Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
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DeSimone to UNC undergraduates: Innovation required to solve global challenges


Joe DeSimone, director of UNC-Chapel Hill's Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise and professor of chemistry, told UNC undergraduates Sept. 4 that innovation and entrepreneurship are key paths to solving global challenges.

“If you look at all the places on the planet that we need help with innovation, there are just staggering opportunities for doing something important,” DeSimone said at a Campus Y-hosted event, part of its series on innovation.

From resurrecting earthquake-devastated Haiti to providing clean drinking water around world to developing sustainable energy alternatives, the challenges facing the world require broad-based approaches from people with diverse knowledge and expertise, he said.

“You look around at the issues…that we really have to address and you think about the disciplines that are going to be required to solve these problems,” said DeSimone. “They are not just going to come from people with a chemistry focus or a physics focus or a social science focus or an artistic focus. It’s going to take a lot of different people that understand a lot of different skills to make change.”