Posts tagged with "democracy"

Mulan illustration by Maria Soloman for 360 Magazine.

Mulan Boycott

by Justin Lyons

A new movement is taking over social media as pro-democracy activists try to spread a boycott of the new Disney film Mulan.

Disney’s live-action remake of the 1998 original film hit Disney’s streaming service Disney+ this weekend. On top of the monthly subscription fee, those wanting to see Mulan would have to pay $29.99 to unlock it.

Social media users in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand called for movie fans and Disney lovers to avoid the new film because of comments from Liu Yifei, who plays the titular Mulan.

In Aug. 2019, Liu expressed via Weibo, a Chinese social media site, that she supported Hong Kong police. The comments came amid pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Liu was met with instant backlash, but now that her movie is available to stream, the widespread boycott seems to have intensified.

Joshua Wong, a Hong Kong activist, has been particularly outspoken regarding the situation. He asked everyone who believes in human rights to boycott the film.

He also retweeted multiple tweets from other activists. One of which was from Twitter user Gwyneth Kwai-lam Ho, who linked a story about the boycott from The Guardian.

“Not while the true Mulans are suffering in the darkness of a Chinese jail,” the tweet said.

Mulan currently sits at 78% on Rotten Tomatoes among critics but 55% among audience members. It had a production budget of $200 million.

Laura Basset is the co-founder of the Save Journalism Project

Laura Bassett QxA

Laura Bassett is co-founder of the Save Journalism Project. She was formerly a senior culture and politics reporter at HuffPost before being laid off in 2019. She currently writes for GQ Magazine, the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Marie Claire, the Daily Beast, and other publications. Along with John Stanton, she began the Save Journalism project after losing her job, when she became interested in why so many great news publishers were beginning to go under and having to lay off staff.

  1. How did you first get interested in journalism and politics and have these always been passions of yours?

I’ve always had a passion for writing, but wasn’t sure what direction it would take. I was in a graduate program for English Literature in 2008, thinking I wanted to go on and do a Ph.D. when Obama first ran for president. I became kind of obsessed with the election and started blogging on the side, and then I realized I enjoyed doing my politics blog a lot more than I enjoyed sitting in a library writing research papers that only one or two people would read. So I applied for a reporting internship at HuffPost, and the rest is history!

  1. Which are some of the biggest issues with modern journalism and how have they coincided with your career so far?

I think there are three big ones: Lack of diversity in newsrooms, the question of what objectivity in political journalism means in the age of Trump, and the financial/existential crisis facing the industry as a result of the digital age and big tech’s monopoly on ad revenue. The last one affected me the most directly, as I was laid off in 2019 after ten years at HuffPost. The site just wasn’t generating enough profits, having to compete with tech giants like Google and Facebook for ad money, and I lost my job along with scores of other journalists. I never expected to be freelancing for the first time, involuntarily, in the middle of my career, but it has proven to be a great exercise for my writing.

  1. What have been the most valuable skills/pieces of knowledge that you have learned from working at HuffPost?

I never went to journalism school, so most of what I know about reporting I learned at HuffPost. I learned how to write a compelling lede and nut graf, how to draw interesting things out people in interviews, how to show both sides of an issue without necessarily drawing a moral equivalence between them. I learned how to build source relationships and hustle for scoops. And I developed a deeper knowledge of politics and my particular beat, which for a long time was women’s rights issues. I learned how to own up to mistakes immediately and correct them in a transparent way, how to accept constructive criticism, and how to tune out the internet trolls and harassment. All the basics!

  1. What motivated you to co-found the Save Journalism Project and what made it special as an initial idea?

John Stanton, formerly of BuzzFeed, and I were laid off the same week in January of 2019. It was very unexpected for both of us: He was the Washington Bureau chief at the time, and I was a senior politics reporter. There seemed to be very little rhyme or reason to who was laid off that year; news outlets were forced to cut hundreds of staffers and had to make some really tough decisions. At the same time, local newspapers like the New Orleans Times-Picayune were going under entirely. We could see that our whole industry was facing a potentially fatal financial crisis, and we felt like if we didn’t fight for it ourselves, we didn’t know who would. So this project was born.

  1. How can you and your teamwork with or against big tech companies to improve the integrity of news?

Big tech companies are the financial competitors to news publishers, and it isn’t a fair fight right now. They gobble up about two-thirds of the digital ad market, leaving very little money for the actual content creators and publishers from which they also profit. Right now, we are looking to Congress and federal and state antitrust regulators to conduct antitrust investigations into the big four– Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon–and hoping that when they see the devastating impact those companies are having on newspapers, they will break them up and/or regulate them and create a more even playing field.

