Coordinating to Confront Global Issues

The EPIIC Symposium “Problems Without Passports” brings experts together to discuss topics best solved by international cooperation

The pandemic has brought home how deeply interconnected the world is—what happens in one country can have devastating effects on people across the globe. Solving transnational problems—from climate change to migration to violent extremism—takes coordination. The question is, how do we make that happen?

That’s the subject of the 2022 Norris and Margery Bendetson EPIIC International Symposium “Problems Without Passports,” to be held March 31 to April 2, which will highlight the difficulties and the promise of global cooperation in the face of global challenges.

The event is an annual forum organized by students participating in Education for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship (EPIIC), a year-long course offered through the Tufts Institute for Global Leadership (IGL). The symposium features a keynote address and panel discussions with breakout sessions; it will take place in person at Tufts and online, and is open to the public.

Despite many challenges, globalization continues to be the overriding reality shaping international relations in the 21st century, says Abi Williams, F85, F86, F87, director of IGL and professor of the practice of international politics at The Fletcher School. 

The symposium opens March 31 with a keynote address by Margot Wallström, deputy prime minister of Sweden and minister for foreign affairs from 2014 to 2019. Her address, “A World Between Hope and Despair,” begins at noon. Wallström was elected to the Swedish Parliament in 1979, and was minister for youth, women, and consumer affairs from 1988 to 1991; minister of culture from 1994 to 1996; and minister of social affairs from 1996 to 1998. In 1999 she was appointed as a European Union commissioner, serving as commissioner for the environment and then as first vice president of the European Commission from 2004 to 2010.

Among the sessions are those covering these topics:

  • Social Media: Contending with Extremism and Misinformation in the Digital Age
  • Power, Equity, and the Global Climate Crisis
  • Space: The Final Frontier
  • Global Racism: Past, Present, and Future
  • Borders, Human Rights, and Identity: The Global Governance of Migration
  • Development, Finance, and Trade in the Context of Globalized Inequality

The symposium will feature a number of experts, including:

  • Errol A. Henderson, associate professor of international relations at Pennsylvania State University
  • Gabriela Inchauste, a lead economist in the Poverty and Equity Global Practice of the World Bank
  • Naima Isa Sebbi, a feminist lawyer and an activist with eight years’ experience working with NGOs in women’s human rights, refugee rights, human trafficking, advocacy, programming, and development
  • Gauri Singh, deputy director-general of the International Renewable Energy Agency
  • Peter Tinti, writer, researcher, and photographer covering conflict, security, human rights, and organized crime, with a particular focus on the Sahel and Latin America
  • Oliver Wilcox, A92, acting director for countering violent extremism at the U.S. Department of State
  • Heather Williams, a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation and a professor at Pardee RAND Graduate School

The EPIIC symposium is free and open to the public. A detailed program is available here.

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