Wonder how research happening at UC San Diego translates into real-world benefits? Find out from faculty experts at the annual Founders Symposium. These short talks from six extraordinary minds will illuminate the collaborative approach used to understand and address complex issues within the broad research themes of understanding cultures and addressing disparities in society, and exploring the basis of human knowledge, learning, and creativity. The talks will be followed by an interactive, moderated Q&A session.
Before the symposium, join us for a reception at the Cross-Cultural Center, featuring undergraduate students who are focusing on innovation and service.
Jane Mitchell is a 27-time Emmy-award-winning journalist and producer of Channel 4 San Diego’s One on One with Jane Mitchell, featuring sports figures such as Tony Gwynn and Drew Brees. She is also the author of One on One: My Journey with Hall of Famers, Fan Favorites and Rising Stars. Mitchell owns a boutique production company, and is an ALS Association board member. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science from UC San Diego and her master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.
Radically Rethinking Food Security
The world food system comprises hundreds of millions of farmers making decisions in response to economic signals and environmental expectations. However, many of these farmers are food insecure by any number of metrics, and their production is threatened by anthropogenic climate change. Against this backdrop, what are the prospects for a world free from hunger? Using global data as well as smaller-scale studies of innovative technologies and strategies, Burney will explore the potential for a resilient food system at the heart of a new sustainable development agenda.
Jennifer Burney is an assistant professor at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy. Her work focuses on the relationships between climate and food security: quantifying the effects of climate and air pollution on food systems, understanding how food production and consumption contribute to climate change, and evaluating technologies and strategies for adaptation and mitigation among the world’s farmers. Burney was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2011. She earned her doctorate in physics from Stanford University and completed postdoctoral fellowships in food security and climate science.
Storytelling as Means of Promoting the Well-Being of Youth and Families in Their Communities
How and when do people participate in their communities in ways that amplify their voices and help shape their futures and circumstances? How can communication, learning and civic engagement be made broadly inclusive? Booker will share how she addresses disputed notions of power, place, knowledge and tools for social action in the realms of community health and university-community partnerships. Her team of community partners, undergraduates, practitioners and researchers is using collaborative design methods to learn about storytelling and collaborative production of multimedia narratives as tools for overcoming barriers to community well-being.
Angela Booker is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication. Collaborations with youth, community partners, educators and scholars form the basis of her work. She is particularly concerned with addressing barriers that diminish access to public participation among underrepresented and disenfranchised communities. Booker is currently studying the ways youth, families and schools make use of media and technology for participation, learning and community development. She holds a doctorate in learning sciences and technology design from Stanford University.
Closing the Gap: Scientific Advances and Ethical Ramifications
The speed of scientific innovation often outpaces society’s ability to develop an understanding of the related ethical issues. Callender will describe three cases—using fMRIs to communicate with patients thought to be in persistent vegetative states, designing autonomous cars, and environmental geoengineering—and discuss how UC San Diego, as a public institution and major source of innovation, has a duty to help. By viewing the current situation as an opportunity, the campus can become a leading voice guiding society’s response to new science and technology.
Craig Callender is a professor and chair in the Department of Philosophy. Much of his work is on the intersection of time and science, especially in physics and psychology. He is the author of the graphic guide Introducing Time and numerous articles that have appeared in philosophy of science, law and physics journals. Callender’s work on time has appeared or been featured in television (Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, Big Ideas on Australian ABC1), radio and popular print, including Scientific American, The New York Times and New Scientist. He received his doctorate in philosophy from Rutgers University.
Shifting Terrain: Mapping the Social Space for Learning and Change
Although efforts in educational change are documented and monitored through plans and reports, improvement does not necessarily result from these formal strategies. Instead, a network of interpersonal relationships may ultimately moderate, influence and even determine the direction, speed and depth of change and learning. This relational approach is research based and intuitive: We are social beings and that sociability does not stop outside the schoolhouse door. Daly will explain how the work of education is about shifting a community of learners to become a community that learns.
Alan Daly is professor and chair of the Department of Education Studies. He is influenced by 16 years of public school experience in a variety of roles. Daly’s research focuses on the role of leadership, educational policy and organization structures and the relationship between those elements on the educational attainment of traditionally marginalized student populations. He draws on his theoretical and methodological expertise in social network theory and analysis. Daly holds a doctorate in education from UC Santa Barbara.
Ending Poverty With Electronic Payments
Technological innovation and regulatory disruption are driving one of the most profound changes in global-payments history. At the same time, the advent of experimental impact evaluation has upended our understanding of what works and what doesn't in foreign aid. Niehaus will describe how these two converging forces are driving the global shift toward cash transfers as the default tool to end extreme poverty.
Paul Niehaus is an associate professor in the Department of Economics, He works with governments in emerging markets to improve the implementation of social programs. Niehaus is co-founder and president of Segovia Technology Co., and GiveDirectly, which is currently the top-rated nonprofit by GiveWell and ranked among the 25 most audacious companies by Inc. and among the 10 most innovative companies in finance by Fast Company. In 2013 Foreign Policy named Niehaus one of its 100 leading Global Thinkers. He holds a doctorate in economics from Harvard University.
How Interactive Theatre Can Create Institutional Change
Shifting organizational culture around intractable issues such as insufficient attention to improving diversity and addressing discrimination has proven elusive in the data-driven accountability that faces today’s institutions. Roxworthy will show how interactive documentary theatre, devised from the experiential data produced by the University of California system, creates institutional change. Involving administrators in art-making that reflects the daily struggles that underpin efforts to advance human knowledge can cultivate a leadership culture around diversity, equity and inclusion.
Emily Roxworthy is a theatre historian and performance scholar, and heads the doctoral program in the Department of Theatre and Dance. Her research focuses on issues around interculturalism and interactivity, and interdisciplinary uses of theatrical role play. With support from two grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Roxworthy collaborated with the San Diego Supercomputer Center on the 3D role-playing video game DRAMA IN THE DELTA, which reconstructed the cultural life at two World War II concentration camps that interned Japanese Americans. Roxworthy is currently producing an interactive documentary theatre program that she wrote and directed for department chairs and deans on all ten UC campuses. She received her doctorate from Northwestern University.