Recording and Resources: What NOT to Restart, and Opportunities Moving Forward: Global Engagement Post-COVID

October 2, 2020

On Friday, September 25, 2020, Jackline Oluoch Aridi, Martin Punaks, and Dr. Balu Balasubramaniam presented What NOT to Restart, and Opportunities Moving Forward: Global Engagement Post-COVID. This event was part of the Haverford College Center for Peace and Global Citizenship’s 20th anniversary series.

Since the turn of the last century, higher education institutions have been touting global engagement and global experiences as important institutional offerings that build 21st Century skills. As the COVID-19 pandemic slows international trade and travel around the world, global educators must pause to ask: What have we learned and what should we avoid moving forward? Finally, how might we build better structures and programs toward the communities and the world we aim to co-construct in the years to come? Panelists included:

  • Jackline Oluoch Aridi, East Africa Regional Research Program Manager, Kellogg Institute for International Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • Dr. Balu Balasubramaniam, Medical Doctor, Distinguished Visiting Professor at Cornell, Harvard, and other Universities; Founder, Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement
  • Martin Punaks, International Development and Child Protection Consultant

The conversation was facilitated by Eric Hartman, Executive Director, Center for Peace and Global Citizenship.

00:00 – Welcome, tech overview, and co-sponsorships

03:17 – Nora Reynolds introduces the Community-based Global Learning Collaborative, the webinar’s featured presenters, and chat facilitation

08:41 – Dr. Balu Balasubramaniam discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic presents new opportunities in global engagement, as well as four challenges, using a summer 2020 online Cornell University course as an example.

19:43 – Martin Punaks discusses how orphanage volunteering, and voluntourism generally, are problematic. He goes on to highlight new ways that are emerging of offering service and development work in an effort to build back better. (Slides can be viewed here.)

31:54 – Jackline Oluoch Aridi discusses opportunities that emerged this summer, including comparative learning across contexts through virtual internships and service learning. She also emphasizes the importance of decolonizing service learning.

43:36 – Dr. Eric Hartman highlights CPGC programs that are community-led, and reflects on moments when re-evaluation of, and subsequent stepping away from, partnerships occurred. (Slides can be viewed here.)

1:02:32 – Q&A / Panelist discussion

The Collaborative invites all individuals and organizations or institutions to sign on to a commitment that has grown from this work. The commitment challenges individuals and organizations to advance community-driven leadership, ensure protections for individuals in vulnerable populations, improve ethical representation, deepen learning, and advance evaluation of theories of change that actually move toward more just, inclusive, sustainable co-creation.

  • Individuals are invited to sign the individual commitment , while
  • Institutions and organizations are invited to sign the institutional commitment to advancing ethical, critical, aspirationally decolonial community-based learning and research for more just, inclusive, and sustainable communities.

The webinar was co-sponsored by The Community-based Global Learning Collaborative, the Pennsylvania Council for International Education, and the Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development.

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