University of Pretoria to host first Nobel Prize Dialogue to take place in Africa

Nobel Prize Outreach and the University of Pretoria (UP) are pleased to announce that UP will host the first Nobel Prize Dialogue to be held in Africa, on 18 and 19 May 2021. Nobel Laureates from across the world will participate in the meeting, with ‘The Future of Work’ as its theme. Topics that will be discussed include, among others, the working skills people will need in future, and what can be done to create hope for a younger generation, given technological developments.

The Nobel Prize Dialogue has been inspired by the Nobel Week Dialogue, which has been taking place in Sweden since 2012 on the day preceding the Nobel Prize award ceremony. Since then it has been organised in many countries across the world, but this will be the first time it takes place on the African continent. The conference will be open to the public and entry will be free of charge.

“This is the first time we will host an event in South Africa and we look forward to intense discussions, not least with young people,” says Laura Sprechmann, Nobel Prize Outreach CEO. “We all see the urgency in having an informed dialogue about how working life may evolve in the coming years.”

The Nobel Prize Dialogue aims to bring science and society closer and stimulate creative thinking by gathering a unique constellation of Nobel Laureates, key opinion leaders, policy makers, students, researchers and the general public. Many questions will be raised during the dialogue, such as: What is the ‘new normal’ for working life? What benefits does diversity bring to the workplace? How does an ageing global population change the labour market? And how is in the COVID-19 pandemic changing the nature of work?

“We are extremely excited about the prospect of hosting the first-ever Nobel Prize Dialogue in South Africa at the University of Pretoria,” says Professor Tawana Kupe, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria. “We look forward to welcoming Nobel Laureates and other speakers to our campus to discuss the very important and relevant topic of ‘The Future of Work’. I believe that given the current situation with the uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the theme will provide for robust and thought-provoking discussions. We look forward to welcoming Nobel Laureates, speakers and scholars to the UP campus.”

More information about the dialogue will be made available as soon as the programme has been finalised. While it is still uncertain whether UP will be able to host an in-person event in light of COVID-19 restrictions, the University is working on plans to host a virtual or hybrid event, should it be required.

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