Hilton Joins Hands with Xiamen University International College to Plant “Green Dreams,” Kicking Off “Hilton Amazing 300” Celebrations

XIAMEN, China, Dec. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Hilton and Xiamen University (XMU) partnered together for a charity tree-planting activity at the university’s Xiang’an Campus today, under the theme of “Planting Green Dreams – Hilton Amazing 300 Tribute to XMU Centenary.” The event saw the planting of 300 agarwood saplings donated by Hilton to XMU’s International College, celebrating the upcoming 100th anniversary of Xiamen University in 2021, as well as the opening of Hilton’s 300th Hilton hotel in China at the end of this year.

Over 20 Hilton Team Members and more than 60 teachers and students from Xiamen University helped to plant the trees at the event, adding further green charm to what is widely recognized as “The Most Beautiful University in China.” Participants included Mr. Qian Jin, Area President, Greater China and Mongolia, Hilton; Mr. He Yuanzan, Chair of the College Council of XMU International College; Prof. Tao Tao, Dean of XMU International College; and Mr. Xu Guang of the China Environmental Protection Foundation (CEPF), which supported the donation of the saplings.

Hilton Joins Hands with Xiamen University International College to Plant “Green Dreams”, Kicking Off “Hilton Amazing 300” Celebrations (PRNewsfoto/希尔顿)

Hilton’s donation and planting of saplings at Xiamen University serve as an example of the company’s corporate social responsibility vision of “Travel with Purpose” – a program in which Hilton has been committed to investing in, developing, and protecting the environment of the cities and communities in which it operates. Beyond environmental work, Hilton also seeks to support future talent development in partnership with like-minded institutions.

Mr. Qian Jin, Area President, Greater China and Mongolia, Hilton, offered Hilton’s warm congratulations to Xiamen University for its centenary celebrations, and pledged Hilton’s support for further cooperation in the future, saying: “At Hilton, we strongly believe in working together with multiple sectors of society to help foster and educate the next generation of talents, as we strive to serve the communities in which we operate. We look forward to working together with Xiamen University in the future, engaging students with more channels for communication as well as internship opportunities.”

Speaking on behalf of the university, Prof. Tao Tao, Dean of the International College of Xiamen commented: “As an old Chinese saying goes: ‘It takes ten years to grow a tree, but one hundred years to grow a generation of good men.’ With this in mind, we find it fitting to plant trees as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of our university. Building on Hilton’s strong support for talent development at our institution, today’s event will serve to deepen our cooperation as we have planted saplings, friendship, and hope.”

300th Hilton Hotel to Open in Xiamen at Year-End

Hilton entered the China market in 1988, and by 2017 was operating 100 hotels in the country. Hilton has experienced rapid growth in the years since, as this figure doubled to 200 properties in the subsequent two years, and will have grown again to 300 operating hotels by the end of this year. Waldorf Astoria Xiamen – the 300th

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Can Synthetic Biology’s Wildest Dreams Save Our World?

Our world is in crisis and the need for ‘moonshot’ solutions has never been clearer. Ideas that once seemed like science fiction, from carbon capture to genome engineering, are now a growing part of daily life. While other industries may ‘play it safe,’ seemingly impossible ideas are the beating heart of the synthetic biology economy—which is estimated to have a direct global impact of up to $4 trillion per year over the next 10-20 years. 

But even as biotech companies shoot for the moon—and beyond—it’s important to be mindful of synthetic biology’s power as a force for change. Synthetic biology’s best intentions gone astray could prevent the industry from achieving its full potential.

The need for open discourse in the biotech industry is what inspired the Leaps Talks series. These discussions are hosted by Leaps by Bayer, the impact investment unit of Bayer, and sponsor of the SynBioBeta Global Synthetic Biology Conference. Jurgen Eckhartd, head of Leaps by Bayer, described the series as “bringing together brilliant minds to discuss the ethics and challenges that biotech breakthroughs will face.” The final Leaps Talk at the SynBioBeta 2020 conference was just that. Kira Peikoff, editor in chief of the editorially independent Leapsmag, led a discussion between investor D.A. Wallach, and synthetic biology mainstay, MIT and Harvard professor George Church. Their conversation recognized the parallel crises of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic and what opportunities and insights the synthetic biology community can take from these difficult times.

Church began the discussion on a note of surprising hope. “I’m embarrassed to say that I’m optimistic, that this is a time of change, a catalyst for new ideas or ideas that have been [overlooked],” says Church. In the context of the global pandemic, he sees initiatives like the BioWeatherMap and new vaccine response infrastructure as significant advances. “It’s a very unfortunate situation, but at the same time, we need to take advantage of all the opportunities that are presented. That’s the only way we could save something out of this,” says Church.

Wallach is also one to see opportunities. Until now, part of the problem in creating vaccines, particularly for everyday illnesses like the common cold, has been a lack of incentive for the biotech industry. Wallach says that infectious disease innovation was largely viewed as the domain of governments and nonprofits. But, in light of the coronavirus, suddenly small companies that work with RNA vaccines turn out to be in line for the biggest opportunities in the entire economy. “I’m fascinated by markets that go from invisible to conspicuous overnight. Most of the biggest opportunities have that quality,” says Wallach.

Nucleic acid-based medicines—medicines that utilize DNA and RNA—have tremendous potential in therapeutics as well as diagnostics. But, for the last ten years, progress in this space has been fairly slow. Now, however, nucleic acid-based tools for point-of-care diagnostics could become a medical industry standard. The ability to test

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