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Tuesday, December 13, 2022

3M Represented At “World Science Forum” South Africa By Chief Science Advocate

3M was proudly represented at the 2022 World Science Forum in Cape Town, South Africa by Jayshree Seth, Corporate Scientist & Chief Science Advocate at 3M. The 2022 theme for the Forum was ‘Science for Social Justice’ and was held over four days at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, with a wide-ranging program which attracted hundreds of attendees from across a multi-disciplinary range of science backgrounds.

Jayshree Seth is a Corporate Scientist and Chief Science Advocate at 3M and leads Applied Technology Development for Industrial Adhesives and Tapes Division. She joined 3M in 1993 after an MS and PhD in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University, New York, and she currently holds 76 patents for a variety of innovations with several additional pending.

The World Science Forum 2022 was hosted by the Department of Science and Innovation, Republic of South Africa and has taken place biennially since its establishment in 1999 in Budapest, Hungary. The World Science Forum’s purpose is to foster and maintain a dialogue between the scientific community, society, policymakers, and industry.

3M’s participation in the panel session, titled, ‘Global scientific research as a tool to unlock talent and expand the geographical confines of knowledge creation’ explored the key theme of the 2022 World Science Forum, ‘Science for Social Justice’ and how that can be achieved. The panel was moderated by Kimberly Montgomery, Director, International Affairs and Science Diplomacy, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Kyle Cordova, Executive Director, Scientific Research / Senior Assistant to HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan for Scientific Affairs, Royal Scientific Society. Jayshree Seth represented 3M on the panel, other panelists included, Her Royal Highness Sumaya bint El Hassan, President, Royal Scientific Society of Jordan (RSS) and Sudip Parikh, CEO, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), among others.

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In the session Jayshree spoke about the role industry can play by advocating for science with a societal perspective, driving innovation with an inclusion perspective, promoting representation with a global perspective and committing to social justice with a long-term perspective. Jayshree gave examples of the various initiatives 3M has including State of Science Index and our commitment to promote STEM encouragement, exposure and education in the communities we operate in.

The core values of 3M are to support communities and improve lives and the 3Mgives International Grants program works to create a meaningful difference through social investment, K-12 STEM grants, donation matching, and many other community-building programs.

3M’s footprint in Africa started in 1963, when we first established our office in South Africa. Seventy years down the line, the company has expanded its operations ever since and has offices in Egypt, Kenya, Morocco and Nigeria. For over 120 years, we have been dedicated to science and exploration, taking on global challenges and developing solutions for our customers. As a company, we are guided by our Purpose, Promise, and Principles in the pursuit of creating unique and differentiated value and impact for the greater good in the countries in which we thrive.

3Mgives International Grants were awarded to OLICO, United Way South Africa, and World Wildlife Fund in South Africa. These recipients were chosen to help support the development of STEM and community support programs within South Africa, with a focus on making a sustainable impact and enduring change.

Over 27,700 people in South Africa have been positively impacted by the 2021/2 3Mgives International Grants, with funding aimed at programs improving numeracy, meeting basic needs and environmental protection. The grant recipients are:

OLICO grant – ‘A Maths Tutor in Your Pocket’

‘A Maths Tutor in Your Pocket’ program run by OLICO aims to improve maths performance and to use this success in maths to access quality post-school opportunities. Those who are in need of maths tutoring support can send a simple message on WhatsApp and they can be connected to a maths tutor in real-time. 

Research has shown that school mathematics in South Africa does not meet international standards, with only 16% of Grade 3 learners performing at a grade-appropriate level.

Lost school time in low-income communities is an ongoing issue as learners attend school on a rotational basis. The WhatsApp hotline is an opportunity for learners to work directly with skilled tutors even on the days they are not in school.
From September 2021 to March 2022, over 200 learners per day contacted ‘A Maths Tutor in Your Pocket’ on WhatsApp for maths tutoring support and over 2000 learners per month were connected to 29 part-time maths tutors.

United Way South Africa grant – Food and Hygiene Packs

Through the 3Mgives grant, United Way South Africa was able to provide and distribute food and hygiene Packs that support a family of 6 for one month and there were 300 families that were directly helped through this grant.
United Way South Africa focuses on helping South Africa's underserved, displaced, and stateless people who are affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic and recent unrest and their level of need.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) grant – African Reclaimers Organization (ARO)

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WWF South Africa is working with the African Reclaimers Organization (ARO) to identify, support and scale-up initiatives and activities which will aid in the implementation of the South African government’s waste picker integration guideline and to support waste pickers in Cape Town (Western Cape Province) to organise into strong identifiable structures.

WWF South Africa is working to improve the livelihoods of Cape Town waste pickers and provide them with recognition within the waste and recycling economy, as well as improve recyclable material collection throughout the city and reduce potential leakage of such materials into the environment.

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