£500m Campaign launched today
03 November 2010
Dean and Head of School, at the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) at King’s, Professor Shitij Kapur, was one of four leading King's academics to represent the College at the King's historical global fundraising campaign The World questions| King's answers.
At the ceremony, Sir John Major, the Prime Minister from 1990-97, was named as the Chairman of the King’s College London £500 million fundraising campaign, which launched today.
This campaign spearheads a new era of university fundraising as it aims to deliver research that will address many of the world’s most challenging problems.
With World questions| King’s answers, the College is taking a unique step in university fundraising history as the money raised will fund research to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges ranging from providing for an ever-ageing population to conflict resolution, to better treatments for cancer.
Commenting on the launch, Sir John, said: ‘I’m delighted to chair this campaign, which reinforces King’s College London as a pioneer in world class research, and best placed to respond to the enormous challenges of a world moving faster than is comfortable.
‘This campaign is vital, not just for King’s but for many millions around the world. King’s health research will help those battling with cancer, or caring for a loved one, perhaps with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Their policy work, our campaign, will benefit those living in poverty, or those suffering the effects of war. It will help create stable and prosperous societies around the world.’
The campaign – which to date has raised nearly £200 million - aims to raise funds for three key research areas where King’s is exceptionally well-placed to make a substantial contribution to finding answers: Neuroscience & mental health, Leadership & society and Cancer.
These three themes are some of the biggest challenges that modern society faces, issues that in different ways affect every person, and every nation in the world. As the population ages, the prevalence of conditions like dementia and stroke will increase; the instability created by conflict threatens us all, either through war or terrorism; and Cancer remains one of mankind’s great foes, with one in three people developing the disease in their lifetime.
Key areas in which King’s academics are leading research include: patient trials of the first leukaemia vaccine; the development of a new generation of smart drugs to combat breast and lung cancers; the first clinical blood test for Alzheimer’s disease; and how space policy and technology can be used to monitor water supplies and pinpoint aid in times of war or famine.
To help answer world questions requires a great academic community working together in seamless cooperation. The Campaign will support King’s staff and students and enhance facilities, including the renovation of Somerset House, as the College seeks to achieve the maximum global impact through its work.
The campaign was launched publicly today with an international event chaired by BBC broadcaster David Dimbleby, who was introduced by Lord Douro, Chairman of King's College, and supported by high-profile names including King’s alumnus Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
The launch was streamed simultaneously across three continents with events in New York and Hong Kong, hosted by, respectively, King’s alumnus and journalist Martin Bashir, and Assistant Principal Emeritus of King’s Dr Abraham Lue.
To mark the launch of its biggest ever campaign, the College commissioned a major international survey across eight countries of the issues perceived by people to be the most serious affecting the world, and their own country.
It was undertaken by Ipsos MORI and the results of which were revealed at the launch event by Sir Robert Worcester, Honorary Fellow of King’s, and founder and former Chairman of MORI. The findings can be viewed at: www.ipsos-mori.com/worldquestions
This was followed by a panel discussion chaired by David Dimbleby with three of King’s leading academics in the theme areas: Professor Shitij Kapur, Dean and Head of School, Institute of Psychiatry; Professor Peter Parker, Deputy Director of the Integrated Cancer Centre; and Dr Funmi Olonisakin, Director of the African Leadership Centre.
Professor Rick Trainor, Principal of King’s College London, said: ‘As one of world’s leading research universities, we know how significant a contribution our experts can make in delivering solutions to some of the ‘big questions’ we face globally, from eradicating cancers, to bringing peace to war zones.https://www.kcl.ac.uk/kingsanswers/index.aspx
‘Globally we stand on the verge of solving many of these challenges, but the severe economic constraints the world faces could set us back decades. We at King’s are therefore raising money less for bricks and mortar than for life-saving and world-changing research which will make a real difference to the lives of people everywhere.
‘We are delighted to already be supported by a wide range of high-profile individuals and alumni. We hope that this campaign will inspire people to hope for a better world and demonstrate what role universities can play in creating it.’
David Dimbleby, added: ‘The World faces significant challenges in the coming years, from providing for an ever-ageing population to keeping pace with rapidly changing societies. There is a huge role for universities such as King’s in helping us find solutions to these issues. Today marks the start of what will be an exciting campaign and I wish it every success.’
For more information about the campaign and to watch the launch event highlights, visit: