Mayor William Bell addressed a group of roughly 70 students and faculty at The Edge of Chaos on the topic of technology in education. The event was sponsored by the Community and Science Investigations Group at UAB, as well as the Graduate Student Association. Attendees were given the opportunity to eat a buffet dinner catered by Jim N' Nicks, and then gathered in the atrium to listen to the mayor speak.
Mayor Bell entertained and enthralled students and faculty alike with personal and professional anecdotes dealing with the standards of technology in education. He noted the necessity of understanding and appreciating the technologies of the past, while simulatneously opening oneself up to new ways of seeing things and the potential for innovation. An understanding of the past, a grounding in the present, and a vision for the future are all necessary in order to usher in true beneficial technological innovation. This process, he noted, must begin with children, who are being exposed to technology as never before.
Improving the state of the public schools of the city of Birmingham has been one of the key points on the mayor's agenda since assuming office in 2010. Mayor Bell himself claims two graduate degrees: a master's degree in psychology, and a law degree.
The mayor acknowledged the important role that centers of innovation and collaboration like The Edge of Chaos play in spurring new ways of thinking and approaching problems. He noted that The Edge of Chaos was an appropriate space in which to discuss the future of innovation.