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Maxwell PAIA Students Host Conference – April 4-5th

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Maxwell Conference: Managing Wicked Problems in the 21st Century
Hosted by
Public Affairs International Relations Association,
Maxwell School, Syracuse, NY, April 4-5

In the 21st century the boundaries of our cities and nations are becoming ever more porous. In many instances, it’s not clear where a national government’s authority begins and ends and where problems become international in nature. Environmental issues cross borders with impunity. To address national security challenges requires international cooperation and managing health and education deficiencies among the poor and disadvantaged are now international endeavors.

These large, international problems are increasingly being thought of as wicked problems – complex, boundary-spanning issues which require the engagement of a wide variety of stakeholders in devising multi-faceted solutions. We will explore the nature of wicked problems and what solutions public administration and international relations can offer. We will engage a number of topics, following the schedule below:

Friday April 4, 2014

5:30 – 7:30PM – Networking event with Alumni at The InnComplete

Saturday April 5, 2014

8:00 – 9:00AM – Breakfast and Registration

9:00 – 9:30AM – Opening Remarks and Welcome

David Van Slyke, Ph.D., Louis A. Bantle Chair in Business and Government Policy and Professor, Public Administration and International Affairs at the Maxwell School.

9:30 – 11:00AM Session One: “Innovation in K-12 Public Education.” Hosted by Education Policy Inquiry Club (EPIC).

The Maxwell Conference Education Panel will discuss the evidence on how American K-12 education systems improve. Their starting point will be the framework presented in the 2010 McKinsey Report “How the World’s Most Improved School Systems Keep Getting Better.” The panel, which includes experts from the non-profit, K-12 public school district, and consulting sectors, will examine the various interventions that are effective at each stage of a public school system’s improvement while also highlighting examples from their areas of professional practice that have helped advance student achievement. The panel will also discuss major education reform efforts and analyze the different approaches to education policy implementation used in a variety of urban contexts throughout the United States from Syracuse to Detroit and New Orleans.

Moderated by Kevin Wenzel ‘13, STEM Integration Coordinator with DC Public Schools

Panel participants:

Dr. Zhedric Barbra – Executive Director of School Turnaround, Syracuse City School District

Ting-ting Liang ‘06 – Chief Financial Officer, New Orleans Public Schools

Juliet Squire – Associate Partner of Policy and Thought Leadership, Bellwether Education Partners

Armen Hratchian ‘06 – Vice President, Excellent Schools Detroit

11:15 – 12:45 Session Two: “The Wickedness of the Food-Energy-Water Nexus.” Hosted by Students for Tomorrows Environmental Policy (STEP) with Sense and Sustainability

Environmental problems are inherently wicked, crosscutting traditional academic, governmental, and geographical boundaries, demanding high degrees of collaboration, and resulting in complex trade-offs in management of crucial resources. This session will highlight the perspectives of several academics and practitioners on the food-energy-water nexus and the complexities that governments and managers tackle when faced with this wicked problem.​

With Speaker: Paul Hirsch PhD., Assistant Professor of Environmental Policy SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry

1:00 – 2:30PM “The Changing Governance Context.” Lunch with Keynote Speaker Kirk Emerson, Ph.D.

Kirk Emerson, PhD. is Professor of Practice in Collaborative Governance at the School of Government and Public Policy, The University of Arizona. Dr. Emerson is the former director of the US Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution of the Morris K. Udall Foundation (1998–2008).  Her current research focuses on collaborative governance related to climate change, border security, and public lands management.

Before pursuing her doctoral studies, Emerson worked in urban planning for eight years at the Bucks County Planning Commission in Pennsylvania, first as an environmental planner and then as the director of countywide planning. She served as a community mediator in the Philadelphia area, where she gained her initial experience and training in mediating land use and environmental disputes. She received her B.A. from Princeton University, her Master’s degree in city planning from MIT, and her Ph.D. in political science and public policy from Indiana University.

2:45 – 3:45 Session Three: Concurrent Session with presentations by several current Maxwell students

4:00 – 5:30 PM Session Four: “Transnational Security Threats.”

 The world today is home to an increasing number of groups that live outside the traditional norms of sovereignty and traditional values of statecraft. They reject international borders and challenge the authority of multiple states. Their activities occur in numerous jurisdictions and their impact is felt in a diversity of communities. Whether it is the FARC in Colombia, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb or Laskhar-e-Taiba in Pakistan, these groups represent a wicked problem – a complex, boundary-spanning issue that can only be solved through the engagement of multiple stakeholders in tackling these groups head on.  We will work together to find common solutions that address a crucial challenge facing the next generation of international security practitioners.

Moderated by Vice Admiral Robert Murrett (Ret.), Deputy Director, Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT) and Professor of Practice, Public Administration and International Affairs

Conference Website / RSVP 

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