Faculty, students bring their perspectives to some of today’s hot topics

The College of Public Affairs Hosts the 2017 INSS Conference

On June 6 and 7, the College of Public Affairs hosted the 2017 Integrated Network for Social Sustainability (INSS) Conference. The conference was simulcast across multiple sites, including Atlanta, GA, Charlotte, NC, and Lima, Peru, in addition to Baltimore. The theme of this year’s conference was “Smart, Connected Communities,” and David Ludlow—associate professor, European Smart Cities at the University of the West of England—served as the keynote speaker.

The conference explored the notion that while smartness and connectedness are both the product of emerging technological applications, they are also bound up in social relationships, institutions, and practices with specific historical contexts. These contexts need to be examined if emerging technological innovations are to address challenges to inclusion and equity. Participants considered the ways that technology can be integrated into and enhance social change for sustainability; at the same time, aiming to challenge the preference for technological solutions by identifying problems that exist outside of the sociotechnical system, or those for which the best solution does not depend on improved technology.

Tylis Cooper, graduate academic adviser and lecturer in the College of Public Affairs, served as the Baltimore site leader and a panelist for the “Baltimore: Technology and Urban Sustainability” session, along with Bill Kelly, retired, American Society for Engineering Education. UB student Rachael Edwards, an Integrated Arts major and student assistant in the College of Public Affairs, served on the student panel and discussed the importance of technology in the arts and the value of community inclusion to address the digital divide.

Rachael Edwards, Integrated Arts major

Tylis Cooper, graduate academic adviser and lecturer, College of Public Affairs

Learn more about the INSS.

Prof. Sheehan Moderates Premiere of National Geographic TV Film on ISIS

On June 6, Ivan Sascha Sheehan, associate professor in the School of Public and International Affairs, served as the moderator for the National Geographic Channel’s premiere of Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS, in Washington, D.C. The documentary, by Academy-Award-nominated director and New York Times #1 best-selling author Sebastian Junger and Emmy winner Nick Quested, traces the origins of the Syrian crisis and the rise of Islamic State.

Prof. Sheehan was invited to moderate the Hell on Earth premiere after having provided the welcome remarks for the media-only screening of LA92—another National Geographic Channel documentary—held on the UB campus in April.

Prof. Sheehan (left), Sebastian Junger (center) and Nick Quested (right) at the Washington, D.C. premiere of “Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS.”

Prof. Sheehan pictured with Jamal Simmons, political analyst and television commentator, who served as moderator at the media screening of “LA92” held at UB.

Learn more about Prof. Sheehan.
Learn more about Hell on Earth.
Learn more about LA92.

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