Dickinson hosts workshop seeking to address challenging global issues
by Tony Moore
March 19, 2013
Chandrashekhar Dasgupta, the workshop's keynote speaker, had a distinguished diplomatic career as an Indian Foreign Service officer from 1962 until his retirement in 2000. He is engaged with research on climate change and other global environmental issues.
Dickinson recently hosted distinguished international guests from multiple disciplines at a workshop entitled The United States-India Relationship in the 21st Century: Challenges for Strategic Leaders; Opportunities for Cross-Sector Collaboration to Promote Sustainable Development."
The March 12-14 event was presented by the Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) of the U.S. Army War College and Dickinson College. Associate Professor of International Business and Management (IB&M) David Sarcone and Associate Professor of IB&M and International Studies Michael Fratantuono served as event directors.
Sarcone and Fratantuono tied the event to a class they co-teach, Cross-Sector Collaboration: Sustainability and Security in the U.S.-India Strategic Relationship, and students were on hand to assist guests and attend discussions.
"Considering the strengths of the college reflected in programs addressing sustainable development, global education and security studies, we decided to pitch a workshop [to the SSI] on the intersection of sustainability and security issues in India," Sarcone says of building the workshop from the ground up.
The event, made possible by an SSI grant, focused on India's rising international status as a center of influence and as a strategic partner to the United States as well as on security issues surrounding the "water/food/energy/climate-change nexus." This so-called nexus describes the interconnectedness of these global facets of sustainability and their growing significance in coming decades.
"The workshop themes were ambitious," says Sarcone. "That is to say, examining two complex global challenges—sustainable development and national security—and then attempting to offer a process for resolving these related issues through cross-sector collaboration."
One participant referred to the creation and management of such collaboration as "a hard way to solve hard problems," but both Sarcone and Fratantuono see the effort as the only way forward.
"Complex problems affecting multiple sectors require innovative solutions generated by stakeholders from the public, private for-profit and private nonprofit arenas," says Sarcone.
"There was a sense among the participants that issues one might associate with sustainable development will be increasingly important in the years ahead to members of the security community," Fratantuono says. "Concerted effort across stakeholder groups will be needed to address the water/food/energy/climate-change nexus, especially in light of population dynamics and growing income levels throughout much of the world."
Photos by Carl Socolow '77