Economy: Lessons from Ireland
We are fresh from the latest financial crisis to befall the world economy, with questions to be asked and lessons to be learned. Ireland makes for an interesting case for a number of reasons:
- Prior to the crash, Ireland was promoted by the likes of the EU as an example of an underdeveloped country that others could follow. Ireland was hailed as the poster country for others to follow.
- Since the crash, Ireland has followed all that has been prescribed by the experts and the likes of EU institutions. Austerity has become the norm and the Irish taxpayer is expected to make good on the gambling debts of private banks. Emigration has returned and the dreams and aspirations of generations lie shattered at the altar of systemic and individual failures.
One of the lessons from this crisis is that moral hazard is dead; banks will be bailed out if they get into trouble, particularly if they are “too big to fail”. As one writer has commented, it’s “socialism for capitalists and capitalism for everyone else”. But, by what moral code do governments place the millstone of what are effectively private sector gambling debts around the necks of taxpayers? Why are taxpayers being expected to bail out banks that engaged in reckless lending? Why are taxpayers being expected to bail out those who financed such lending, when prudence would have suggested otherwise?
Yes, there was exuberance in Ireland. Yes, the Irish government abnegated its responsibility to create a sustainable economy. Yes, Irish regulators were more laissez faire than they ever should have been. Yes, Irish bankers made extraordinarily bad lending decisions. Yes, property developers borrowed too much. Yes, the “Irish masters of the universe” failed utterly and proved themselves to be emperors with no clothes. But, what of their enablers? What about the ECB that had overarching responsibility for the euro zone banking system? What point regulation if the regulators don’t enforce them, in which case what point regulators? What about the European banks that funnelled money into the Irish banks, further fuelling the exuberance? What about the private sector ratings agencies that rated financial products as AAA, which then turned out to be junk?
The Irish taxpayer is prepared to take on the responsibility for sorting out the country’s budget deficit, but questions are naturally being asked as to why the taxpayer should be in any way responsible for paying off the debts of private sector banks. Indeed, should taxpayers be on the hook for any form of private sector debt? Why have we allowed a situation to develop where dependencies between banking and the state are such that bank failure can bankrupt the sovereign? Why do we not have even stronger regulation of banking given the apparent dependencies? Despite dependencies being at a regional and global level, we are only now beginning to put an appropriate regulatory regime in place in the euro zone, yet we still have no regulatory regime at a global level. Are we doomed to a repeat the mistakes of the past?
For some further background reading, see the following:
Paul Donnelly received his PhD in Management (Organisation Studies and International Business) from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (USA). He also holds a BA in Languages (Spanish and French) and an MBA from Trinity College Dublin. He is a lecturer at the Dublin Institute of Technology where he teaches in the areas of organisation behaviour and theory, strategy, negotiation, and ethics. Previously, he taught in the areas of management, organisational behaviour, human resources management, behaviour in the global economy, and global business at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His research interests are primarily in organisation studies, international business/globalisation, the intersections of business and society, ethics as it relates to business/management, and management education. He is co-editor of the recently published volume Irish Business & Society: Governing, Participating & Transforming in the 21st Century (Gill & Macmillan). Prior to undertaking my doctorate in the US, he worked in various management roles with the former state telecommunications company, Telecom Éireann. He currently serves as Vice President of the Irish Fulbright Alumni Association (IFAA) and he is also a board member of the newly forming Ireland United States Alumni Association (IUSA).
The Role of National Culture in Knowledge Management Implementation
For this Roundtable, I would like to divide the discussion in the following steps:
1. First, I recap and briefly explain the theory of Knowledge Management (tacit and explicit) through real life examples.
2. Second, I present National Culture indexes and theories found by Hofstede, Hall and Laurent.
3. Finally, I create group discussion environment to find out the role of National Culture in Knowledge Management Implementation with Fulbright Scholars.
