Alumni Weekend debates Arab Spring and sustainable cities

  • October 14, 2013
Alumni Weekend debates Arab Spring and sustainable cities

International experts, Scholars and Alumni will take part in panel debates on the Arab Spring and sustainable cities at an Alumni Weekend starting on Saturday.

The Arab Spring and how to create sustainable cities are the focus of the first Gates Cambridge Alumni event to be webcast live this weekend.

The Gates Cambridge Alumni Weekend, which takes place on 19 and 20 October, will feature University of Cambridge lecturers, Gates Cambridge Scholars and Alumni, external experts, Ian Black, the Guardian’s Middle East Editor, and award-winning environment journalist Fiona Harvey, also of The Guardian.

Speakers at the Arab Spring debate, which will explore what the ongoing challenges are for the Middle East and whether lessons can be learned from elsewhere, are:

– Ian Black, Middle East editor for The Guardian.
– Maha Abdelrahman, a lecturer at the Centre of Development Studies at the University of Cambridge, whose current work focuses on the politics of the ‘Arab Spring’, the history of social and political struggles in the Arab Middle East and the meaning of revolution in the 21st century.
– Hazem Kandil, a lecturer in political sociology at the University of Cambridge whose research explores the socio-political ramifications of various military conscription regimes across history and whose book ‘Inside the Brotherhood’ is forthcoming.

The debate will be moderated by Erin Snider [2005], a Gates Cambridge alumna who is Assistant Professor of International Affairs in the Bush School of Government at Texas A & M University. Her current research focuses on the political economy of aid and transition in the Middle East.

Speakers at the Building Sustainable Cities of the Future debate are:

– Simon Giles, Accenture’s global lead for Intelligent Cities Strategy who advises cities, government and developers on economic development, citizen-centred design and digital masterplanning. He also leads Accenture’s partnership with the MIT Senseable City Laboratory and his current projects cover countries from Colombia to Japan.
Linda Gichuyia [2011], a current Gates Cambridge Scholar and architect whose PhD seeks to develop new insights into adaptation design measures that take into account both the short and long term impact of climate change in the carbon-constrained environment of a developing country.
– Diane Haigh, an architect and a Director of Allies and Morrison Architects and a former Director of Design Review and Architecture at the UK government Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.

The debate will be moderated by Fiona Harvey, an award-winning environment journalist at the Guardian. The weekend will also include social events and opportunities for networking.

Professor Barry Everitt, the new Provost [CEO] of the Gates Cambridge Trust, said: “By bringing together Alumni and Scholars from within the Gates Cambridge network, and experts and practioners from academia and industry, this event focuses on two important global issues from different perspectives – and will no doubt contribute to on-going debates on how to effectively address them.”

Mamta Thangaraj [2003], Co Chair of the Gates Cambridge Alumni Association, said: “An amazing and engaged group of people from the Trust, GCAA and GCA have been preparing and looking forward to this weekend for months! This event, coordinated by alumni in different continents, is a testament to the spirit of the Gates community for fostering lasting connections between scholars and alumni and how we are truly global.

“We are excited to host the reunion at Cambridge, where old friendships will be rekindled and new ones formed. We hope to be part of more of the reunions in the future!”

The event can be viewed live on the Gates Cambridge Youtube channel. Full details about the Weekend can be found here.

Picture credit: scottchan and www.freedigitalphotos.net.

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