhanced biosecurity; big data and AI technologies are of great value in epidemic forecast and control, vaccine R&D, and social governance during the epidemic period; automated logistics and freight distribution provide an effective and efficient delivery mechanism in scenarios where no physical contact is desired. The question is then, how do we encourage and facilitate emerging science and technology to bring all of the potential benefits to humanity, while minimizing the risks that such endeavours may present?
I. Key technologies requiring breakthroughs in biosecurity
Science and technology is one of the most important means to solve biosecurity, covering a wide variety of areas from material, medicine, computing, to equipment manufacturing. Identifying the key technologies requiring breakthroughs in biosecurity could help grasp the initiative as soon as possible.
II. How to build efficient early warning mechanisms for biosecurity
The best ways of dealing with emerging biosecurity issues are instantaneous warning and early intervention. We are about to enter an intelligently-connected era, and how to capitalize on current advanced digital technologies to build efficient early warning mechanisms is the key to maintain biosecurity.
1. Overview and existing problems of global and national biosecurity early warning mechanisms;
2. The role of artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing and other technologies in biosecurity early warning mechanisms;
3. How to establish and improve biosecurity early warning and global linkage mechanisms?
III. How to strengthen the ability of social control and governance in the period of biological crisis
Sudden biological crises, such as infectious diseases, will have a huge impact on social order and test the ability to govern the flow of people, goods and information. Such crises will also challenge the existing prevention and control as well as treatment protocols, and the allocation of resources. How to use relevant technology to provide support for social governance is the premise of effective crisis control.
1. How to establish an efficient and timely transportation and distribution mechanism for goods during the crisis period?
2. How to effectively control the risks arising from the movement of people during the crisis period?
3. How to establish an authoritative information dissemination mechanism during the crisis period, and how to effectively news reporting with crisis prevention and control?
IV. Scientific and technological ethics and legal issues in the field of biosecurity
Biosecurity systems cannot be separated from scientific and technological ethics and laws and regulations, which are critical in preventing problems before they occur. It is important to clarify the existing ethical issues and legal loopholes or problems in biosecurity to help minimize the risk of biological crisis and provide institutional guarantees for biosecurity.
1. Ethical boundaries of biological laboratories;
2. Relationship between crisis prevention and control and personal privacy protection;
3. Special mechanisms for the prevention and treatment of new drugs and new therapies during crises;
4. The experiences of countries in the construction of biosecurity legal system that can be used for reference.
Youth Dialogue Session: AGORA: TAIHE VISION
Panel I: Education
Impact of COVID-19:
1. How effective has been online learning during the COVID-19 and what did we learn to evaluate what aspects of the online classes should be improved?
2. What are new unprecedented challenges that the education system will face after the COVID-19 and what are the possible solutions?
3. Given the outbreak’s tremendous and profound impact on education sector, what measures are needed to mitigate the psychological stress of the COVID-19 on learners?
Online VS Offline Education:
4. How to discover the right blend between online and offline system of education to get education better delivered?
5. If the online learning becomes a new normal and a home becomes the learning environment, how will it affect friends circle, behavior and socio-emotional skills of new generation in long run?
Technology in Education:
6. Can traditional campus-based education institutions adjust themselves to use the new technologies and approaches for educating, motivating and engaging their students?
7. In light of reorienting to e-learning education during the COVID-19, what are the best practices and expectations from technology? What is the role of technology in educational reform?
8. What can be done to mitigate digital divide and how to enhance digital literacy for self-guided learners?
9. The global pandemic has revolutionized the online learning landscape and reshaped application and management processes. Is the COVID-19 crisis driving a long-overdue revolution in the global education system or it’s just a temporary homeschooling?
10. What adaptable policies should be taken to work with the dynamics of the current evolving situation and how to make the education system more resilient?
Panel II: Climate change
1. Will the actions we take today be enough to prevent the impacts of climate change or is it too little and too late? How much time is left until climate is irreversible?
2. What lessons we learnt from COVID-19 pandemic for climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies? How to build climate resilience management and how to adapt to new climate realities if the worst scenario is yet to come?
3. There’s a vast and growing gap between the urgency to fight climate change and the policies needed to combat it. How to bring people and communities along with the move to green and sustainable economy or it all comes down to political will?
4. How has COVID-19 crisis impacted our ability to tackle climate change and act on the climate crisis? What steps can be taken by governments to align their policy to benefit climate change in a post-COVID economy?
5. How has climate changed in the past? What is the difference of the current climate change compared to earlier changes in Earth's history?
6. Extensive carbon emission started since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution which brought to rise of average temperature of the Earth's climate system, how is the Technological Revolution helping in its downturn?
7. If emissions of greenhouse gases are reduced, how quickly would their concentrations in the atmosphere decrease? If we take action now, is it going to make a difference in our
8. How will cutting greenhouse gases emission affect the countries in terms of cost? How to manage both sustainable development and cut gases emissions, especially for developing countries where their economy heavily depends on it?
9. What are the direct impacts of the global pandemic on our climate in term of reducing carbon emission by closing the borders, restricting airplanes, locking down the cities and shutting down the plants and factories? How will the pandemic reshape the energy transition?
10. Given that renewable sources provide only a small percentage of our energy, what can we realistically do to get off fossil fuels as soon as possible and what other alternative sources do we need to reduce carbon dioxide emission?
11. Given the tendencies in rise of global temperatures and its consequences, what are the best and worst scenarios we can predict?
12. If climate is changing, why are some winters still very cold and summers hot? Why is the cold weather so extreme if the Earth is warming? How is extreme weather changing?
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