  1. In the era of fake news and heavy media bias, how can technology be used for the greater good in terms of addressing populations?

“Fake news” is a term the president has thrown at real news outlets because he doesn’t like their coverage of him. By and large, the news stories he calls “fake” are true and factual. But the internet does have an actual fake news problem, which is the disinformation that fringe activists and bad actors spread online, particularly on Facebook and Twitter. I think social media platforms have a massive responsibility to closely monitor and regulate the false propaganda raging through their sites, especially close to election time.

  1. In your opinion, how do you see the future of journalism and how can the Save Journalism Project be a part of this future?

I don’t know what I see for the future of journalism because, especially since COVID, we are on an extremely troubling trajectory. What I hope to see in the future of journalism is a sustainable business model– one in which people are happy to pay for news, and one in which news publishers and magazines don’t have to compete with Google in a David and Goliath-type situation for ad money to survive. And ideally, newsrooms can stop firing and start re-hiring again, because so much talent has been lost in the past few years.

  1. Why is it so important that our country defends the freedom of the press and how can this freedom lead to a more functional democracy?

We’re at the nexus of several historic national crises at the moment, including a deadly pandemic, so journalism–especially local journalism–has never been more important to get life-saving information across to the people and to hold powerful people and institutions to account. At the same time, we have a president attacking the press and encouraging violence against us, along with these devastating financial issues. Without a robust and thriving free press, no one is there to uncover corruption and expose the lies of politicians and inform the electorate and just, basically, keep people aware of what’s happening in their communities and the world at large. That in itself is a massive threat to democracy.

  1. What kinds of opportunities do you have for people who may want to get more involved with the Save Journalism Project?

Please contact us! We’re looking for help raising money, we’re funding freelance stories on local news deserts, and we can always use the voices of other journalists who would like to fight with us to save this industry.

  1. Do you have any clear goals or visions for expanding this Project’s influence, and if so, what are they?

Our primary focus and objective are on policymakers. We aim to get U.S. lawmakers and regulators to address the exploitation of the online marketplace by Google and Facebook which gives them an unfair advantage in the competition for digital advertising revenue. Antitrust regulators in Australia and the U.K. have begun to take these kinds of steps that are necessary and we are encouraged that their American counterparts appear to be on the verge of similar actions.

It is only after the distortions of the marketplace have been addressed that we can rebuild a sustainable business model for journalism in the digital age, particularly local news. Given our focus on policymakers, we are more supporters rather than drivers of changes in the industry. We do not favor any specific model for what kind of journalism industry emerges from these multiple ongoing crises, only that we believe it must include a viable method for news outlets to monetize their content through advertising.

360 Magazine

W.E.B Du Bois Book

W.E.B. Du Bois spent many decades fighting to ensure that African Americans could claim their place as full citizens and thereby fulfill the deeply compromised ideals of American democracy. Yet he died in Africa, having apparently given up on the United States.

In this tour-de-force, Elvira Basevich examines this paradox by tracing the development of his life and thought and the relevance of his legacy to our troubled age. She adroitly analyzes the main concepts that inform Du Bois’ critique of American democracy, such as the color line and double consciousness, before examining how these concepts might inform our understanding of contemporary struggles, from Black Lives Matter to the campaign for reparations for slavery. She stresses the continuity in Du Bois’ thought, from his early writings to his later embrace of self-segregation and Pan-Africanism, while not shying away from assessing the challenging implications of his later work.

This wonderful book vindicates the power of Du Bois’ thought to help transform a stubbornly unjust world. It is essential reading for racial justice activists as well as students of African American philosophy and political thought.

The Author:

Elvira Basevich is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

Reviews:

“Unique among books on Du Bois, Basevich originally and persuasively presents a liberal ideal of civic enfranchisement as the heart of Du Bois’ thought.”

Chike Jeffers, Dalhousie University

“A valuable and compelling addition to the literature on Du Bois. Both a useful introduction to those unfamiliar with his thought and an innovative interpretation that will hold the interest of experts, Basevich has achieved a remarkable feat—and produced an apt tribute to her subject.”

