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Can cities solve problems countries can’t? How will cities shape the future? These are some of the questions academics, business and government leaders from around the world will discuss at the 2016 Chicago Forum on Global Cities. Among them will be a Stellenbosch University student.
Rickus Cronje, a master’s student in industrial engineering, is part of a student delegation that will attend the conference in the US from 1-3 June 2016. He will join students from the US, UK, China, Mexico, Israel, Canada, Ireland, Singapore and Taiwan who will engage with global leaders like Henry M. Paulson, former secretary of the US Treasury, Carl Bild, former prime minister and foreign minister of Sweden, and Tessa Jowell, member of the House of Lords in the UK.
Drawn from the fields of architecture, economics, environmental engineering, international affairs, political science, public policy and urban planning the students will deliberate on issues affecting global cities.
Rickus, who will travel to Chicago at the end of May, says he is excited about the “diversity of respected global leaders” who will be at the conference.
“These are leaders in major pillars of urban life—business innovators, education visionaries, cultural luminaries, civic pioneers and they represent a large part of the world. It is wonderful that they will discuss how they improve their cities. The goal is to collaborate to improve the world. I’m also very excited to engage with the rest of the student delegation.”
Rickus says he wants to contribute to inclusive innovation, sustainability and community development in South Africa. He hopes to pursue a career in renewable energy and to contribute to faith-based organisations.
“My study aims to contribute towards renewable energy technology usage in South Africa through the development of a business model that could allow renewable energy technology to skip or ‘leapfrog’ national grid electricity in informal settlements. I will look at Enkanini, an informal settlement in Stellenbosch and take pointers from Stellenbosch University’s iShack project.”
Rickus nomination and selection came through the Postgraduate & International Office and School of Public Leadership.