Lecturer at Westminster International University in Tashkent
Fulbright FLTA 2008—Arizona State University
Note: register for this roundtable as Knowledge Management.
Energy Production and Usage—Today and in 25 Years
This round table discussion will begin with a short introduction into the history of energy sources, production, distribution and markets. A short analysis of the current situation shows the challenges posed by new types of energy production, i.e., distributed and environmental-driven production instead of demand-driven production. This enables the participants to look ahead and to discuss possible developments either driven by technology or social respectively political demands.
Dr. Uwe Koch was a Fulbright Scholar at Oregon State University in 88/89 and pursued his degree in physics at the University of Tübingen. After holding positions as IT System Specialist at the largest banks of Germany and France he is currently working for the major Swiss cooperative bank. Since 1998 he is co-owner/limited partner of several wind and solar power companies and is member of four advisory boards.
Note: register for this roundtable as Energy.
USA—Europe—China: Can we all benefit from further globalization?
Carsten Kuschnerus: Product Manager Fixed Income Union Investment; MBA Virginia Tech, 2007
Carsten Fischer: Director Strategic Projects Deutsche Bank PBC
Responsibility: (New) Challenges for Active Citizenship and how Entrepreneurs can become Part of the Solution
The Giving Pledge, which was launched by Microsoft founder Gates and investor Buffett last year as a reaction to the world financial crisis, has recently reinvigorated debates about philanthropic engagement and the question of social responsibility of entrepreneurs. In this session we would like to explore how the new philanthropic movement can evolve beyond mere window-dressing. The backdrop for discussion will be examples of long-standing civic engagement such as the Bosch company and its founder. Moreover, new models of responsibility in emerging economies will be considered.
2009-Present: Project manager for Bosch responsible for the development of pressure sensors for automotive applications
2008: Received PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota
2006: Received MS degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota
2004-2005: Fulbright Scholarship
2001-2004: Studied electrical engineering at Chemnitz University of Technology
Going Global: Media, Communication and Marketing
In 1989, CNN was not the global news network it is today, Starbucks had a few shops in the Pacific Northwest, and children in Europe didn’t go trick-or-treating on Halloween. The internet had just been invented – and far from today’s slim smartphones in our pockets. In our roundtable we will discuss how the vast changes in the media, mass communication and marketing have influenced transatlantic relations – and continue to do so in the future. Participants are encouraged to share their personal globalization stories and evaluate the cultural implications of a global economy.
1981-1985 Hochschule der Künste Berlin
1985-86 University of Texas at Austin
25 years experience in advertising agencies, corporate marketing and communication.
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The Tunisian Revolution and the democratic transition: perspectives and (future) challenges.
Tunisia has witnessed a popular revolution that led to the ousting of Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali, revolts fueled by youth protests all over Tunisia spurred by the death of a vegetable stall vendor Mohamed Bouazizi whose settling himself alight has brought tot he surface the frustrations of young Arabs with corrupt regimes and a cry for justice and equality.
The revolution has reverberated across the Arab world and led to a spread of what many call the Arab Spring to neighboring Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain. Now the serious implications oft he Tunisian revolution are the political and social challenges. These includes the return of Islamists tot he political scene, the drafting of a new constitution, the confirmation of parity in this process, the council for the protection of the revolution, youth and their participation in political life, the politicization of a society after the political vacuum for more than half a century.
This transition is painful but not without any excitement with 3 sit ins against illegitimate government, demonstrations, the dissolving of former RCD party, and the first democratic general elections will be held in January 2012.