I’ll Benjamin McKean, Ohio State University

National Day of Fasting

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is calling for a National Day of Fasting and Focus on Monday to call Americans to repent of systemic racism and turn toward the work of building a more just and loving society for all people.

Bishop William J. Barber II, campaign co-chair and president of Repairers of the Breach, said the campaign seeks not merely a fasting from food, but also a national fasting from systemic racism, systemic poverty, the denial of health care and from other death-dealing policies.

“We must dedicate ourselves to breathing life into our Constitution and its promises and refuse to accept a civility that covers up injustice,” Bishop Barber said. “The very life of our democracy is at stake. Not the democracy that is, but the democracy that could be.”

The upheaval in the country has shown the power of social justice movements, said Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign.

“People across race, across geography, across age have seen that we cannot be silent anymore,” she said. “It is only when the people organize in radical and bold ways that we can build a society that actually takes care of the needs of the people.”

The campaign is asking people to stand still wherever they are at 5 p.m. , Monday, June 7, and be still and focus for eight minutes and 46 seconds — the amount of time that an officer held his knee on the neck of George Floyd, killing him on Memorial Day. They will then be asked to read a litany that the campaign will share on social media.

After that, Rev. Barber will speak to the nation from Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina, where he is the minister.

People should also remember Ahmaud Abery, who was shot and killed by armed white men as he jogged in Georgia in February and Breonna Taylor, who died in March after she was shot eight times by police who used a battering ram to invade her apartment. As a sign that our collective repentance is real, people will also be invited to dedicate themselves to stay engaged, to vote, to hold elected officials accountable and to work for a moral agenda that addresses historic wrongs and policies that perpetuate inequality.

On Sunday, June 6, the campaign will hold a national interfaith service to recognize the more than 100,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19, especially poor and low-income workers. While President Trump wants to divert attention away from the pandemic and to his misinterpretation of protests in the streets, the Poor People’s Campaign will insist that the country doesn’t forget those who died.

The service will be co-led by Revs. Barber and Theoharis and Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Imam Omar Suleiman and Valerie Kaur.

Professor Jeffrey Swartz on Manafort Sentencing

LAW SCHOOL PROFESSOR AND LEGAL ANALYST ON PAUL MANAFORT SENTENCING

Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Professor Jeffrey Swartz, a former prosecutor and former Judge in Miami-Dade County, is offering the below statement regarding the sentencing of Paul Manafort.

As a former prosecutor I am incensed at Judge T. S. Ellis III’s hubris at believing he sees the Manafort prosecution for one thing, while ignoring the greater issues of continuing to punish non-violent, but yet serious white-collar behavior so leniently.  Mr. Manfort’s attorneys successfully invoked the constant battle between the two theories of punishment that have been the stalwart of our system of justice for two hundred years, Utilitarianism (the certainty of punishment as a general deterrence to society not to violate the law) and Retributivism (addressing sentencing to the individual defendant based upon their own moral blameworthiness, i.e. their just deserts).

Judge Ellis’ findings give short shrift to the underlying criminality of Manfort’s conduct and business.  The prosecution sentencing memorandum and, although we have not seen it, what appears to be in the Pre-Sentence Investigation and Report seem to outline the long history of Manfort’s criminal behavior, contempt for the laws of the United States, our system of justice even while out on bond, including his attempt to tamper with witnesses, and his disregard for the undermining of our democracy and form of government.

The Sentencing Guidelines were promulgated by Congress to provide a means for judges to standardize the approach toward how to appropriately punish the conduct of defendants based upon objective criteria.  They also contemplate that the court will consider “all relevant conduct”, not just that conduct for which the defendant was convicted. Although they are just “guidelines” they provide for departures both upwards and downwards, giving the court “appropriate discretion” to adjust its ultimate decision, where the findings of the court support the exercise of that discretion.  In that regard they are both Utilitarian (certainty and consistency of punishment) and retributive (assuring an individualistic approach to a particular defendant).

Judge Ellis ignored everything other than his own opinion that there was an ulterior motive for this prosecution.  He more than exercised his discretion. I would argue that he abused that discretion in the grossest way. A guidelines range of 234 to 288 months may have been more severe than most thought appropriate.  However, Ellis reduced that to less than twenty percent of the bottom of those guidelines at forty-seven months less nine months credit for time served.

