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viewpoint

Exploring human development

| Wednesday, February 25, 2015

As Calvin and Hobbes wisely once said, “It’s a magical world, let’s go exploring,” and is there anyone better to take advice from? We most cordially invite you to shake off the winter doldrums and join us in exploring the world in all of its complexity at the 7th annual Human Development Conference (HDC) on Feb. 27-28 at the Hesburgh Center (it’s across from Mendoza).

The HDC is an annual student-led conference for the presentation of original undergraduate and graduate student research related to issues of international development, featuring over 70 presenters from Notre Dame and universities across the country, Uganda and India. Your peers have worked for months to host this event and hope to share it with as many members of the Notre Dame community as possible.

At this point, you’re likely thinking two things: “My dorm room is warm, outside is cold, and I don’t even know where the Hesburgh Center is.” (Seriously, guys, we’re not talking about the library. This one is across DPAC quad from Mendoza. We will have a lot of food, and we promise our building is warm.)

You may also be thinking: “Development doesn’t work and is a waste of money. This is just silly.” To which we gladly reply, if phrases such as “Green Revolution,” eradication of guinea worm and Cold-War-bribes-to-dictators-like-Mobutu-do-not-count-as-foreign-aid mean nothing to you, then you are exactly the person we would love to have at the conference.

On a more serious note, we encourage you to mix up your routine and deeply engage in conversations about development with your peers from around the country and the world. At its most basic, development is about fostering human flourishing, a goal that matters for each of us as individuals and for all of us as a global community. Once you’re exposed to the realities of development, how it affects us all and the successes that have already been achieved, you’ll be “ruined for life” in the best possible way. This year’s HDC will feature talks on everything from direct trade coffee to viral hemorrhagic fever outbreaks. Honestly, we don’t know what else you could ask for.

We lied, you could ask for Jeffrey Sachs. You may know Sachs as one of the primary architects of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, or as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. He is a world-renowned economist and a leader in sustainable development research and practices and was recently named the director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the United Nations’ brand-new organization for post-2015 development practices. We encourage all to come hear him speak about his plans for revolutionary changes in human development in person on Friday evening.

Join us as we discuss and evaluate past trends, current best practices and the future of development. Our generation has the opportunity to tackle issues such chronic hunger, illiteracy and poverty that still plague many of our global brothers and sisters. We believe that by working together, we are up to the challenge. Make the choice to become part of the solution.

We look forward to welcoming you to the HDC on Feb. 27-28! Register to attend the HDC by visiting http://fluidsurveys.com/s/HDC_2015/ today. We know you want to take advantage of this incredible opportunity.

The HDC Planning Committee

Magdalena Guzman
co-chair

Christopher Newton
co-chair

Jared Clemmenson
graphic designer

Lauran Feist
liaisons committee chair

Madison King
abstracts committee co-chair

Geri Lanham
communications committee chair

Jessica Peck
abstracts committee co-chair

Ena Solorzano
logistics committee chair

Emily Strickland
photo contest committee chair

 

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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