Houda Mezioudet earned a BA in English Language and Literatures at the University of Manouba in Tunis, Tunisia. She taught Legal English in the University of Tunis from 2001 to 2002. In 2003, she obtained a six-month scholarship from the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education to carry out a case study in the London district of Brixton, England as part of her MA dissertation research in black counter culture and was a visiting research associate at the University of East London, England. She earned an MA in British Cultural Studies at the University of Manouba in Tunis, Tunisia in 2005. In 2005-2006, she was a French language teaching assistant in two schools in Glasgow, Scotland as part of the British Council Foreign Language Teaching Assistants Program and a part-time Arabic instructor at a private Muslim school in the same city. In 2006-2007, she worked as a professor of cultural studies, US and British studies and translation studies in the University of Tunis and the Central Private University in Tunis, Tunisia. She taught Arabic language at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA as part of the FLTA Program. She taught as an assistant professor of Cultural and Translation Studies, British cinema and phonetics from 2008 to 2010. Currently, she is engaged in the US Embassy in Tunis’s Access Micro-Scholarship Program teaching English language and US culture to underprivileged high schools students in Tunis.
Note: register for this roundtable as Politics.
Science Education - Perspectives and Challenges
"Scientific literacy is the capacity to use scientific knowledge, to identify questions and to draw evidence-based conclusions in order to understand and help make decisions about the natural world and the changes made to it through human activity. ” (OECD 2003).
We live in an age of constant scientific discovery - a world shaped by revolutionary new technologies. More and more, scientific and technological issues dominate our everyday lives as well as international discourse: from environmental debates on ozone depletion and bioethical concerns about cloning or genetically engineered food, to economic threats from climate change and invasive species. Other topics feature medical advances, possible extraterrestrial life and DNA evidence. Understanding these debates has become as basic as reading. It also demonstrates that producing a scientifically literate citizenry is vital in order to serve some of the most fundamental objectives of global challenges.
However, large scale assessment studies such as OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) showed that high school students at the end of compulsory education still lack crucial competences in scientific literacy. Moreover, socio-economic status, as well as home background was one of the most powerful factors influencing performance in the tests. It was shown that the unequal distribution of wealth in some countries, such as Brazil, Portugal and the United States, makes it difficult to provide equal learning opportunities.
How can we tackle such an educational disequilibrium? How can we foster scientific literacy and prepare students for future challenges? How can we encourage citizens to continue learning throughout life?
Andrea Möller was recently appointed full professor of Biology and Science Education at the University of Trier, Germany. She holds a P.h.D. in Biology and a “Staatsexamen” (M.A. of Education) in Biology, English and Educational Sciences from Goethe University Frankfurt. She was a visiting researcher to the Universities of Lund, Sweden and Yale, USA. During her studies she worked part time as a highschool teacher in Great Britain, the U.S. and Germany. She has over 8 years experience as a freelance science museum educator and helped setting up several science school labs.
Dr. Möller was part of a 3-year nationwide project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research investigating the development of scientific inquiry competence in high school students. She served as vice president communications of the German Fulbright Alumni Association and as president of the Federation of German-American Clubs Alumni Association.
Note: register for this roundtable as Education.
Economic Growth and Democracy
Using the experience from previous studies and applying it to the evolving realities in the my presentation are maintained and developed the idea of linkages between economic growth and democracy. I would like to make use of the example of the Republic of Moldova to demonstrate where this link should be, and why.
Tatiana Pyshkina is a Dr.Habilitat, Professor of Economics at the Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova, Faculty of Economics and Law, (ASEM, Chisinau).
Education: Dr.Habilitat in Economics::Academy of Economic Studies (ASEM) of Moldova, 2007; Fulbright Alumni experience: at University of Omaha (Nebraska), 1998; Ph.D. in Economics: Tallinn: Institute of Economics Research of the Academy of Science of Estonia within the Institute of Economics Research of the Academy of Science of Moldova,1978. Diploma in Economics (BSc): Technical University of Moldova.
Lectures in: Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Economic Policies, Economics and Government, Globalization and Economic Growth.
Publications: Total of more than 120 publications, including the textbook on macroeconomics, written and published after the end of the program Fulbright.
She represented the Republic of Moldova in the World Trade Organization: WTO Regional Workshop, Vienna, Austria, 2006; Kiev, Ukraine, 2008; WTO, Workshop for Academics from Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus, ,Geneva, 2009.