The penalty Ellis imposed, even in the face of not granting Manafort even the three-point adjustment for acceptance of responsibility, seems to indicate a disdain for white-collar prosecution in general.  A disdain many ex-prosecutors, who have appeared before him, have stated he has exhibited in the past. He also made clear his displeasure at the government’s prosecution of Mr. Manafort, which was exhibited on more that one occasion through specific statements he verbalized and his rulings at trial, by interfering in the government’s introduction of evidence and testimony.

The depth and breadth of Manfort’s criminality, and its effect on our society was set forth in the prosecution’s memorandum, which Ellis chose to ignore.  This was not a “one-off” as Ellis seemed to allude in the pronouncement of his sentence, but a lifetime systematic course of conduct. Manafort is a criminal in every sense of the word, who deserved far more than he received.

The only saving grace is that Manafort must face sentencing before Judge Amy Berman Jackson next week.  Judge Jackson has likewise indicated a disdain for a party in her case. Judge Jackson is the judge who ordered Manafort into custody for his actions while out on bond.  It was before her that Manafort entered into a plea agreement, which mandated his truthful and complete cooperation with the special counsel’s investigation, to which Manafort chose to not cooperate fully, but to actually lie to investigators and grand jurors.  I could argue that in so doing he was attempting to obstruct justice.

I can only hope that Judge Jackson corrects Judge Ellis’ lack of perspective and balance.  It is fair to expect that Jackson will sentence Manafort to an appropriate term of incarceration intended, not only to send a message to all those who would engage in the crimes in which Manafort engaged, but to give Manafort his just desserts.  Whether it amounts to a “life” sentence or not, anything less than 120 to 144 months would be a true miscarriage of justice, in light of the fact that those guilty of far less egregious behavior receive greater sentences than Manafort received from Ellis.

Nurses Congratulate L.A. Teachers

Registered nurses with the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) applaud news that—as the result of a historic strike—30,000 educators represented by United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) have reached an agreement, ratified in voting last night, with the L.A. Unified School District (LAUSD).

“This is a huge victory for the children, families and hardworking teachers of Los Angeles. The courageous teachers and community supporters have proven that when working people stand together, they can move mountains,” said CNA/NNU Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, citing the L.A. strike as the latest example, along with a wave of historic teachers strikes in 2018, of workers rising up in collective opposition to corporate attacks and the defunding and corporate privatization of our public institutions— in this case, our public education system.

“No one has taken advocacy to the streets of America in the past year the way the teachers have done, from West Virginia to Los Angeles. We are so proud of what our UTLA sisters and brothershave accomplished through their solidarity, and their unwavering demand for justice, in the face of corporate greed,” said Castillo.

Nurses say they especially congratulate teachers on winning a reduction in class sizes.

“Teachers cannot do their job when they are overloaded with students. Nurses had to fight hard in California to win our own safe staffing protections—and are still fighting at the national level, so we are very pleased to see this particular win,” said Castillo. “Students deserve to learn in conditions where teachers are able to give them the attention, time, energy and resources to help them flourish.”

RNs also cheer news that the agreement includes the hiring of nurses, to provide a full-time nurse at every school, five days a week.

“Nurses know that when kids are not healthy, they’re not able to learn,” said Castillo. “Students today show up at school with a wide variety of complex and serious health conditions—especially since many of them may not have adequate health care outside of school. It is imperative that a nurse be on site to care for them.”

CNA/NNU registered nurses have voiced support for the teachers throughout the strike, which began January 14. RNs say they shared educators’ concern that with a pro-charter school majority on the LAUSD board, and pro-charter businessman Austin Beutner acting as superintendent, equal opportunity to education was impossible.

“The effort of billionaires to erode the public education system and push public resources to charter schools is a blatant attack on our democracy. Los Angeles teachers said, ‘Enough is enough!’—and took a huge stand for public schools, which serve high numbers of children of color and low-income children. What they have accomplished is a victory for equality in society,and for quality education for all,” said Castillo.

“Social determinants, such as the educational opportunities or level of schooling a person receives, greatly influence the health of our patients. So nurses thank the teachers for their righteous fight, which is a win for a healthier society. We want the teachers to know the nurses will continue standing with them to protect education as a public good—today, tomorrow and always.”

Celebrating Mandela’s 100th

South African Airways Vacations® (SAA Vacations®), the leisure
division of South African Airways, introduces a new package to celebrate the centennial year of Nelson
Mandela’s birth.

The 8-night air-inclusive “Celebrating Mandela’s 100th” package priced at $2,499* (restrictions apply), will take travelers in the footsteps of the new South Africa’s founding father, visiting places where key moments of the struggle for freedom took place.

