By Jeff Harris, Duke Government Relations
This month, Duke University and the Global Innovation Forum co-hosted a breakfast discussion at the Duke in D.C. office for the university, startup, business and policy communities about how universities can foster innovation and entrepreneurship globally to empower students and evolve the university’s relationship with society. Participants from Duke and other universities, D.C. policymakers and others discussed current efforts at universities to foster innovation and the role public policy plays in enabling innovation at the university level and beyond.
Two leaders from Duke — David Rubenstein, chairman of Duke’s Board of Trustees and co-founder of The Carlyle Group, and Eric Toone, vice provost and director of Duke I&E — spoke about Duke’s efforts and the valuable role universities play in developing entrepreneurs.
“The university is going to have to make clear its value proposition to the people who pay their bills,” Toone said. “That’s going to involve taking the fundamental knowledge that grows in the university and turning it into real actions that have real impact on real people’s lives.”
The 90-minute roundtable explored issues such as how the relationship between the university and society is shifting to reflect 21st century, as well as the role policy should play in that. Participants also discussed the entrepreneurial business climate in the U.S. and the challenges and necessity of incorporating innovation and entrepreneurship into the university curriculum.