Notre Dame Alumni Association series includes Keough School faculty perspectives on key issues

ThinkND, Notre Dame’s open, online learning community, has launched the new virtual initiative “Where We’re Going.” At a time when lives have been dramatically disrupted and work, education and society’s functions are in a state of constant transition, this series explores how the work happening on Notre Dame’s campus and beyond relates to and impacts the United States and the world.

The first event in the virtual series will debut on Zoom at 1 p.m. ET on Thursday, September 17, 2020.  Featured speakers include Viva Bartkus, associate professor of management and organization and faculty director of the Meyer Business on the Frontlines program; Marya Lieberman, professor of chemistry; and Ray Offenheiser, the William J. Pulte Director of the Keough School’s Pulte Institute for Global Development. Scott Appleby, Marilyn Keough Dean of the Keough School of Global Affairs, will moderate the discussion. 

The discussion will focus on global citizenship and feature campus, national, and international perspectives from faculty, students, and practitioners in the global community. As global challenges—the COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice, employment instability, and polarized politics—increasingly remind us of our interconnectedness, regardless of our physical location, the global citizen strives to live a purposeful life while making the world a more fair, equitable, and sustainable place. The second event on September 24 will feature US-based practitioners, with internationally based practitioners to follow on October 1.

“Where We’re Going” will feature a relevant theme each month, and participants will be invited to join three or four weekly events each month to hear from faculty and industry practitioners and participate in discussions to enhance their understanding of the topics. Future themes will include sports, privacy, healthcare, education, climate and sustainability, a retrospective on the 2020 election, family, and individual wellness.

“For so many in the Notre Dame family, learning and growing continues long after they’ve finished school,” said Dolly Duffy, executive director of the Notre Dame Alumni Association. “‘Where We’re Going’ provides a nuanced look at some of the key issues we face in our society today, led by academic and professional experts domestically and abroad. We hope you’ll join us for these discussions and learn more about the world we live in and how society will continue to evolve in the years ahead.” 

“This is a timely initiative, conceptualized and organized at a moment of great uncertainty for the world but perhaps also a moment of hope, renewal and opportunity for meaningful change,” notes Scott Appleby. “None of us knows, exactly, where we’re going, but I am eager to hear what our visionary colleagues think.”

The multi-week approach to the series enables participants to more thoroughly learn each subject from different perspectives, both academic and professional. Where We’re Going will provide thoughts and opinions from several experts, providing opportunities for participants to discuss and debate timely and important topics, enhancing their overall understanding. 

“Our goal at the Pulte Institute is to understand and address the root causes of poverty and inequality across the globe. This work has allowed us to diversify the countries and communities with which we work, ultimately increasing the breadth and scale of Notre Dame’s role as a global citizens,” said Offenheiser, the former president and CEO of Oxfam America. “We are excited about the opportunity this affords us to bring Notre Dame to the world and the world to Notre Dame in new and unique ways. This series is an excellent opportunity for our Notre Dame family to join our efforts in becoming a more powerful force for good in the world.”   

In addition to the 60-minute live, interactive sessions, participants will have access to a new podcast summarizing key takeaways from live events.


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