2012

2012 Apr 17

Harvard in the Delta: Reflecting on Five Years of the Community Development Project

4:10pm to 5:30pm

Location: 

124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA

Carolyn McAdams, Mayor, Greenwood, MS; Carl Allen, MPP 2010; and James Solomon, MPP 2012

About the Seminar
Since 2008, HKS students have engaged the residents of Baptist Town, a rural community in Greenwood, MS, in local community development efforts. The all student-led Community Development Project has grown in unexpected directions but always offered unique service-learning opportunities along the way. At this seminar, the panel will address topics and themes including Baptist Town’s forthcoming revitalization plan, a crowd-sourced grant program supported by Dreamworks Pictures (who filmed part of The Help in Baptist Town), the intersection between Harvard students and local politics, and what the future holds for CDP.... Read more about Harvard in the Delta: Reflecting on Five Years of the Community Development Project

2012 Apr 17

Deleterious Me: Whole Genome Sequencing, 23andMe, and the Crowd-Sourced Health Care Revolution

5:00pm to 7:00pm

Location: 

Emerson Hall, Room 105

Anne Wojcicki with panel discussion by Archon Fung, Jeremy Greene, Sanford Kwinter, and Jonathan Zittrain
Moderated by Sheila Jasanoff

Co-sponsored by the Harvard University Center for the Environment, the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. More>>

About the Science and Democracy Lecture Series
Once a semester, the STS Program, with co-sponsorship from other local institutions, hosts an installation in its Science and Democracy Lecture Series. The series aims to spark lively, university-wide discussion of the place and meaning of science and technology, broadly conceived, in democratic societies. We hope to explore both the promised benefits of our era’s most salient scientific and technological breakthroughs and the potentially harmful consequences of developments that are inadequately understood, debated, or managed by politicians, institutions, and lay publics.... Read more about Deleterious Me: Whole Genome Sequencing, 23andMe, and the Crowd-Sourced Health Care Revolution

2012 Apr 12

The Economic Situation in the European Union

4:10pm to 5:30pm

Location: 

Wiener Auditorium, Taubman Building, HKS

Romano ProdiRomano Prodi, Professor-at-Large, Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University, Former Italian Prime Minister and President of the European Commission

About the Seminar
The economic and financial difficulties of Europe are well known. Big deficits and public debts in some of its member states, and a consequent need of fiscal austerity in a situation of slow growth and recession, might potentially contribute to the deterioration of the overall economic situation. While some European countries are going to face further difficulties, on average European Union member states have better deficits and public debts than the United States.

In this seminar, Romano Prodi will argue that the reason why financial markets have punished only European economies lies in the division that existed within Europe on what to do in Greece.... Read more about The Economic Situation in the European Union

2012 Apr 10

Democratic Development and Democratic Decay

5:30pm to 7:00pm

Location: 

Wiener Auditorium, Taubman Building, HKS

Francis FukuyamaFrancis Fukuyama, Stanford University

About the Seminar
All political orders are subject to decay over time for at least two reasons: first, institutions created to meet one set of environmental circumstances are “sticky” and fail to adapt when the environment changes; second, patrimonialism, the default mode of human sociability that favors friends and family, often reasserts itself in periods of extended peace and stability.

Is the U.S. or China more likely to experience political decay in the coming decades? China builds on a long historical tradition of high-quality centralized bureaucratic government, but never historically developed either rule of law or formal accountability to check executive power. The United States, on the other hand, stands out among modern liberal democracies for the number of checks and balances it imposes on decision making. Both systems display rigidities and signs of creeping patrimonialism. In the end it is Fukuyama’s view that the self-corrective mechanisms built into the US system will make it more sustainable, but only if the nation is able to adapt institutionally.... Read more about Democratic Development and Democratic Decay

2012 Apr 10

Riding the Tiger: Challenges of China's Municipal Finance in the 21st Century

11:40am to 1:00pm

Location: 

79 John F. Kennedy Street, Littauer 140

Christine WongChristine Wong, University of Oxford

About the Seminar
From 1980 to 2011, the number of people living in Chinese cities increased by 500 million. This is urbanization on a scale and pace unprecedented in human history. Financing infrastructure and public services to accommodate the growing population and economic base presented a gargantuan challenge that, in China’s decentralized fiscal system, was left to municipal governments, with little assistance from higher levels.

The cities responded with great energy and ingenuity. Under a policy regime of benign neglect from the central government, they expanded their resources by tapping a variety of extra-budgetary revenues including land, they limited eligibility to urban services by excluding migrants, and they created corporate entities to borrow. The strategy helped China achieve spectacular growth over the past three decades, but left in its wake a patchwork of risky and unsustainable financing mechanisms, a mountain of debt and a two-tiered urban populace. Fixing the system of municipal finance is critical to China’s transition from middle-income to high-income status, and to her long term prospects for creating humane and livable cities.... Read more about Riding the Tiger: Challenges of China's Municipal Finance in the 21st Century

2012 Apr 10

The Rift Revealed: The Search for Inclusion in Kenya’s Financial Landscape

4:10pm to 5:30pm

Location: 

124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Room 226, Cambridge, MA
Susan Johnson