The package highlights include a Robben Island tour, where
Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years, an urban cultural tour of the township of Langa in Cape Town
with a hands-on, fun-filled cooking session that takes place in a local family home.

Other features include a visit
to the World Heritage Site of the Cradle of Humankind and a visit to the legendary Apartheid Museum in
Johannesburg.

This poignant and meaningful package includes deluxe accommodations at the Sun Square Cape Town City Bowl, and Southern Sun Katherine Street in Johannesburg’s Sandton area.
“Nelson Mandela was an influential part of my childhood whilst growing up in South Africa” said Terry
von Guilleaume, president of SAA Vacations. “This package takes you to some of the places which were
instrumental in his journey from apartheid South Africa to becoming President. We hope to give the visitor a glimpse of what South Africa was like during those years and its transformation to becoming a democracy. We invite guests to experience this powerful and fascinating part of the country’s history.”

To book the “Celebrate Mandela’s 100th” package call SAA Vacations’ Africa Specialists at 1-855-359-
7228 or a professional travel consultant.

South African Airways Vacations offers air-inclusive vacation options
for all budgets, with experts on hand to ensure its clients experience the vacation of their dreams.

For more vacation packages to Southern, Eastern, and Western Africa, please visit www.flysaavacations.com.

About South African Airways Vacations®

A division of South African Airways(SAA), South African Airways Vacations® (SAA Vacations®) is highly regarded for its wide array of
affordable luxury packages to Africa and uses SAA’s extensive route network to create packages for travel throughout South Africa,
Botswana, Victoria Falls, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal, Ghana and the Indian Ocean Islands.

Offering more than 80 air-inclusive packages, which range from value to superb luxury. Our specialty-themed programs offer unique
experiences, whether you are interested in safaris, culture, cuisine, romance and adventure. The program is managed and fulfilled by
Destination Southern Africa (DSA), which was founded in 2001 and offers an extensive portfolio of tour programs with a variety of hotels,
game lodges and safari companies throughout Southern Africa.

About South African Airways

South African Airways (SAA), South Africa’s national flag carrier and the continent’s most awarded airline, serves over 75 destinations
worldwide in partnership with SA Express, Airlink and its low cost carrier Mango.

In North America, SAA operates daily nonstop flights from
New York-JFK and direct flights from Washington D.C.-IAD (via Accra, Ghana and Dakar, Senegal) to Johannesburg. SAA has partnerships
with United Airlines, Air Canada JetBlue Airways, American Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines, which offer convenient connections from more
than 100 cities in the U.S. and Canada to SAA’s flights. SAA is a Star Alliance member and the recipient of the Skytrax 4-star rating for 16
consecutive years.

Like South African Airways Vacations on Facebook here.

Follow South African Airways Vacations on Twitter here.

RE-ENGINEERING HUMANITY

Everyday new warnings emerge about artificial intelligence rebelling against us. All the while, a more immediate dilemma flies under the radar. Have forces been unleashed that are thrusting humanity down an ill-advised path, one that’s increasingly making us behave like simple machines?

Have a look at the book’s website.

About the Authors

Brett Frischmann is The Charles Widger Endowed University Professor in Law, Business and Economics at Villanova University. He is also an affiliated scholar of the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, and a trustee for the Nexa Center for Internet & Society, Politecnico di Torino. He has published foundational books on the relationships between infrastructural resources, governance, commons, and spillovers.

Evan Selinger is Professor of Philosophy at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he is also the Head of Research Communications, Community, and Ethics at the Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction, and Creativity. A Senior Fellow at the Future of Privacy Forum, his primary research is on the ethical and privacy dimensions of emerging technology. Selinger is a prolific writer and his next anthology is The Cambridge Handbook of Consumer Privacy, co- edited with JulesPolontesky and OmerTene (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2018). A strong advocate of public philosophy, he regularly writes for magazines, newspapers, and blogs, including The Guardian, The Atlantic, Slate, and Wired.

Advance Praise Re-Engineering Humanity

Frischmann and Selinger provide a thoroughgoing and balanced examination of the tradeoffs inherent in offloading tasks and decisions to computers. By illuminating these often intricate and hidden tradeoffs, and providing a practical framework for assessing and negotiating them, the authors give us the power to make wiser choices.

