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GapSummit: Lessons for young scientists and innovators

Chiasma is one of our sister organisations; it operates across New Zealand, connecting young scientists with industry, and providing them with professional development. Jessica Chiang, one of our GapSummit 2017 Leaders of Tomorrow and a member of the Chiasma Team has written about her experience and lessons from the event on the Chiasma blog.

Below is an abridged version of her post, to read the full article click here to visit the Chiasma blog.


My trip to Washington DC started with me waking up in disbelief one morning noticing that my flight time was within 10 hours. The GapSummit conference was held in between the end of lectures and exam period. Therefore, the thought of being halfway around the world before having exams was very unreal and stressful. However, it turns out the lesson I got out of this trip was more valuable and memorable than the course content crammed just for my exams.

Hearing from world-class speakers and leaders, the messages just seems to become ten times more powerful and reassuring. Nevertheless, what affected me personally was the networking sessions I spent with the leaders from across the world and the Idea Challenge. I really appreciated every moment spent with biotech enthusiasts. How often do you have the chance to spend time with people from 40+ cultural backgrounds with one thing in common- we all care about biotechnology!? Here are just some points I learned for young budding scientists who are problem solvers and innovators.

Be Open-Minded

Knowing how to make people who are not in your field  understand your idea is just as important as making your experiments work. To learn to think dynamically, and to think in other people’s shoes can assist people from different fields come to a better understanding of each other and work together to solve bigger problems.

(Have a) World Vision

Every country has their own problems to solve, but there are also global problems we need to deal with. With globalisation being inevitable, decentralised innovation is not enough to satisfy the thirst for global creativity and advancement. The new generation of global innovation demands a network of different expertise, vision, and cultural background collaborate to achieve a superior innovation performance.

Take Risks

I gave myself a chance by taking part in these competitions and conferences to learn and to connect with fellow innovators and inventors… The prizes from the challenges are not just the cash itself but the experience and the people I met. You never know what you will gain from opportunities that life presents, but I can guarantee you will have an awesome time simply trying and learning along the way.

I challenge fellow young, budding students, scientists, innovators, and people who are inspired to solve the world’s biggest problems: think big with your research and connect with one another.

by Jess Chiang

4th Year Biotechnology Student;
Strategist for Chiasma, and
Leader of Tomorrow 2017

Categories: Blog

Tags: GapSummit 2017, Leaders of Tomorrow

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