Four GeoTech Center Fellows–Ms. Krista Pawley, Dr. Joseph Bonivel, Jr., Dr. Molly Jahn, and Dr. Eric Rasmussen–as well as director Dr. David Bray, recently were featured in the STAR-TIDES 2020 virtual conference in a panel titled Building Sustainable Resilience Across Silos. STAR-TIDES (Sustainable Technologies, Accelerated Research – Transformative Innovation for Development and Emergency Support) is a global network of experts focused on “building sustainable resilience, promoting human security (freedom from want and freedom from fear), and creating life-changing social and economic activities,” in partnership with the US Department of Defense’s Transformative Innovation for Development and Emergency Support program.
The conference opened with a keynote address by Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas L. Friedman, a celebrated columnist for the New York Times. Friedman discussed the “Age of Acceleration,” a common theme in his writing, which is concerned with the way our society is being reshaped by alarming trends in technology, globalization, and climate change. “The Market, Mother Nature, and Moore’s Law,” as he put it, are making the world fast, fused, “deep,” and open, more quickly than society can keep up. Reflecting on our political system, Friedman pointed out how “the only way to govern this world is through collaborative ecosystem relationships. You can no longer govern the world on a left-right, partisan grid.”
The General Session panel featuring GeoTech experts focused STAR-TIDES’ mission toward the specific theme of cross-cutting efforts, using technology to connect resources from across the various silos of the public and private sector. Addressing questions of how to empower people and communities to be resilient against the changes that Friedman highlighted, panelists offered the idea of complex adaptive coalitions, an effort to build those “ecosystem relationships” Friedman referred to. Panelists highlighted themes of digital governance and identity, as well as distributed data ownership, among other innovative ideas to redesign our society around the pillars of trust in the face of accelerating changes.
Check out the keynote address here, and the full video of the panel of GeoTech Fellows at the link below.
We all can lead. Positive “change agents” — individuals willing to work across sectors and nations to help illuminate better ways through the shared turbulence we are experiencing — are needed now more than ever.
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