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.

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.

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

Protecting Women from Domestic Violence: In the Living Room with Sudha Shetty

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Smart thinking! That’s the reaction many had when Sudha Shetty told the story of how she reached women in Seattle’s South Asian community who may have been victims of abuse. As the then-head of Chaya, a domestic violence prevention program, Shetty tried to speak at numerous public events in order to raise awareness of the issue. But after being rebuffed again and again, she figured out how to bypass the podium gatekeepers. She printed Chaya business cards listing resources for victims and placed them in the women’s bathrooms, thereby avoiding the scornful gaze of the male event organizers. Hear more about this and other ways Shetty is now helping women as the director of the Hague Domestic Violence Project and the assistant dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley.

Watch Protecting Women from Domestic Violence with Sudha Shetty — In the Living Room with Henry E. Brady

The Politics of Food – Food Choice, Food Production and the Food Movement

8232Behind every bite of food, there is a policy that influenced its production.

Marion Nestle, NYU Professor and prize-winning author, finds a paradox in today’s global food system in that food insecurity or obesity threaten the health and welfare of half the world’s population yet there is an overabundant and overly competitive food system that is motivated by corporate growth targets. The profits are in “junk food,” so the economic forces operate against healthy eating.

This contradiction between the goals of public health and food corporations has led to a large and growing food movement in the United States which encourages us to vote with our forks and support the food system we want when we shop.

Find out more about the economic and institutional factors that influence food policies and choices, and think about how we should balance individual and societal responsibility for those choices. Then, get some tips on how you can make a difference when you shop for food.

Nestle is the author of numerous books, including “Food Politics,” which explored the way corporations influence our nutritional choices, and “What to Eat,” a survey of how to navigate the modern American supermarket.

Watch:
Food Politics and the Twenty-First Century Food Movement with Marion Nestle

Food and Politics with Marion Nestle – Conversations with History