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Biotech leader and bestselling author Juan Enriquez told the audience in the John F. Kennedy, Jr. Forum of a coming “life sciences revolution” that he believes will be as transformative to human life as was the industrial revolution. The address served as the dedication keynote during a day of events marking the renaming of the Kennedy School’s Center for Business and Government in honor of Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani.
“Our lives are going to change in such drastic ways, it’s hard to conceive,” said Enriquez, Chairman and CEO of Biotechonomy LLC. “There is already a shift going on — businesses are changing to an extraordinary extent. And it will be businesses driving these changes in knowledge, not government.”
Enriquez spoke of a global economy that is driven more by knowledge than anything else. “What you know, how you know it, and how you transmit it to your kids really matters. We must invest in youth....We have to focus on where we will be, instead of where we’ve been.”
Enriquez also described the negative impact governments could have in the throes of a life sciences revolution. “Countries can’t get scared of stem cell research, or people who look or speak differently. States aren’t static systems. They change. We have to take care of them and not engage in divisive politics,” he said
When asked what the Kennedy School can do to prepare for the coming life sciences revolution, Enriquez replied, “Don’t take your country for granted. Don’t take your education for granted. Flags and borders and anthems aren’t everything, you have to give your next generation something to believe in.”
The renaming of the Center for Business and Government recognizes a $15 million endowment from Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani and her husband, Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, a Kennedy School alumnus, that will permit the Center to expand its long-term capacity for research, scholarship, and teaching on some of society’s most challenging problems at the intersection of business and government.
Photos: Martha Stewart
Kennedy School Dean David Ellwood listens to Juan Enriquez address the Forum audience at the renaming of the Center for Business and Government in honor of Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani.
Left to right: Professor John Ruggie, Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani, Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani