I write to update you on the policy brief “Civil Society Challenged: Towards an Enabling Policy Environment”, which I co-authored with my colleagues and fellow deans Jack Knott (University of Southern California) and John Burns (University of Hong Kong), and also to share some good news.
Photo by California Air Resources Board.
Not only is climate change an important multidisciplinary research area that intersects across all hard and social sciences, but environmental concerns are also increasingly critical for our survival as a species and this planet as a whole. Local, state, and federal levels of government are all faced with the challenge of balancing environmental conservation, economic prosperity, and environmental justice through sustainable development.
Contemporary economic growth is also a story of rising inequality. For example, in the United States, average annual income is over $50,000, whereas in Niger per person income per year is under $500, or less than one percent of that in the United States. But even within developed countries, inequality is rising. There is also a significant urban-rural divide in education, opportunities, and fiscal growth potential. How can governments and businesses face these emerging issues with attainable solutions?
Cities have and will continue to encompass over half of the world’s expanding population and urban centers are key players in addressing the global challenges of climate change, poverty and disease, education, and economic development. Cities are the paradoxical axis of economic growth and socioeconomic disparities, and environmental degradation and equitable, sustainable solutions.
Public policy exists in the space where evidence-based practices and science intersect with socio-economic infrastructure, and the political will to affect change. Global leaders in public policy need to understand how these systems interact and influence one another. In order to achieve facility in public policy analysis, leaders embody and look for employees with certain skills.