Global-Local Inequalities: Social Change for Sustainable Communities
Photo credit: Abir Abdullah for ADB 2012
2018 Global Challenges Conference
Change makers from around the world discuss strategies for reducing inequalities.
What can we do, as individuals and organizations, to address the growing inequalities at the global and local level? At the core of inequalities lies unequal access to resources. Institutions, policies, and distribution of power - at the country and global level - shape opportunities of access to resources at a given point in time. Yet navigating these constraints, we can take action to bring about positive change that contributes to more sustainable livelihoods and resilient communities.
In the 2018 Global Challenges Conference, we explore innovative ideas, projects, and organizations that increase access at the community level. We concentrate on three interrelated areas:
- Built environments (availability and affordability of housing, electricity, transportation, etc)
- Food security and environmental justice (access to affordable and nutritional food, water, land rights), and
- Education and income-generating activities for women (access to education, training, funding). Through panels, interactive workshops, and networking and mentoring opportunities students will explore possibilities and acquire skills for impactful change in these three areas.
The goal of the conference is for students to understand the possibilities for change at the community level in the context of social and economic structures and constraints.
Friday, February 16
7:30 pm: Keynote Address, Gamble Auditorium, Art Building
Towards a New Equality: Building Changemaker Talent Globally
Dr. Diana Wells, President, Ashoka
Dr. Diana Wells has been president of Ashoka, a global organization dedicated to supporting and advancing social entrepreneurship in more than 80 countries, since 2007.
Diana began her work at Ashoka after graduating from Brown University (1988) and created one of the organization’s core programs: a network through which social entrepreneurs can share ideas and learn from one another. She took a leave from Ashoka to earn a Ph.D. in anthropology at New York University (2000). Her ethnographic research focused on understanding how social change happens as a local articulation of a global social movement and resulted in her dissertation: Between the Difference: The Emergence of a Cross Ethnic Women’s Movement in Trinidad and Tobago. She returned to her work at Ashoka to lead the organization’s geographic expansion as a global social movement and developed a widely-used and respected tool to measure the impact of social entrepreneurship.
Diana has been named both a Fulbright and a Woodrow Wilson scholar, is a trustee of Brown University, is on the Advisory Board for the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She previously served on the Board of GuideStar International. She has taught anthropology at Georgetown University and has authored and edited numerous journal and book publications including two compilations on social movements in the United States.
Diana has received a number of national awards for her work. In 2012, the Brown Alumni Association presented her with the William Rogers Award, its highest honor, George Mason University awarded her their inaugural Social Innovation Champion in 2011, and in 2007 Diana was celebrated as one of 10 winners of the first annual Women to Watch award, by Running Start, a Washington, DC based organization that empowers young women to be political leaders.
Keynote Speaker Videos
Saturday, February 17
The events below are reserved for alumnae registered for the conference and students in Coll 115.
9 – 10:30 am: Change-making on the Ground - Challenges and Impact
Each panel will have representatives from 3-4 organizations, from the Global North and the Global South
The panelists lay out the goals for and impact of their organizations. They discuss the contexts in which they are operating (the constraints within which they are working: which factors are given constraints, which factors could they modify, which public policy were most helpful, which ones were missing); they explore the challenges and constraints they had to navigate and the key lessons they learned; they identify the most important collaborators and allies and the factors that took them the furthest in achieving their goals.