They talk about change, but which candidate, if any, is ready to show true leadership in addressing the real problems? In fact, do we actually understand the key problems that have inhibited positive change?
The main issues have seemed clear — over the past 8 years, or 20. Costly U.S. Energy Dependence, a volatile Middle East, Environmental Degradation, Job Losses and Immigration, Wealth Distribution, Health Care Cost and Access, Campaign Finance Reform, declining Natural and Water Resources, Stalled U.S. Growth and Global Competitiveness.
Each is a complex problem set, yet the political ‘sound-bite’ solutions are all too simplistic. Most promise unlikely ‘silver bullets’ or rely upon failed old paradigms.
So we’re left with ‘intractable’, ‘unsolvable’, ‘lack of political will’, or other excuses rather than progress. Fortunately, there are feasible, positive solutions. Indeed, each problem set poses many large potential opportunities. And like dominoes, once the real issues are understood and addressed positively, synergies will kick in, and their combined benefits can be substantial, for the individual, for the U.S. economy, and for the entire world.
We can have expanding affluence and a cleaner, safer, environment. We can have political institutions that work better. We can largely eliminate our dependency on foreign fossil fuels and help create a more progressive and stable Middle East. We have the innovative potentials to accomplish these and other key national goals. But we need to move beyond the deeply ingrained shibboleths, practices and unholy alliances that now dominate conventional thinking and Congressional practicalities. So come along with us to meet some of the nation’s leading ‘movers and shakers’, men and women who are actively implementing positive solutions to major challenges that cut across the national fabric. Approached in concert, these will reinforce each other and weave together new patterns of solutions in creative, insightful, and inspiring ways. Join us for an exciting, informative, uplifting summer program that helps provide a beacon beyond the all too lackluster negativism of election year politics, as well as posing challenging questions to ask state and national candidates.
|Hunter Lovins, CEO, Natural Capitalism Solutions Inc. and Co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute|
|John Rauh, Founder and President, Americans for Campaign Reform|
|Photo of Elliott Fisher, DHMC leading researcher on medical economics and solutions||Photo of Elliott Fisher, DHMC leading researcher on medical economics and solutions|
|Marq de Villiers, Journalist,Editor and Writer||Photo of Alice Outwater, Environmental Engineer and author of "Water: A Natural History"|
|Photo of Matthew Slaughter, Tuck Professor and recent Member of the President's Economic Advisory Council|
|Photo of Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric Company|
|Photo of Haviland Smith, Former Chief Analyst of Central Intelligence Agency|
|Photo of George M.Woodwell, Founder, Woods Hole Research Center|
Time Magazine’s “Hero of the Planet” in 2000, Hunter Lovins, through her non-profit Natural Capitalism Solutions, works with businesses, communities and governments, helping them implement sustainable energy choices that enhance both quality of life and the bottom line. Forces like climate change, globalization, the loss of major ecosystems and rising prices for oil, water and other resources indicate that business as usual simply will not continue. Hunter examines case histories and solutions for doing business in ways that protect people and the planet as the basis of profitability.
The nation faces daunting political challenges, while the 536 leaders responsible for meeting these challenges operate in a broken system. Mr. Rauh founded Americans for Campaign Reform, and examines how the influence of money affects who runs for office, who gets elected, and the legislation they ultimately enact. He’ll explain why ACR supports voluntary public funding of federal elections; how the system would work, and how it respects our Constitution. ACR’s Co-Chairs are former Senators Bill Bradley, Bob Kerrey, Warren Rudman, and Alan Simpson.
America's health care system is challenged by uneven quality, rising costs and declining access. Current proposals focus on expanding insurance coverage, but would do little to address many underlying problems. Dr. Fisher will describe insights and consequences into practice and spending that foster accountability for costs and quality and slow the growth of spending. Dr. O’Connor covers two large scale studies, working with front-line clinical teams to demonstrably improve care. These strategies could well provide a model for health care reform.
This session discusses humankind’s impact on water resources (groundwater, rivers, lakes and oceans) and the impact of diminishing clean water supplies on human life. Our expert panelists will outline the global dimensions of two overlapping water crises: supply and contamination. It will also examine the notion of who “owns” water and its proper pricing, along with possible solutions involving demand (water policy) management and technology. Restoring the integrity of natural water systems — working together with nature — can result in cleaner, more plentiful water.
U.S. economic policy is becoming ever more protectionist, a direct reflection of the American public itself, in an attitude shift, the result of stagnant or falling incomes. Public support for engagement with the world economy is strongly linked to labor-market performance, and for most U.S. workers, that performance has been poor for many years. Less than four percent of workers were in educational groups that enjoyed increases in mean real money earnings from 2000 through 2006. How to arrest this protectionist drift? Implement a new deal for globalization.
Environmental regulation, rapidly increasing fuel costs, and consensus among the general public are creating new growth opportunities for large companies to differentiate their products and grow global markets. General Electric Co. (GE) and its CEO Jeffrey Immelt are world leaders in developing these multi-billion dollar market opportunities and their many new technological prospects — in ways that provide huge profit opportunities, significantly increased, high-tech jobs and economic growth, improved U.S. competitiveness, and significant environmental improvements.
Haviland Smith, retired CIA station chief, opines that it is just a dream if we continue present policies and activities in the region. Almost all Muslims are moderate, neither radical nor fundamentalist; do not wish us ill and are perfectly capable of living side by side, not only with a peaceful Israel, but with the United States and the West in general. Mr. Smith focuses on the consequences of our current Middle East policy; changes that might be made, and what such changes might accomplish.
Climatic disruption is proceeding much more rapidly than anticipated, and its consequences are both manifold and severe. Warming feeds further warming. The only possible “adaptation” now is an actual cure: rapid stabilization of the atmosphere’s composition, followed by an immediate reduction in the heat trapping gases therein. It’s essential to achieve, in tandem, both a large reduction in the use of fossil fuels and effective global management and re-establishment of forests. If accomplished, it could result in a new world we might proudly leave to our progeny.
Dartmouth College, Hopkins Center, Spaulding Auditorium
Eight consecutive Wednesdays, July 9, 2008, ending August 27, 2008
9:00 a.m. to Noon
The Osher Institute members may subscribe by mailing a check for $80 to the Osher Institute, 10 Hilton Field Rd, Hanover NH 03755. Others may join the Osher Institute and subscribe for $160. Individual tickets will be sold at the door for $20. Please call (603) 653-0154 for more information or e-mail the Osher Institute@Dartmouth.edu.
Last Updated: 2/1/13