She was a Supervisor of the National Scientific Project: “Economic Growth and Structural Priorities – theoretical and practical aspects” under the State Program "Development of mechanisms and methods for stimulating economic growth, reducing poverty and improving the quality of life”( 2009).
The Middle East and Fukushima—American and European Challenges to Formulate Sustainable Energy Policies
This Roundtable will attempt to identify possible common and divergent approaches adopted by the United States and the European Union in response to the major international developments taking place at the beginning of 2011.
First, participants will address the relative weight of the main factors, i.e. economic and industrial interests, public safety concerns, global warming as well as foreign and human rights policies towards oil producing countries.
Second, the discussion would analyse as to how the United States and the European Union might in the future "structure" their energy supply "mix" and whether similar regulatory patterns on both sides of the Atlantic could become "models" of sustainable policies for the global community. In this context attention will be paid to the precautionary principle in environmental protection as it has been developed in US and EU legislation and jurisprudence and in international legal instruments.
Kurt Riechenberg, a German lawyer, is Senior Legal Secretary (Clerk) to Judge Silva de Lapuerta at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg since October 2003.
He joined the Court in 1983, where he has been Clerk to three Judges until 1997. Between 1998 and 2003 he was Chief of Staff to the President of the Court. During the past 20 years he has lectured in the United States, Germany, Spain, Portugal, France, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Albania, Serbia, Switzerland as well as Central and South America on a wide range of topics in the field of European Union Law. In 1993 and 1996/97, he was Visiting Fulbright Professor of European Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and held the same function thereafter at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá/Colombia.
In November 2005, he was appointed Secretary of the 'Group of Wise Persons' established by the Ministers of the Council of Europe in order to evaluate the functioning of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Note: register for this roundtable as Energy and Sustainability.
The idea I am considering is the ways in which the nations formerly part of or under the influence of the USSR until 1989, or so reconstruct their national narratives: what role does the construct of "gender" play? Specifically, how does the public role of women develop: under what historical models, and with what contemporary forms referencing either the national cultural patterns or international ideals do women themselves define their lives? What role does higher education play in shaping these definitions, who is part of the "conversation" about them, and how far have they been accepted in the legal, social, and cultural settings of the nations? I would use my experience teaching, lecturing, traveling, and facilitating such study in the Republic of Macedonia as my "case study."
Mary Ellen Heian Schmider earned the Ph. D. in the Program in American Studies at the University of Minnesota, completing an interdisciplinary dissertation on Jane Addams’ Aesthetic of Social Reform. After an outstanding academic career that took her around the world on lecturing and teaching assignments, she currently teaches online for the University of Maryland University College in History and Women’s Studies. She was awarded two U. S. Fulbright Scholar Grants: to Lanzhou University,Gansu Province, China, in 1997, and Sts. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, R. Macedonia, in 2005-6. Mary Ellen was elected to the Board of Directors of the Fulbright Association, headquartered in Washington, D. C. where she is now in her second three-year term on the Board.
It's not information overload. It's filter failure.
As the information tide seems to be swelling by the day or even faster, user devices become more and more mobile and usage patterns have reached the levels of "always on" and "to go". Getting your very own information household sorted out is among the core skills for your professional and private life today.
Setting the tone with the key note from a major web 2.0 conference, this roundtable addresses the hypothesis whether the solution is just a matter of employing the appropriate "filters". Participants will share their own experiences, discuss problems and suggest best practices to be presented in plenum.
1990: M.Sc. in Computer Science;
1994: establishing a business field for internet-related technologies at FAST;
today: heading the web team and managing customers and projects at Cirquent GmbH;
once in a while: getting a break from all things digital as a high-altitude mountaineer
Note: register for this roundtable as Information Overload.
