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Global Warming Solutions and Herding Cats

FTN logo WilliamsHolding a big event at Williams is like herding cats. In an institution run by independent and motivated professors and administrators, getting collaboration and consensus is very difficult. That is why I’m very proud to announce plans for Focus the Nation, an event which really will capture the attention of the entire school, at least for a day.

A little background on Focus the Nation: conceived of and promoted by Eban Goodstein ’80, this day-long symposium for global warming solutions will take place at over 1500 schools, churches and businesses across the country. Held on Jan. 31st nationally, the eve of super Tuesday, the goal is to engage 5 million citizens in active and intelligent conversations about global warming solutions.

The classic problem in any sort of activism is that when you throw an event, only the people who are interested come. In order to address this age old problem, we’re going to the students. Starting in September, we embarked on a campaign to speak to every single faculty member individually and ask for some or all of class time on February 5th to discuss climate change from the stance of their department. To speak to over 300 faculty is a big project, and I applaud Meredith Annex ’11 and Martin Sawyer ’08 who have coordinated those efforts.

ftn logo nationalIts paying off. Currently over 60 faculty will use between 5 minutes and all of their class time to talk about where their passion for a better world intersects with their discipline and subject matter. And more new commitments are coming in every day. We’ve actually been surprised at how many faculty are genuinely eager to participate in an event that addresses a big issue and uses their particular strengths. Maybe it’s not that surprising after all.

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Currently browsing posts filed under "Eban Goodstein ’80"

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