CGI U 2009 – Peter’s potpourri of thoughts

Here are some miscellaneous thoughts from last weekend’s CGI U Conference:

  • I won’t belabor on points that Jon brought up, but it is worth reiterating the disappointment in the lack of any analysis of the root causes of the challenges faced in the world today.  No mention of history, global political challenges, harmful World Bank and IMF policies, etc.  The conversation solely focused on how we as students could implement small, community-based projects to address the major challenges of the world.  Yes, these types of projects are valuable, but our approach has great potential to be lacking or misaligned unless we as students understand the root causes of such inequities.
  • Encouraging to see some university presidents discuss the importance of developing cultures of civic engagement and public service in their institutions.  Bill Powers of University of Texas and Scott Cowen of Tulane both hit this one out of the park.
  • “No matter how you want to create change there is absolutely no substitute for working with those directly effected by the problems you seek to address.” Nathaniel Whittemore on a panel with several university presidents.
  • How can you have a food panel and not address the deep flaws in US food aid?
  • It is upsetting to see a conference that seeks to address energy and climate change use so much damn bottled water.  Laurie Garrett touched on the absurdity of this in a recent Pop!Cast.
  • Had some great conversations with people from FACE AIDS, Global Health Corps, Keep A Child Alive, Physicians for Human Rights and others in the global health twittersphere.
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Welcome to the Students for Global Health Equity (SGHE) blog. Published by university students, the SGHE blog seeks to explore news and issues related to global health.

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