In an annual personal trial, I have collected information on a month’s events, as many as I could track down, knowing that still other opportunities may have passed students’ way. I did a pretty comprehensive round-up for February 2017 and for March 2016. Having decided to do the same this year, I recalled that compiling the previous years’ lists was a surprising amount of work, and all month I chided myself for not working on the 2018 edition bit-by-bit. I ultimately sat down last week to a mess of email notices that finally defeated me. Rather than abandon the idea, I thought I would narrow the scope to highlight a few features of February’s events. (You’ll note that it’s already March — clearly I have not achieved my goals on this one.)
Fletcher students often say that there is more going on here than they can possibly take advantage of. In that regard, let me first point you to one of the busiest lunch hours of the month. On Monday and Wednesday, there are no classes from 12:30 to 1:30, which can result in a tantalizing array of choices. For Monday, February 26, these were the options:
The IBGC (International Business in the Global Context) Speaker Series hosted lunch and a talk entitled, “Disruption or Innovation: How Global Banks are Positioning for the Future,” by Mariya Rosberg, F04, partner at Oliver Wyman.
The International Security Studies Program and the Center for Strategic Studies presented a lunch lecture by Major John Spencer, Deputy Director of the Modern War Institute and Co-Director of the Urban Warfare Project, who spoke on, “If warfare has moved into cities, why is the military not preparing?”
The Fletcher Initiative on Religion, Law and Diplomacy and the Fares Center presented lunch and discussion with Dr. Aykan Erdemir, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and former member of the Turkish Parliament (2011-2015). He spoke on “Bridging the Bonded: Faith, Politics, and Diplomacy in a Polarized Age.”
The Russia and Eurasia Program invited the community to lunch and a roundtable discussion on Russian public diplomacy with another alumnus, Alex Dolinskiy, F09, one of the pioneers in developing the concept of public diplomacy in Russia.
And, finally, the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy hosted lunch and a research discussion with Rich Swanson, who spoke on “Energy for Africa, Prioritizing Investments Under Climate Change.”
I suppose that lunch was the reward for making the choice of which event to attend.
The second aspect of the busy month that I’ll highlight is the range of student-organized activities. Starting on the 8th with a Tech@Fletcher happy hour (“Come to chat intersection of tech and [insert any topic here]… or for the free apps!”) we then returned the following Monday to “Random Acts of Kindness” week.
February must inspire creativity, because on the 14th, the Japan Club organized an Origami Workshop, along with Japanese snacks.
And creative expressions were not limited to crafts. On the 15th, students presented, “A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and a Prayer; Writings to End Violence Against Women & Girls,” an anthology featuring monologues from several authors and playwrights that explore violence on all levels.
For those who prefer sports to the arts, there were two Fletcher Futbol games, on the 16th and the 25th.
And returning to more traditional offerings, on the 16th, the International Law Society presented a Student Law Panel, featuring Fletcher students.
There were plenty of other student-organized events, but I’ll close out the post by pointing you toward the Fletcher calendar. Not every event is included, but poke around and you’ll get a sense of the scope of conferences, lectures, club meetings, and luncheons that take place each month.