Scenarios of Electric Mobility
Can electric vehicle solve problems like pollution, noise, and congestion while guaranteeing individual mobility? or do they rather obstruct the path to a fundamental change in our mobility behavior? Do electric vehicles help to reduce our energy footprint per person and to use energy in a sustainable way, or do we simply substitute one energy carrier for another? In brief, what role will electric vehicles play in the future and how might this future look like in terms of mobility patterns, technology, politics, business models, and many aspects of everyday life? The goal of this Roundtable is to jointly develop several possible scenarios for future (electro-) mobility.
Studies of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology at RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany; graduate studies as a Fulbright Scholar at UC Berkeley, California; doctoral studies and research on wireless communications at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, followed by WLAN development work for an ETH Zurich startup. Since 2009 responsible for simulation of battery-electric and hybrid-electric vehicles at Robert Bosch GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany. Since 2007 member of the board of governors of RWTH Aachen University.
DESERTEC—Clean Power From Deserts for a World of 10bn People
In 6 hours, the deserts of the world receive more energy than all humankind consumes in a whole year. We will present the DESERTEC concept (www.desertec.org) that proposes to supply carbon-free energy to a world of 10 billion people by capturing solar energy in deserts and supplying it to the consumption centers via DC cables. We can also point out how and why the Fulbright experience has helped us become valuable contributors on this.
The DESERTEC Foundation has delivered the blueprint for the Mediterranean Solar Plan in 2008, initiated the DESERTEC Industrial Initiative in 2009 (it now comprises more than 50 companies), and in 2010 welcomed Transgreen/MedGrid as another group of powerful companies pursuing the implementation of the DESERTEC concept.
Oliver Steinmetz is one of the founders of the DESERTEC Foundation and a member of its Supervisory Board. Dr. Steinmetz holds a Ph.D. in economics and a Diploma in computer sciences and business administration.
In 1986 his interest in translating between different cultures led him to serve as the founding president of the German Fulbright Alumni association.
In his professional life he works at the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg, where he is responsible for Risk Management and Reference Data systems in IT.
His hobbies include volleyball, cycling, and motor sports history.
Dr. Ulrich Hueck is a co-founder of the DESERTEC Foundation. He did an apprenticeship on heating systems and studied mechanical engineering at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany. During a Fulbright scholarship he obtained a Master of Science degree from the University of New Mexico, USA. He combined the work on his Ph.D. at the Institute for Mechanics of the University of Darmstadt with mathematical research work at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Since 1994 Dr. Hueck has been employed in the field of fossil power generation. He has worked on project execution for new power plants, on the design of gas turbines and on field installation and commissioning of new power plants in Europe and Asia. Since 2002 he has assumed various functions in the servicing of units with capacities over 100 MW.
During his youth he concluded that knowledge of conventional power plant business is required to help renewables progress on an industrial scale. He became a co- founder of the DESERTEC Foundation in October 2009.
Dealing with the Past and Facing the Future: A Moldovan History Classroom Experience
It is a known fact that learning takes place in a particular cultural tradition of knowledge, cultural, social and political legacies are linked together and have a direct influence on the education process. The post-soviet space makes not an exception in this sense; despite many urges in changing the approach of historical studies and research, these often carry an ethno-centrist, parochial or nationalist character.
The paper is based on the teaching experience within the “Anti-communist Resistance in Romania and Moldovan SSR” course, which covers a subject that is still controversially discussed in the society. The observations were made during the so-called “Twitter revolution” that took place in Chisinau on 6-7 April 2009, and these proved that studying the past through the eyes of the present is a useful and important exercise. The outside events shifted students’ perceptions about democracy and social activism and made them reconsider the knowledge and skills gained within the classroom. The past was revived, moreover, it became a part of the present and a necessary compound of the future.
