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Institute on World Affairs Examines Issues

The Santa Barbara Institute on World Affairs will host its first panel discussion on various global issues at the Lobero Theatre tomorrow.

Forum topics include global labor, nanotechnology, human rights and the future of international commerce. A panel of notable UCSB faculty — including global studies professors Mark Juergensmeyer and Richard Appelbaum — will offer their insight at the event.

SBIWA President Ted Tedesco said the panel will showcase the academic prowess of the university’s faculty.

“I have an interest in featuring some of the incredible people that we have here within the community and UCSB,” Tedesco said. “UCSB especially has some of the world-class experts on these areas and so there was no need or reason to go beyond who I was able to contact at the university.”

According to Juergensmeyer, the Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies helped organize the selection of professors who will discuss topics ranging from terrorism to China’s emergence as a leading world power.

“[Our involvement in the event] is an attempt to reach out beyond the boundaries of UCSB and provide an intellectual exchange within the Santa Barbara community on important global issues,” Juergensmeyer said.

Tedesco said the “UCSB global experts” will speak for about 15 minutes each before opening the floor to audience input.

“So, the whole program is literally set to be half given by the presenters and half of the time to be reserved for audience participation and engagements with the presenters,” Tedesco said.

Tedesco founded the nonprofit organization last year as a nexus for dialogue about and solutions to both global and national issues. The group plans to have at least three similar annual forums with predetermined discussion topics.

Tedesco said he hopes the events will encourage participants to develop their own solutions to global issues.

“I am not just trying to run a speakers’ bureau,” Tedesco said. “I am trying to get people to engage and be willing to or consider taking some involvement or action after that.”

Tomorrow’s forum will last from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information on this event and the Santa Barbara Institute of World Affairs, visit sbiwa.org.

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