Past Season: 2010-2011

Thursday, September 23rd, Jim Fleming, “Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control”. Fleming, a professor of Science, Technology, and Society at Colby College, will discuss his new book, Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control. Professor Fleming examines the problems and solutions to the global warming crisis from a historical perspective. His absorbing history is filled with scientists, soldiers, and salesmen, and weaves together stories from elite science, cutting edge technology, and popular culture. Jim’s writing is accessible, compelling, and will speak to anyone who has a stake in sustaining the planet. Copies of the book will be available for signing.

Monday, October 18th, 12:00 at the Alfond Youth Center (126 North Street, Waterville), Mary Benziger and Regina Coppens, “Partners in Health of Maine: The Filtrón Clean Drinking Water Project”. Cost for lunch: $12. A joint program with Waterville Rotary. Please RSVP to by noon on October 13th. Mary Benziger will give a brief overview of Partners in Health of Maine and Regina Coppens will present her exciting project of introducing a simple home water filtration system to the underprivileged people of the north Atlantic coast of Nicaragua using a micro-financing model. Water born diseases are prevalent in Puerto Cabezas, especially in young children. The Filtrón (essentially a clay pot housed in a plastic bucket with a spigot), which was developed by a Nicaraguan businessman (Ron Rivera) and has been used successfully in 40 countries around the world, offers a solution. Gina’s challenge is to identify local point people and retail outlets, set up payment schedules, market the product, and educate people on its importance in disease prevention.

Wednesday, November 10th, Jestina Mukoko, “Marriage of Inconvenience: Will Zimbabwe Slide Back Into Crisis?” Ms. Mukoko, the 2010 Colby Oak Fellow and the National Director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project, will discuss the likelihood that Zimbabwe will return to the state of crisis associated with the violent 2008 elections.

Thursday, December 16th, Ellen Tipper, “Managing the ‘Double Burden of Disease’ in Southeast Asia” Ms. Tipper will discuss how international global health organizations are using their experience in the prevention of communicable diseases, such as HIV, malaria, and diarrheal disease, to address the increasing public health burden of noncommunicable “lifestyle” diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, road accidents, and drug use, in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.

Tuesday, January 18th, Kenneth Rodman, “Nuclear Deterrence and Nonproliferation Strategy in the Obama Administration”. Last year in Prague, President Obama proclaimed his vision of a world without nuclear weapons and over the past two years has sought to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. national security strategy and strengthen multilateral cooperation to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and materials. Colby government professor Kenneth Rodman explains how the administration’s deterrence, arms control, and proliferation policies differ from those of its predecessor and assesses their prospects both for the near-term goal of reducing the risks of nuclear war and the long-term goal of a non-nuclear world.

Thursday, February 10th, Qiam Amiry and John Campbell, “Building Bridges: the Afghan Scholars Initiative and Access to Education in the 21st Century”. The Afghan Scholars Initiative (ASI) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that promotes diversity, understanding, and human development by providing scholarship and placement assistance to young Afghans of exceptional talent, who will go on to become the agents of change in both America and Afghanistan. Each sponsored student touches the lives of hundreds of his or her American classmates and has the potential to improve the lives of thousands of Afghans. By bringing these students together, ASI promotes the universal values of education, diversity and understanding, the foundations of a just and prosperous world.

Amiry spoke to the Global Forum in October, 2008, while a student at Colby College, and captivated us with his description of the perils of selecting two Afghan students for scholarships to Gould Academy. Since that time ASI has successfully placed seven students at secondary schools in the United States and India. ASI’s pilot scholars, Meetra Sroush and Sikandar Ahmadi, currently attend Smith College and Williams College, respectively. Additionally, ASI has eight students in their tutorial program in Kabul, Afghanistan. ASI will place these students with partner schools for the fall of 2011.

Wednesday, March 9th, Alex de Sherbinin, “The Effects of Climate Change on Displacement and Migration”. Please note change of venue: “Care and Comfort” Conference Room, corner of Main and Appleton Streets in Waterville (parking in Concourse). Mr. de Sherbinin will examine the evidence for migration due to recent climate change and the potential for future migration. He will also discuss four research approaches for addressing the climate-migration connection: 1) examining the evidence for migration being induced by environmental causes or natural disasters, 2) examining migration systems and their susceptibility to climate influences, 3) examining future impacts and the likelihood of displacement, and 4) using a livelihood framework in which the focus is on climate change impacts on natural resources and productive systems. What are the likely needs for resettlement of populations owing to climate adaptation and mitigation projects?

Tuesday, April 12th at 7:30 pm, “Recycled Life” (film) at Railroad Square Cinema, Waterville. In collaboration with Railroad Square Cinema, the Mid-Maine Global Forum presents the Academy-Award nominated short documentary Recycled Life by Leslie Iwerks and Mike Glad. The 38-minute film focuses on the lives of those who work in the Guatemala City Garbage Dump. It will be introduced by Sarah Carter and Amy Eklund who have volunteered with the non-profit Safe Passageorganization. There will be a Question and Answer period following the film. See a trailer at: http://www.recycledlifedoc.comAdmission: $6.50; free for high school students (with school ID).

Wednesday, April 13th at 12:30, “Safe Passage: Student Volunteers at the Guatemala City Dump”, at Lawrence High School multi-purpose room (upstairs in the Williamson Center) in Fairfield. Safe Passage or Camino Seguro is a non-profit organization that provides school enrollment and after-school support for poor children whose families scavenge the Guatemala City Garbage Dump. It was founded in 1999 by the late Hanley Denning and assists over 550 children. Colby students Sarah Carter and Amy Eklund, and Falmouth High School student Evan Eklund will be sharing their personal experiences as volunteers with this worthy organization. Snacks and beverages will be provided in the foyer.

Wednesday, May 11th, Lenny Reich, “Oil Supply and the American Economy: The Decades Ahead”. Historically, worldwide oil supply has increased when needed to keep up with growing demand. But as they say on a stock-fund prospectus, past performance is no guarantee of future results! Professor Reich will analyze the current situation and, based on information from the International Energy Agency published in November 2010, project the relationship of supply to demand, including what that will mean for oil prices–and for the American economy–over the next ten to twenty years. The presentation may contain upsetting conclusions; audience discretion is advised.

Thursday, July 28th, 7:00 pm, Annual Dinner at Schair-Swenson-Watson Alumni Center, Colby College. Drs. Martha Campbell and Malcolm Potts, “People and the Planet–Why Population Matters”. This year the world’s population will surpass 7 billion and the UN is projecting that it will rise to over 10 billion people by the end of the century. Rapid population growth drives many of the world’s problems: poverty, economic development, environmental protection, and conflict. Drs. Potts and Campbell have many decades of experience taking family planning to poor countries. Their message is important: birthrates can be lowered in a purely voluntary way. Slowing population growth benefits women, their children, countries, and the planet Earth.