Susan Johnson, Bath University

About the Seminar
The rapid take up of mobile money transfer services in Kenya has ignited enthusiasm globally about the potential for financial service delivery based on the platform of mobile phone technology. On the basis of a research project looking across the financial landscape, Susan Johnson argues that this rapid take up can be understood as evidence of the extensive interpersonal transactions that Kenyans undertake and that, rather than revealing the potential for the development of formal sector services – in particular voluntary savings – it reveals the rift between the formal and informal sectors. Seen in this way she discusses the challenges that formal services face in the search for financial inclusion.... Read more about The Rift Revealed: The Search for Inclusion in Kenya’s Financial Landscape

2012 Apr 09

The Center for Economic Opportunity: NYC’s Innovative Solution to Fighting Urban Poverty

4:10pm to 5:30pm

Location: 

124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA

Veronica M. White, Center for Economic Opportunity

About the Seminar
The Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) works to design, implement, and evaluate anti-poverty programs. CEO has now implemented more than 50 programs in partnership with 28 city agencies and has introduced a new measure of poverty for New York City, based on the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences.


CEO presents before the National Selection Committee in 2011

Unique programming includes SaveUSA, which encourages saving among low-income families by offering a 50 percent match to participants that save a portion of their tax refund. In addition, Jobs-Plus offers public housing residents aid in securing and retaining employment through job search services and coaching, vocational training, and assistance with GED and ESL courses. CEO is now replicating five of its most promising programs in cities across the country through the federal Social Innovation Fund.... Read more about The Center for Economic Opportunity: NYC’s Innovative Solution to Fighting Urban Poverty

2012 Apr 06

Developing a Curriculum on Civil Society & Nonprofit Organizations in China

10:30am to 12:00pm

Location: 

CGIS North, Room K262, 1737 Cambridge St.

Nara Dillon, Harvard University; Anthony Saich, HKS; Christopher Stone, HKS; and Robert P. Weller
Co-sponsored by the Harvard China Fund and the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations

About the Seminar
Speakers Anthony Saich, HKS; Christopher Stone, HKS; Nara Dillon, Harvard University; and Robert P. Weller, this seminar will showcase their collaboration over the past year developing a curriculum on civil society and nonprofits in China, an initiative supported by the Harvard China Fund and organized by the Nonprofits in China Domain of the Hauser Center. The Conference on Civil Society and Nonprofits in China at Harvard in January 2011 was a part of the effort. Attendees will learn about outcomes from the conference including curriculum building and their course offering plans.

2012 Apr 03

Linguistic Justice for Europe and for the World

5:30pm to 7:00pm

Location: 

124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA

Philippe van ParijsPhilippe van Parijs, Université Catholique de Louvain
Co-sponsored by the Center for European Studies and the Harvard Department of Philosophy

About the Seminar
In Europe and throughout the world, competence in English is spreading at a speed never achieved by any language in human history. Is the resulting growing dominance of English to be resisted or accelerated? Does it breed injustice? If so, in what sense exactly, and what should be done about it? In this talk, Philippe van Parijs will summarize the answers offered to these questions in his book Linguistic Justice for Europe and for the World (Oxford UP, 2011) and discuss some of the main objections against them.... Read more about Linguistic Justice for Europe and for the World

2012 Mar 30

Forest or Not? Contentious Discourse on Expansive Oil Palm Plantations in Southeast Asia

12:00pm to 1:30pm

Location: 

Yenching Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave., Harvard University

Professor Okamoto Masaaki, Kyoto University
Discussants: Deborah Gewertz, Amherst College and Frederick K. Errington, Trinity College
Co-sponsored by the Harvard-Yenching Institute

About the Seminar
This talk will focus on the contentious discourse regarding the rapid expansion of oil palm plantations in Southeast Asia, especially in Indonesia. With the rapid rise in global demand for Crude Palm Oil (CPO) as the cheapest vegetable oil, oil palm plantations are sometimes devastatingly causing deforestation in Southeast Asia. CPO is used not only for cooking oil, but also for various usages including bio-diesel. This has sparked serious debates between pro-expansion (the government and business sector) and anti-expansion groups (environmental NGOs and indigenous communities). The Indonesian government and business sector shrewdly moved to define plantations as forests, so that the expansion of oil palm plantations is no longer deforestation but rather “re”forestation. If a REDD++ scheme is implemented, plantations could even obtain carbon credit as forests.

Of course, global NGOs are harshly criticizing this movement and the contention is becoming sharper and sharper, as CPO is very lucrative for the government and business sectors in Indonesia, while NGOs view the movement as environmentally devastating. This talk will cover the development of this contentious discourse and present the emergence of a strange but positive dynamic equilibrium or consensus among stakeholders.

2012 Mar 29

Recovery in Chile: A Panel Discussion

4:00pm

Location: 

Fainsod Room, L324, Littauer Building

About the Seminar
This panel discussion will feature presentations from students who participated in the 2012 Kennedy School J-Term Course “Community Recovery: Rebuilding Disaster Damaged Communities in Chile.” Led by Doug Ahlers, HKS Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy and Faculty Affiliate of the Program on Crisis Leadership, the course gave 20 graduate students the opportunity to directly engage in disaster reconstruction in communities affected by the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Chile in 2010. The panel will include 4 students from 3 HKS degree programs. Representing each of the project teams, they will share their experiences and give key insights into lessons learned.... Read more about Recovery in Chile: A Panel Discussion

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