26 July 2013

VC Session V Discussion Questions

1. Ken Burns makes a bold statement: all story is manipulation - do you think this is too extreme?
      a. Do you think he actually proves his point well, with his…story in this video?
      b. He uses honesty to explain his story-telling - do you think honesty is a necessity to tell a good

2.  Transcending Boundaries:  what do you think is the message of this story? How is Peace
     represented by this narration and the two sides of this story?

3. In your own words, what is "dangerous" about the single story?

24 July 2013

VC Session IV Discussion Questions - Online Content and Live Session

From the Online Content:
  1. Nana Watanabe talks about the necessity for social entrepreneurs to redefine success in order to act and make a difference/change. Do you agree with this as a necessity? If so, why? 
  2. How does society -- profit-driven companies/businesses --  measure success? Do you think this should change?
  3. Was this your first experience/understanding of "collaborative consumption", or had you heard of the idea before this session? What are your thoughts/opinions about it - do you think it can really work? Are their successful examples in your society/community?
  4. Do you think our world, specifically the up-and-coming generations, has the capacity to change from consumers to sharers? What would this look like in the daily life-cycle in a community?
  5. What are the benefits of Human Centered Design? Do you foresee any possible problems or downfalls of this relationship-based system?
From the Live Webinar Session:
  1. Adam Selzer's live webinar emphasized the importance of learning the perspective of those you are trying to help through design. Can you think of a population that you would like to help improve through Human Centered Design? How might learning about the population and seeing the problem through their eyes change the way you might approach solving the problem? 

22 July 2013

VC Discussion Questions - Session III

From the live Webinar:

  1. We learned not only about the Amani Institute, but we also learned about how Roshan began the journey to create it! One might say the climax of his decision making was when he decided not to pursue a profit/capital only driven occupation. What is your opinion of his choice not to pursue work that is not necessarily about making money and generating capital? Do you think his decision is popular or unpopular among the younger generations now (and in the near future) entering the work-force today? 
  2. If we talk about local social initiatives, is it still an important idea that a particular society needs the certain type of leader? Or the person with just leadership skills independently from her of his cultural background can solve any problem in any corner of the world and be an 'effective leader'? I ask this question, because, as for me, there is a quite commonly held perception that it is harder to start social initiative in your own country, because you know too many hidden dangers there and unsure if you really can change something. So, it seems to you that you can be far more useful somewhere else. However, in this case we face a problem of lack of awareness about the other society's social norms, different cultural codes etc. 

 From the Virtual Classroom Videos:
  1.  Do you consider Manal al-Sharif a leader - what leadership characteristics does she portray?
  2.  She explains how she had large number of supporters and opposers - why is it important as an effective leader to know both your supporters and opposers and why you should listen and respect both?
  3. What can you learn by listening to those who doubt you as a leader?
  4. She poses a question at the beginning and the end: "who do you think it is more difficult to face, oppressive governments or oppressive societies?" - what is your opinion now that you have heard her story? 
  5. Think about those people you work with/live with/inereact with on a daily/weekly basis. Of those people, who do you respect the most? why and what characteristics do they embody that demand your respect? In what ways do they lead - on small or large levels?
  6. Have you ever had a "lollipop" moment? If so, please feel free to explain and share your story!

19 July 2013

Questions/Discussion Points by Participants of Live Virtual Classroom Session (2)

I would like the professor to talk more about religious conflict in Southest Asia if possible.
Is peace a right reserved to all people or just a specific culture?
Can such a thing as global positive peace (everyone gets what they want) exist? Do we need to settle for global negative peace? (fear from fear)
We all hear about the clash of civilizations, is it a myth or a real life issue? Could it be the key to a global peace rather than a global conflict?
What is the relationship between security and peace? 
I would be more interested to know more about how individuals or churches could participate in building peace especially againist structural violence.
What about the role nation state institutions role in peace buidling?
Although there are different levels solve different types of violence, there seems to be a favor toward top down remedies. What are the benefits of grassroot remedies against violence over top level remedies?
I always feel culture is not an easy thing to change and often conflicts that arise due to culture have effects that are a little bit hard to resolve. How can we make it easier to have peace originating from culture without compromising the cultural beliefs? 
What are the current effects of peace building movement? Is this a phenomenon? How effective and confident peace activists against the violence and conflicts increasing nowadays in terms of international relations based on Realism?
How can you measure peace? Is it by statistics? if yes, how? And based on what?

VC Session II Response Questions

Answer any or all questions concerning the content on Virtual Classroom under Session II:

Intro to Peace and Conflict Studies

1. Peace is a word full of interpreted connotations. However, there seems to be a universal standard or "definition" - at least amongst policy makers. After reading the material for this session, what ideas of peace were introduced to you that contradict those ideas embedded in the "universal understanding" of peace current policy makers hold today?
2 Who is the most peaceful person you know? Why do you consider them peaceful? What characteristics do they have that make them "peaceful" in your eyes?
3. Considering the proposed 3 Levels of Action which is the most important today? Rather, which does our global society put most of its effort and capital toward? Do you think we are focused on the right one - If so, why, and if not, how can we re-direct our focus toward another level?
Please respond below in a comment to this questions and to one another. Also, feel welcome continue the discussion from VC Live Session II.

17 July 2013

VC Session I Response Questions

Answer any or all of the following questions concerning the content on the Virtual Classroom under Session I.

  1. How do we ensure equal growth in the future?
  2. How is the government fossilized? 
  3. Why does it matter if government "innovates" itself?
  4. Which systemic risk that Ian mentions do you think is the most pertinent and the one that has the most power to destroy or guide our future growth in globalization?
  5.  As innovation speeds up and productivity increases, what is the most pressing possible threat to humanity? If productivity reduces employment, what solutions or ideas does Erik offer?

  1. Had you ever considered the issue of water and its grave importance to our global and individual future before exposure to the content of session? 
  2. What are your thoughts about water now? 
  3. What opinions or facts discussed in the material for this session about water do you agree with or disagree with? Why?

From the reading The World's Water Challenge: 
  1. What accounts for the rapid increase in water demand? 
  2. What steps should the international community take to address this crisis?
  3. Which is more likely to cause a quicker and more effective change: large scale policy changes or individual awareness/decisions?

24 June 2013

Welcome to the VIRTUAL CLASSROOM ONLINE DISCUSSION FORUM for the HJU Global Studies, Peace and Leadership Summer Seminar!

We are excited to launch the VIRTUAL CLASSROOM (VC) BLOG for the TRACK A, B and C participants of the HJU Global Studies, Peace and Leadership Summer Seminar. Be sure you understand the concept of the program by checking out our eFORUM here and also how the VC operates by reading the over view here!