Category Archives: Public Affairs

Innovation and Culture at the Border

32822Tijuana – San Diego, Ciudad Juarez – El Paso; these regions share economic and cultural linkages in dynamic cross-border regions. The Institute of the Americas and the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program hosted a fascinating event that highlighted success stories and dynamism in the innovative and creative environment of border regions.

Speakers include Regina Bernal, Entrepreneurship Manager, University of San Diego; Ricardo Mora, Founder and CEO of Technology in Ciudad Juárez; Guillermo Mejía, Managing Director at MindHub in Tijuana; Jim Brown, Bread & Salt and Principal at PUBLIC Architecture and Planning; David Favela, Founder of Border X and artist Jessie Zelayandia.

Watch:

  • Innovating at the Border
  • The Creative Economy
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    Universities and Cities Working Together to Build Strong Communities

    32240As the former president of the University of Pennsylvania, Judith Rodin understands first-hand the power of universities to impact surrounding neighborhoods and communities. In this Helen Edison presentation, Rodin explores their transformative potential.

    “Over the last few decades, a host of anchor institutions have breathed new life into communities and they have forged new pathways for economic growth in their cities,” says Rodin.

    As she explains when she became president at Penn State, “The blight of the local neighborhood became the plight of the university. Students didn’t feel safe, and parents didn’t feel safe sending them there.” At the time, crime rates had soared, many people lived below the poverty level, businesses closed, and drug dealers moved in. “We knew that we could never have a future as a truly great university in a disintegrating community in an economically weakening city,” says Rodin. “We needed to become a force for strengthening our community.”

    Most importantly, she learned that “in the process of transforming the university and its surrounding neighborhoods, we demonstrated just what a powerful impact a university can have when it accepts that its destiny is intertwined with that of its neighbors.”

    Learn more about how cities and universities can work together to build a strong and inclusive future. Watch Resilient Cities: A Conversation with Judith Rodin.

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    The Water Wars Have Begun

    32822The Water Wars are coming – and according to Executive Producer Lynne Kirby, they’re already here.

    Concerned about what her daughter would drink in the years ahead, Kirby became passionate about water conservation issues. She knew water was going to be a big issue in the decades to come – that water would be the “oil” of the 21st century.

    She pitched the idea of making a documentary of the coming water wars to Alex Gibney, an investigative documentary filmmaker of films about Scientology, WikiLeaks, Enron and others. According to Kirby, Gibney’s the kind of guy who says, I’m coming after you… and you’re going down… and we’re going to peel back the onion and expose you.

    Gibney then approached National Geographic who had been looking for a water project and the rest is history. Water & Power: A California Heist unfolds like a real-life version of the 1974 film noir Chinatown and uncovers the ruthless exploits of California’s notorious water barons, who profit off the state’s resources while everyday citizens endure a debilitating water crisis.

    Watch Water & Power: Discussion of Documentary with host and UCSB Professor of Film & Media Studies, Constance Penley, and Executive Producer Lynne Kirby to hear more behind-the-scenes stories about this incredible documentary.

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    Are Robots Going to Hurt or Help? Let’s Talk Driverless Cars with Jennifer Granholm

    8232Imagine a not-too-distant future where gasoline-powered engines disappear and we all travel in electric, driverless cars that don’t pollute the air. And, a future where the actual number of cars on the road decreases because we’ll all participate in a transportation sharing service rather than owning our own vehicles. That’s the vision presented by former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm in this energetic talk to the Goldman School of Public Policy as she describes its financial and environmental advantages but also outlines the new policy challenges. Among them, how to retrain professional drivers? What to do with empty parking lots? And how to replace the tax revenue generated by gas sales? Granholm’s eye-opening peek into the next decade will give you lots to think about next time you’re stuck in traffic.

    Watch now: Are Robots Going to Hurt or Help? Let’s Talk Driverless Cars with Jennifer Granholm

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    Preparing For Life After Incarceration

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    “The first 72 hours of freedom, says Nicholas Alexander of the Reentry Success Center are the most fraught with danger. Without a job or a place to live, newly released inmates are at high risk for finding trouble. That’s a situation that Alexander and his colleagues in Richmond, CA are working hard to prevent. They reach out to prisoners and their families before and after the release to provide critical services — like housing, employment training, and counseling — to help them reintegrate successfully into their communities. And, as Alexander tells Jonathan Stein on this edition of In the Arena, it’s working! Hear how better futures are being built on Preparing for Life After Incarceration with Nicholas Alexander on the UC Public Policy Channel.

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