The world continues to face an unprecedented number of global challenges that demand discussion, strategy and action. Solving these challenges will require transnational and cross-disciplinary effort. These challenges exist within a world that is subject to constant motion and pressures including political and social change, sustainable energy searches, the opening of global markets and a tremendous opportunity for growth. USC, as a premier research university, continues to play a leadership role in the knowledge enterprise landscape through its contribution to the creation of new knowledge, innovation and knowledge transfer. Tackling global challenges and enhancing opportunity is a key strategic priority for the education and research mission of our institution.
The theme of the 2011 USC Global Conference, Global Challenges and Enhancing Opportunities, reflects our belief that every problem represents an opportunity for positive change. Focusing on 2011’s interrelated shifts in global technology, the economy, environment, and governance, the conference will bring together leading experts in each of these areas to examine the challenges and explore potential opportunities. Formal presentations, panel discussions and multiple networking venues will provide conference participants with a unique opportunity to engage with the leaders in these fields. We invite you to make your plans today to be a part of this dynamic dialog.
We are pleased to announce Thomas L. Friedman as our 2011 keynote speaker. Friedman, an internationally renowned author, reporter and columnist, and three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, will be speaking on the eve of his much-anticipated new book, That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented— and How We Find Our Way Back. In addressing the challenges of what he calls “The Next Phase of Globalization,” Friedman will outline how changes in governance and technology will continue to shape the global economy in the twenty-first century and beyond.
Friedman’s opening session will set the stage for this year’s Global Conference three interrelated subthemes: Technologies and the Economy, Global Health and the Environment, and Governance and Cultural Landscapes. Experts from USC and elsewhere will discuss and showcase their specialized topics and will frame them in the context of the sub- themes.
|Technologies and the Economy
This subtheme will address the importance of advanced technologies as well as discussion on sustainability, energy efficiency and green technology strategies, and how these issues have significant economic and social impact. As business relies increasingly on electronic infrastructure, how will changes in technology affect global commerce? How are private industry and governments preparing for the rising threat of cyber-attacks? How will social media change traditional dynamics between citizens, business, and government?
|Global Health and the Environment
Challenges to the world’s health transcend political and geographic boundaries. We will explore the global challenges to health improvements regionally and worldwide, strategies to reduce disparities, and protection against global health threats that disregard national borders. How are cities and countries addressing the growing challenges of climate change and its threat to the health and economic well-being of their citizens? In the wake of devastating natural disasters in both developing and developed countries, how are governments and NGOs preparing for future threats? What innovations in infrastructure and public policy will reshape the urban environment in the next decade?
|Governance and Cultural Landscapes
This subtheme will explore some of the compelling issues that face regions and global society from the point of view of global governance challenges, international relations, human security, public diplomacy and the preservation of culture. How will governments balance the need for growth with the needs of their citizens including increasing demands for reform? What kinds of changes are necessary to national systems of health care, education, and security? As societies change more rapidly than ever before, how will different cultures, the arts and artistic expression ensure a measure of preservation and sustainability?