"A World Together"

Duke in Depth weekend explores global development
June 1, 2011
 
International connections: BBC Radio journalist Marco Werman ’83, left, moderates a video conference session; right, an exhibition highlighted the university’s global vision.

International connections: BBC Radio journalist Marco Werman ’83, left, moderates a video conference session; right, an exhibition highlighted the university’s global vision.
Megan Morr

The world got a little smaller February 24 to 27, when more than 200 alumni, friends, and students gathered on campus for “A World Together: Duke and Global Development.” It was the third installment of Duke in Depth, a series of interdisciplinary, educational weekends sponsored annually by the Duke Alumni Association. “A World Together” was a university-wide initiative that drew on faculty, student, and alumni expertise on topics such as the role of religion in the politics of global development and the importance of educating women in the developing world.

Among the speakers were President Richard H. Brodhead and Blair Sheppard, dean of the Fuqua School of Business, who explored themes related to the ethics of global development, and Michael Merson, director of the Duke Global Health Institute, who discussed major global challenges of the twenty-first century.

Participants at ethics of global development panel, top; packaging meals for international hunger relief, bottom.

Participants at ethics of global development panel, top; packaging meals for international hunger relief, bottom.
Megan Morr

Alumni participants included Disque Deane Jr. ’82, CIO of Water Asset Management, a global equity investment company focused on water resources and allocation. He joined faculty members from the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and the Duke Human Rights Center, among others, in a discussion of emerging issues in water resource management.

Another session explored the diplomatic and national-security challenges the U.S. faces as it deepens its interactions with Muslim communities in the fields of science and technology—for example, making research more easily available to scientists in places like Iraq, where issues such as the conservation and protection of natural resources have significant political and social implications for the region’s future. Featured speakers were Alex Dehgan ’91, science and technology adviser at the U.S. Agency for International Development, and William Lawrence ’85, senior adviser for global engagement at the U.S. Department of State.

Thanks to Duke’s high-tech capabilities, a handful of alumni participants joined the conversation from abroad. BBC Radio journalist Marco Werman ’83, host of Public Radio International’s The World, moderated a live video conference featuring alumni living and working in Cape Verde, Guatemala, Ethiopia, and India, who shared their personal stories.

“A World Together” coincided with a reunion of former Peace Corps volunteers on the occasion of the organization’s fiftieth anniversary. David Jarmul, associate vice president of Duke News & Communications, who was a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, chaired the planning committee for the reunion.

Fittingly, the weekend started and ended with a tribute to Peace Corps founder Sargent Shriver. Bruce Orenstein, an artist-in-residence at the Center for Documentary Studies, screened his documentary film American Idealist: The Story of Sargent Shriver on the first night of the event. And Shriver’s commitment to service was the inspiration for “Serve for Sarge!” which brought together Duke in Depth participants and others in the Duke community to package meals for Stop Hunger Now, an international hunger-relief organization.


Learn more about "A World Together."