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Participation in Global Sustainability Debate Competition

April 24, 2012, Volume 58, No. 31

The Office of the Vice Provost for Global Initiatives invites faculty, student, and alumni participation in a unique educational and media event. On October 5-6, 2012, Penn will host the first international debate competition for the finalists of the China Central Television English Talent Competition. The debate will feature 60 finalists from China and will pair them on teams with their US counterparts, primarily students from Penn and other Philadelphia-area schools. It will cover a wide range of topics pertaining to global environmental and economic sustainability, including urbanization, healthcare, international relations and law, green technology, and the roles of media, language, and culture in all of these areas. Awards will be given to the top Chinese-US student teams and to individual debaters from both countries.

This event will provide an ideal forum for the best and brightest young people from China, Penn, and the Greater Philadelphia area to meet each other and rigorously examine complex interdisciplinary issues that they will face as future global leaders. It will also present an opportunity for faculty, government officials, corporate leaders, and media professionals to meet and exchange ideas. During the two days prior to the debate, students and other members of the Chinese delegation will meet with Mayor Nutter and several CEOs, tour local clean-tech facilities such as the DOE-funded Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster at Navy Yard, and visit some of Philadelphia’s many historical sites.  Funding from Penn has been provided by the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, the School of Arts & Sciences, and the Wharton Program for Social Impact. 

Terry Cooke, director of the China Partnership of Greater Philadelphia and senior fellow at Penn’s T.C. Chan Center, and Yvette Bordeaux, director of the Penn Master of Environmental Studies Program, are coordinating faculty participation at Penn. All faculty who are interested in participating as judges and/or members of the event advisory group should contact Terry Cooke at cookemt@design.upenn.edu

The Penn International Sustainability Association is organizing the student participation of Penn and other Philadelphia universities. All students who wish to participate as contestants or organizers should contact Xin Wan, president of the Penn International Sustainability Association, at wanxin@sas.upenn.edu

Almanac - April 24, 2012, Volume 58, No. 31