Nicolas Carr, author of The Glass Cage: How Our Computers Are Changing Us, from the Foreword

Re-Engineering Humanity brings a pragmatic if somewhat dystopic perspective to the technological phenomena of our age. Humans are learning machines and we learn from our experiences. This book made me ask myself whether the experiences we are providing to our societies are in fact beneficial in the long run.

Vint Cerf, Co-Inventor of the Internet

Frischmann and Selinger deftly and convincingly show why we should be less scared of robots than of becoming more robotic, ourselves. This book will convince you why it’s so important we embed technologies with human values before they embed us with their own. Douglas Rushkoff, author of Present Shock, Program or Be Programmed, and Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus.

Everybody is suddenly worried about technology. Will social media be the end of democracy? Is automation going to eliminate jobs? Will artificial intelligence make people obsolete? Brett Frischmann and Evan Selinger boldly propose that the problem isn’t the rise of ‘smart’ machines but the dumbing down of humanity. This refreshingly philosophical book asks what’s lost when we outsource our decision-making to algorithmic systems we don’t own and barely understand. Better yet, it proposes conceptual and practical ways to reclaim our autonomy and dignity in the face of new forms of computational control.

Astra Taylor, author of The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Control in the Digital Age

A magnificent achievement. Writing in the tradition of Neil Postman, Jacque Ellul and Marshall McLuhan, this book is the decade’s deepest and most powerful portrayal of the challenges to freedom created by our full embrace of comprehensive techno-social engineering. A rewarding and stimulating book that merits repeated readings and may also cause you to reconsider how you live life.

Tim Wu, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Columbia Law School, and author of The Attention Merchants

About Cambridge University Press

Cambridge University Press dates from 1534 and is part of the University of Cambridge. We further the University’s mission by disseminating knowledge in the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence. Playing a leading role in today’s global marketplace, we have over 50 offices around the globe, and we distribute our products to nearly every country in the world. We publish titles written by authors in over 100 different countries.

AI, Algorithms and More

Biased Algorithms are everywhere, so at a critical moment in the evolution of machine learning and AI, we need to talk about the societal issues this poses, according to Ralph Müller-Eiselt, an expert in education policy and governance. Müller-Eiselt was interviewed by C. M. Rubin for The Global Search for Education.

How do we ensure that algorithms are always conceived to achieve a positive impact for societies and education, rather than a danger or a risk?  Müller-Eiselt states in The Global Search for Education interview that discussions and debate about “the goals of software systems with social impact” are needed since “it is up to us as a society to decide where such systems should be used and to make sure that they are designed with the right purposes in mind.” He believes that even “algorithms designed with good intentions can produce bad results.”

Müller-Eiselt also discusses how algorithms and AI will impact evolving education systems. While the use of algorithms and AI in education is “still in its initial phase,” he asserts that policy makers should not be waiting to see what happens and react after the fact, but that they should “actively shape regulation now towards sustaining the public good.” He adds that those organizations involved in the design and development of algorithms also have a critical role to play and should be reflecting on their “social responsibility” and how best to create “common standards for professional ethics in this field.”

Read the Interview here

Ralph Müller-Eiselt is an expert in education policy and governance who heads the Bertelsmann Foundation’s taskforce on policy challenges and opportunities in a digitalized world.

CMRubinWorld launched in 2010 to explore what kind of education would prepare students to succeed in a rapidly changing globalized world. Its award-winning series, The Global Search for Education, is a highly regarded trailblazer in the renaissance of 21st century education, and occupies a widely respected place in the pulse of key issues facing every nation and the collective future of all children. It connects today’s top thought leaders with a diverse global audience of parents, students and educators. Its highly readable platform allows for discourse concerning our highest ideals and the sustainable solutions we must engineer to achieve them. C. M. Rubin has produced hundreds of interviews and articles discussing an extensive array of topics under a singular vision: when it comes to the world of children, there is always more work to be done.

For more information on CMRubinWorld

Influential Women at Wellesley

This January, Wellesley College will host several of the world’s most influential women, including Sally Yates, Wendy Sherman, Andrea Mitchell, Katharine H.S. Moon, and Madeleine Albright herself, as part of the Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs ninth annual Wintersession, a three-week intensive program at Wellesley that educates the next generation of women leaders.

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 Highlighted Events

●      On January 8, from 10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m., the Albright Institute welcomes Sally Yates, former U.S. Deputy Attorney General (2015-2017). Yates will present a keynote talk, “Principles Not Policy: Essential Norms in Preserving the Rule of Law,” exploring the vital role of trust in creating stable and just societies. This event will be available via livestream.

