Our Speakers Share their Vision to Transform our World

With courage and a deep commitment to achieving the 17 UN Global Goals, we can transform the world and promote human flourishing. Our speakers are united by a shared sense of passion, working tirelessly to improve access to education, redefining space exploration, working to achieve gender equality, and developing partnerships for the goals. Every month, we will share the talks of our intergenerational speakers from the UN General Assembly Hall.

JACK THOMAS ANDRAKA began his scientific research journey at age 15 when he won the Intel Prize for developing a new way to detect pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer. To advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Jack champions solving the data draught in international development to lift people out of poverty.

MAYE MUSK outlines how food science can have a profound effect on human life. For the past 47 years, she has educated people about eating well. Maye is a fashion model, dietitian, and philanthropist, and the 2016 recipient of the Novus Award for Excellence and Leadership championing SDG #3 Good Health and Well-being.

THOMAS GASS serves as Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs in UN DESA. He highlights how the Sustainable Development Goals were highly shaped by the constant presence of the people in the room in the negotiations over the past three years. More than 5 million people across the globe were interviewed and surveyed to understand what people wanted to see in the new 2030 Agenda.

Scott Hassan created Suitable Technologies, Inc. with the goal of redefining presence. How can people most effectively be in multiple places at once?

Suitable Technologies developed the Beam to solve the problem of being able to address situations instantly, and see with our own eyes what is happening on the ground — even if our physical bodies are in another city. The power of the Beam Smart Presence systems is connection. Giving people the ability to choose when and where to be present can be positively life-altering.

Being together is a part of what makes us human. Interestingly, the BeamPro enhances this connection. Standing at 5-foot-2 and weighing 100 pounds, there is a unique kinship that develops after about 30 minutes of walking, talking, and living with a BeamPro. The screen is the same size as a human face.

The dual radio technology allows for clear sound, and nuanced conversations can develop upon realizing that it is not necessary to hold a phone up to see the other person’s face. Moving independently is important. Bo Preising, Chief Strategy and Product Officer, SVP Engineering at Suitable Technologies, explained, “Freedom of movement is unique to the BeamPro. You don’t have to ask someone for help.

You can very independently move around the room, and turn to face different individuals as they speak. We made the BeamPro 5-foot-2 so that most standing adults can look the individual on screen in the eye, and when sitting, the height is still comfortable.”

People are using the Beam globally in over 50 countries around the world. Beam+ is smaller and lighter than the BeamPro, and ideal for personal use to help families with elders and children stay connected throughout the year. Milan Bhalala, VP Operations/Support at Suitable Technologies, described how watching a movie with Mom, and being at home (remotely) when our son or daughter unlocks the front door are daily activities better suited to the Beam than the phone. When we cannot physically be at home, how do we engage? Being together is how we keep our relationships strong. Every September brings increased activity as children head back to school, and the people and places we were lucky to spend time with and visit on summer weekends becomes a luxury in autumn.

But we still want to see them.

Even if we can’t make the trip, being present is becoming possible in new ways. Bhalala, described that customer success at its core is the happiness of the experience using the Beam. Can we make life easier for someone? Can life be richer and fuller with a Beam than by being alone?

For the naysayers out there, it is important to remember the open-mindedness of Archimedes, “Rise above oneself and grasp the world.” Technology is a part of life, but good technology can enhance how people live.

For individuals who cannot travel, the Suitable Technologies Cultural Arts Partnership Program opens up a new world of immersive experiences. Launched in July 2015, the BeamPro allows a global audience to experience the de Young Museum, Detroit Institute of Arts, and other museums and cultural sites.

Rather than taking a pre-determined tour online, the person has the power to control the Beam using his or her keyboard, and spend more time in front of the works of art and in the galleries that spark personal creativity and imagination.

The Beam is changing how we connect and experience one another — redefining how people come together, learn, and engage globally.


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Thank you all for your time to read the newsletter, feel free to send us your comments to help us improve it.

The Novus Summit team

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