Svetlana Suveica is an associate professor in history at Moldova State University in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. She received her PhD from Al. I. Cuza University in Iasi, Romania in 1999, since then teaches courses in contemporary Romanian and East-European history and methodology, as well as MA courses in US history and society and US higher education at the American Studies Center in Moldova. The Center provides a unique interdisciplinary MA program in American studies. Dr. Suveica is a well-known researcher and her publications cover the debated topics in Bessarabian/Moldovan history. She is also involved in educational issues and took part in several international conferences dedicated to teaching and learning. Dr. Suveica is a former Fulbright senior fellow at Stanford University in California, USA (2009-2010).
Note: register for this roundtable as Education: Experience in Moldavia.
The future challenges of international human migration and their governance
Although the global downturn is today in better control than in 2008, three global trends anticipate great future challenges in international migration. Brain drain is all but solved, robbing Africa, the Middle East and Latin America of their best and brightest. Agriland in developing is decreasing and ineffective; This will cause migration to cities to grow, and food prices to increase and cause restlessness. Finally,
refugee-causing conflicts have not decreased but rather, are increasing. Could further international cooperation solve these problems in the future?
Dr. Arno Tanner was a Finnish visiting scholar at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington D.C. in 2004-05. He is currently Adjunct Professor at the Universities of Helsinki and Tampere. He is also the Head of Country Information for Russia, Eastern Europe, the European Union, and North America at the Finnish Immigration Service. Dr. Tanner has written 10 books and 40 articles on international migration and ethnic relations, and consults for the International Organization for Migration, Council of Europe, and UNESCO on questions of emigration, immigration, and immigrant integration. He was recently nominated Knight at the Order of Lion of Finland.
Note: register for this roundtable as Migration.
Sovereign Wealth Funds and Security Policy: Towards a New Era of Protectionism?
The financial crisis and the rise of sovereign wealth funds stoked fears within the Western states that their technological leadership will be sold out soon. The maintenance of technological leadership, independence with regard to the supply with energy and commodities will be crucial issues in the next 50 years. While security policy is usually connected to the military capabilities, the above mentioned issues contribute decisively to the security of a state. The question is which way is the best to guarantee security while fighting protectionism.
Michael Vetter is a legal trainee at the Court of Appeals in Düsseldorf. Currently, he works at the German Ministry of Economics and Technology in Berlin. He holds a Master of Laws degree from the University of Miami School of Law and a Diploma in Law from Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf. Michael Vetter teaches students from the Middle East in "European Law" and German law students in "Legal Research and Writing" at Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf. He is writing a Ph.D. thesis on the legal protection of key industries in Germany and The United States.
Note: register for this roundtable as Security Policy.
The Healthcare System in Germany and the US: Transatlantic Perspectives
Just recently, Barack Obama has prevailed a new health care reform in the US against all opposition. But what are the main features of this reform? What are the similarities or the differences to the German health care system? And why do so many Americans reject this health reform, which seems to be so necessary? This burning question will be discussed with the participants.
Martin Wegmann studied at the university of cologne and holds a Diploma in health economics. Since 2006 he is working as a consultant at the "Medical advisory service of the social health insurance"- a central institution of the german healthcare system. His main responsibilities there are to advise the social health insurance (GKV) on the basis of so-called "Health Technology Assessments" which new treatments have a benefit for the patients and therefore should be paid. He is especially interested in new developments in health policy. His personal interests include sailing and making music.
US Politics - 1986 to 2011 and into the Future
This roundtable will discuss various aspects of US politics, reviewing the past 25 years and looking ahead into the future. Potential topics, depending on participants' interests, include:
- remembering and rating US presidents: Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr., Obama
- the US and the world: from the Cold War to the "new world order" to the War on Terror
- political campaigns and the internet
- looking ahead to the 2012 presidential election
Fulbright scholar at Brown University, Providence, RI, M.A. in American Studies;
Diplom (M.A. equivalent) in International Business and Cultural Studies, University of Passau;
Fulbright Alumni Association activies: Vice President for Communications (2007/08), President (2009/2010)