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I’ve been thinking a lot lately on what influences us. Day to day we each have our routines and along the way are bombarded by images, messages, and endless information. But what breaks through the information overload and influences us? What captures our attention, our imagination and ultimately lodges itself in our memory? Maybe I’m paying closer attention to the details of everyday more acutely after reading Joe Nye’s latest book The Future of Power.
As our attentions are increasingly focused on the Middle East, deficit reduction, spending and job creation…one issue that receives little attention but is inextricably linked to each of these critical issues is the mass privatization of American power. We are exploring this theme in my Corporate Diplomacy II course this spring, the inspiration of which came from the work of international relations scholar Allison Stanger, Director of the Rohatyn Center for International Affairs at Middlebury.
If the events in Egypt taught us anything over the past few weeks it is that notions of freedom and fear run in parallel. I was struck as many of you might have been by the myriad images and poignant stories pouring out of Egypt showing Egyptians by the thousands demanding their freedom and rallying for global support. It reminded me of why I have such an enduring appreciation and admiration for Egyptians as a people. They are deeply proud of their heritage and culture and this is infused in every aspect of daily life.
If there ever were a time for a new beginning in this country, it is now. The recession is still very much with us. Global crises and disasters compound daily. Our national attention is consumed with political candidates on both sides of the aisle who seem to have completely lost their minds. And yet amidst the absurdities, there are signs of real hope and cause for optimism.
Earlier this summer I had the opportunity to teach Corporate Diplomacy and Geopolitics for the MBA School at the University of San Francisco. My students were part of USF’s Executive Program—all working full-time while pursuing their degrees. Unlike my experience teaching this past spring at USC, where I had the luxury of a full semester, here I was given 6 weeks to cover the world.
The conversation began innocently enough - sitting on a porch in Half Moon Bay, overlooking, ironically, The Mavericks - where only the best come to surf and conquer the monster waves.
“Cari, you’re a Five Tool Wife,” remarked one of my husband’s friends.
People, Places, Power | Season 2, Episode 33: What’s in a Name? Renaming Places as a Strategic Gambit
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