●      On January 16, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., a group of North Korea experts will present “Beyond the Headlines: Understanding Korea,” led by Katharine Moon, Edith Stix Wasserman Professor of Asian Studies at Wellesley and nonresident senior fellow with Brookings. This event will be available via livestream.

●      On January 24, beginning at approximately 6:40 p.m., Secretary Albright will present a dinner dialogue entitled “In the Balance: Setting a Course to Restore Democratic Principles” with Wendy R. Sherman, senior counselor at Albright Stonebridge Group and former U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs (2011 to 2015). This event will be available via livestream.

●      On the final day of Wintersession, January 25, Secretary Albright will join Andrea Mitchell of NBC News speaking at the closing ceremony for Albright Fellows. This event will not be livestreamed. 

About the Albright Institute Wintersession

This year’s Albright Institute Wintersession will educate a cohort of 48 Wellesley student fellows representing 18 countries, 18 U.S. states, and 26 majors. Following two weeks of classes and panels led by prominent speakers, the fellows spend the final week of the program working together in interdisciplinary groups to develop solutions that address a critical world issue. This year’s theme is “Harnessing the Power of Technology: Navigating Truth and Trust in a World Transformed.”

“The Albright Institute is educating the next generation of global leaders—with its interdisciplinary, experiential approach to learning and its expert faculty, talented students, and the powerful and influential women leaders it brings to Wellesley’s campus, including former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, Wellesley Class of 1959,” said Wellesley College President Paula A. Johnson. “The global problems we face—including threats to democracy, climate change, and poverty and income inequality—are increasingly complex and fraught, with the potential for worldwide repercussions. The Albright Institute is preparing its students to meet tomorrow’s challenges head on, and the world has never needed them more.”

More on Albright Institute Featured Speakers

Sally Yates, a 27-year veteran of the U.S. Department of Justice, spent more than two decades as a federal prosecutor in Georgia and was appointed U.S. Deputy Attorney General in 2015 by President Barack Obama. She was named acting U.S. Attorney General in January 2017 and served in that position for just 10 days before being fired for defying the Trump administration’s controversial travel ban—an executive order temporarily halting entrance to the United States from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Yates’s talk, “Principles Not Policy: Essential Norms in Preserving the Rule of Law,” will be moderated Lawrence A. Rosenwald, Anne Pierce Rogers Professor of American Literature, professor of English, and co-director of the Peace and Justice Studies program at Wellesley. The talk will be followed by a lunch with the fellows, who will have an opportunity to converse with Yates directly.

Albright Institute Director Joanne Murray said, “No one represents the mission of the Albright Institute better than Sally Yates—cultivating in fellows the habits of principled clarity, bold service, and courageous action to shape a better world.”

During her time as undersecretary of state, Wendy Sherman was the lead U.S. negotiator in the landmark nuclear agreement with Iran. For this and other diplomatic accomplishments, Sherman was awarded the National Security Medal by President Obama. According to Murray, Sherman “demonstrated the ability to bring opposing countries to consensus and to forge trust. She will share what deliberative negotiating means as Albright Fellows sort through potential policy solutions to the problems posed to them.”

The January 16 panel led by Professor Katharine H.S. Moon, “Beyond the Headlines: Understanding Korea,” will feature three panelists: Jieun Baek, a Ph.D. candidate in public policy at the University of Oxford, former research fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, and author of North Korea’s Hidden Revolution: How the Information Underground is Transforming a Closed SocietyMelissa Hanham, senior research associate in the East Asia Nonproliferation Program; and a third panelist, who works on a variety of causes related to human rights issues, including rights for North Korean defectors in South Korea.

In addition to Yates, Sherman, and these experts, this year’s program will feature an array of other distinguished individuals, including Anne Richard, U.S. assistant secretary of state for population, refugees, and migration from 2012 to 2017, and Jonathan Zittrain, George Bemis Professor of International Law at Harvard Law School and professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and faculty director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.

About the Albright Institute

The Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs at Wellesley College supports the College’s mission of educating students for leadership in an increasingly complex and interconnected global environment. The program combines the intellectual resources of faculty from Wellesley, researchers from the Wellesley Centers for Women, and leading alumnae and other practitioners and policy makers in the fields of international relations and public policy.

About Wellesley College

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,400 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 75 countries.

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